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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
Worst fight I've had with a co-worker?
Had my share of 'disagreements', but one that seemed like it could have gone to blows was a developer, 'T', that tried to man-splain me how ADO.Net worked with SQLServer.
<T walks into our work area>
T: "Your solution is going to cause a lot of problems in SQLServer"
Me: "No, its not, your solution is worse. For performance, its better to use ADO.Net connection pooling."
T: "NO! Every single transaction is atomic! SQLServer will prioritize the operation thread, making the whole transaction faster than what you're trying to do."
<T goes on and on about threads, made up nonsense about priority queues, on and on>
Me: "No it won't, unless you change something in the connection string, ADO.Net will utilize connection pooling and use the same SPID, even if you explicitly call Close() on the connection. You are just wasting code thinking that works."
T walks over, stands over me (he's about 6.5", 300+ pounds), maybe 6 inches away
T: "I've been doing .net development for over 10 years. I know what I'm doing!"
I turn my chair to face him, look up, cross my arms.
Me: "I know I'm kinda new to this, but let me show you something ..."
<I threw together a C# console app, simple connect, get some data, close the connection>
Me: "I'll fire up SQLProfiler and we can see the actual connection SPID and when sql server closes the SPID....see....the connection to SQLServer is still has an active SPID after I called Close. When I exit the application, SQLServer will drop the SPD....tada...see?"
T: "Wha...what is that...SQLProfiler? Is that some kind of hacking tool? DBAs should know about that!"
Me: "It's part of the SQLServer client tools, its on everyone's machine, including yours."
T: "Doesn't prove a damn thing! I'm going to do my own experiment and prove my solution works."
Me: "Look forward to seeing what you come up with ... and you haven't been doing .net for 10 years. I was part of the team that reviewed your resume when you were hired. You're going to have to try that on someone else."
About 10 seconds later I hear him from across the room slam his keyboard on his desk.
100% sure he would have kicked my ass, but that day I let him know his bully tactics worked on some, but wouldn't work on me.7
The people who are developing the Hostbill billing platform: please stop. Quit your jobs, and go do something else because you fucking SUCK at your JOBS!
I've had it with your shitty API! You ever heard of scalar types beyond string? "1", "0", "false".. Learn to use TYPES even though it's PHP! THERE'S TYPE SUPPORT THERE NOW YOU FUCKING IMBECILES! Some are typed, some or not, you never know! Guess and win!
And don't get me started on the documentation, OR THE LACK OF! Having to contact customer support to figure out HOW IM SUPPOSED TO DISPATCH DATA TO THE API BECAUSE YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO WRITE THE INTERFACES OR EXAMPLES! FUCK YOU!3
In only I were 1.15 times faster or had better planning (why didn’t I use the Saturday Sunday at the end of the first week 🤦🏼♂️), things would’ve happened differently. I think I’m becoming stupid and my tolerance levels are going down too.
So this happened a while back ..
I was given a code base which didn’t have any changes in the last two years and I was asked to add a feature to this. This was my first task in this new group I was part of. I had two weeks to do this starting on a Monday.
Partway through implementation I realised that the code base is a pile of shit and I wasn’t doing myself or anyone else any favours by shitting on it.
It’s Wednesday. I’ve dealt with many other codebases before but the urge to rewrite this particular one was just unlike anything else. And so I started changing code and before I realised, I modified almost all the important files.
I got sick of this mixed up code and started a rewrite from scratch. It was Friday and I finally had just the basic mechanics of the whole thing working. Now I needed to add all the functionalities and also my new feature.
It should be noted that at no point did I tell any of the superiors I was doing this fearing what they might say and also fearing going back to adding shit to shit.
By the end of the second week, the rewrite was complete and I only had the new feature to add. The rewrite was significantly smaller, compartmentalised and well commented because I did the bloody commenting (where it was not obvious from the code). So on Friday, I was asked about the progress and I told them that it needed some more work and that I need a couple more days. And I got shit for it. I was told it was a mistake giving this task to me and that I am not competent enough. One of the superiors told the other superior about perhaps giving me something more suited to my level. To be fair to them, they were expecting the work in the two weeks to be for the new feature.
And in two days’ time, on Monday (I worked on Saturday and half of Sunday), I finished the whole thing and gave it to them. New feature was working. And I still did not tell them what I did. The tool worked fine so they had no idea what happened because this project had no version control and I pointed them to a new directory with the new code with a first commit.3
For all my friends here who have known me for years can easily notice there has been a drastic change in me.
I used to be confident. That shit was hollow but I used to laugh in the face of fear. I was ignorant and that ignorance fueled a lot of the much needed confidence.
Over the years, I learned a lot. The more I know, the more I realised how much I don't know. And for all that I know, I have to use the brain power to retain and implement it, else it rusts.
This image is of my 2021 goals that I drafted last December. Wasn't able to achieve the first, the last and the art one. But surely got myself surrounded by some of the smartest people I have ever worked with.
Now they have rightly said, be careful with what you wish for.
MY CONFIDENCE IS SHATTERED.
I feel dumb. Constant imposter syndrome. While I am learning every moment and there is no measure to it, I feel incompetent to an extent that I have started questioning how did I even reach this far?!
While, yet again I am the youngest in my team, my manager is bit micromanaging and agressive with OKRs/KPIs and tech team isn't very supportive creating constant friction (something I never faced with developers in my life because devs are my best friends), I fear how much more time will I take to ramp up in this new job and feel confident enough to tackle things on my own without constant nudge from leadership or different teams?
Or is it just that I have burnt out firefighting and lost the motivation I had?
After all, what does this all even mean?10
Anyone reading these emails we are sending?
I work at a small place. A few users are using an application at our place that I develop and maintain. We all work remotely.
I announce by email to these few users a new version release of said application because of low level changes in the database, send the timeline for the upgrade, I include the new executable, with an easy illustrated 2 minutes *howto* to update painlessly.
Yet, past the date of the upgrade, 100% of the application users emailed me because they were not able to use the software anymore.
Or I have this issue where we identified a vulnerability in our systems - and I send out an email asking (as soon as possible) for which client version users are using to access the database, so that I patch everything swiftly right. Else everything may crash. Like a clean summary, 2 lines. Easy. A 30 second thing.
A week pass, no answer, I send again.
Then a second week pass, one user answers, saying:
> well I am busy, I will have time to check this out in February.
Then I am asking myself:
* Why sending email at all in the first place?
* Who wrote these 'best practices textbooks about warning users on schedule/expected downtime?'
*How about I just patch and release first and then expect the emails from the users *after* because 'something is broken', right? Whatever I do, they don't read it.
Oh and before anyone suggest that I should talk to my boss about this behavior from the users, my boss is included in the aforementioned 'users'.
Catch-22 much ? Haha thanks for reading
Killing people is bad. But, there should be a law to allow killing people who don't write proper unit tests for their code. And also those "team leaders" who approve and merge code without unit tests.
Little backstory. Starts with a question.
What is the most critical part of a quoting tool (tool for resellers to set discounts and margins and create quotations)? The calculations, right?
If one formula is incorrect in one use case, people lose real money. This is the component which the user should be able to trust 100%. Right?
Okay. So this team was supposed to create a calculation engine to support all these calculations. The development was done, and the system was given to the QA team. For the last two months, the QA team finds bugs and assigns those to the development team and the development team fix those and assigns it back to the QA team. But then the QA team realizes that something else has been broken, a different calculation.
Upon investigation, today, I found out that the developers did not write a single unit test for the entire engine. There are at least 2000 different test cases involving the formulas and the QA team was doing all of that manually.
Now, Our continuous integration tool mandates coverage of 75%. What the developer did was to write a dummy test case, so that the entire code was covered.
I really really really really really think that developers should write unit tests, and proper unit tests, for each of the code lines (or, “logical blocks of code”) they write.20
To the reactjs-centered fucks who develop the popular web component viewing software called storybook: have you ever heard about semver?
89 alpha/beta/rc releases for a minor update 6.3 -> 6.4 with "100's of fixes and enhancements" "in preparation of the HUGE 7.0 release". Gee I wonder will it have 1000's of bugfixes? How bug-ridden is this software?
Every minor upgrade since 5.x is backwards-incompatible and requires a day of frustration finding out in how many more fucking NPM packages you split your codebase just because it's cool. I know move fast and break things, but some of us have other things to do than resolving node_modules incompatibilities you know. "No just hit 'npx sb upgrade' you say". I did, I really did! And the browser showed a blank screen of death with tons of cryptic React errors, it really did! Thank God you abstracted away all your dependencies in that sb command, now you can't even read the docs about what could have gone wrong with a specific sub-package. You have @storybook/html but the docs redirect to React pages, so good luck if you use something else
This is so sad... like.. the IDEA of storybook is great. But why did faith put the capacity to develop such a tool into the hands of people who think the world centers around React and JSX.. HTML should have been the default, and then you build on top of that for your fav framework, not the other way around
I'm not a Wordpress pro, but i've done some work on it and... well, the HTML + PHP mix is the only evidence you need to convince someone, there is no god, only satan, but other then that, it's hard to find anything else that your clients will accept & can use. And yes it's the most important thing - at the end of day, they are the one giving you money.
- the Wordpress dev community is pretty cool.
- everything has been invented, so the development is pretty easy.
- if you have something more fancy to do, there is always a Wordpress API.
PS - fuck HTML + PHP mix.1
"Okay, this is way OT but here it goes. Back during the GW Bush days I noticed something strange. All five TV networks suddenly started using human(s) to refer to us. Gone were humanity, humankind, mankind (!), people, person(s), us, we and human beings I about barfed when I watched an ingenue said her best girlfriend had found a wonderful human to marry.
I see three problems. One is the way putative competitors started this newspeak in lockstep. Another is the degradation of English. The last is the loss of emotional content. Saying "Humans are responsible for climate change." is so blah it's like somebody else is responsible, like Martians, maybe like somebody else is responsible, Martians, maybe.
I apologize for the wording of this rant but I am forced to use a phone with one hand due to severe injury.3
Ok, so: I have a macbook for work. And for the most part, I love it. Its a good looking device that has a fast cpu, enough ram to run stuff locally for testing, even multiple services / environments at the same time without getting overly sluggish.
And, the best thing: It isn't Windows. I have a good, working shell (zsh), so I can use all the command line tooling I could wish for, I have a somewhat working package manager and everything.
But there are just some little things I really can't wrap my head around. And since everything is so locked in by Apple, there are no sensible ways to fix those things without having a bunch of extra programs / services running all the time, introducing overhead, configuration for things I neither want nor need, and so on.
First of all, why the hell did you think the normal way of typing "@" on a german iso keyboard is the key combination for closing the currently focused application? I am a daily user of macos for over 2 years now, and I still keep quitting applications regularly, almost every day.
Or, scroll direction: I use a mouse (g pro wireless) and not just the touchpad, but when I am in a meeting or something (or when I take my macbook with me to configure a switch that isn't accessible over the network), I don't want to take the mouse with me, the touchpad is pretty good, it is big, precise and everything. But for some dumb reason, they decided to reverse the scroll direction for the mouse by default, so if you change that to use the mouse like a normal person, it also changes the scroll direction for the touchpad. And, the worst part is: there doesn't seem to be ANY easy way to separate those two settings, or to automatically set the scroll direction when a mouse is connected.
So every time I use my laptop somewhere else, wich also happens regularly, the scroll directions is wrong, which means I have to go into the settings, change it, then change it back when I am at my desk again.
It just doesn't make any sense, stop trying to "know what our customers want", and please, dear Mr. Tim Apple, give your customers the freedom to know for themselves what they want.
Thanks for listening to my TED Talk.8
Am I the only one that thinks Linq's .Any() and .All() methods are more appropriately named for the use case they cater to, as opposed to their JS counterparts .some() and .every() ?
.some() doesn't justify the fact that it returns true if *atleast* one item in the collection matches the predicate. Should've been named something like .atleastOne() or something else.
Moreover, there isn't any harm to just use the same method names as in Linq ¯\_(ツ)_/¯4
What are your coffee/tea drinking habits?
Do you prefer coffee, tea, or other beverages? ☕ 🍵
Do you use a coffee maker/machine or something else?
I'm wondering if I should invest in a coffee machine 🤔26
How I feel about people in a meeting
Listening to someone others participating in some meeting (on speaker) (I'm not a part of):
checking configurations, talking about config hierarchies, addressing network stack limitations, etc -- all smart-sounding things. They must be very wise and experienced. It's got to be something very serious they're working on
Participating in a meeting myself:
wtf is he talking about, does he even know what JVM is? No no, this configuration does not make ANY sense. No, Mr manager, this is not how it works. Come on guys, you all running like a headless chicken - USE COMMON SENSE!!
I wonder if anyone else noticed that... I've been noticing this since the very beginning of my IT career.1
floating point numbers are workarounds for infinite problems people didn’t find solution yet
if you eat a cake there is no cake, same if you grab a piece of cake, there is no 3/4 cake left there is something else yet to simplify the meaning of the world so we can communicate cause we’re all dumb fucks who can’t remember more than 20000 words we named different things as same things but in less amount, floating point numbers were a biggest step towards modern world we even don’t remember it
we use infinity everyday yet we don’t know infinite, we only partially know concept of null
you say piece of cake but piece is not measurement - piece is infinite subjective amount of something
everything that is subjective is infinite, like you say a sentence it have infinite number of meanings, you publish a photo or draw a paining there are infinite number of interpretations
you can say there is no cake but isn’t it ? you just said cake so your mind want to materialize something you already know and since you know the cake word there is a cake cause it’s infinite once created
if you think really hard and try to get that feeling, the taste of your last delicious cake you can almost feel it on your tongue cause you’re connected to every cake taste you ate
someone created cake and once people know what cake is it’s infinite in that collection, but what if no one created cake or everyone that remember how cake looks like died, everything what’s cake made of extinct ? does it exist or is it null ? that’s determinism and entropy problem we don’t understand, we don’t understand past and future cause we don’t understand infinity and null, we just replaced it with time
there is no time and you can have a couple of minutes break are best explanations of how null and infinite works in a concept of time
so if you want to change the world, find another thing that explains infinity and null and you will push our civilization forward, you don’t need to know any physics or math, you just need to observe the world and spot patterns10
how do you learn some concept in programming/dev? am not talking about the understanding, but rather the remembrance part, like retaining in memory in a way that you could remember to recognise/use it , the next time you see it or need it?
do you prefer :
- writing on pen and paper(ie creating notes)
- writing a personal/public online blog
- implementing it in a project that depends on it/ some sample project
- or something else?14
hey, so i have recently started learning about node js and express based backend development.
can you suggest some good github repositories that showcase real life backend systems which i can use as inspiration to learn about the tech?
like for eg, i want to create a general case solution for authentication and profile management : a piece of db+api end points + models to :
- authenticate user : login/signup , session expire, o auth 2 based login/signup, multi account login, role based access, forgot password , reset password, otp login , etc
- authorise user : jwt token authentication, ip whitelisting, ssl pinning , cors, certificate based authentication , etc (
- manage user : update user profile, delete user, map services , subscriptions and transactions to user , dynamic meta properties ( which can be added/removed for a single user and not exactly part of main user profile) , etc
followed by deployment and the assoc concepts involved : deployment, clusters, load balancers, sharding ,... etc
these are all the buzzwords that i have heard that goes into consideration when designing a secure authentication system for a particular large scale website like linkedin or youtube. am not even sure how many of these concepts would require actual codelines and how many would require something else.
so wanted inspiration from open source content to learn about it in depth, replicate and create new better stuff if possible .
apart from that, other backend architectures like video/images storage system, or just some server for movie, social media, blog website etc would also help.2