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Search - "so many emails!"
Me: "We should remove that popup"
Marketer: "But our A/B testing statistics show a 14% increase in signups to our newsletter, and people who get our newsletter are 4% more likely to buy something"
Me: "0.14x0.04... so slightly more than half a percent improvement. And you also qualitatively measured how many people decide to never visit the page again, just because of that popup? Did you measure the how many internet users with adblockers run into a broken webpage? Did you measure the amount of emails to support from users who can't unsubscribe from the newsletter because there is no unsubscribe link?"
Marketer: "Why would they want to unsubscribe? The newsletter adds value to our users!"
After spending a few months on this site, what strikes me the most, is how unhappy a lot of programmers are.
It kind of makes me sad to see so many of you struggle with office politics bullshit everyday.
I have a confession to make.
I've never had a programming job, or freelanced, yet I have made a very comfortable living with programming and marketing for the past 20 years.
I make my living by finding niches where there is shit software, and creating a better alarm clock.
The first 5-10 years of doing this, I worked my ass off (throughout my twenties)
But during most of my thirties, I barely had to
work to keep it all up. I get residual income still
from stuff I did 10 years ago.
I'm curious if anyone at all would be interested in learning how to do this, quitting their job, for example, or, just having the freedom to write your own code without answering to anybody but your own customers. Many of whom you never have to talk to, they go to your site, they buy, and rarely ever send emails (if you do it right)
Everybody here has knowledge that is so bankable, yet they seem to just surrender to
asshole bosses and clients. It doesn't have to
be like that.
If you'd be interested in this, please ++ this.
I'm thinking of creating an online course about creating and marketing your own software, specifically for programmers like you guys. and girls.
I genuinely just want to see if there's interest. I hope that's ok.66
Started being a Teaching Assistant for Intro to Programming at the uni I study at a while ago and, although it's not entirely my piece of cake, here are some "highlights":
* students were asked to use functions, so someone was ingenious (laughed my ass off for this one):
* "you need to use functions" part 2
*moves the whole code from main to a function*
* for Math-related coding assignments, someone was always reading the input as a string and parsing it, instead of reading it as numbers, and was incredibly surprised that he can do the latter "I always thought you can't read numbers! Technology has gone so far!"
* for an assignment requiring a class with 3 private variables, someone actually declared each variable needed as a vector and was handling all these 3 vectors as 3D matrices
* because the lecturer specified that the length of the program does not matter, as long as it does its job and is well-written, someone wrote a 100-lines program on one single line
* someone was spamming me with emails to tell me that the grade I gave them was unfair (on the reason that it was directly crashing when run), because it was running on their machine (they included pictures), but was not running on mine, because "my Python version was expired". They sent at least 20 emails in less than 2h
* "But if it works, why do I still have to make it look better and more understandable?"
* "can't we assume the input is always going to be correct? Who'd want to type in garbage?"
* *writes 10 if-statements that could be basically replaced by one for-loop*
"okay, here, you can use a for-loop"
*writes the for loop, includes all the if-statements from before, one for each of the 10 values the for-loop variable gets*
* this picture
N.B.: depending on how many others I remember, I may include them in the comments afterwards19
Spaces Vs Tabs - A real world case.
So one of the menial tasks I was given here was to take a pretty mock and turn it into an HTML email template. Needless to say, I hate emails and HTML.
After many weeks of trial and error, rejection and tweaks, we're doing our final tests when someone noticed that Google's clients are chopping off the footer and saying "View Full Email".
A few searches yield that Google has a 102KB cut off for email size. We did some checks and found that we were at 104KB. I immediately thought it was my CSS inliner being a little too verbose, but as I went in to edit things, I noticed that the file was intended with spaces!
Now I'm a fan of Silicon Valley, and I recalled an episode from this past season where Richard mentioned something about saving file size by using tabs. I had never really considered that point.
So I went back into VSCode and told it to convert all of the individual templates that make up this giant email to indent with tabs...
The file size dropped from 104kb to 82kb.
I wasn't very polarized on the Tabs vs Spaces debate, but this here has given me a nice real world example as to why tabs rule.21
Watch 3 videos about iOS/Swift on YouTube, and now I'm getting a frontpage full of recordings of app development events and iPhone reviews.
Listen to one kpop track on Spotify out of curiosity, and now the recommendation playlist is polluted with music I really don't like.
If we are going to hand our balls to AI and expect it to be a glorious fondling fest, don't cry if it suddenly realizes "nuts? aren't those supposed to be cracked?".
I mean what's fucking next? Where will this "smart" shit end up?
I accidentally click on a my little pony meme, and amazon will drone-strike me with 500 gallons of glitter? I drunkenly mumble "OK google how do kangaroos fuck" in the back of a self-driving Uber, I'm going to be dropped off in a shady alley and raped by a dozen walibis?
STOP FUCKING TRYING TO UNDERSTAND ME, INTERNET. I JUST WANT TO FUCKING USE YOU, NOT BE USED BY YOU, THIS WASN'T THE DEAL.
If you truly understood me, internet, I would probably not even give a fuck about privacy. But you are all building these profiles wrong.
You don't understand that I might be interested in juggling tricks today, tomorrow it might be all about crocheting a wool sweater for my penis, and the day after that I'm curious how many corpses it would take to fill up an olympic swimming pool.
NO I'M NOT ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN THAT QUORA, STOP SENDING ME RECOMMENDATION EMAILS ON HIDING MURDER VICTIMS, MY BOSS WILL THINK I'M WEIRD.
Yeah of course I could pulls some plugs, anonymize the shit out of my online life. I respect those who manage to just say "Fuck you Google, I'm sick of your shit, I'm going cold turkey".
But these platforms are feeding us heroin-laced candy.
All your coworkers friends and family with their oled-lit zombiefaces, staring at tiny screens, all absent-mindedly grasping your ankles whispering "aww take one more hit with us, check out this funny youtube clip, let me send it to you on whatsapp.... what you don't have whatsapp? You deleted your facebook? don't you love grandma anymore? Why do you hate your family?"
Before you know it, you watched ten episodes about cultivating cactuses, have a year subscription to brilliant, skillshare, squarespace and 3 different organic foodboxes are delivered to your door, Netflix is spamming you about a cupcake baking show, and you're thinking about same-day delivery for a baseball bat so you can just beat the crap out of every pretty glass display you see.
I want to break up with you, Internet.
I love you, but I hate you.
Since you passed 2.0, you have grown into a manipulative bitch.
I just don't know if I'm strong enough. It's all "let's just be friends" with you, but I know you'll be trying to reel me back in.
Before I know it, you're feeding me cookies once again, and I'll end up balls deep with your trackers stuck to my dick.21
One week, and it turned out to be worse than that.
I was put on a project for a COVID-19 program in America (The CARES Act). The financial team came to us on Monday morning and said they need to give away a couple thousand dollars.
No big deal. All they wanted was a single form that people could submit with some critical info. Didn't need a login/ registration flow or anything. You could have basically used Google Forms for this project.
The project landed in my lap just before lunch on Monday morning. I was a junior in a team with a senior and another junior on standby. It was going to go live the next Monday.
The scope of the project made it seem like the one week deadline wasn't too awful. We just had to send some high priority emails to get some prod servers and app keys and we were fine.
Now is the time where I pause the rant to express to you just how fine we were decidedly **not**: we were not fine.
Tuesday rolls around and what a bad Tuesday it was. It was the first of many requirement changes. There was going to need to be a review process. Instead of the team just reading submissions from the site, they needed accept and reject buttons. They needed a way to deny people for specific reasons. Meaning the employee dashboard just got a little more complicated.
Wednesday came around and yeah, we need a registration and login flow. Yikes.
Thursday came and the couple-thousand dollars turned into a tens of millions. The amount of users we expected just blew up.
Friday, and they needed a way for users to edit their submissions and re-submit if they were rejected. And we needed to send out emails for the status of their applications.
Every day, a new meeting. Every meeting, new requirements that were devastating given our timeframe.
We put in overtime. Came in on the weekend. And by Monday, we had a form that users could submit and a registration/ login flow. No reviewer dashboard. We figured we could take in user input on time and then finish the dashboard later.
Well, financial team has some qualms. They wanted a more complicated review process. They wanted roles; managers assign to assistants. Assistants review assigned items.
The deadline that we worked so hard on whizzed by without so much as a thought, much less the funeral it deserved.
Then, they wanted multiple people to review an application before it was final. Then, they needed different landing pages for a few more departments to be able to review different steps of the applications.
Ended up going live on Friday, close to a month after that faithful Monday which disrupted everything else I was working on, effective immediately.
I don't know why, but we always go live on a Friday for some reason. It must be some sort of conspiracy to force overtime out of our managers. I'm baffled.
But I worked support after the launch.
And there's a funny story about support too: we were asked to create a "submit an issue" form. Me and the other junior worked on it on a wednesday three weeks into the project. Finished it. And the next day it was scrapped and moved to another service we already had running. Poor management like that plagued the project and worked in tandem with the dynamic and ridiculous requirements to make this project hell.
Back to support.
Phone calls give me bad anxiety. But Friday, just before lunch, I was put on the support team. Sure, we have a department that makes calls and deal with users. But they can't be trained on this program: it didn't exist just a month ago, and three days ago it worked differently (the slippery requirements never stopped).
So all of Friday and then all of Saturday and all of Monday (...) I had extended panic attacks calling hundreds of people. And the team that was calling people was only two people. We had over 400 tickets in the first two days.
And fuck me, stupid me, for doing a good job. Because I was put on the call team for **another** COVID project afterwards. I knew nothing about this project. I have hated my job recently. But I'm a junior. What am I gonna say, no?8
8 am, got in to work, everything has exploded overnight. The servers are dead, the scripts aren't running, everyone has panicked. So many emails.. So many Skype messages. I wish I wasn't the only one who can fix it. Send help (and coffee).28
Remain calm, don’t freak out, remain calm, don’t freak out.
Ok, so my sort of new manager (had a slightly different manger-ish role on the team), has for the third time in as many months, just sent an email criticizing the dev team for our working from home-ness (which for the record has not been that bad, 2/3 or 3/3 have been in everyday for the past month)
In this same period, there has been late nights, weekends, successful releases, I’ve been invited to talk at a conference about my work (not a particularly big one, but still). Point is, everything is going well, very well in fact.
There has been no emails discussing our great work, thanking us for extra work, thanking us for picking up slack from other teams who are down a few people etc. no our major concern it seems is the “optics” of our team not being present in the open space.
Our contracts list flexible working hours, and his boss has frequently told us WFH is fine when things are too busy. But no he is complaining for us to get our hours in the office in line and make sure we are in the office more.
It’s been a particularly long and frustrating week, and I’m very tempted to inform him that if he is concerned about my chair and desk looking empty, that I can put them somewhere for him where they will always be occupied until a surgeon can remove them.
However, thanks to the deep breaths, I’ve managed to restrain myself long enough to run this past you all first and ask advice.
Worst thing you've seen another dev do? Long one, but has a happy ending.
Classic 'Dev deploys to production at 5:00PM on a Friday, and goes home.' story.
The web department was managed under the the Marketing department, so they were not required to adhere to any type of coding standards and for months we fought with them on logging. Pre-Splunk, we rolled our own logging/alerting solution and they hated being the #1 reason for phone calls/texts/emails every night.
Wanting to "get it done", 'Tony' decided to bypass the default logging and send himself an email if an exception occurred in his code.
At 5:00PM on a Friday, deploys, goes home.
Around 11:00AM on Sunday (a lot folks are still in church at this time), the VP of IS gets a call from the CEO (who does not go to church) about unable to log into his email. VP has to leave church..drive home and find out he cannot remote access the exchange server. He starts making other phone calls..forcing the entire networking department to drive in and get email back up (you can imagine not a group of happy people)
After some network-admin voodoo, by 12:00, they discover/fix the issue (know it was Tony's email that was the problem)
We find out Monday that not only did Tony deploy at 5:00 on a Friday, the deployment wasn't approved, had features no one asked for, wasn't checked into version control, and the exception during checkout cost the company over $50,000 in lost sales.
Was Tony fired? Noooo. The web is our cash cow and Tony was considered a top web developer (and he knew that), Tony decided to blame logging. While in the discovery meeting, Tony told the bosses that it wasn't his fault logging was so buggy and caused so many phone calls/texts/emails every night, if he had been trained properly, this problem could have been avoided.
Well, since I was responsible for logging, I was next in the hot seat.
For almost 30 minutes I listened to every terrible thing I had done to Tony ever since he started. I was a terrible mentor, I was mean, I was degrading, etc..etc.
Me: "Where is this coming from? I barely know Tony. We're not even in the same building. I met him once when he started, maybe saw him a couple of times in meetings."
Andrew: "Aren't you responsible for this logging fiasco?"
Me: "Good Lord no, why am I here?"
Andrew: "I'll rephrase so you'll understand, aren't you are responsible for the proper training of how developers log errors in their code? This disaster is clearly a consequence of your failure. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Me: "Nothing. Developers are responsible for their own choices. Tony made the choice to bypass our logging and send errors to himself, causing Exchange to lockup and losing sales."
Andrew: "A choice he made because he was not properly informed of the consequences? Again, that is a failure in the proper use of logging, and why you are here."
Me: "I'm done with this. Does John know I'm in here? How about you get John and you talk to him like that."
'John' was the department head at the time.
Andrew:"John, have you spoken to Tony?"
John: "Yes, and I'm very sorry and very disappointed. This won't happen again."
John: "You know what. Did you even fucking talk to Tony? You just sit in your ivory tower and think your actions don't matter?"
Me: "Whoa!! What are you talking about!? My responsibility for logging stops with the work instructions. After that if Tony decides to do something else, that is on him."
John: "That is not how Tony tells it. He said he's been struggling with your logging system everyday since he's started and you've done nothing to help. This behavior ends today. We're a fucking team. Get off your damn high horse and help the little guy every once in a while."
Me: "I don't know what Tony has been telling you, but I barely know the guy. If he has been having trouble with the one line of code to log, this is the first I've heard of it."
John: "Like I said, this ends today. You are going to come up with a proper training class and learn to get out and talk to other people."
Over the next couple of weeks I become a powerpoint wizard and 'train' anyone/everyone on the proper use of logging. The one line of code to log. One line of code.
A friend 'Scott' sits close to Tony (I mean I do get out and know people) told me that Tony poured out the crocodile tears. Like cried and cried, apologizing, calling me everything but a kitchen sink,...etc. It was so bad, his manager 'Sally' was crying, her boss 'Andrew', was red in the face, when 'John' heard 'Sally' was crying, you can imagine the high levels of alpha-male 'gotta look like I'm protecting the females' hormones flowing.
Took almost another year, Tony released a change on a Friday, went home, web site crashed (losses were in the thousands of $ per minute this time), and Tony was not let back into the building on Monday (one of the best days of my life).10
Things I hate about Microsoft (Part 1):
Windows: Does things I don't want it to do. Is not user friendly. It is just user familiar.
Outlook / Hotmail: Drops emails silently, which are RFC conform and pass every other mail service. No error messages or notifications.
Edge: Does not / Partially support(s) some modern standards.
IE: No explanation needed.
Design language: border-radius: 0 !important
Business model: Let's make our own hardware, so we can compete with our hardware partners (HP, Dell, ...). Isn't that a perfect idea.
Tracking: Let's track everything of our users. Even how many photos they open in our OS*. What they get from that? Well they could get personalised ads on Bing. Isn't that a perfect model.
we recieved many support emails from concerned customers that day6
I haven't checked my work email in a month or two.
We use slack, so every time someone needs me they just message me there or text me. It works nicely. I also dislike email in general.
Anyway: I looked at my inbox this morning, and again just now. I've gotten just over 900 emails today.
Tons of useless alerts on a shoddy as hell codebase. As an example: Every time a coworker uses a tool or lookup with a sub-par query, it ties up the single shared database long enough to generate response time alerts.
As a better example, there are many many many informational alerts that intentionally begin with "500 Internal" specifically to trigger an email alert. Why? I guess they were useful at some point?
There's just so much to fix...
And I guess I don't care enough.
On the bright side: this gives me a great reason to ignore my email!6
I've been wondering for a while, how the backend my team has to use could have so many issues. I was convinced they had no alerting system in place and have been commenting on it for a while now, and complaining about it.
Was on a Zoom call with one of the backend devs today, he shared his screen and had his email open. I saw a folder he had setup called alerts, and sub folders under that. One of them was named the name of the service/app we are using ... it had over 360,000 un-reads ... and emails are automatically deleted after 4 months in my company.
So they have alerts setup, they just don't care ... problem solved. Enjoy your weekend folks!2
I finally did it. I finally got rid of that client in a positive, respectful manner.
So basically, my dad has a freelance colleague. For a side project that person asked me to make him a website. My dad mentioned to said person that my sister's boyfriend does web design (he's trained to use autocad for designing the structure of furniture, nothing fancy just straight lines and upside down doors that fail after a while..
So my brother in law charged the guy 400 money for the design. I charged the guy 200 for the programming because my dad forced me to drop down my price to fit the budget because business relationship and he obviously couldn't let my sister's boyfriend not make more money than he deserves.
In the end after waiting on the design for weeks (I literally saw him do it in photoshop all in 2 layers on his laptop in half an hour) I had to rush the project because the due date was coming up. I already had most of it done but I had to redo a good part of the front-end to fit the design structure. I also had to re-do the design in photoshop to get the images and colors I needed, then cut it up into html. So realistically, my sister's boyfriend barely did anything.
Now the deal was that I'd develop the website and perform any updates/upgrades to it. I'd also host it on my webserver for a monthly fee. My sister's boyfriend was to handle any and all content related support.
At first it was all good, I only ever spoke with the guy when he needed a feature added and he paid me well for it. Overall the hit I took in initial development was paying off. As time went by, my sister's boyfriend started ignoring the guy's calls and the guy started calling me instead.
Now, he had this deal with my brother in law where he could charge his time at 35 money an hour. That's about 4 times minimum wage for not doing much.
Then I started to basically take over all support, but I was only allowed to charge 30 an hour. Pretty reasonable still and I wasn't too busy so it was all good.
As time went by I ended up getting asked to do more and more minimal changes. At some point I had done so many minimal changes I had to charge the guy about 2 hours extra that month and he went completely mental saying I can't just work for hours without telling him beforehand. We decided I had to discuss a price before any change. I charged my time on the phone with him twice after that and both times he bitched about me being expensive and once he even said he wanted to leave.
Now comes the fun part. A week ago he had an issue that was 100% support related. He tried calling my sister's boyfriend but the guy obviously didn't pick up. He called my dad about it, and my dad ended up calling my my sister's boyfriend. Now this guy is so slimy, he purposely didn't hang up the phone knowing my dad would use his cell and assume the other party would hang up because calls cost money. The guy heard my dad call my sister's boyfriend and heard him pick up immediately. He went completely mental saying how he wants both of us to always reply and call him back immediately.
This guy was always my lowest priority. He didn't really make me money and his calls and requests were annoying and unnecessary. Add to that that I specifically didn't want to handle support and was forced into it anyway, while all 'design' things (up to figuring out where and how to display a visitor counter) absolutely had to go to my sister's boyfriend..
But regardless of that, I generally replied to his emails within 10-20 minutes and rarely more than 25 hours.
My dad agreed (for us) that we now both had to reply to him within 24 hours. I was now stuck checking my voicemail every couple hours because my sister's boyfriend sucks at life.
During his rant he threatened to leave me, again. That was the point where I said fuck it.
For the past week I've been ignoring his calls. When he emails me I don't take more than 5 minutes replying. This morning I found an e-mail with 4 requests;
He wanted me to make a content-related change;
He wanted me to give him access to the site's Google analytics;
He wanted me to add a feature and write a guide on how to use it;
And fucking finally, he wanted a 'token to transfer his website'.
I promptly emailed him back saying I added his email a week ago and that he'd gotten an email from Google about it then, that I'd changed the content he wanted me to, a price for the last dev task and a token for his domain name, adding that its valid for 35 days and that his new host can contact me to receive a backup file of his website.
Sadly, I do have this on 10-minute dev job to do, but then I'm invoicing him all jobs I haven't invoiced yet and he can find another host willing to deal with his insanity.
The best part is I lose a webhosting client but I'm sure he'll still ask my sister's bitched parasitic boyfriend whenever he needs a photo resized and he'll still pay him 35 money for 2 minutes of work.
Most ignorant ask from a PM or client?
So, so many. How do I chose?
- Wanting to 'speed up' a web site that we did not own, in Sweden (they used a service I wrote). His 'benchmark' was counting "one Mississippi, two Mississippi" while the home page rendered on his home PC and < 1MB DSL connection (he lives in a rural area).
- Wanted to change the sort order of a column of report so it 'sometimes' sorted on 'ABC' (alpha) or '123' (numeric) and sometimes, a mix of both. His justification was if he could put the data in the order he wanted in Excel, the computer should be smart enough to do the same thing.
- Wanted a Windows desktop application to run on an android.
- Wanted to write the interface to a new phone system that wasn't going to be installed for months. Even though we had access to the SDK, he didn't understand the SDK required access to the hardware. For several weeks he would send emails containing tutorials on interfacing with COM libraries (as if that was my problem).
- Wanted to write a new customer support application in XML. I told him I would have the application written tomorrow if he could tell me what XML stands for.4
My private Email Account got hacked when I was in school, and they sent out a mail with something along the lines of "hey, you should really use this product to lose weight, it is great" to all of my contacts. Many of them ignored it, some of them called me to inform me about the issue (the worst part was, long after I used 2fa and changed passwords regularly, they still had my name and contact list, so they just made email adresses that looked like mine and continued to send out spam to my contacts). Anyway, one teacher of mine didn't know that this was a scam and was insulted because I regularly sent emails about her losing weight. And as if the whole situaion, which I couldn't do anything about, wasn't bad enough, my parents and I had do have a 1h conversation (which ended up in me explaining how those hacks work, and luckily she understood, but still). Never again. I prefer those fake ms support guys that call me over this every day.7
Admin work, because its all manual:
- Each new project has to fill out an Excel tab in a workbook, with a list of all the major tasks and who is responsible. This then needs to be used to create a Gantt chart, manually, in the same tab, showing in what month a task starts and ends.
- Every month we have to manually enter status updates into a powerpoint slide on a shared deck. Which has a collision at least once per month.
- Once a quarter we need to do something similar as the powerpoint slides, but into a word doc instead.
- Once a week we need to track our time on projects in a tool that can't be integrated with (no API or anything). Meaning we can't link up a ticket tracking system to it, so again, all manual.
- Once every 6 months a new round of research funding opens up and we write proposals. The status for which are tracked in another Excel spreadsheet, manually, once a week until the deadline.
- The instructions for what to do with the proposals are so vague and badly documented that there is an unwritten rule, that for the first time you will have to ask a bunch of questions to the project manager. This is accepted by everyone and its just the done thing.
- Everything is stored in a dropbox style system, which has become so cluttered I can only find resources by saving the links sent out previously.
- Some of these updates / reports also get a 1 hour meeting for everyone to stand up and read out what they've entered.
- From time to time random things will need to be reported on to the higher ups (how many publications, research papers, patents, times and dates etc.). Again rather than a tool, a new Excel spreadsheet is whipped up and emailed to everyone on the team. Whoever sent it out, then has to merge the 20+ copies into 1 doc.
- Some of the staff (mostly the devs), use a ticket tracking system to keep track of everything. Management refuse to use it to track the things they need. Instead we have to copy paste from it into the word docs, powerpoint, excel etc.
- By far the most annoying. Management force all the above as they need the info for finance, accounting, legal etc etc. So we have to do it, but whenever there is a question from legal, management send the question to us. So despite having documented every facet of everything imaginable, it all gets ignored in favour of endless emails.
I once tried to to put an end to all of this madness by proposing the use of a ticket tracking system, and then building reporting tools on top of it.
... I was told that it "wasn't appropriate". Still don't know what that means.9
! a Rant
Dear fellow devRanters!
I have an announcement to make. After we shared Programmer’s Music (www.programmersmusic.com) on devRant, we had so many awesome user started using our service and they still do. We love you all for that and thank you for you continuous support and use.
Now that our team has become more focused and productive, we took upon a new problem to tackle a few months back. The problem we chose is about increasing email productivity and ability to comprehend knowledge hidden in emails in a more effective way. We are excited to introduce ‘Altmail’! (https://www.altmail.in)
We believe that there’s a hidden treasure in your inbox waiting to be explored. All those newsletters and blog updates, all those deals, all those Medium digests and LinkedIn alerts, contain keys to becoming a better version of yourself. So we have made it Altmail’s mission to help you spend less time organising and more time acquiring knowledge. Altmail transforms your cluttered inbox into the source of knowledge, automagically.
We are currently in private beta and have limited invites left, to be specific 33 out of 100. Please check it out here - http://at.altmail.in/devRant!
We are looking forward to your honest feedback! :)
Thanks a ton!
I just had a rather stressful morning. I should've known something was up by the sounds of thunder as I walked into the office.
I sat down and checked my emails. There was an email from the boss who was away on a business trip. The subject read, "CRITICAL BUG" and my name was mentioned. "Great...No time for coffee", was my first thought.
I began searching commits to see when and how the bug came to be. "SHIT! It was my fault", I said aloud.
(A bit of backstory, I am Irish, working in Germany with a B2 level of the German language.)
I now had to communicate the problem quickly with a senior developer who is Russian. He can't speak English well and I would not expect him to speak it. We are in Germany after all. I tried my best to communicate the issue, but I found it so difficult to understand his German in a Russian accent. Normally, in the office I speak German except when it is urgent and I must explain a problem in greater detail through English. I got past that obstacle, however, the real challenge of fixing the bug awaited.
After 2 hours of coding, I had a solution and committed it to the master branch. All the while, I had been replying to the bosses emails with updates, probably with many grammer mistakes.
We have no dedicated testers here and the code is written in a way which makes it very difficult to test (i.e. it was written many years ago). When I had initially written the code, I tested rigorously and found no issues.
Just needed to rant. I need a coffee break now...4
I have seen it. They say it doesn't exist; just a story we tell our children so that their innocence does not lead them down into a nightmarish adulthood from which there is no salvation. But the evil lives. So vile that were you to look inside its soul, all you would find is a terrible desperation for suffering. To cause it. To revel in it. To bathe in the tears of those it considers less than human and feed off the emotional detritus.
It was 2009. The financial crisis. I was one of the lucky, having found refuge in a large company right before the jobs dried up. General IT: system administration, documentation, project management, telephony, software training, second level help desk. No software development, but with a two-year-old at home and Ph.D.s lining up outside the local Olive Garden whenever a help wanted sign was posted, I grabbed the health insurance and entered into darkness.
The Thing did not need to hunt it's prey. A manager title with 21 reports brought it new opportunities for fresh meat by the hour. But I was special. I resisted. I needed to know my place.
My first mistake was incomprehension. I did not understand the Thing's lust to be right at all costs. I was reviewing some documentation it had brought forth from its bowels. I mentioned that two spaces were being used between sentences. That proportional type made that unnecessary. It insisted, I was wrong. It insisted that Microsoft itself, the purveyor of all good technical writing, required two spaces. I opened the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications that it demanded its staff use and showed it that the spec was one space. It was livid. I was a problem.
From that point on my work life became exponentially more wretched. I was given three Outlook calendars to maintain: one with my schedule, one with the team's schedule and one with the Thing's schedule. Every time I had an appointment, I was to triple schedule it. If I was going to be away from my desk for more than 15 minutes triple schedule. Triple schedule my lunch, vacations, phone conferences.
Whenever it held a meeting, I and a colleague would be taken off mission critical IT projects to set tables with name tents and to serve as greeters as attendees arrived.
I was called into its crypt to be told never to say anything in a meeting unless I told the Thing beforehand what I was going to say. Naive, I mentioned that I often don't know what I will say as it is often in reply to someone else. Of course the response was that I should not say anything.
I would get emails 10-20 times a day asking about a single project. I would regularly complete work that was needed to be completed ASAP, only to have the Thing rake me over the coals for not completing it a week later. And upon resending the emails proving I notified it of the work being competed, disparaged at length a second time for not sending repeated notifications of the competed work.
I would have to sit in two-hour meetings to watch it type. Literally watch it try to create cogent thoughts. In silence.
I received horrendous annual reviews. At one, it created a development plan that stated a colleague would begin giving me lessons on the proper ways to socially interact with personnel. I pointed out to HR that this violated privacy concerns and would make the business liable in many areas, not least of which would be placing a help desk person in the role of defining proper business practice. HR made the Thing remove this from my review. She started planning to remove me.
I had given a short technical training to a group of personnel months earlier. Called into its tomb I was informed that feedback surveys on my talk were disturbing. One person stated that they did not think I was funny. Another wrote that I made an offensive statement. That person did not say what the offensive statement was. Just that I had said something he or she didn't like.
The Thing interviewed the training attendees. Gathered facts. Held three inquest-like meetings where multiple directors peppered me with questions trying to get me to confess to my offensiveness. In the end the request to fire me was brought to the man who ran the business at the time. The statement on high: "Humor is a subjective thing. Please tell This to be sensitive to that."
The Thing had failed, but would no doubt redouble its efforts. I had to find a new job. I sent hundreds of resumes. Talked to dozens of recruiters. But there were no jobs. And I had a family. And the wolf was at the door.
So I didn't say a word to the creature. For six months. Silence. At one group meeting it shrieked at me "what are you smirking at? If you've got something to say then say it!" I just shrugged. For my salvation was revealed. The Thing could not stand to be ignored. And at the end of my penance I was transferred to another group: Software Development.
I am one with the Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.4
I'm so annoyed.
Now I can't even have an online portfolio, publish articles, or just any kind of online presence for my career. First, I receive emails from exes. Now, my relatives. They can't find me in other social media so they google me instead, find my website, and try to contact me there. It sucks because my projects are picking up some attention and one of the reasons I find it easy to land a job is because companies can search for my name and see my work. For that to be turned into a burden is just another thing they try to take away from me. I have no life. I can't have one. They will always follow.
I am already paranoid that the people emailing me regarding code are just them posing as someone else which doesn't help my confidence at all. Some of the LinkedIn recruiters who ask for my contact number could be them. At this point, all I can do is ignore. Just push through with my projects, have zero online presence unless code related, and just fucking hope they get tired eventually although it's been half a decade of silence from me.
It's so fucked up how disrespectful these people are. No matter how many times you tell them to fuck off, they still try to sabotage all your efforts of having a life or career from a distance. Also, how convenient that you're reaching out to me after a typhoon. I guess you need money and you immediately thought of that "one rich relative who want nothing to do with us but blood is thicker than water so she will definitely help us".
Fuck you. Fuck off.
Leeches. Leeches everywhere.23
Project Cortana: Day 56
*What I liked*
Here is the rant where I described the project: https://devrant.io/rants/962190
Time for a review. The biggest advantage I have found was the productivity. Let me explain:
1. Cortana: It's useful as fuck if anyone is willing to use it all the time. It really helps to get reminders and notifications everywhere (PC, Laptop and Mobile).
2. Microsoft Launcher: An underrated gem due to the hate towards M$. Thanks to it's transparent theme, it looks absolutely gorgeous. The most useful part is the "Feed" where you get all your emails, recently edited documents, recently used apps or contacts all together. I was quite surprised to see the level of customization if offered considering it's M$.
3. M$ Office: I probably don't need to talk much about it, it's the most productive tool you can get. Outlook is fucking brilliant on mobile. Other office apps, while they are great on mobile, are probably more useful in tablets. And the "Focused Inbox" is the best thing happened to outlook.
4. M$ To-Do: Holy fuck, this is sick. I know that there is many alternative with more features. But this app is the perfect example of a todo app. Simple, has the exact right features and has a really smooth, beautiful UI. This really helped me to be productive.
5. OneDrive: Didn't find much difference compared to Google Drive.
6. People: Something that I discovered later and found it really useful. You can pin contacts in the taskbar and see emails, calender items associated with that contact in one click. Found it really useful considering I was chatting with my Supervisor and lectures quite frequently.
7. Windows Mail App: While I really like it, I have mixed feeling about it. I would really love to have HTML signature. Not sure why M$ is not implementing it. But the "Share" in the Context Menu is really useful while sending attachements.
Finally, the "Fluid Design" so far is beautiful. Loving the effects.
I will write what I didn't like in the next rant.16
TLDR: Small family owned finance business woes as the “you-do-everything-now” network/sysadmin intern
Friday my boss, who is currently traveling in Vegas (hmmm), sends me an email asking me to punch a hole in our firewall so he can access our locally hosted Jira server that we use for time logging/task management.
Because of our lack of proper documentation I have to refer to my half completed network map and rely on some acrobatic cable tracing to discover that we use a SonicWall physical firewall. I then realize asking around that I don’t have access to the management interface because no one knows the password.
Using some lucky guesses and documentation I discover on a file share from four years ago, I piece together the username and password to log in only to discover that the enterprise support subscription is two years expired. The pretty and useful interface that I’m expecting has been deactivated and instead of a nice overview of firewall access rules the only thing I can access is an arcane table of network rules using abbreviated notation and five year old custom made objects representing our internal network.
An hour and a half later I have a solid understanding of SonicWallOS, its firewall rules, and our particular configuration and I’m able to direct external traffic from the right port to our internal server running Jira. I even configure a HIDS on the Jira server and throw up an iptables firewall quickly since the machine is now connected to the outside world.
After seeing how many access rules our firewall has, as a precaution I decide to run a quick nmap scan to see what our network looks like to an attacker.
The output doesn’t stop scrolling for a minute. Final count we have 38 ports wide open with a GOLDMINE of information from every web, DNS, and public server flooding my terminal. Our local domain controller has ports directly connected to the Internet. Several un-updated Windows Server 2008 machines with confidential business information have IIS 7.0 running connected directly to the internet (versions with confirmed remote code execution vulnerabilities). I’ve got my work cut out for me.
It looks like someone’s idea of allowing remote access to the office at some point was “port forward everything” instead of setting up a VPN. I learn the owners close personal friend did all their IT until 4 years ago, when the professional documentation stops. He retired and they’ve only invested in low cost students (like me!) to fill the gap. Some kid who port forwarded his home router for League at some point was like “let’s do that with production servers!”
At this point my boss emails me to see what I’ve done. I spit him back a link to use our Jira server. He sends me a reply “You haven’t logged any work in Jira, what have you been doing?”
The last several weeks I've been coding at 100%, most all day and well into the night. Today, I just can't.
Things I have done today:
*Walked around outside a bit.
*Let my 18 month old daughter type all over my code
* Closed mysterious dialogs and menus daughter opened up that I couldn't open if I tried
*Watched the Mets score 10 runs on the Phillies in the top of the 5th inning
*Stared at stuff
* Cleaned up a few thousand emails out of my inbox
* Added filters to never see them again
* Noted impending deadlines on the calendar
* Stared at more stuff
In the meantime so many more ideas have come flooding in on how to proceed with these various features I'm working on. Can't even run from work.
So, no such thing as laziness, because apparent laziness is also productive. The exhaustion becomes doubly frustrating because there's just no way to physically keep up with the breakthroughs.
I'm still just staring out the window. It's raining now. Today is done.8
Woohoo!!! I made it to 1000++s :) Now I feel less newbie-like around here :)
So... I don't want to shit-post, so in gratitude to all you guys for this awesome community you've built, specially @trogus and @dfox, I'll post here a list of my ideas/projects for the future, so you guys can have something to talk about or at least laugh at.
Here we go!
Current Project: Ensayador.
It's a webapp that intends to ease and help students write essays. I'm making it with history students in mind, but it should also help in other discipline's essay production. It will store the thesis, arguments, keywords and bibliography so students can create a guideline before the moment of writting. It will also let students catalogue their reads with the same fields they'd use for an essay: that is thesis, arguments, keywords and bibliography, for their further use in other essays. The bibliography field will consist on foreign keys to reads catalogued. The idea is to build upon the models natural/logical relations.
Apps: All the apps that will come next could be integrated in just one big app that I would call "ChatPo" ("Po" is a contextual word we use in my country when we end sentences, I think it derived from "Pues"). But I guess it's better to think about them as different apps, just so I don't find myself lost in a neverending side-project.
A subchat(similar to a subreddit)-based chat app:
An app where people can join/create sub-chats where they can talk about things they are interested in. In my country, this is normally done by facebook groups making a whatsapp group and posting the link in the group, but I think that an integrated app would let people find/create/join groups more easily. I'm not sure if this should work with nicknames or real names and phone numbers, but let's save that for the future.
A slack clone:
Yes, you read it right. I want to make a slack clone. You see, in my country, enterprise communications are shitty as hell: everything consists in emails and informal whatsapp groups. Slack solves all these problems, but nobody even knows what it is over here. I think a more localized solution would be perfect to fill this void, and it would be cool to make it myself (with a team of friends of course), and hopefully profit out of it.
A labour chat-app marketplace:
This is a big hybrid I'd like to make based on the premise of contracting services on a reliable manner and paying through the app. "Are you in need of a plumber, but don't know where to find a reliable one? Maybe you want a new look on your wall, but don't want to paint it yourself? Don't worry, we got you covered. In <Insert app name> you can find a professional perfect to suit your needs. Payment? It's just a tap away!". I guess you get the idea. I think wechat made something like this, I wonder how it worked out.
* Why so many chat apps? Well... I want to learn Erlang, it is something close to mythical to me, and it's perfect for the backend of a comms app. So I want to learn it and put it in practice in any of these ideas.*
Flat-land arena: A top down arena game based on the book "flat land". Different symmetrical shapes will fight on a 2d plane of existence, having different rotating and moving speeds, and attack mechanics. For example, the triangle could have a "lance" on the front, making it agressive but leaving the rest defenseless. The field of view will be small, but there'll be a 2d POV all around the screen, which will consist on a line that fills with the colors of surrounding objects, scaling from dark colors to lighter colors to give a sense of distance.
This read could help understand the concept better:
A 2D darksouls-like class based adventure: I've thought very little about this, but it's a project I'm considering to build with my brothers. I hope we can make it.
Imposible/distant future projects:
History-reading AI: History is best teached when you start from a linguistic approach. That is, you first teach both the disciplinar vocabulary and the propper keywords, and from that you build on causality's logic. It would be cool to make an AI recognize keywords and disciplinary vocabulary to make sense of historical texts and maybe reformat them into another text/platform/database. (this is very close to the next idea)
Extensive Historical DB: A database containing the most historical phenomena posible, which is crazy, I know. It would be a neverending iterative software in which, through historical documents, it would store historical process, events, dates, figures, etc. All this would then be presented in a webapp in which you could query historical data and it would return it in a wikipedia like manner, but much more concize and prioritized, with links to documents about the data requested. This could be automated to an extent by History-reading AI.
I'm out of characters, but this was fun. Plus, I don't want this to be any more cringy than it already is.12
*Email pops up*
2 hours later..
Me: Still answering dozens of emails..4
Wow! They are incredible!
I keep creating new email filters every week or so, and they keep finding new ways to send me spam!
The best part is - these emails are sent from our internal infra. Judging by the sender it looks like they have created a bot collecting various events and sending them to... everyone.
Much smart. Many useful.
warning: huge ass rant, language.
sooo, i’ve been away from too long from here but in my defence i had nothing to rant about.... LOL YOU WISH.
this yeah and part of the last one were a huge dumpster fire. i had terrible and stupid clients, but this time, oooh my. i had the kind of client that puts you in the state of taking drugs to talk with him.
so, basically my job is to use IT to run businesses and part of it is going paperless and bringing intelligence to their DMS. I have 5 years experience on the field, not a senior, but let’s say i do know my way around the job. this involves a lot of windows services, scripts (in vbscript..), powershell tasks, i basically lick Microsoft boots for a living :D
So, huge part of the job is taking “physical” (on paper) processes, taking them to digital, then making them better, once they are used to the system. (nothing secret I work with M-Files)
But this guy. Dude. this is the kind of person that needs to look good towards his boss. it’s the guy that says his words are “cartesian”, with a “precise meaning”. My, Fucking, Ass.
When it comes to structure (folders, flows, trees, whatever) it’s important to think about design, you want to touch it the least at the end. i have to modify workflows and objects countless times. and yes, i had with him a long and extensive design phase. the dude basically says “yes” without reading what’s been done, and then changes mind and asks “who the fuck approved this shit”. the problem comes when you write services to process huge amounts of data to be saved idk, on the FS, and decide that it was wrong, and that it needs to be changed and retroactively. then change it back. then change the process. then make it bigger, so big your staff gets confused as fuck. then you want to impose stuff to your suppliers, which they don’t give a fuck about your requests.
then. THEN. then you come to me, say it’s my fault you might lose your job because release must be pushed further because you didn’t want to lose your fucking pride by admitting that you were wrong about something it’s my fucking expertise, something your 15 years experience accountant also told you, as well as half of your accounting department (the way VAT is treated basically). get fucking fired already. for real. and guess who had to implement something wrong on purpose knowing It would be a fucking nightmare to properly reverse?
without mentioning that some stuff makes so 0 fucking sense, jesus, get wrecked by a horny duck dude. who the fuck needs to store e-mails in public folder for each fucking email in the company? take a cryo backup solution. no, each email that comes into each mailbox needs to be assigned to a working site. without exception. why would an email to order pizzas for the dinner be assigned to a working site?
also, thanks a lot for making me writing a huge service the other way around because you didn’t read my emails. thank you. because how the fuck am i supposed to know that i need X data from Y and not Y from X? (over, over simplifying here). the number of hours spent there , uuugh.
but hey, don’t worry, I hopefully got to spend the morning of my birthday, which was also a day off, helping you out because your staff is basically overwhelmed.
god, they aren’t the brightest stars in the sky, but I can just understand them. poor souls.
but hey besides all this. it would’ve been nice acknowledging the many mistakes done on your side my dear client. no, while being 100% e-mail backed, somehow the error is in our side. (my boss knows it isn’t don’t worry he covers me).
like, a couple of days ago he asked me to solve a huge bug on an invoice validation workflow that must’ve been a bug because was designed in a shitty way. it wasn’t a bug, it was his “cartesian” specification. which i told him btw wasn’t that clever, but never mind.
hopefully client will have a 3 weeks leave. i will enjoy every day of work without him. every hour.
i will do excel macros for what I care.
once already my boss stepped in to calm down the dude, shit was going south and I was going to basically fire myself because if a phone call I finally didn’t do. i was ready to insult the shit out of his face with his boss. god thank my boss for that.
sorry for the slightly long rant
have a good day y’all2
Background: Since last 3-4 months, was working with a senior engineer remotely on a project.
Present: Currently, I am Out of Office and yesterday late night, I opened my official mail and after sometime I got an email with subject: GOODBYE!
It was from him. The same senior engineer with whom I was working. I thought it was a joke. But people don't joke when they send such emails to a huge group of people.
I never knew he was going to leave so soon. I wanted to learn so many things working with him. I used to ask him the silliest doubts ever.
I still wonder why he left the company. I have so many questions to ask him.
I am sad. I am feeling left alone.
It's awkward that today, this very moment, I can't ping him anymore forever.
It's obvious to be more professional and such things are normal.
But, I am fresher and my first project was with him. So, it's kind of tough for me too.
I know this will help me to grow up stronger and teach me that time isn't constant and we need to always be ready and use the right time preciously and deal with the "constant change".
And also, wherever he goes, my best wishes to him and I hope I will meet him some day.
Not much of a story but about 2 years ago, I had just got to the mall (at its opening time so many shops were still closed). While walking through to find a place to eat while my mother went grocery shopping, my phone started buzzing. Upon checking; it had hundreds of notifications and emails. Our production server was malfunctioning.
Not much that I had to do, but I ran around to find a computer store to use their model computers to see what was happening.
However, while the problem was fixed, I did notice how friendly Mac stores were as opposed to windows dealers that day. Windows dealers did not allow me to use the computers while the Mac store connected me to wifi and allowed me all the time needed to fix my issue. 👀
On friday a colleague reveived an email from one of our biggest customers. The email was about a public repository on github which contains our software. In the code were many emails from employees...
I'm the guy who is actually writing this software and we are in an early stadium of development. So I wrote this emails for a dropdown field plain in the code for testing. I would never do this in a release version!! We have a company bitbucket server where I push all my stuff to.
Two months ago my team leader aquired a student, he will be working during his graduation, and he has many fresh ideas. And he coded some cool stuff for a big conference here germany. But, BUT!! Last tuesday he has the awesome idea to publish our code on github. He didn't ask anyone. This repo was 3 days online, with emails from our customer. I asked him for a reason to do that. He thought they wouldn't find the repo. WTF?!?
I don't know what we can expect, but this is really shitty!7
I learned recently that you can inject SQL lines in some fields like Passwords or usernames on some websites. (Hacky hacky)
At work there is this intra website that is used to manage the parts of the radios and computers we repair.
Each piece has a specific number, and there is a tree with every pieces for each radio/computer.
When we get to repair one, we gotta change the pieces virtualy on the website. Sadly sometimes, the virtual pieces aren't marked like they followed the whole Radio from the place they come to the place we repair (we need it to replace the piece). People are just not doing their job, so we have to send emails and call for them do it so we can repair it. (This is already fucked up.)
Today, I had to replace a piece, but it was marked like it's not there. I called the guy, and it seems like he is on a vacation for weeks. My superior was super annoyed due to the urge of this task.
Guess who managed to change the _mainlocation_ of the _piece_ in the _radiopieces_ table. (Not actual names, you malicious cunt)
I spent 3 hours looking for the name of the fields and table. I don't know how many times I had to refresh the dam page to see I failed once again.
Hopefully I didn't have to guess all of them. Also the joy when I realised I succeed !!!
No one bats a eyes, and I'm here, feeling infinitely superior, as I might get punished for wanting to do my job.
I know it's basic moves to some of you, but dam it felt good.
Conclusion: Do what you have to, specially when it takes 5 minutes and people need it.11
I am beginning to hate the relationship between email and my clients. I never thought it would come to the point where email is the worst communication platform I've ever used because some of my clients simply don't know how to use it properly.
I have one client who never uses the subject header in his emails. This makes conversational threads very difficult to follow, and I can't just scan the inbox I have for him. I have to actually do searches on my emails just to find recent conversations.
For some reason nobody knows how to start a new email thread. I have multiple clients that will just take the last email that I sent them, regardless of what it's about, and start a new conversation completely unrelated to the other email by hitting"reply". I end up with email threads that are 60 to 100 emails long and contain many different subjects, which again makes it hard to find anything. Never mind that they've usually put two or three important attachments, or username password combinations, or other valuable information in there amongst all the noise.
Worst of all, I have a few clients and co-workers who insist on starting a new email thread whenever anything about a particular issue comes up. This means that just today I have five separate email threads about the same goddamn issue from the same damn person. Am I supposed to respond to each thread with the same damned information? One of these people is supposed to be both a media consultant and an SEO expert and really should know better. Also, if you do actually send me an email with a subject like "the robot.txt error", please don't give me one sentence about that and five paragraphs about what color you'd like the background to be. That's ridiculous. How the hell am I supposed to find that later? Especially since we already discussed this in the other email that sitting in my inbox.
I swear I am setting up a bug tracking system simply so that my clients can log in and leave me bug reports, and feature requests, and will stop filling up my poor email boxes with what amounts to piles and piles threads that I have to sort through.
For a person who suffers with a form of ADD this is extremely frustrating. Why is it so difficult for my colleagues and clients to write good emails with good subject lines, and reply to the right damn emails?
Am I just being too anal, or does this bother others as well?16
SO I JUST FOUND OUT THIS:
Hostinger changed its mailservers from mx1.hostinger.com, to IMAP.hostinger.com and SMTP.HOSTINGER.COM
This means that all of the emails that I sent out for the last 2 weeks on my phone(the only place where I send out emails) has been going to fadoodle knows where?
Now that I changed on my phone the incoming and sending servers and I send out a email it appears as spam, but It dosent do that when I send it out of the web platform.
So like bruv, more digging to do...
HOSTINGER U BICH ASS FUCKING CUNTS, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY EMAILS I NEEDED TO FORWARD BCZ OF THIS???😂
And I though people were Beeing rude or something3
I'm feeling like writing this down...
So today I got told off by my boss. Why? Because my job bores me.
My current title, "webmaster", is quite similar to "plumber" where I work. I fix holes on our websites, and I tell "qualified" people (external providers) how a project should be made. Nothing exciting, nothing creative, boring.
So I got told off today for being "laid-back" in a newsletter project (GDPR, looking at you) and not being thorough in my procedures of testing and configuration. Fair enough, I didn't care and I admitted it. It's a boring drag-and-drop done in literally 5 minutes, there's no added brain-value here. Plus I got told off by my IT Manager because our Exchange server would not let me receive test emails. Still doesn't work after a day. Yay.
Then she said "we're doing exciting things here, it's not always the case anywhere else you'd work". And I'm like: "really? I love writing code, seeing things coming alive, investigating why things don't run smoothly, writing efficient code (both in performance and in readability)". I hear many friend devs telling me they're doing that and what they do during their "dev-day"... All I'm doing here is "maintenance" (a.k.a boring) stuff that apparently is "exciting". Adding a <script> to handle google tag manager is hell fun, going through compiled CSS and change color values is also thrilling, finding out if a PDF handler application can handle PDF files, re-plugging a computer monitor to make it work...
I think she meant that I'm not at my place here.
Didn't want to tell her that I have no motivation in doing things I don't enjoy making, i.e, my job.
Good thing I have an interview in two weeks2
So I enventually spent 2 years working for that company with a strong b2b market. Everything from the checkouts in their 6 b2c stores to the softwares used by the 30-people sales team was dependant on the main ERP shit home-built with this monstruosity we call Windev here in France. If you don't know it just google and have some laugh : this is a proprieteray FRENCH language. Not french like made by french people, well that too, but mostly french like the fucking language is un fucking french ! Instructions are on french, everything. Hey that's my natural language okay, but for code, really ?
The php website was using the ERP database too, even all the software/hardware of the massive logistic installation they had (like a tiny Amazon depot), and of course the emails of all employees. Everything was just handled by this unique shitty and so sloooooow fucking app. When there was to many clients on the website or even too many salespeople connected to the ERP at the same time, every-fuckin-piece of the company was slowing down, and even worse facing critical bugs. So they installed a monitor in the corner of a desk constantly showing the live report page of Google analytics and they started panic attacks everytime it was counting more than 30 sessions on the website. That was at the time fun and sad to observe.
The whole shit was created 12 years ago and is since maintened locally by one unique old-fashion-microsoft dev who also have to maintain all the hardware of all the fucking 150+ people business. You know, when the keyboard of anyone is "broken" cause it's unplugged... That's his job too. The poor guy was totally overstressed on a daily basis and his tech knowledge just saddly losts themeselves somewhere in the way. He was my n+1 in a tech team of 3 people : him, a young and inexperimented so-called "php developer" who was in charge of the website (btw full of security holes I discovered and dealed with when I first arrive at the job), and myself.
The database was a hell of 100+ tables of business and marketing data with a ton of specific logic added on-the-go during years. No consistent data model or naming. No utf8. Fucked up relations that ends with queries long enough to fill books. And that's not all, all the customers passwords was just stored there uncrypted. Several very big companies and administrations were some of these clients. I was insisting on the passwords point litterally all the time, that was an easy security fix and a good start... But no, in two years of discussions on the subject I never achieved to have them focusing on other considerations than "our customers like that we can remind them their password by a simple phone call if they lost it". What. The. Fuck. WHATTHEFUCK!
Eventually I ran myself out of this nightmare. I had a few bad jobs already, and worked on shitty software already. But that one really blows my mind (and motivation for a time too). Happy it's over.1
Back when SharePoint was still foreign to me, and I didn't know the pain of administrating it, I had the idea that files were copied to my local machine. I saw no need to preserve backups from before I started, especially since they already existed on the server, so I got rid of them.
Also hooked up to SharePoint was an email handler. Whenever a case was created or deleted, an email went out to the entire department. Guess what happened when I deleted 250,000 records?
Fortunately, SharePoint has a recycle bin. Unfortunately, restoring those files generated another 250,000 emails. To the whole department.
I bought many donuts to appease the crowd baying for my blood.2
For fuck sake!
Fuck locatefamily.com, just searched out on google my name and surname, both foreign and hard to even spell out for many, and it's the first time that I saw my data(where did I live, my current work phone number, name and surname) open wide as the second link of my search, fuck!
But there's a clue, at that address I lived for a not so long period, so I did search my emails in that period and other than my employers and government emails(in which I don't trust either), here's a list of companies that had my info(partial or full):
Only address(with name and surname):
Amazon.it with 14 other companies(for shipping)
eBay with 4 other companies(for shipping)
DUMA (LIGHT) di Adel
Overall there are 33(including government, employers and national main mail service) potential leaks of that data, with 7 in full exposure.
After this, I'm thinking how it's even avoidable to not leak personal data, because from any of those businesses I got goods or services that otherwise I couldn't without exposing such informations... fuck.7
so its IPL(cricket) season in india, there is a OTT service called hotstar (its like netflix of india), the cricket streams exclusively on hotstar..
so a quick google search reveals literally thousands of emails & passwords, found a pastebin containing 500 emails&passwords ...but those are leaked last year most of passwords are changed & many of them enabled 2FA.. after looking through them we can find some passwords are similar to their emails , some contains birth year like 1975,1997 etc, some passwords end with 123 ..so after trying a few different versions of the passwords like
1) password123 -> password@123, password1234
2) passwordyear -> password@year
2) for passwords similar to emails, we can add 123 ,1234, @ etc
created a quick python script for sending login requests
so after like 30-40 mins of work, i have 7 working accounts
*for those who have basic idea of security practices you can skip this part
1) enable 2FA
2) use strong passwords, if you change your password , new password should be very different from the old one
there are several thousands of leaked plaintext passwords for services like netflix,spotify, hulu etc, are easily available using simple google search,
after looking through & analysing thousands of them you can find many common passwords , common patterns
they may not be as obvious as password ,password123 but they are easily guessable.
mainly this is because these type of entertainment services are used by the average joe, they dont care about strong passwords, 2FA etc6
For whatever ungodly reason my containers library, which has extensive testing, profiling, and benchmarks against other containers libraries receives regular emails directed towards me about it, always one of two things
1) "don't reinvent the wheel" I have to assume these people haven't looked at the performance characteristics or features at all. I didn't waste away weeks of my life. I needed something and couldn't find it anywhere. I'm outperforming many crap implementations by nearly an order of magnitude, and can offer queries upon the containers in both generalized and specialized forms. As an analogy, I made airless 3d printed wheels, and people are regularly telling me I should still be using ancient wooden spoke wheels; they probably would argue in favor of using a horse drawn carriage as well. How is it possible technically minded people can also be so anti-progress?
2) "Please rewrite this in X language." You know what? YOU rewrite it. I chose what I did because it made it easy to do what I needed to do. Hilariously, the languages I get asked to use most often, are the same who's containers libraries perform worst in the benchmarks.
Both sound like half baked developers trying to sound superior. Pull your head out of your ass and actually outperform me and others. I'm so fucking sick of this "all talk no action" bullshit.5
I already wrote a rant about this yesterday, but since I'm a sysadmin trying to convert to dev.. I dunno, maybe it's not a bad idea to muddy the waters a bit and talk about why not to be a sysadmin.
Personally I think it's that the perceived barrier to entry is just too high, while it isn't. You don't need a huge Ceph cluster and massive servers when you're just starting out. Why overbuild an appliance like that if it's gonna start out at maybe 5 requests a minute?
Let's take an example - DNS servers! So there's been this guy on the bind-users mailing list asking how to set up a DNS server on 2 public servers, along with a website. Nothing special I guess - you can read the thread here: https://0x0.st/ZY-d. Aside from the question being quite confusing, there was advice to read RFC's, get a book, read the BIND ARM, etc etc. And the person to deny this? No one less than Stephane Bortzmeyer, one of the people who works for nic.fr (so he maintains the .fr TLD) and wrote some of those RFC's as part of the DNSOP working group in the IETF. As for valid reasons to set up a DNS server? Could just be to learn how the DNS works, or hell even for fun. As far as professional DNS servers go.. this (https://0x0.st/ZYo9) is the nugget that powers the K root server, one of the 13 root servers that power the root zone of the internet, aka the zone apex. 2 RJ45 connections, and a console connection. The reason why this is possible is the massive recursor networks that ISP's, Google DNS, Cloudflare DNS, Quad9, etc etc provide. Point is, you don't need huge infrastructure to run a server!
Or maybe your business needs email. How many thousands of emails per second are you gonna need to build your mail server against? How many millions will you need to store? If your business has 10 employees and all of those manage about 10k emails total.. well that's easy, 100k emails total. Per second? Hundreds of emails per second per employee? Haha, of course not. Maybe you'll see an email a minute at most. That is not to say that all email services are like this - it is true that ISP's who offer email to their customers, and especially providers like Microsoft and Google do need massive mail servers that can handle thousands of emails per second. But you are not Microsoft or Google. So yeah, focus on the parts of email that are actually hard.. and there is plenty.
Among sysadmins you have this distinction between "professional" sysadmins and homelabbers. I don't mind the distinction itself but I think both augment each other. If you've started out by jumping into a heap of legacy at an established company, you will have plenty of resources, immediately high complexity, and probably a clusterfuck right away. But you will have massive amounts of resources. If you start out with a homelab, you will have not many resources, small workloads, and something completely new for you to build and learn with. And when running a server like that, you'll probably find that the resources required are quite small, to provide you with your new services. My DHCP servers take 12MB memory each. My DNS servers hover around the 40MB mark. The mail server.. to be fair that one consumes around 150. But if you'd hear the people saying that you need huge servers.. omg you need at least a TB of RAM on your server and 72 cores, massive disks and Ceph!1!
No you don't. All that does is scaring people away and creating a toxic environment for everyone. Stop it.1
A few years ago, i had a task to implement a webservice of an insurance-company into our .NET Development.
The security requirements of this insurance-company webservice were top notch.
As a client you had to build a request that used a negotiated certificate, canonical header structures, security timestamp, a secret token in header, ...
To configure all this stuff via web.config WCF was pure pain in the ass.
After many phonecalls and emails, i finally managed to meet all security requirements to send a valid request.
First, i didn't recognized my breakthrough, because my client still had thrown exceptions while calling the insurance-webservice.
Why was that?
The exception told me on the most possible gentle way, that .Net isn't able to process an unsecured response, when there was a secured request before.
So there was top notch security for requesting, but dumbass unsecured responding with all the precious customer information.
I even had to raise the. Net Version of our. Net client, because i wasn't able to configure that it is allowed to process an unsecured response after using a secured request.
I have multiple contenders ;)
A program used to sort emails.
We was in the process of moving from lotus notes to exchange and needed a way route emails to the right server internally.
Solution, a qmail to receive all emails, a script running by cron every minute to read the emails, check the recipient name to a list and resending to the right server. The script was written in php :P since that was the only way we at the time had to read an email into an object, it was run just like any other shell script :D
A multi threaded mail sender that fetch email addresses and content from a database and posted them through qmail using background execution and pipes to get the result back and then update the database, written in bash script.
A c program used in a similar way as in one but this time using dial up and uucp to fetch email and then drop these either into lotus notes or into a bbs for our customers to give them an email address. This was around 1993, so not to many isp’s offered email and not to many had internet anyway, dial up bbs was much more common.5
Last week someone from a clients IT mailed me saying some user needed setting up in the software we develop. There was a flurry of emails from the person, the persons boss, their IT, etc. I sent instructions to the IT person explaining how to create users. Next day another flurry of emails asking if I created the user or not. Seems like they cant follow instructions so I went in and created the user for them then didn't think anything more of it.
Then last night I binged watched many episodes of this TV series 12 monkeys which is all about time traveling. Anyway in this morning I get into the office and there are all these emails from this same person, from last week, also emails from their boss and their IT people again all asking how this same person can be set up as a user. I had to quietly just ask one of the other developers "what day is it?" just in case..1
Under the guise of being security conscious, our section had a informal "doughnut charter" whereby if you leave your computer unlocked and someone managed to send an email to the section (cc'ing you) shouting everyone doughnuts then you must comply with the "promise". I was referred to at the time as the "god of email" and everyone knew not to do it to me or I would retaliate. This is because it happened once before. In that case, I set up a secure hidden rule in the person's email so that if they received a doughnut email they would automatically send a doughnut email from them... this also meant it was possible to trigger it at any time. They quickly begged for it to be removed. From then on, no dared touch my unlocked computer. When we got a new boss he was informed of the charter and was repeatedly warned not to 'doughnut' me but one day he ignored the warnings. In his case I set up a rule so that if he sent any email, he also sent out a doughnut email as well. Over the next four days he sent sooo many doughnut emails... He went from happy, to frustrated, to angry and then simply desperate. No one dared tell him I was my doing... He eventually came out of his office and begged for it to stop... Seeing his desperation, I stopped it. He was very appreciative but never put two-and-two together (that his actions caused it). He didn't find out till three months later that I was the one who did it to him. That was the second and last time I was ever doughnut'd.
So here's a random idea: DDoS defence swarm.
Install the daemon on your server, and every time your server gets DDoS'd, all members of the swarm will mobilise to defend you, but the catch is that your server will have to help other members of the swarm too.
The defensive technique in question can be one of many:
1. Automated IP blocking/reporting with a blacklist in distributed form.
2. Other swarm members counterattack and cooperatively DDoS the offending addresses.
3. Flood the ISP with automated emails to force them to pay attention to the problem.
...or a combination of all of the above.
The only issue I can see with this is abuse potential. A clever person can trick the swarm into DDoSing innocents.15
When I was a simple junior developer back in 2013, I built a simple form with Drupal (CMS) for a client through which people could order telephone subscriptions. It is a simple form, still used, that sends out an email to their customer services to process the order. Don't know how many orders they get a day, maybe a few, but I used HTML to create a beautiful email template which is easy to read and process. I recently had to look at one of those emails again and felt nice for what I had achieved so many years ago.
Now I work at a company with hundreds of people, on a system where we process millions of documents.a month, and send out tens of thousands of automated emails with documents attached via email each month. And all of those emails are pure plain text. No HTML. Ugh...
Apparently there is no time to use modern approaches when you have customer's needs to satisfy each minute.3
I have a huge axe to grind about companies sending me emails I have not consented to. Sometimes they have a checkbox for it, which I always, ALWAYS make sure I do not check. Sometimes they just add you automatically as soon as you enter your email adress.
Sometimes the 'Unsubscribe' link leads to a dead page, or just doesn't work.
And sometimes... They send you a bunch of emails to let you know they will absolutely stop sending you emails 😑
Why. Why? WHY? WHYYYYY?!?!?
Why are so many, even otherwise respected and very customer satisfaction minded companies so disgustingly cavalier or downright dirty about emails?
Even after this whole GDPR thing!1
I'm so tired of fs issues with webpack/react. fucking useless piece of shit. I look online and it looks like it's a pain in the ass for anyone actually using a modern stack. Literally just trying to use mailjet's API to send emails from a React app and I've been solving dependency issues for fucking hours because of the MANY node modules it requires. requires fs, dns, tls, and dgram for a FUCKING post request because mailjet makes you use their node package.1
So. Many. Irrelevant. Emails.
It's getting to the point where I'm considering running a course for recruiters called "how not to annoy the fucking shite out of the people you're trying to hire / not be be reported as spam".
When you spend so much time at an event you start to get anxiety near the end of it because you have no idea how many unread emails you have waiting for you.
So many websites with Twitter and contact emails JUST TO IGNORE THEM
Like, DUDE. I'M CONTACTING YOU BECAUSE SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK.
IT AFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS MORE THAN ME.1
Ups and downs in devLand.
Day started with a meeting with one client. Guys, getting told "thank you" and "I appreciate your help" feels so good. Nothing could bring me down.
Then I get an asshole making the same request that we already went over -__-
Seriously, how many emails do I have to send. Sigh.
A tale as old as time:
Customer: "This is wrong in all these X places!?!?!?"
-screenshots, panic, etc.-
Many emails and clarifications later we find out it is wrong ... in just ONE place ... and it wasn't even one of their initial examples.
Customer: "Why does this take so long to fix???"
A customer has this project that smells ... like it could be not fun.
They're doing business with walmart (actually a walmart satellite company, even worse).... I've seen this story before. They're super excited, they're seeing $$$... seen it not work out so many times.
Anyway they're having us rush out these forms and documents and so on and I can see there's a lot of data that is going to be required missing.
My contact is super peppy and happy and so sunshiny that my concerns are going over her head... she just sends emails to people, like FW, RE RE ... this is gonna be a mess of last minute / 'where is this?!?!?!' kinda work...
Granted I work at a good place, this won't have any blowback on me... but god damn guies listen to coder guy that the data that will be needed isn't there and there is a SHIT ton that I'm pretty sure isn't ... anywhere.
Over the last week I've slowly grown to fucking hate IMAP and SMTP. You'd think after so many years we'd have come up with better servers to manage email but no we still rely on fucking decades old protocols that can't even batch requests.
To make things worse I need to attach to IMAP through node and that has been a nightmare. All the libraries suck ass and even the ones tailored towards Gmail don't work for Gmail because Google decided one day to fucking out the header at the bottom of some emails and split into mimeparts. Also why the fuck is fetching email asynchronous? There's no point at all since we requests are processed line by line in IMAP, and if the library actually supported sending asynchronous requests it wouldn't require a new object to be created for each request and allow only a single listener.
Also callbacks are antiquated for a while and it pisses me off that node hasn't updated their libraries i.e. TLS to support async/await. I've taken to "return await new Promise" where the resolve of the promise is passed as the callback, which let's me go from callback to promise to async/await. If anyone has any other ideas I'm all ears otherwise I might just rewrite their TLS library altogether...
And this is just IMAP. I wish browsers supported TLS sockets because I can already see a server struggling with several endpoints and users, it would be much easier to open a connection from the client since the relationship is essentially:
Client [N] ---  Server  ---  IMAP
And to make the legs of that N : N which would fix a lot of issues, I would have to open a new IMAP connection for every client, which is cool cause it could be serverless, but horrifying because that's so inefficient.
Honestly we need a new, unifying email protocol with modern paradigms...8
how is it that every service can send out so many emails?
30,000 emails just this week, and those are just the ones i dont automatically delete.
how do people deal with it?2
I am truly baffled. How in the world am I receiving 2-10 spam wordpress account registrations EVERY DAY for a website which I've never let be crawled by search engines yet? These mail.ru accounts keep coming and seemingly for no reason. Who the fuck wants to register so many accounts, and how the fuck did they find my site to begin with? 😲
These registration emails are seriously annoying now and the site now has hundreds of fake accounts on it...8
One of the reasons why I wanted to become a software developer is because I see so many products or services taking the easy way out, at the cost of killing customer expectations. For example, I was told about JobTrack.io, which is supposed to help manage job searching by keeping track of applications and their statuses. But almost as quickly as I was told, my mind goes into automatic promise defense mode. And rightfully so, because the service turned out to be almost as monotaneous as the job search itself! Not as seamless as I'd need it to be to get started right away.
Now, maybe there's a slight chance I don't know wtf I'm talking about here. But, what's stopping this product from using an email client that runs server side, to interface with the user's main inbox, to run sentiment analysis on emails for detecting job application submissions? Such functionality would obviously need permission from the end user, so there are no surprises that some 3rd party app is sorta kinda monitoring your emails. And of course measures should be taken to avoid detecting anything beyond the contextual lines of: "Thank you for applying to so and so", or "We've recieved your application! Next steps".
Present those detections to the user to confirm. And do the same thing for rejections and offers. Shouldn't be that hard especially when most sites these days allow you to sign in with Google, and that Google marks these particular emails as "Important"; which further filters the detection process, and partially does JobTrack's job for them.
Honestly, I think the app has promise, and hope this is just a case of starting off small.
Not a rant but a question...
Do you guys reply to recruiter emails? I mean sometimes I feel like that they just bulk-send emails and usually I don't even bother but sometimes I receive second and third emails from them and I don't know how to politely tell them that I'm not opened for new opportunities.
Worst thing is that I don't even have many developer friends so I don't have anyone to recommend to them (because I know recruiters are just doing their job too).
I just want to know if it's rude to not reply at all?4