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Search - "team dinner"
Finally did it. Quit my job.
The full story:
Just came back from vacation to find out that pretty much all the work I put at place has been either destroyed by "temporary fixes" or wiped clean in favour of buggy older versions. The reason, and this is a direct quote "Ari left the code riddled with bugs prior to leaving".
Oh no. Oh no I did not you fucker.
My boss wrote a piece of major software with another coder (over the course of month and a balf). This software was very fragile as its intention was to demo specific features we want to adopt for a version 2 of it.
I was then handed over this software (which was vanilajs with angular) and was told to "clean it up" introduce a typing system, introduce a build system, add webpack for better module and dependency management, learn cordova (because its essential and I had no idea of how it works). As well as fix the billion of issues with data storage in the software. Add a webgui and setup multiple databses for data exports from the app. Ensure that transmission of the data is clean and valid.
What else. This software had ZERO documentation. And I had to sit my boss for a solid 3hrs plus some occasional questions as I was developing to get a clear idea of whats going on.
Took a bit over 3 weeks. But I had the damn thing ported over. Cleaned up. And partially documented.
During this period, I was suppose to work with another 2 other coders "my team". But they were always pulled into other things by my Boss.
During this period, I kept asking for code reviews (as I was handling a very large code base on my own).
During this period, I was asking for help from my boss to make sure that the visual aspect of the software meets the requirements (there are LOTS of windows, screens, panels etc, which I just could not possibly get to checking on my own).
At the end of this period. I went on vacation (booked by my brothers for my bday <3 ).
I come back. My work is null. The Boss only looked at it on the friday night leading up to my return. And decided to go back to v1 and fix whatever he didnt like there.
So this guy calls me. Calls me on a friggin SUNDAY. I like just got off the plane. Was heading to dinner with my family.
He and another coder have basically nuked my work. And in an extremely hacky way tied some things together to sort of work. Moreever, the webguis that I setup for the database viewing. They were EDITED ON THE PRODUCTION SERVER without git tracking!!
So monday. I get bombarded with over 20 emails. Claiming that I left things in an usuable state with no documentation. As well as I get yelled at by my boss for introducing "unnecessary complicated shit".
For fuck sakes. I was the one to bring the word documentation into the vocabulary of this company. There are literally ZERO documentated projects here. While all of mine are at least partially documented (due to lack of time).
For fuck sakes, during my time here I have been basically begging to pull the coder who made the admin views for our software and clean up some of the views so that no one will ever have to touch any database directly.
To say this story is the only reason I am done is so not true.
I dedicated over a year to this company. During this time I saw aspects of this behaviour attacking other coders as well as me. But never to this level.
I am so friggin happy that I quit. Never gonna look back.14
I try as hard as possible not to be judgemental towards incompetent colleagues, motivating myself with the knowledge that we were all incompetent at some point, and that people need a chance to learn, and that sometimes too much pressure will lead you to believe that they're bad. Or sometimes, people just aren't good at the stuff you want them to be good, and you just need to discover that niche where they will be very useful.
Mostly that goes well.
I've had the incompetent late bloomer who was a family man who started too late to dev, and wasn't really serious. A bit of harsh talk, some soul searching over a few beers, made him into a really valuable asset. Not the brightest rock, but reliable, steady-paced developer who earned his stay.
Then there was the girl who wasn't really good at coding, but saved our team from disaster many times by keeping things into account, and realizing what must be developed or tested at every step.
However, there are exceptions. I've worked with people who have been nothing but a menace, through their incompetence AND attitudes.
The most noteworthy example was an intern that we sought out, by talking to professors to point us to their best students. So we got that intern on board. He seemed strange at first. Kind of perfectionist. Talked serious, with an air of royalty, and always dressed sharply. He really gave the impression that one must be worthy to receive his blessing. The weirdest part was his handshake. It was as if he was touching an iron hand heated to 3000 degrees. It was over before you even knew it. Leaves you kinda offended. Especially when he always took a wet wipe after that and wiped his hands. Am I really that gross?
But that's fiiiine. I mean we're all different and weird in our own ways, right? So he's a germophobe, so fucking what? We just gotta find a way to work together, right?
As soon as he started (and remember, he's a paid intern, who barely knows how to code, and has zero industrial experience), he started questioning my architecture solutions, code implementations, etc. I don't mind discussion and criticism, which is why I welcomed his input. But it seemed like he wasn't willing to accept any arguments, so I started looking for excuses not to talk to him.
Meanwhile, the most productive team member we had, to whom you could just give and describe an idea, with architecture and stuff, well, and you'd see it implemented the next week, with only the most well placed questions asked, started going into fights with this intern for the same reasons I was avoiding him.
And here's the kicker.
This intern comes to me (I was the team lead), while that guy is not in the office, and with a straight face, dead serious, starts telling me that that guy was making stupid decisions and being a bad team member because he doesn't ... I quote him almost verbatim... "follow my indications". He said that I had to do something because he refused to work with him together.
I was stunned.
This good for nothing imagined superhuman, who was completely useless and an amazing annoyance to pretty much everyone in the team, came to me, telling me that the most capable and productive developer in the team is bad, because he doesn't follow his orders, and that I had to pick between the 2.
I couldn't believe what I had heard.
I had so much emotion in me right then. I was angry, but at the same time I could barely abstain from laughing.
I just told him calmly that he was wrong, and that I wouldn't mind if he never came back. I didn't see him for 5 years after that.
Anyway, later that week our team went for a dinner + beer, and the stories from all the team members started pouring in. They didn't want to talk him down either, but now that he was gone, it was a weight off, and everybody could tell their story.
What a fucking asshole.
So 5 years after I stumbled on him as he was entering a church. Still an arrogant bitch. Barely exchanged 10 polite words and I continued on my way as he was disinfecting his hands from my filthy handshake.4
Was explaining a technical concept at a "family" dinner. Suddenly stepmother wanted my help for something technical.
Stepmother: Say Awlex, could you help me install some software I recently bought?
Me: (Not this shit again) I even don't know what software you're talking about. How is the software called, what does it do?
Sm: it's calles digital... *long pause*
Me: (I don't like where this is going)
Sm: software... *another long pause*
Me: (fuck me harder than that lightly clothed woman outside)
Sm: something... *long pause*
Me: (alright brain, which way out of here doesn't involves me creating a bullet hole in either one of us?)
Sm: And you can use it to sell something...
Me: (tf do you event sell?!)
Sm: but not like ebay
Me: (what is it then? A platform for selling services? I don't even know what kind of software you'd have to install, given that most of these platforms are be web applications, whcih makes sense for selling stuff on the internet)
Sm: Anyway, could you help me install it? It would take me hours to get into it.
Me: (You think just installing would solve it? As soon as I install it, you probably expect me to be your walking manual as well, don't you?) Look, I'm gonna be honest with you, since I started working I don't have nearly as much free time as I used to have (Not everybody works when they feel like it, you know that?) I get home at around almost 7pm (most of the time) and don't really wanna work afterwards. Most of the time there's a support service from the people who made this software and they would be glad to help you. (Sorry support team, for pushing this bundle of incompetence onto you, but I guess she didn't even listen to my advice).
After that she didn't back down and still wanted my help. Then my grandmother derailed the conversation and got me out of this. When I thanked her later she yold me that she saw I saw uncomfortable and wanted to help. I love my grandmother.
So I am not going to be your "family" tech support. You b(r)ought this onto yourself. Are more than twice my age and still can't use your brain to solve problems like these on your own and you can even less reason abiut your motives and desires when asking for help. I am sick of you and shutty opinions about people, just because I work as a software engineer doesn't mean I'm exist solely for satisfying your unreasonable desires.
Stop offending me and my profession and get yourself some common sense.
Protip #0: Give me one fucking reason to help you, because you're not family enough and your personality really doesn't bring forth any emotion but annoyance4
I worked at a company that was recently acquired by another one based in Poland. On my last day at work, the CEO flew out from Kraków to meet all of us personally and treated us to dinner. Soon after, we were all inducted into their hiring process, and now I'm currently waiting for my first project at the new company 😊 brilliant guy, can't wait to know him and the team better!3
So I finished my first semester in NYU as a CD master. During the first semester I took a class called heuristic problem solving. Every week a competitive game will be introduced to us, and will be played in two weeks. And trust me, the games aren't easy. I teamed up with another guy who I had no idea was and named our team as we don't know. At the end of the semester we won seven out of nine games, and by won I meant that we beat the whole class in the match. And my teammate became a really good friend.
By telling this story, I want to make a point. I love problem solving, and not problems in a algorithm book where you apply an algorithm and do some trick to solve it, but real world problem where you hope for the best and anticipate, predict your opponent's move. However, American's school system doesn't teach that.
When I applied to graduate school, no school wanted me because I have an average GPA of 3.6, and no outstanding achievements. I can solve problems in my dream becaus I have an active mind, I can propose solution to a project one month before my teammates realized they essentially were doing what I told them the solution should be. But so what, I can't write those on my application.
One of the professor told me that my professor shared the story of my team during a faculty dinner, and they were very impressed by our achievement. So I guess I'm not dumb. But after all, companies and schools will look at your transcript and decide who you are.
I love myself for having random thoughts all the time that can lead to innovative problem solving. But I also hate myself for not able to study like the good kids are.10
The story of how I got my dream job.
I was working for a company with a job I got just after graduating university. It was ok, not very exciting tech but I learned a lot by just surrounding myself with professional code monkeys. I was there for about a year when my company bought parts of another company and there was talk about people getting fired. This made me worried since I was the last one to get hired, so I started looking around for other jobs. I received this e-mail from a company saying they were looking for interns, what a coincidence! I adjusted my CV and sent it in.
--A few weeks pass--
It's Friday and I'm at a dinner party, it's 10pm and someone is calling me. I pick up and it's a recruiter from this company. I get very nervous but the alcohol helps me keep my cool, I pass the initial idiot test and they invite me for an interview. Yay!
I go to work on Monday and in a 1-on-1 and I tell my boss about the upcoming interview, he gives me a high-five :)
The interview is approaching and I'm feeling that I'm about to get sick, I refuse to believe this so I start taking a lot of medicine (painkillers, cough medicine etc.). I feel a bit better and thank the gods for medication.
I wake up, put on my nicest clothes and get on the train. I had one hour to spare just in case, which was well needed because the fucking train is late by 30 minutes. I'm still heavily medicated because of my ongoing fever. When I arrive I basically have to run there and somehow I manage to pick up a coffee on the way there which I devour in two seconds. I'm ready for the interview!
Some guy meets me in reception and the first thing he says is "My colleague doesn't speak our language so we'll have to speak english". This is fine, I speak good english but I was not prepared for this so it caught me off-guard and made me even more nervous. We get in and start talking. Things are going OK despite my numbed brain. I try to make eye-contact to make a good impression with the foreign engineer but he keeps staring somewhere which is making me nervous.
We get to the technical part on a whiteboard and this is where my brain decides to stop communicating. I'm presented a simple task which I'm struggling with finishing, and I feel the embarrassment coming over me. "NOOOOO THIS IS MY DREAM JOB, THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING!" I'm thinking to myself. After making myself look like a complete arsehole for some time we wrap it up and just before I step out the door I say to the engineer "You should checkout my Github page, I have lots of interesting stuff there" and he says "I'll be sure to do that" but I don't believe him.
I leave the office in fury (of myself) and make my way to the train station and even though it's the middle of the day I quickly devour two beers to calm my nerves and make me feel a bit better. I was so damn disappointed in myself, I wasted the opportunity of a lifetime! I go back home to my regular (now shitty) job.
--Two days later--
I get a call from an unknown number. I pick up the phone and it's the same recruiter guy. "So how did you think it went?" he says. "To be honest, I think it went really bad", I replied. "What? Really? Because they loved you, you got the job". (this was an obvious recruiter lie) "... wat, are you sure you called the correct person?" I said and he just laughed. The day after I quit my old job the whole department gets fired - such impeccable timing.
--A few months later--
I finish my internship and they want to keep me. I'm so happy. The engineer that was in the interview works on my team. I ask him "Why did you hire me? You know as well as I do that my interview was horrible". It turns out he _did_ look at my Github profile and that's how he knew I could write code. I also heard later that for my position there was about 2000 applicants and somehow I made the interviews.
I still work there today and I couldn't be happier (Sorry for the long text).3
After working two 85 hour weeks and staying until 6 in the morning before customer demo, the project manager decides to invite the team for dinner and drinks after work, as if my family doesn't miss having me home for dinner, and I haven't spent enough time with my colleagues!!4
As a person from low-paying country, how do I reconcile with the fact that for the same work, and the same 8 hours, I get 1/3 of what a person in Germany does? In my previous team (same company), one of my teammates was from Germany. The same team, the same work, but he happened to earn a lot more.
This bothers me a lot sometimes. I have seen people requesting to be transferred to another country, and being denied, presumably because of the salary difference. Then, the person leaves, and someone in Australia gets hired. So, rather than moving a veteran person of whom you know fits your company culture to a higher-paying country, you let him go and hire a newbie in an equally-expensive country? What the fuckity fuck?
And to my friends from high-paying countries, especially managers: you don't have to feel bad, but have some common decency. If you come to my country, do not say "oh gosh, everything here is so cheap," or "the dinner for the whole team costs less than buying my family of four a dinner back home." That's offensive as fuck. If that's the case, fucking give me a raise you cheap fuck!30
It took literally days to get our software installed onto the client VMs and get the services started correctly.
On our own test VMs the same task takes all of about an hour or so. Mind you these VMs are supposed to be created and match the client's environment almost too the T. Same configurations, same third party software, same environment variables and the whole 9 yards.
This was not the case at all.
Environment variables were not set, third party software was not installed, and I honestly don't remember the list of things wrong with how they setup the VM. Sparing the details, the errors were also not helpful.
They also gave us critical information we needed for development days before we were going on site to test. The amount of hackery we had to do could be a completely separate rant on its own.
While desperately trying to to stay sane long enough to get our services started, the only thing I could think was how great it would be if there was a fire or something. Anything, just to have an excuse to go back to the hotel and actually sleep. The second day there we finally had everything installed and running.
I shit you not, just as we began our first test, the fire alarms went off.
At this point in time the team was extremely (pissed tf off) annoyed to put it mildly. Assuming it was just a drill, we left our stuff and went to eat dinner. After we came back we found out it in fact was not a drill...
Moral of the story:
Don't wish bad fortune on a customer even if out of impulsive spite.
Other moral of the story:
Don't leave your belongings behind only because you think the fire alarms are just a fire drill. It may not be.
P.S. Karma's a bitch.1
When you are working late, is there a role on your team who grabs you dinner / does other odd jobs?
We used to have a producer job role, but those employees had their title changed to program manager at one point, and since the switch there really isnt a role whos obligations include grabbing dinner for the team on late nights and doing other odd jobs / tasks. How does your org handle this? Are you "entitled" to dinner if you stay late, or do you figure that out on your own?
Quick disclaimer: I kind of feel spoiled / ridiculous for expecting someone to grab me dinner, but if i'm working 12+ hours and I have to leave to get dinner, i might aswell just go home as my concentration is going to be broken and im sure the business would rather my butt in its seat coding.5