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I'm drunk and I'll probably regret this, but here's a drunken rank of things I've learned as an engineer for the past 10 years.
The best way I've advanced my career is by changing companies.
Technology stacks don't really matter because there are like 15 basic patterns of software engineering in my field that apply. I work in data so it's not going to be the same as webdev or embedded. But all fields have about 10-20 core principles and the tech stack is just trying to make those things easier, so don't fret overit.
There's a reason why people recommend job hunting. If I'm unsatisfied at a job, it's probably time to move on.
I've made some good, lifelong friends at companies I've worked with. I don't need to make that a requirement of every place I work. I've been perfectly happy working at places where I didn't form friendships with my coworkers and I've been unhappy at places where I made some great friends.
I've learned to be honest with my manager. Not too honest, but honest enough where I can be authentic at work. What's the worse that can happen? He fire me? I'll just pick up a new job in 2 weeks.
If I'm awaken at 2am from being on-call for more than once per quarter, then something is seriously wrong and I will either fix it or quit.
pour another glass
Qualities of a good manager share a lot of qualities of a good engineer.
When I first started, I was enamored with technology and programming and computer science. I'm over it.
Good code is code that can be understood by a junior engineer. Great code can be understood by a first year CS freshman. The best code is no code at all.
The most underrated skill to learn as an engineer is how to document. Fuck, someone please teach me how to write good documentation. Seriously, if there's any recommendations, I'd seriously pay for a course (like probably a lot of money, maybe 1k for a course if it guaranteed that I could write good docs.)
Related to above, writing good proposals for changes is a great skill.
Almost every holy war out there (vim vs emacs, mac vs linux, whatever) doesn't matter... except one. See below.
The older I get, the more I appreciate dynamic languages. Fuck, I said it. Fight me.
If I ever find myself thinking I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to leave.
I don't know why full stack webdevs are paid so poorly. No really, they should be paid like half a mil a year just base salary. Fuck they have to understand both front end AND back end AND how different browsers work AND networking AND databases AND caching AND differences between web and mobile AND omg what the fuck there's another framework out there that companies want to use? Seriously, why are webdevs paid so little.
We should hire more interns, they're awesome. Those energetic little fucks with their ideas. Even better when they can question or criticize something. I love interns.
Don't meet your heroes. I paid 5k to take a course by one of my heroes. He's a brilliant man, but at the end of it I realized that he's making it up as he goes along like the rest of us.
Tech stack matters. OK I just said tech stack doesn't matter, but hear me out. If you hear Python dev vs C++ dev, you think very different things, right? That's because certain tools are really good at certain jobs. If you're not sure what you want to do, just do Java. It's a shitty programming language that's good at almost everything.
The greatest programming language ever is lisp. I should learn lisp.
For beginners, the most lucrative programming language to learn is SQL. Fuck all other languages. If you know SQL and nothing else, you can make bank. Payroll specialtist? Maybe 50k. Payroll specialist who knows SQL? 90k. Average joe with organizational skills at big corp? $40k. Average joe with organization skills AND sql? Call yourself a PM and earn $150k.
Tests are important but TDD is a damn cult.
Cushy government jobs are not what they are cracked up to be, at least for early to mid-career engineers. Sure, $120k + bennies + pension sound great, but you'll be selling your soul to work on esoteric proprietary technology. Much respect to government workers but seriously there's a reason why the median age for engineers at those places is 50+. Advice does not apply to government contractors.
Third party recruiters are leeches. However, if you find a good one, seriously develop a good relationship with them. They can help bootstrap your career. How do you know if you have a good one? If they've been a third party recruiter for more than 3 years, they're probably bad. The good ones typically become recruiters are large companies.
Options are worthless or can make you a millionaire. They're probably worthless unless the headcount of engineering is more than 100. Then maybe they are worth something within this decade.
Work from home is the tits. But lack of whiteboarding sucks.40
Fuck the memes.
Fuck the framework battles.
Fuck the language battles.
Fuck the titles.
Anybody who has been in this field long enough knows that it doesn't matter if your linus fucking torvalds, there is no human who has lived or ever will live that simultaneously understands, knows, and remembers how to implement, in multiple languages, the following:
- jest mocks for complex React components (partial mocks, full mocks, no mocks at all!)
- token cancellation for asynchronous Tasks in C#
- fullstack CRUD, REST, and websocket communication (throw in gRPC for bonus points)
- database query optimization, seeding, and design
- nginx routing, https redirection
- build automation with full test coverage and environment consideration
- docker container versioning, restoration, and cleanup
- internationalization on both the front AND backends
- secret storage, security audits
- package management, maintenence, and deprecation reviews
- integrating with dozens of APIs
- fucking how to center a div
and that's a _comically_ incomplete list; barely scratches the surface of the full range of what a dev can encounter in a given day of writing software
have many of us probably done one or even all of these at different times? surely.
but does that mean we are supposed to draw that up at a moment's notice some cookie-cutter solution like a fucking robot and spit out an answer on a fax sheet?
recruiters, if you read this site (perhaps only the good ones do anyway so its wasted oxygen), just know that whoever you hire its literally the luck of the draw of how well they perform during the interview. sure, perhaps some perform better, but you can never know how good someone is until they literally start working at your org, so... have fun with that.
Oh and I almost forgot, again for you recruiters, on top of that list which you probably won't ever understand for the entirety of your lives, you can also add writing documentation, backup scripts, and orchestrating / administrating fucking JIRA or actually any somewhat technical dashboard like a CMS or website, because once again, the devs are the only truly competent ones - and i don't even mean in a technical sense, i mean in a HUMAN sense of GETTING SHIT DONE IN GENERAL.
There's literally 2 types of people in the world: those who sit around drawing flow charts and talking on the phone all day, and those WHO LITERALLY FUCKING BUILD THE WORLD
why don't i just run the whole fucking company at this point? you guys are "celebrating" that you made literally $5 dollars from a single customer and i'm just sitting here coding 12 hours a day like all is fine and well
i'm so ANGRY its always the same no matter where i go, non-technical people have just no clue, even when you implore them how long things take, they just nod and smile and say "we'll do it the MVP way". sure, fine, you can do that like 2 or 3 times, but not for 6 fucking months until you have a stack of "MVPs" that come toppling down like the garbage they are.
How do expect to keep the "momentum" of your customers and sales (I hope you can hear the hatred of each of these market words as I type them) if the entire system is glued together with ducktape because YOU wanted to expedite the feature by doing it the EASY way instead of the RIGHT way. god, just forget it, nobody is going to listen anyway, its like the 5th time a row in my life
we NEED tests!
we NEED to know our code coverage!
we NEED to design our system to handle large amounts of traffic!
we NEED detailed logging!
we NEED to start building an exception database!
BILBO BAGGINS! I'm not trying to hurt you! I'm trying to help you!
Don't really know what this rant was, I'm just raging and all over the place at the universe. I'm going to bed.20
I was pressued to shift the blame.
We received an angry email from a customer that some of their data had disappeared. The boss assigns me to this task. This feature is relatively new and we've found some bugs in the past in here. I go through request logs, search the database, run some diagnostics, etc. for about 5 hours and I cannot find the problem. I focus on the bugs that we've had before but they don't seem to be the problem.
I tell the boss "sorry but I checked XYZ and I can't find the problem. I'm out of ideas." But the boss wanted answers by the end of the day. They did not want to admit to the client that we couldn't figure out what's wrong.
By now I was more pressured to find an answer, find something or someone to blame it on, not exactly to find the real solution. So I made up some BS:
"Sometimes, in HTML forms, the number inputs allow you to change the number by scrolling. We have some long forms where the user has to scroll. Perhaps the focus remained on the number input, so when they scrolled down they accidentally changed the number they meant to input."
The boss was happy with that. We explained this to the customer, and there's now a ticket to change type="number" to type="text" in our HTML forms and to validate it in th backend.
A week later another customer shows us a different error. This one is more clear because it had a stack trace, but I realise that this error is what caused our last error. It was pretty obscure, mind you, the unit tests didn't detect it.
I didn't tell the boss that they were connected tho.
With two angry clients in two weeks, I finally convinced the boss to give us more time to write more unit tests with full coverage.
Oh boy some mutex deadlocks inside the 16 year old, unmaintained, company application framework.
Time to look at the stack traces of 24 different threads and try and guess which one fucks it up
X: Hi, regarding that ticket that you made...
You said "Implement logging to find out the culprit in site generation"...
What do you mean exactly?
Me: "Read the meeting notes, we had a full discussion on this 2 weeks ago".
X: "We don't understand it..."
Me: "As I said before, I have no experience in this tech stack... I'd expect bla to have a logging framework and I'd - for easier recognition - implement additional logging levels based on criteria <me just reading the meeting notes>"
X: But how do we do it?
I wish I had invented this discussion.
Because it hurts.
For the jolly of it, I had similar discussions today.
Three times to be exactly.
As I asked some dev what I should do next, put a foley catheter up his urethra or change the bed pan he wasn't amused.
Guess I'll get monday a call of HR.
So Monday I have less work to do, which is awesome.5
I AM TIRED
warning: this rant is going to be full of negativity , CAPS, and cursing.
People always think and they always write that programming is an analytical profession. IF YOU CANNOT THINK IN AN ANALYTICAL WAY THIS JOB IS NOT FOR YOU! But the reality could not be farther from the truth.
A LOT of people in this field whether they're technical people or otherwise, just lack any kind of reasoning or "ANALYTICAL" thinking skills. If anything, a lot of of them are delusional and/or they just care about looking COOL. "Because programming is like getting paid to solve puzzles" *insert stupid retarded laugh here*.
A lot of devs out there just read a book or two and read a Medium article by another wannabe, now think they're hot shit. They know what they're doing. They're the gods of "clean" and "modular" design and all companies should be in AWE of their skills paralleled only by those of deities!
Everyone out there and their Neanderthal ancestor from start-up founders to developers think they're the next Google/Amazon/Facebook/*insert fancy shitty tech company*.
Founder? THEY WANT TO MOVE FAST AND GET TO MARKET FAST WITH STUPID DEADLINES! even if it's not necessary. Why? BECAUSE YOU INFERIOR DEVELOPER HAVE NOT READ THE STUPID HOT PILE OF GARBAGE I READ ONLINE BY THE POEPLE I BLINDLY COPY! "IF YOU'RE NOT EMBARRASSED BY THE FIRST VERSION OF YOU APP, YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG" - someone at Amazon.
Well you delusional brainless piece of stupidity, YOU ARE NOT AMAZON. THE FIRST VERSION THAT THIS AMAZON FOUNDER IS EMBARRASSED ABOUT IS WHAT YOU JERK OFF TO AT NIGHT! IT IS WHAT YOU DREAM ABOUT HAVING!
And oh let's not forget the tech stacks that make absolutely no fucking sense and are just a pile of glue and abstraction levels on top of abstraction levels that are being used everywhere. Why? BECAUSE GOOGLE DOES IT THAT WAY DUH!! And when Google (or any other fancy shit company) changes it, the old shitty tech stack that by some miracle you got to work and everyone is writing in, is now all of a sudden OBSOLETE! IT IS OLD. NO ONE IS WRITING SHIT IN THAT ANYMORE!
And oh my god do I get a PTSD every time I hear a stupid fucker saying shit like "clean architecture" "clean shit" "best practice". Because I have yet to see someone whose sentences HAVE TO HAVE one of these words in them, that actually writes anything decent. They say this shit because of some garbage article they read online and in reality when you look at their code it is hot heap of horseshit after eating something rancid. NOTHING IS CLEAN ABOUT IT. NOTHING IS DONE RIGHT. AND OH GOD IF THAT PERSON WAS YOUR TECH MANAGER AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THEM RUNNING THEIR SHITHOLE ABOUT HOW YOUR SIMPLE CODE IS "NOT CLEAN". And when you think that there might be a valid reason to why they're doing things that way, you get an answer of someone in an interview who's been asked about something they don't know, but they're trying to BS their way to sounding smart and knowledgable. 0 logic 0 reason 0 brain.
Let me give you a couple of examples from my unfortunate encounters in the land of the delusional.
I was working at this start up which is fairly successful and there was this guy responsible for developing the front-end of their website using ReactJS and they're using Redux (WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS TO ELIMINATE PASSING ATTRIBUTES FOR THE PURPOSE OF PASSING THEM DOWN THE COMPONENT HIERARCHY AGIAN). This guy kept ranting about their quality and their shit every single time we had a conversation about the code while I was getting to know everything. Also keep in mind he was the one who decided to use Redux. Low and behold there was this component which has THIRTY MOTHERFUCKING SEVEN PROPERTIES WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS BE PASSED DOWN AGAIN LIKE 3 TO 4 TIMES!.
This stupid shit kept telling me to write code in a "functional" style. AND ALL HE KNOWS ABOUT FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING IS USING MAP, FILTER, REDUCE! And says shit like "WE DONT NEED UNIT TESTS BECAUSE FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING HAS NO ERRORS!" Later on I found that he read a book about functional programming in JS and now he fucking thinks he knows what functional programming is! Oh I forgot to mention that the body of his "maps" is like 70 fucking lines of code!
Another fin-tech company I worked at had a quote from Machiavelli's The Prince on EACH FUCKING DESK:
"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."
MOTHERFUCKER! NEW ORDER OF THINGS? THERE 10 OTHER COMPANIES DOING THE SAME SHIT ALREADY!
And the one that got on my nerves as a space lover. Is a quote from Kennedy's speech about going to the moon in the 60s "We choose to go to the moon and do the hard things ..."
YOU FUCKING DELUSIONAL CUNT! YOU THINK BUILDING YOUR SHITTY COPY PASTED START UP IS COMPARABLE TO GOING TO THE MOON IN THE 60S?
I am just tired of all those fuckers.13
I really really REALLY wanted to contribute to an awesome open source project but their self proclaimed core "manager" (because that's what he is) is so much a disgusting asshole that I'm now actually looking to remove their software from my stack completely. Dude's a complete chauvinistic machist who, somehow, someone, I don't know why, decided he'd make a good CM and there he is flogging EVERY SINGLE NON-CORE CONTRIBUTOR's COMMIT that I've read up until now.
Worst, the dude can't even do a f*cking copy pasta without breaking code and literally, LITERALLY, stalks forks JUST to snob on different takes on the original project. MAN, GET A F*CKING LIFE.
jezus, somebody get me some chamomile laced with tranquilizers because today was IT. WTF!11
TL;DR Pluralsight should be ashamed for taking 299 USD a year and writing some very low-quality quizzes.
I've always heard that Pluralsight is a great platform having some high quality courses, so I chose it as a benefit, as our company was giving us some budget for learning purposes. I've paid (or rather the company did it in the end) 299 USD for this year, which, I guess is not much for US standards, but it is a lot for Eastern European standards.
I didn't actually get to the point of watching any of the courses, but I started to use a feature called "Stack up", which is a long series of questions in a specific theme, like Java, Kotlin, C++, etc., accessible once a day. I must say, I'm amazed by the fact, that people pay quite a great amount of money and they get something so poorly made with a lot of errors and stupid questions.
Take the question from the included image for example. Not only that the 2 possible answers are repeated (and thus I failed to select the correct one from 2 equal answers), but the supposedly correct answer is also missing some type specifications. No Java compiler will compile it this way as far as I know. There would be at least 3 ways to fix it.
So the courses on Pluralsight might be good, but I would be ashamed, if I were to release something like this. People might actually try to solidify their knowledge by solving these quizzes but instead of learning something useful, they will be left with some bullshit. I just don't get how could they release a feature with so much incorrect information and I am kind of disappointed, even if I didn't try the courses yet.9
I have been working on this software for 3 years now. The code base was a working prototype made by my boss before I came, not more, not less. Php + Angular. Have been refactoring a lot, backend is backed with hundreds of tests now, frontend still lacks a lot. Still a lot of programm structures are still the same weird ones my boss once created in a rush between two meetings while learning Angular to get the prototype finished. Now it's used in production which makes hard to refactor, because we have to maintain backwards compatibility. Neither the parts I added or refactored completely are satisfying, because they are built on this structures, because i never got any feedback for anything I decided and because I changed my own paradigms over time.
So I am all alone on this project. All genuinly new projects are assigned to the new team members (i was the first one, no we are five plus my boss) because I wont have time, have to maintain the old one. So I never can do something new which is quite frustrating.
I did a little side tool, the only thing I invented and did completely by myself in our repertoire - and now some stakeholder shows big interest onto this. Instead of giving me the task to make a real project from this my boss wants to give it to them to develop it. Why? Because I need more time for the main application.
Also the more the software is used the more bug tickets and feature requests come. I was crying for help for months but the others had appareantly more important stuff to do.
This might be true to some extend. Yesterday we had some kind of crisis meeting and my boss wanted again to assing pur junior to help me, who has a shit load of other things to do and is a student. I insisted that this would not be enough, and one of the fulltime devs has to get involved because the thing is our core application and I am only part time btw. So my boss said we wont decide today but one of them should do it. They should have some time to figure out who which is understandable but it's not that I didn't keep saying this for months. Now they are all like whimp whimp when I have to do php i will quit. The new projects are all typescript, with node backend if any. But alas, one of them even said yesterday he doesn't want to do js anymore. Okay... but... this is our tech stack then get another job allready?
And I should do the same probably. But then again I feel very sorry for my boss who helped me in very dark times of corona and more. If both of us leave, the project he worked on for decade (including convincing poeole, collect money..) might be suddenly at it's end while he is so exited about it's access today...
I also get insecure if it's really that they hate php so much or that they don't want to work with me personally because maybe I am a bad team Player or what?
I experienced the same at my old workplace, got left alone with big parts of the project because they didn't want to do php and js in this case and it ended up five devs doing the python backend and me doing the frontend and the php cms part all alone. Then I quit and now everything seems to happen again.
And then again I think I am only fucked up so hard by this stuff because I do not really like being a developer at all. I only do it for the money and because I am good at it (at least i think so. Nobody ever bothers to ever to read my code and give me feedback, because you know, php and js). So I guess I would hate any other job in the field maybe likewise?
This job *is* convinient, salary, office
position, flexibility could not be better. At the end of the day it's not that stressfull. And i don't have any second of freetime (due to family) or energy i could offer a new and more demanding employer, can't work over time or even take a fulltime position, can't home office, can't earn less, can't travel very long to the office and especially can't go back to school to learn something completely new. Some of these constraints are softwe then other naturally but still my posibilities at the Moment are very limited. That might change in about five years if the family situation changed. So it would most likely be reasonable to stay until then at my current job? And bear being alone with this app, don't getting involved on any new project, don't learn anything new, don't invent anything.
There was one potential way out, they considered offering me PHD position to the upcoming ml part of the project... But I learned that I would attend to a bunch of classes at university first, which i would like to, but I don't think i have the time.
I feel trapped somehow. I also feel very lonely in the Office because those fucktards keep saying in home office.
Man, I don't want to go to work today.6
Long story short I joined this company as a junior after 1.5 years of a break from development. Before that I worked for almost 3 years in the required stack. We agreed that if I do well after 3 months probation period I can ask for a raise.
It turned out that Im doing better than half of my team so 1 week before probation was about to end, I put in my raise request. Got nothing but strong feedback, even managed to burn myself out a couple times.
Now since the request 11 weeks passed. Our HQ which has the final say about the raise is overseas. Im getting excuses about summer: allegedly because of summer some people in the appproval chain have vacations so this process is taking a long time. This is the excuse they are giving to me.
Right now Im getting really pissed off and resentful because this drag is becoming unnacceptable. Also being in a new scrum team filled with total juniors complicates everything a lot. Im not having the best time here. But at the same time I dont have any savings actually am in debts and currenty barely am able to survive paycheck to paycheck to I cant just quit on the spot.
Had I known that they will drag this out that much, I would have applied to other places and presented them a counter offer. Or at least bluffed from the start in order to speed the raise proccess up.
Should I give ultimatum to my manager?
Im hesitant to do that because up until now we had a decent relationship and he seems like a nice guy so I dont want to rock the boat.
Or should I bluff about having a counter offer, so he would speed things up? But what happens if he asks me to forward him evidence of my received offer?7
I kind of ended up writing my own version of Redis, just an Express server broadcasting events you send it, when I made my first full-stack project.6
Each day, I read the vast swath of ticket hell hole that is our JIRA.
I read tickets that are written by people with not just 0, but an undefined understanding of technology...
I read tickets that are technically impossible due to this 0 understanding...
And finally, I laugh in bitterness seeing the time estimates stack up to months and months worth of work for which the managers expect to be done in 2-3 weeks 😂3
I feel super discouraged. I just got a new job from being let go from my previous one, and I’m already thinking about quitting.
They really threw me into the weeds with a couple of complex tasks that require a lot of BE work and all I really do is FE. I’m still just trying to learn how the framework actually works. I think they expect me to become full stack. Now I find myself just starting at the computer screen most of the day because I have no fucking idea how to start working. The codebase and local environment is also fucked up super bad and barely runs on my machine.
Also, whenever I reach out these people they give the most minimal answers and have swollen egos. The frameworks they use have a really shitty community and bad documentation, so googling anything is really pointless. Working on this project, it has made me consider giving up development.
I am wondering if this is just a me thing though. Should I quit or stick with it for a bit?13
Am I the only one to think companies asking questions such as those for technical interviews don’t understand what software engineering/development is about ?
- How many layers does a webservice have?
- What framework do you use for unit testing ?
- How do you do dependency injection ?
Essentially questions that they deem black and white but really aren’t. Besides isn’t the core of the work to just adapt and learn while being smart about what things you implement ? I don’t get these questions for me it’s a sign that a company doesn’t understand the work I’ll be doing.
I think for a technical interview I’d much rather spend my time on a difficult algo question in the language of my choice for 30mins - 1h than 20mins answering close minded questions that don’t have to be.
This rant is mostly due to the fact I’ve done a few interviews with two companies and both behaved like that, I’m 100% certain I had the skills to do the jobs they were offering me (they both contacted me first) but both ended up denying me because my knowledge on their specific questions wasn’t detailed enough. I could have learnt their stack in about a week so I don’t know why that mentality exists.
I might be wrong about the core of the work though… what do you think?3
I have been coding since 2016, am I overthinking applying for jobs because Im not that "current"? (my React experience is not that deep, I have been working on our startup whos stack doesnt use React or any other front-end framework (only simple handlebars templating))
I have built an actual stable working web platform and mobile app through ionic, is this enough to get a decant non-junior job?
I have never actually worked at a company, its been freelancing and startup (we failed, moving on). Am I overthinking how good I need to be to get a job? I like this one local company but I dont want to screw it up, Im sort of delaying applying there because of it7
I’ve become so indecisive in terms of knowing what I want from my career.
All I know is what I don’t want (to end up a in management)
I’m definitely getting a new job and right now it looks like I’ve got 3 offers on the table
Option 1, a previous company I worked for. Still the same problems with the company there as before but the work was interesting and unusual. and my line manager was a good guy.
They have practically no legacy code.
Not much in the way of company benefits but they’re local and it would be nice to see friends again.
So feels like the pull to this is strong.
Option 2, a fully remote company that I’ve been referred to by an ex-workmate.
They’ve not even tech tested me because they’ve read my blogs and GitHub repos instead and said they’re impress. So just had a conversation with them. I feel honoured that they took the time to look at what I’ve done in my own time and use that in their decision.
Benefits are slightly better than option 1 (more hols)
But they’re using .net 6 and get a lot of heavy use on their system and have some big customers. I think the work is integrations to start with and moving services into docker and azure.
Option 3, even though I’ve got an offer from this one but they can’t actually explain the work until We can arrange a call next week (they recruit and then work out what team your in, but Christmas got in the way of me having a call with them straight away)
It’s working on government systems and .net is their least used stack so probably end up switching to Java. Maybe other tech stacks too.
This place has much better benefits than option 1 and 2 (more hols and more pension), but 2 days a week in office.
All of the above pay the same salary.
Having choice feels almost as bad as having no choice.
It’s doing my head in thinking about it , (even tho I might as well not think about it at all until the call with option 3 happens).
On the one hand with option 3, using a tech stack that’s new to me might be refreshing, as I’ve done .net for 10 years.
On the other hand I really like c# and I’m very good at it. So it feels a bit like I should be capitalising on that and using my experience to shape how the dev is done. Not sure I and I can do that with option 3, at least for a while.
C# feels like it’s moving forward nicely and I’m not sure I can say the same for Java or other languages.
I love programming and learning new stuff but so unable to let things go. It’s like I have a fear that c# will move on without me and I’ll end up turning into one of those devs whose skills are a decade out of date.
Maybe the early years of my career formed me in this way.
Early on I worked at a company where there was a high number of Cobol devs who thought they had a job for life.
But then redundancies came and many left. Of those who stayed they had to cross train to Java and they just couldn’t do it.
I don’t think the tech was hard for them, I think they were just so used to not learning that they could no longer adapt.
Think most of them ended up retiring after trying to learn Java for a few years.8
Building a development department from the ground up is exhausting AF i mean all the research, trying to find best industrial standards to us, best practices, main tech stack to use, working on projects and trying not to get fired2
Posts on Stack Overflow Meta don't effect your rep. I have (randomly) a 140 up vote post on meta which has now awarded me a gold badge. My total rep on plain stack Overflow is still barely triple digits. A couple of bronze and silver badges. I feel somehow conflicted.1
I had a pretty good year! I've gone from being a totally unknown passionate web dev to a respected full stack dev. This will be a bit lengthy rant...
- Got my first full time employment dev role at a company after being self-taught for 8+ years at the start of the year. Finally got someone to take the risk of hiring someone who's "untested" and only done small and odd jobs professionally. This kickstarted my career, super grateful for that!
- Started my own programming consulting company.
- Gained enough confidence to apply to other jobs, snatched a few consulting jobs, nailed the interviews even though I never practiced any leet code.
- Currently work as a 99% remote dev (only meet up in person during the initialization of some projects.) I never thought working remotely could actually work this well. I am able to stay productive and actually focus on the work instead of living up to the 9-5 standard. If I want to go for a walk to think I can do that, I can be as social and asocial as I want. I like to sleep in and work during the night with a cup of tea in the dark and it's not an issue! I really like the freedom and I feel like I've never been more productive.
- Ended up with very happy customers and now got a steady amount of jobs rolling in and contracts are being extended.
- I learned a lot, specialized in graph databases, no more db modelling hell. Loving it!
- Got a job where I can use my favorite tools and actually create something from scratch which includes a lot of different fields. I am really happy I can use all my skills and learn new things along the way, like data analysis, databricks, hadoop, data ingesting, centralised auth like promerium and centralised logging.
- I also learned how important softskills are, I've learned to understand my clients needs and how to both communicate both as a developer and an entrepeneur.
- First job had a manager which just gave me the specifications solo project and didn't check in or meet me for 8 weeks with vague specifications. Turns out the manager was super biased on how to write code and wanted to micromanage every aspect while still being totally absent. They got mad that I had used AJAX for requests as that was a "waste of time".
- I learned the harsh reality of working as a contractor in the US from a foreign country. Worked on an "indefinite" contract, suddenly got a 2 day notification to sum up my work (not related to my performance) after being there for 7+ months.
- I really don't like the current industry standard when it comes to developing websites (I mostly work in node.js), I like working with static websites (with static website generators like what the Svelte.js driver) and use a REST API for dynamic content. When working on the backend there's a library for everything and I've wasted so many hours this year to fix bugs and create workarounds related to dependencies. You need to dive into a rabbit hole for every tool and do something which may work or break something later. I've had so many issues with CICD and deployment to the cloud. There's a library for everything but there's so many that it's impossible to learn about the edge cases of everything. Doesn't help that everything is abstracted away, which works 90% of the time but I use 15 times the time to debug things when a bug appears. I work against a black box which may or may not have an up to date documentation and it's so complex that it will require you to yell incantations from the F#$K
era and sacrifice a goat for it to work properly.
- Learned that a lot of companies call their complex services "microservices". Ah yes, the microservice with 20 endpoints which all do completely unrelated tasks?
Wtf is wrong with AWS CDK? I add one EC2 instance and it deletes all my queues and api resources, then fails to create my EC2, does some fucking rollback then attempts and fails at some fucking rollback clean up.
So it nuked my entire fucking stack because why?
Because FUCKING WHY JEFF. WHY IS YOUR ROCKET SHAPED LIKE A PENIS AND WHY IS YOUR SHITTY FUCKING DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM FUCKING WITH ME LIKE THIS.
I can’t do this anymore. I’ve been doing this for months now. I really don’t know whether to laugh or have a mental break down.
Complete Disaster Kunt. That’s what I’m calling this shit from now on. I just don’t get how it can fuck itself up so much4
Hi folks! I'm in a bit of a career dilemma for which I sincerely need your help.
How do I go from being a React Native Developer to an Android developer, considering I have 2x more experience with React Native than Android, with React Native being the more recent one ?
More details -
I started as an Android developer in 2015, using Java as my primary language. Up until the end of 2017 I kept working as an Android developer, adding different native mobile tech skills to my skillset.
At the end of 2017, my employer asked me if I could also learn React Native as he had many big projects that required a more hybrid stack. I had always been eager to learn new things (perks of being a programmer I guess), so I said yes and started working on React Native in 15-20 days.
From that point onwards, I kept doing more and more projects using React Native (in my day job) and over the years, I became more of a React Native Developer than an Android one. At this point in my career, I have about 4.5 years of React Native experience and 2.5 years of Android.
However, now I am at a point where I want to make a switch (for better pay and more exciting projects) but when I looked at the job postings for React Native this morning, they were all for startups with great pay but kinda average products, whereas the Android job listings were for companies like Uber, Reddit, etc. (basically great companies with good projects and great pay).
I really want to go back from being a React Native Developer to an Android developer full time but I don't know how. I've personally seen so many people switch jobs from one field (say React Native) to another (Backend development) - and when I asked them about how they did it, they said it didn't really matter to their companies what specific tech stack they'd worked with, which is kinda hard to believe because every job listing I've seen companies list every single technology very very specifically.
Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading!2
Need advice about switching to contracting.
So I had 2 years of exp as an android dev, then I had a 1.5 year gap from doing android and now for the past 6 months Ive been doing android again fulltime. Im thinking of switching to contracting due to my debts and boring project and life crushing slow corporate processes in my current fulltime job, so I need tips and advices as to where should I start looking for new contracting gigs and in general what should I pay attention to. If it helps, I am based in EU, but am open to any EU/US gigs.
Now the full story:
Initially when I joined my current fulltime job after a break I had zero confidence, lowered my and employers expectations, joined as a junior but quickly picked up the latest standards and crushed it. Im doing better than half devs in my scrum team right now and would consider myself to be a mid level right now.
Asked for a 50% bump, manager kinda okayed it but the HQ overseas is taking a very long time to give me the actual bump. I have been waiting for 10 weeks already (lots of people in the decision chain were on and off vacations due to summer, also I guess manager sent this request to HQ too late, go figure). Anyways its becoming unnaceptable and I feel like its time for a change.
Now since I have mortgage and bills to pay, even with the bump that I requested that would leave me with like maximum 700-800 bucks a month after all expenses. I have debts of around 20k and paying them back at this rate would take 3 years at least and sounds like a not viable plan at all.
Also it does not help that the project Im working on is full of legacy and Im not learning anything new here. Corporate life seems to be very slow, lots of red tape kills creativity and so on. I remember in startups I was cooking features left and right each sprint, in here deploying a simple popup feature sometimes takes weeks due to incompetence in the chain. I miss the times where I worked in startups, did my job learned nre skills and after 6 months could jump on another exciting gig. Im not growing here anymore.
So because my ADD brain seems to be suited much better for working in startups, and also I need to make more money quick and I dont see a future in current company, I am thinking of going back to contracting. All I need right now is to build a few side apps, get them reviewed by seniors and fill my knowledge gaps. Then I plan of starting interviewing as a mid level or even a senior for that matter, since I worked with actual seniors and to be honest I dont think getting up to their level would be rocket science.
Only difference between mid and senior devs that I see atleast in my current company is that seniors are taking on responsibility more often, and they also take care of our tools, such as CD/CI, pipeline scripts, linters and etc. Usually seniors are the ones who do the research/investigations and then come up with actual tasks/stories for mids/juniors. Also seniors introduce new dependencies and update our stack, solve some performance issues and address bottlenecks and technical debt. I dont think its rocket science, also Ive been the sole dev responsible for apps in the past and always did decent work. Turns out all I needed was to test myself in an environment full of other devs, thats it. My only bottleneck was the imposter syndrome because I was a self taught dev who worked most of my career alone.
Anyways I posted here asking for some tips and advices on how to begin my search for new contract opportunities. I am living in EU, can you give me some decent sites where I could just start applying? Also I would appreciate any other tips opinions and feedback. Thanks!3
Was working a record keeping system for the Airport for tracking departures and arrivals and some COVID-19 data
ended up realizing that the stack i had gone with wasn't gonna cut it
Had to port the whole thing to a new web framework realizing that the one i had gone with made some operations a bit complicated
Have you ever felt this way?
Taking a tour back in my developer life when I have little experience on my stack I spend days trying to fix bugs and finish tasks.
The funny thing is that I felt I was working much harder and earning less and I felt being used but that's not true because its hard to say that due to my little experience and besides those bugs won't show up if I had much experience, the bugs are very much avoidable and to crown it all an experience developer will fix it in little time, though I won't consider myself super experienced but at least I can say am better than those times and to me I have achieved some level of experience to look back at my misconceptions in the past.
update : we are at hr round baby!!!
part 1 : https://devrant.com/rants/5528056/...
part 2 (in comments) : https://devrant.com/rants/5550145/...
the tech market is crazy mann! it's one of the top indie fintech companies in our country and has a great valuation.
i totally felt that they i am crashing the interviews , and am seriously not trying to be humble. before the dsa round , i was trying to mug up how insertion sort works 🥲
now my dilemma is should i switch if i get the offer. in a summary:
- small valuation but profitable (haven't picked funding for last 3 years , so poast valuation is some double digit million $, but can easily be a unicorn company)
- very major b2b player in my country. almost all unicorns (including this fintech company) and some major MNCs are their client and they have recently acquired a few other companies of us and eu too, making them- a decent global player
- meh work : i love being a cutting edge performer in android but here we make sdks that need to support even legacy banking apps. so tech stack is a lot of verbose java and daily routine includes making very minor changes to actual code and more towards adding tests , maintaining wrapper sdks in react/cordova/unity etc, checking client side code etc.
- awesome work life balance : since work is shit and i am fast enough, i am usually working only 2-4 hours a day. i joined gym, got into shape , and have already vsited 5 places in last 6 months, and i am a guy who didn't used to have time even on sundays. here, we get mote paid leaves than what i would usually need.
- learning opportunities: not exactly from the company codebase, but they provide unlimited access to various course learning platforms like linkedin learning, udemy and others, so i joined some web dev baches and i now know decent frontend too. plus those hybrid sdks also give a light context to new things
new company :
- positives : multi billion valuation, one of the top players in fintech , have been mostly profitable ( except a few quarters)
- positive : b2c so its (hopefully) going to put me back into racing shoes with kotlin, jetpack and latest libraries.
- more $$$ for your boy :)
- negetive : they seem to be on hiring spree and am afraid to junp ship after seeing the recent coinbase layoffs. fintech is scary these days
- negetive : if they are hiring people like me, then then they are probably hiring people worse than me 😂. although thats not my concern what my main concer is how they interviewed. they have hired a 3rd party company that takes interviews of people FOR THEM! i find that extremely impolite, like they don't even wanna spare their devs to hire people they are gonna work with. i find this a toxic, robotic culture and if these are the people in there then i would have a terrible time finding some buddy engineer or some helpful senior.
- negetive : most probably a bad wlb : i worked for an year for a fast paced b2c edtech startup. no matter how old these are , b2c are always shipping new stuff and are therefore hectic. i don't like the boredom here but i would miss the free time to workout :(
so ... any thoughts about it?4
In terms of software dev what does it mean up and down? For example android app goes app->mainactivity->fragment. In this case top is app? If I find a bug in fragment and they say go up the stream and fix it it means fix it in mainactivity?
Its really confusing with breakpoints also. I put a breakpoint and when it hits I see the call stack. So it means I see now all functions executed up until this point? If I would go to the bottom I would see starting point? So its upside down compared to the architecture?
I know these are basics but I have hard time wrapping my head around it.16
I was approached by some guy on a project and I need your help figuring out how to go about this.
the project is basically a website where school owners who are not tech savvy can input necessary details about their school and it spins up a site from an existing website template built in react for them.
an extra complexity will be creating custom domain names for each site. will this also be possible ?
I've not done something like this before and I dont know the word for it so making a Google search has been quite hard