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Story of onboarding in the age of Corona!
Office is big but almost empty, people are working from home. Guy welcoming me says he is not the one supposed to help me(he is sick I'm told) and the rest of the team is not there. The man I'm talking to is this other guys boss. It's OK I think it will work out.
Turns out this guy helping me is actually the CTO so he does not have that much time on his hands. He shows me were to get my computer and desk and hands me documentation to setup some software.
I spend the time before lunch installing linux, setting up git and some other software. CTO checks up on me once.
Then after lunch nothing...I look for him but he is in some meeting. I find some videos by myself labled "onboarding" on the company website. They are OK. I ask my deskmate if he heard what team I will be in. He doesn't know. I sneak out a little early since I have nothing left to do.
The CTO is now also sick I see in an email when I arrive at the office. Still don't know what team I am in.
I spend the morning reading coding blogs and websites. After lunch I have a meeting. The only one in my calendar. It's about the product software architecture for all new employees. It's good but still no news about what team. I aimlessly read up on some software architecture untill I go home.
I arrive at the office first, only the receptionist is there. I listen to podcasts until a few more people show up. I ask another guy if he knows what team I'm supposed to be in. He doesn't but laughs and says it was the same when he started last year.
I send out messages on slack looking for anyone that knows...still no one knows. I guess Im in limbo now. Perhaps i should just start making coffee for people or something...14
Why are there a million websites that scrap and republish stack overflow content? SEO induced page hits for fraudulent publicity?
Whatever the reason I hate them so much.7
Special 2022 greetings to the last of us who still run truly static websites: update your footer template, recompile, upload.7
We work with about 7 developers at this company with 80 somewhat websites in production.
We edit changes directly trough FTP and we use ctrl+z as version control...
(yes since i started working here I've been demanding git, I'm spearheading it and we are getting there slowly)4
PM: To achieve this, do A
Me: That's unnecessarily complex, can't we do B
PM: Ooh, so it's too complicated for you?
Me: No, it's complex, it will bottleneck the system
PM: We've done A in 5 different websites, so you should do the same
Oh great, now garbage websites can even break the browser's reload button. Wanna reload the page that never stops loading or crashes its scripts? Click the button and watch the browser do fuck all and a little bit of nothing.
Nah, you see to refresh that polished rotten turd you gotta close the tab and then restore it, and if that doesn't work open a new one and copy-paste the URL because who the fuck doesn't like some invalid state.
Can't wait for the day I have to shutdown and disconnect the battery because some idiot messed up the layout.3
I deployed one of our staging websites to a free plan because the site is rarely used. Project Manager sends the stakeholders the new url. There will be a lot of 🤦♀️🤦♂️🤦 all around. Some of it’s my fault. A lot of it is just WTF.
Stakeholder: We still need the staging site because we don’t want to test in the live site…
PM: Okay. We didn’t say we were deleting the site. We are just moving it to a new and better hosting platform, so we’re letting you know the url has changed.
Stakeholder: This url is for the front facing page. How do I access the backend? [they mean the admin interface]
Me: The only thing that’s changed is the url for the staging website. So domain-A/account is now domain-B/account.
I thought that was a pretty straightforward way of explaining things, that even a non technical person would get it. They took the /account example as the literal login url.
Stakeholder: I forgot the password for our admin login and I submitted a password reset, but I realize I don’t know if I have access to the admin email. Or if it’s even a real email account.
I look back at the email chain and I realize that I gave the PM the wrong url.
Also, WTF x 2. How did this stakeholder not realize they were looking at the wrong website?? There are definitely noticeable style and content differences. And why would you have an admin login that uses a fake email??
Me: My apologies. I sent over the incorrect url. My instructions are mostly the same. All that’s changed is the domain.
Stakeholder’s assistant: [DMs me] How do we access the backend?
WTF…are they seriously playing this game and demanding I type out the url for them?! 🤬 I’m not playing this game and I just copy and paste the example that I already sent over.
They figure it out eventually. Apparently, they never used /account to login before They used /admin/index… but that would still bring them to /account, but with ?redirect=/admin/index appended to the url if they weren’t logged in. Again, WTF.
I know I made mistakes in this whole thing, but damn. I can’t even. I’m pretty sure this whole incident is fueling my boss’s push to stop supporting this particular website anymore so I can focus on sites that actually bring in revenue…and have stakeholders that aren’t looney and condescending like this.4
Small chaotic startup that never grew up (15 years atm).
Hosts/maintains a number of apps/sites for various customers.
At some point, someone decides that a CMS would be usefull to maintain the content across all products. Forgoing all sense, reason and the very notion of "additional maintenance and dev" it is decided that one should be built in-house.
Fast forward a number of years.
Ops performs routine maintenance on prod-servers. A java-patch accidently knocks out one of the pillars a 3rd party lib the CMS uses for storing images. CMS basically burst in to flames causing a.... significant incident.
Enter yours truly to fix the mess.
Spend a few days replacing the affected 3rd party lib. Run tests on CMS in test and staging environments. Apply java-patch. All seems fine.
When speaking to frontenders and app-devs, a significant hurdle present itself:
All test/staging instances of all websites/apps/etc ALL USE PRODUCTION CMS. Hardcoded. No way around.
There is -no- way to properly test and verify the functionality of any changes made to the home-brewed CMS.
My patch did indeed work in the end.
But did the company learn anything? Did they listen to my reasoning, pleading or even anguished screams for sanity?
What is it with shipping websites sending you an email saying "hey, here's your tracking number and tracking URL!" and then that *very same link* saying "this tracking number doesn't exist, it can take a few days to show up sometimes, try again!" I'd understand if this was one knock-off weird company, but it seems to be *all of them*.
Seriously, how hard is it to just initialise a tracking number at the point you send that email so it at least shows a "parcel not yet picked up" or similar message? I know it doesn't make much material difference to tracking but it just reeks of bad UX and lazy / incompetent devs.7
My best and worst dev experience this year was getting a new job.
The bad parts: I’m inheriting a code base that was maintained by an outside agency, so there’s very little documentation. There’s a lot of systems maintenance and upgrades that have to be done because it was never done. I’m working at a larger organization, so tracking down who I need for info can be tricky. I’m the only person maintaining my code base.
Now the good parts: Better pay and benefits. My co workers, dev and non-dev, are always helpful. Since the dev team is small, we are very discerning when we pick up work for the websites. I have more independence to self-learn. I’m not at a blame culture. My role is permanently remote.
So far I think the good outweighs the bad.2
Looking at vacancies and the JS build tools asked (Babel, Gulp) and then visiting their websites I notice that I don't understand what they are going on about.
What the actual corpo fuck?
I've been out of the corporate loop for a few years, seems it's all about build tools these days. I need to get out of this industry pronto.3
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?
Instead the community gets excited about micro-improvements like optional chaining which has been possible in other languages for decades.
Also there is too much JS in web development, as CSS and HTML seem to have missed adding enough native functionality that works reliable cross browser to build websites in a descriptive way without misunderstanding web dev for application engineering.
Anyway, at least the survey has the option to choose how satisfied or unsatisfied people are about certain aspects of JS. But I already suspect that most respondents will seem to be very happy and eager to learn the latest hype train frameworks or stick to their beloved React in the future.3
Has anyone used advertising agencies like admob, AdSense etc in their websites or apps and anyone have great success stories to share with them? I get it "depends on the app or website" but I wanna know if anyone has managed to get a decent amount of monthly earnings from it.3
At work I have to multitask on way too many projects and to make it worse there is a lot of red tape and I have to waste a lot of time surfing buggy documentation websites, switching VPNs and praying for CI/CD to work rather than writing code in the fucking editor and for me repetitive tasks and context switching are productivity killers since they prevent me to enter in a state of flow and I keep daydreaming or distracting myself.