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Worst of 2020:
Seeing company get stuck in an organizational swamp. Devs tend to be reasonably good at working from home...
Management isn't. Meeting quality has gone down the drain, half of management thinks "if the boss can't see me why work at all?", the other half has constant calls with tiny working groups where nothing is final and everyone is left confused.
I'm convinced: Everything management is afraid of about allowing devs to work from home is based on projection of their own weaknesses.
They're not passionate enough to work without oversight. They might not be introverts, but extroverts are perfectly able to communicate poorly, especially when a few digital hurdles get in the way.
The average developer might actually be more attuned to the intricacies of emotionless text chats, and preventing disruptive elements in video calls.
Also, unless someone physically helps a manager to remove their head from their own ass once in a while, their "gut feelings" about the market and products are actually just amplified bias caused by their endless self-absorbed yelling into the echo chamber that is their stretched out rectum.
Holy motherfucking hell, have I seen some weird projects float by in 2020, pooped out by isolated product managers whose brain clearly has melted when they had to survive without office fruitbaskets and organizational post-it walls.
Yeah let's promote our international character, by giving away travels and hotel bookings, using pictures of happy hugging people in foreign countries... Great promo during a pandemic.
Or let's get "woke" and promote the "colored users" on our platforms, by training ML to categorize people by skin pigment (Apart from how illegal and ethically insane that is on multiple levels, about 85% of our users pick shit like anime characters and memes for their avatar).
Or how about we make a Microsoft Store app, even though the vast majority of our end users are students using cheap Android phones, older iPhones, Macbooks and Chromebooks.
Anyway, now that I have dressed up my Christmas tree with some manager intestines...
Best of 2020:
I got to play through my Steam backlog, work on hobby projects, and watch a lot of YouTube.
All this pandemic insanity has convinced me all the more that I want to work way more in Rust, and publish way more on open source projects.
I became maintainer/collaborator on a bunch of semi-prominent libraries & frameworks, and while no community is perfect, I enjoy my laid-back coffee-fueled debugging on those packages much more than listening to another crack addicted cocksucker in a suit explain their half-assed A/B test idea to me at 9AM.
So, 2021 will be me half-assing through the spaghetti at my official fuckfest of a job so I can keep filling my bank account — and investing way more time and effort into stuff I find truly engaging, into projects with a heart and a soul.3
Worst of 2020?
Well, I've learnt never to do free / voluntary work.
Been spending many weekends helping out a former friend, mostlyby creating APIs, sites, managing servers & scripting.
Now that I have a girlfriend, my weekends are spent mostly with her.
He got really mad, said he doesn't want to waste time.
Then went to *pay* someone else to continue what I've been doing...7
Best : I moved on from Dev to SecOps and got a well paid job in a small company closer to my home. With three office dogs.
Really, the dogs are the main thing there. The money is just an additional benefit.
Worst : my Dev life keeps getting less and less relevant for me. In the last two years, I started volunteering a lot (local volunteer fire department and then some), investing into several side businesses that start paying off now, generally doing as much non-dev stuff as possible.
I wanted to do this since I was a kid, I'm good at it, but I keep finding other things to do, because they're more interesting and more of a challenge.
Honestly, the one thing that keeps me in IT is sunk cost fallacy.
Hell, I'm thinking about becoming a paramedic or something, at least I'll be helping people instead of entertaining managers.4
Worst: I lost development contract - probably due to covid - after 4 years of work. I got email when I was at bank seconds before signing mortgage for my first apartment.
I signed it anyways as a technically unemployed person without income looking at the world collapsing.
Best: I gained new contract with 40% money raise. Fuck yeah !
Good question, what wasn't bad about 2020?
As far as good things go.. well, COVID-19 actually. Back in February the lockdown began in Belgium, and while many people got bored out of their minds, I actually became a lot more productive. So many projects started back then, and I got a lot better at programming because of it. Now I can confidently write most bash stuff without ever looking anything up. And the code is maintainable, on account of putting everything into functions. You can literally navigate the code just by looking at it. On older code I always had issues with that.
I'm very glad that essential travel even back then wasn't really restricted. Because my bank is retarded about online banking, I have to go to the bank every so often to check my balance. At the time I tended to do that late in the evening, when nobody else was outside and I had the entire town to myself. That was one of the travels considered essential. So I kept doing it and made that my biweekly walk. I really enjoyed that. Gets your mind off things.
Bad things would be the utter stupidity that the general public had shown me during that pandemic. Burning down 5G antennas and not even getting the right ones, toilet paper, 5G death beams in street lamps?! They even sent death threats to telco workers over sensationalist bullshit from what IIRC was just a random Twitch streamer. Those people should just fucking kill themselves, choke yourselves in that pile of toilet paper you got yourself and then called yourself financially challenged. You braindead fucking retards!
Another dev-related thing is the normalization of SJW terminology. Now even "blind playthrough" gets your ass banned on Twitch. I saw a tweet about a Twitch employee (I think) proudly saying that they implemented it. Most upvoted comment on it was from a blind person, asking why they did this and not made the Twitch app more friendly to use for blind users. They too thought this was bullshit. Yet it still got added in, and more and more people are starting to think that "this is fine". Hell even that "this is necessary".
What annoys me the most is that this mostly comes from the US, where around that time they laid their knee on George Floyd, and didn't fix their legal system at all. As a European it baffles me since we have many immigrants here (the Drumpf even called Belgium a hellhole over it) and we just don't give a shit about whether or not they are "truly Belgian". We just let them live their daily lives like everyone else. Imagine just not giving a shit. Imagine not bothering them, not with racism, not with reverse racism, not with anything. Just let them do their thing and that's it. Yet despite Belgium being one of the most inclusive countries in the fucking world, I still got called a racist many times for asking.. why did you implement this? Why this, and not tackling the problem at its actual and pretty fucking obvious core?
So all in all I can only hope that 2021 will get a little bit better. But that's the same thing I said in 2019, and it didn't quite come true.14
Resignation of my colleagues due to burnt out and stress. It is sad to see them lost their passion in coding because of the crappy system of handling projects by our p.managers.6
Best Dev experience: Switching to rust,
Worst Dev Experience: Using VS code at work because I can't get anything else approved to be installed.9
Really getting into Rust. It has taught me so many things.
1. Null is evil
2. Sum types are amazing
3. Compiler can actually have good error output
4. Multi threading is actually really scary if you don't have a compiler to back you up
I had to deal with SSIS. It has also taught me many things:
1. No matter how 'mature' a product is, it can be awful. Simply dump a random error code, the user can figure out what went wrong, no need for good error messages.
2. The modern concept of the database is crap. It's a gigantic global state that is used by everyone and owned by no one.
3. Don't use tools that aren't made to be used with version control.
4. Even when you tell your team that it's bad, you will be ignored.
Best: the pandemics allowed me to spend three months of lockdowns with my geeky best friend, almost two months with my dad.
Worst: one more year of Angular, getting my idea stolen, my work shat on,... also breaking my foot1
Most of 2020 was a bad dev experience for me. I was paid to remake a system because it was
a ) insecure
b ) inconsistent
c ) hard to mantain (spaghetti code)
I thought I could focus on the backend and just reuse the front end but even that was unusable.
Basically had to redo it from scratch and since I made the fatal mistake of letting THEM estimate how long it would take, I worked most of the year instead of just 2-3 months.
Never again. After being done with the project I still had to be 'reachable' for the coming weeks if anything happened.
I turned off my phone during one weekend and then the next thing I know the only other dev at that small company is asking me for details on the project (meaning they just decided to offload everything to him). Never heard from them again and I'm hoping that won't change.
Beware small dev companies with less than 5 actual devs.
Best: Dev wise this year has been bad or not-bad but nothing 'great' comes to mind.
My fun times and enjoyments were not derived from dev activities.1
- survived 2020 and all its woes.
RIP those that didn't.
- delivered a major project this year that felt like it never wanted to end.
Scope creep.... nope, scope realignment kills the soul.
- hired a competent dev!!! 🥳 Not being a SoloDev is a weird feeling!
- pay rise during a pandemic, that was a nice touch.
- dealt with several useless contractors and ended up redoing most of the work myself.
- don't lie to me when you say you *can* do something, only to throw yourself into a complex rabbit hole you can't dig yourself out of.
- major project took 500% longer then originally scoped - it was only meant to be a tight 6 weeks, not an excruciating never ending list of changes and rebuilds 🤯
good thing I get paid regardless - but I don't think the burnout was worth the while.
- let's see what the world has on offer to try and burn me out of existence this time!
WFH!! // worst
I've been social distancing myself from everyone, I don't even know how to properly function amongst people anymore o.O
I have a meeting at the office today, I'm so anxious as if I'm applying for a job there..in a field I've never worked on..flying there with a choper for the first time, me flying it of course.. naked & already on fire o.O Oh & I'm also wearing sweatpants as nothing else fits anymore..yaaaay.... Can't wait.. :/4
Best: building a compiler in C and using LLVM as an IR tool
Worst: my job, and a group project of 5 people which I ended up working on alone1
Worst: Getting struck with Corona when moving to a European country via job, everything went shit, visa late, starting job is late and never certain, for 8 months I was in limbo.
Best: Finally got job and moved, been playing video games all day because it is government job and no way to check what I am doing. Fuck it, I dont like software development as my salary job, just as hobby.
Bye, have to play game.9
Best: actually started to work on side projects, they are not just discarded ideas on the paper anymore, so excited about this one
Worst: legacy bolognese app nobody understands and doesn't have documentation coupled with weird API also without any documentation
When I had to restart my entire progress on the devRant iOS rewrite because I had to switch from SwiftUI to UIKit.
It took me less than 3 weeks to come to the point in development where I abandoned SwiftUI. The app was already pretty fucking big but I managed to remake it completely in less than 3 weeks. It is my single most proudest achievement that I ever got. I didn’t give up and I powered through. I think it’s safe to assume that I am decent in iOS app development :D6
Best: getting a position to teach a Swing + angular.js course
Worst: actually teaching that course
Plus clients asking "can we do it with a blockchain?" for every single possible stuff, because you know whatever5
I managed to release the new version of the best selling main product of my company.
At the release it had critical bugs I didn’t find during the tests.
Best: Got my first dev job a month before I graduated my bootcamp. Was hired till rona layoffs started happening. Found another dev job 4 months later, and just received a promotion from said job just before going on holiday leave.
Worst: Being laid off for those 4 months. Sure unemployment + stimulus got me through financially, but mentally and emotionally I was starting to crack. I had thought I broke through the barrier with that first job and was going to be set. That layoff threw a wrench in my whole plan. In those 4 months unemployed I developed some imposter syndrome. Regardless, I plugged along with my side projects. One company was really impressed with one of them and was using a similar stack for an upcoming project, so luckily they ended up hiring me. Confidence restored.2
Got a role change to automation engineer, which is sort of a 'just fix problems' position, like with tooling, get rid of manual work, remove as many spreadsheet as we can.
I started looking into rust.
The good again:
Worst: having to deal with "senior" unity devs who bullied me out of the company I was working in and who believe people should make ~200 lines of code functions cause "context switching is heavy on performances"
Best: i have started to automate a lot of stuff and to auto-generate definitions (e.g. keys for i18n) and can't really stop doing it anymore ☺️
Extra: stopping to care about the language and focussing a lot on approaches is also a thing I consider good about this year... Last time I was concerned with learning go, now i am more like: "how do I make this hot reload" or "how can I auto-generate routing if the configuration is default?"
Worst: Uni called us back for offline exams in the middle of pandemic despite our attempts of thwarting it.
Best: Thankfully none of the people I know got infected and we got some time together before we graduate.3
~~ 2020 exp.
Best: Got my highest paid freelance project.
Worst: My highest paid freelance project gave me the highest burnout of my life.1
Joining the corporate experience and being bored to death at high pay rather then making 20k less and working doing what I love10
Worst: Spending a week in npm, node, react hell trying to triage a ReactNative iOS/Android app that even the OG dev couldn't fix and FAILING.
This is the only code in like 20 fuckin years that beat me.
Best: Watching the fall of western democracy with a giant shit eating "I told you so" grin.6
Worst: lost my job due to the pandemic, and struggling to get interviews! Yes in spite of how well i did at my previous role (and please don’t give me crap about how they never would’ve laid me off if I was good, you’re just saying that to stroke your golden e-penis, you fucking reptilian scumbag) and with all that “experience” on my resume, I’m apparently not smart enough for these companies to even bother with. Yes if i kept failing tests a blind monkey would pass i would question my ability but that’s not the case. Yes my stack may be old but learning these newer tech stacks that recruiters love is a total cakewalk for me! They do so much cognitive lifting for you that I worry that if I don’t practice lower level stuff my mental capacity will diminish which is why I still solve leetcode problems lol.
Let’s not forget, I lost my dog this year too ☹️3
Best: leaving an overly stressful job
Worst: not dev but coughing up nearly a litre of blood sucked pretty badly. Covid y'all.6
So they're kinda the same
Took a support job because it paid double a dev job
Got a job after having a really tough time this year2
Worst: job insecurity, i. e. "due to Covid, unfortunately we can only renew you for 1 month for now" which kept on going from March till October and during which all sensible colleagues left.
Best: finally leaving this piece of shit management in October for a better position.1
Looking back on 2020: I only did one small contracting job.
The client wasn’t putting their trust in us. I fired them. They went with another company. Almost a whole year - and the old flash site is still up there! Kinda a waste of time / but got paid for our work - and it feels great to just let shit go.
Besides that, I didn’t do any official dev work all year! I just continued working on our school curriculum and teaching. 2020 has been an R&D dream, really. I feel a bit spoiled! As I sit here in my Christmas pajamas!
Excited for 2021.
Best: working with F#, hands down the best development experience ever for me!
Worst: this is a little harder, but I’d give the questionable honor for any experience working with one of our juniors on JS... or just working with SwiftUI - mobile development hasn’t been a good experience for me by any means so far, but working with SwiftUI has been the worst of them.
// EDIT: I just remembered it was this year when I needed to do stuff with Python. EASILY the worst development experience...
Worst experience of 2020 for me was:
👎 that I had 0 time to code my side-projects.
Best experience of 2020:
🙃 can't think of anything good haha
best: i became knowledgeable enough to be one of the biggest contributors in my company.
worst: salary cuts demotivated me to the point i barely commit thrice a day3
I finally got involved in “big projects!
Normally I only completed 50-60% of a project, but now I have 2-3 that “actually matter” (aka team of people that count on me), so I have to finish them!
Also had my first ever hackathon!
Basically I’m super stoked! Got a bit burned out from coding in November, but after a break, I’m ready to take on 2021!2
okay so I already did one of these but I totally blanked about the actual best worst
Got offer to be CTO of a local charity
Funding fell through, so it didn't happen
- Getting a decent pay for 13h job, so I can study additionally
- University switched to fully online, such that commodity of 2h+/active university day are gone (guess this is dev related when studying CS)
- Admin heavy job, with only minor development tasks and no senior developer to learn from
- Nightmare project still alive and under maintenance1
Best: Initiated the formal process to get a work visa, which is really the first step into settling down here after my studying period.
Worst: Have to work with with WordPress sometimes, and 80% of the other system's tech stack being new, making me feel like an absolute retard because I'm slower than a drunk snail.
Overall a nice year, despite 2020 shitting all over everyone.
Got to work on an interesting and kind of meaningful project from ground up and opportunity to work remotely without any cons (except for getting a brand new macbook pro).
Working on a C# project that took ages (to the point it burnt me out) not long after dealing with a relatively simple static site project that ended up incomplete because one of the team members couldn't be arsed in providing the info needed.
Working on a project where I get to put my UI/UX, software architecture and fullstack dev skills to the test on a problem I have may benefit others, as I started a new job that pays well.
Best: Learning React JS
Having to rush an online training module for our app in a weekend.
It was so raw that I had to alter the database by hand every time we needed a different training.
Awful, stressing, and boring.