Do all the things like ++ or -- rants, post your own rants, comment on others' rants and build your customized dev avatarSign Up
Get a devDuck
Rubber duck debugging has never been so cute! Get your favorite coding language devDuckBuy Now
Search - "shield the team"
Almost a decade ago (damn I'm getting old) I was working on a virtually dead project - i.e. it was the third, and final, iteration of a very failed project in a huge company with literally millions of Euros poured into it.
I came in as a junior SysAdmin/CM to substitute someone who was happily fucking off to another, better job. And alongside me a senior started as well to deal with the management/interaction between vendors and internal "teams" (6 peeps to deal with infrastructure requests from vendors - DBA, SysAdmin, Networking, Hardware commissioning, that sort of stuff).
Now, nothing against this senior - really cool dude - but he was objectively doing a poor management job. Partially due to some personal issues and a little bit of incompetence/disinterest.
So me, and the rest of these peeps that the vendors interacted with, were getting massacred with impossible requests/deadlines and blamed for almost everything wrong with this project.
Two weeks after we started, SeniorMan had to take a week off due to some personal issues so I was asked by higher management to take over his tasks as well until he's back.
The next day, I took all the peeps to get coffee and told them that from now on, regardless of what anyone tells them, unless it's from our direct manager (who pretty much didn't give a shit) every information/decision/deadlines negotiations goes through me and me alone. And they're not allowed to even consider anyone asking them for favours without talking to me first.
Now, this also came with the understanding that I would become the sole person to blame in case of fuck ups, and I gladly accepted because I would have quit anyway if things didn't change.
So everyone agreed.
And oh boy did we put the heat on those fucking vendors, because those two weeks that SeniorMan was busy drinking coffee with the upper management, I studied the entire project - I was familiar with every single network switch, VM, application and most importantly, all the agreements between vendors on which applications they would deliver and when.
They guys from my team also followed through with ignoring vendor requests that didn't come through me. They would literally hang up on them. CCed me on every single email. It was great.
A week later, we learned that SeniorMan would be gone another week, so upper management gave me a company phone because things were going well. SeniorMan would later quit because he pretty much wasn't needed by the time he came back.
With the phone and the blessings of the management I was pretty much the only entry point for vendors to deliver their applications. And I was strict as fuck. My negotiation policy was to multiply everything the peeps from my team told me by 3. If they didn't like it, well tough luck, give us more resources and wait 3 weeks to get them up to speed.
And within a month we became the highest performing team on that project. Outperforming the second best by as much as 6 to 1. All this with much less stress for everyone in the team.
Thanks to these changes, vendors actually had to do their job and deliver the promised services without blaming us. So we magically passed the first milestone, and suddenly went from failed project to the most promising project in the company.
Ah good times, good times...
I participated in a meeting, before hitting the second milestone, where the project lead from one of the vendors was trying to pin their incompetence on us being slow to deliver infrastructure requirements.
So I pulled out the Visio file that everyone in the room agreed to a few months prior, and one by one showed that not only everything was delivered on time but even earlier on some items. And that due to them being slow on testing their shitty software on our infrastructure everything is going to shit.
The CTO of the company was present in this meeting, and what followed can only be described as someone who had no idea what was going on, being hit in the face with some else's balls of steel. This CTO proceeded to yell out how much all the vendor contracts cost and that if these fucks didn't get their shit together he'll release the lawyers from the dungeon of debt.20
Insecure... My laptop disk is encrypted, but I'm using a fairly weak password. 🤔
Oh, you mean psychological.
Working at a startup in crisis time. Might lose my job if the company goes under.
I'm a Tech lead, Senior Backender, DB admin, Debugger, Solutions Architect, PR reviewer.
In practice, that means zero portfolio. Truth be told, I can sniff out issues with your code, but can't code features for shit. I really just don't have the patience to actually BUILD things.
I'm pretty much the town fool who angrily yells at managers for being dumb, rolls his eyes when he finds hacky code, then disappears into his cave to repair and refactor the mess other people made.
I totally suck at interviews, unless the interviewer really loves comparing Haskell's & Rust's type systems, or something equally useless.
I'm grumpy, hedonistic and brutally straight forward. Some coworkers call me "refreshing" and "direct but reasonable", others "barely tolerable" or even "fundamentally unlikable".
I'm not sure if they actually mean it, or are just messing with me, but by noon I'm either too deep into code, or too much under influence of cognac & LSD, wearing too little clothing, having interesting conversations WITH instead of AT the coffee machine, to still care about what other humans think.
There have been moments where I coded for 72 hours straight to fix a severe issue, and I would take a bullet to save this company from going under... But there have also been days where I called my boss a "A malicious tumor, slowly infecting all departments and draining the life out of the company with his cancerous ideas" — to his face.
I count myself lucky to still have a very well paying job, where many others are struggling to pay bills or have lost their income completely.
But I realize I'm really not that easy to work with... Over time, I've recruited a team of compatible psychopaths and misfits, from a Ukranian ex-military explosives expert & brilliant DB admin to a Nigerian crossfitting gay autist devops weeb, to a tiny alcoholic French machine learning fanatic, to the paranoid "how much keef is there in my beard" architecture lead who is convinced covid-19 is linked to the disappearance of MH370 and looks like he bathes in pig manure.
So... I would really hate to ever have to look for a new employer.
I would really hate to ever lose my protective human meat shield... I mean, my "team".
I feel like, despite having worked to get my Karma deep into the red by calling people all kinds of rude things, things are really quite sweet for me.
I'm fucking terrified that this peak could be temporary, that there's a giant ravine waiting for me, to remind me that life is a ruthless bitch and that all the good things were totally undeserved.
Ah well, might as well stay in character...
*taunts fate with a raised middlefinger*13
Not really a recruiter but at interview at one place I was given a printed code example and told that there was 8 bugs and that I shield treat it like a code review.
I found 16 bugs and 4 bad practices and explained them all to the director of software engineering and team lead (that set the test), they agree that I was correct; the director turned to the team lead and said ... Are you are your a senior
I tried not to laugh lol1