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A young guy I work with burst into tears today, I had no idea what happened so I tried to comfort him and ask what was up.
It appears his main client had gone nuts with him because they wanted him to make an internet toolbar (think Ask.com) and he politely informed them toolbars doesn't really exist anymore and it wouldn't work on things like modern browsers or mobile devices.
Being given a polite but honest opinion was obviously something the client wasn't used to and knowing the guy was a young and fairly inexperienced, they started throwing very personal insults and asking him exactly what he knows about things (a lot more than them).
So being the big, bold, handsome senior developer I am, I immediately phoned the client back and told them to either come speak to me face-to-face and apologise to him in person or we'd terminate there contract with immediate effect. They're coming down tomorrow...
So part my rant, part a rant on behalf of a young developer who did nothing wrong and was treated like shit, I think we've all been there.
We'll see how this goes! Who the hell wants a toolbar anyway?!199
After over 20 years as a Software Engineer, Architect, and Manager, I want to pass along some unsolicited advice to junior developers either because I grew through it, or I've had to deal with developers who behaved poorly:
1) Your ego will hurt you FAR more than your junior coding skills. Nobody expects you to be the best early in your career, so don't act like you are.
2) Working independently is a must. It's okay to ask questions, but ask sparingly. Remember, mid and senior level guys need to focus just as much as you do, so before interrupting them, exhaust your resources (Google, Stack Overflow, books, etc..)
3) Working code != good code. You are an author. Write your code so that it can be read. Accept criticism that may seem trivial such as renaming a variable or method. If someone is suggesting it, it's because they didn't know what it did without further investigation.
4) Ask for peer reviews and LISTEN to the critique. Even after 20+ years, I send my code to more junior developers and often get good corrections sent back. (remember the ego thing from tip #1?) Even if they have no critiques for me, sometimes they will see a technique I used and learn from that. Peer reviews are win-win-win.
5) When in doubt, do NOT BS your way out. Refer to someone who knows, or offer to get back to them. Often times, persons other than engineers will take what you said as gospel. If that later turns out to be wrong, a bunch of people will have to get involved to clean up the expectations.
6) Slow down in order to speed up. Always start a task by thinking about the very high level use cases, then slowly work through your logic to achieve that. Rushing to complete, even for senior engineers, usually means less-than-ideal code that somebody will have to maintain.
7) Write documentation, always! Even if your company doesn't take documentation seriously, other engineers will remember how well documented your code is, and they will appreciate you for it/think of you next time that sweet job opens up.
8) Good code is important, but good impressions are better. I have code that is the most embarrassing crap ever still in production to this day. People don't think of me as "that shitty developer who wrote that ugly ass code that one time a decade ago," They think of me as "that developer who was fun to work with and busted his ass." Because of that, I've never been unemployed for more than a day. It's critical to have a good network and good references.
9) Don't shy away from the unknown. It's easy to hope somebody else picks up that task that you don't understand, but you wont learn it if they do. The daunting, unknown tasks are the most rewarding to complete (and trust me, other devs will notice.)
10) Learning is up to you. I can't tell you the number of engineers I passed on hiring because their answer to what they know about PHP7 was: "Nothing. I haven't learned it yet because my current company is still using PHP5." This is YOUR craft. It's not up to your employer to keep you relevant in the job market, it's up to YOU. You don't always need to be a pro at the latest and greatest, but at least read the changelog. Stay abreast of current technology, security threats, etc...
These are just a few quick tips from my experience. Others may chime in with theirs, and some may dispute mine. I wish you all fruitful careers!145
"You gave us bad code! We ran it and now production is DOWN! Join this bridgeline now and help us fix this!"
So, as the author of the code in question, I join the bridge... And what happens next, I will simply never forget.
First, a little backstory... Another team within our company needed some vendor client software installed and maintained across the enterprise. Multiple OSes (Linux, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, etc.), so packaging and consistent update methods were a a challenge. I wrote an entire set of utilities to install, update and generally maintain the software; intending all the time that this other team would eventually own the process and code. With this in mind, I wrote extensive documentation, and conducted a formal turnover / training season with the other team.
So, fast forward to when the other team now owns my code, has been trained on how to use it, including (perhaps most importantly) how to send out updates when the vendor released upgrades to the agent software.
Now, this other team had the responsibility of releasing their first update since I gave them the process. Very simple upgrade process, already fully automated. What could have gone so horribly wrong? Did something the vendor supplied break their client?
I asked for the log files from the upgrade process. They sent them, and they looked... wrong. Very, very wrong.
Did you run the code I gave you to do this update?
"Yes, your code is broken - fix it! Production is down! Rabble, rabble, rabble!"
So, I go into our code management tool and review the _actual_ script they ran. Sure enough, it is my code... But something is very wrong.
More than 2/3rds of my code... has been commented out. The code is "there"... but has been commented out so it is not being executed. WT-actual-F?!
I question this on the bridge line. Silence. I insist someone explain what is going on. Is this a joke? Is this some kind of work version of candid camera?
Finally someone breaks the silence and explains.
And this, my friends, is the part I will never forget.
"We wanted to look through your code before we ran the update. When we looked at it, there was some stuff we didn't understand, so we commented that stuff out."
You... you didn't... understand... my some of the code... so you... you didn't ask me about it... you didn't try to actually figure out what it did... you... commented it OUT?!
"Right, we figured it was better to only run the parts we understood... But now we ran it and everything is broken and you need to fix your code."
I cannot repeat the things I said next, even here on devRant. Let's just say that call did not go well.
So, lesson learned? If you don't know what some code does? Just comment that shit out. Then blame the original author when it doesn't work.
You just cannot make this kind of stuff up.74
Interviewer: Welcome, Mr X. Thanks for dropping by. We like to keep our interviews informal. And even though I have all the power here, and you are nothing but a cretin, let’s pretend we are going to have fun here.
Mr X: Sure, man, whatever.
I: Let’s start with the technical stuff, shall we? Do you know what a linked list is?
X: (Tells what it is).
I: Great. Can you tell me where linked lists are used?
X:: Sure. In interview questions.
X: The only time linked lists come up is in interview questions.
I:: That’s not true. They have lots of real world applications. Like, like…. (fumbles)
X:: Like to implement memory allocation in operating systems. But you don’t sell operating systems, do you?
I:: Well… moving on. Do you know what the Big O notation is?
X: Sure. It’s another thing used only in interviews.
I: What?! Not true at all. What if you want to sort a billion records a minute, like Google has to?
X: But you are not Google, are you? You are hiring me to work with 5 year old PHP code, and most of the tasks will be hacking HTML/CSS. Why don’t you ask me something I will actually be doing?
I: (Getting a bit frustrated) Fine. How would you do FooBar in version X of PHP?
X: I would, er, Google that.
I: And how do you call library ABC in PHP?
I: (shocked) OMG. You mean you don’t remember all the 97 million PHP functions, and have to actually Google stuff? What if the Internet goes down?
X: Does it? We’re in the 1st world, aren’t we?
I: Tut, tut. Kids these days. Anyway,looking at your resume, we need at least 7 years of ReactJS. You don’t have that.
X: That’s great, because React came out last year.
I: Excuses, excuses. Let’s ask some lateral thinking questions. How would you go about finding how many piano tuners there are in San Francisco?
X: 37. I googled before coming here. Also Googled other puzzle questions. You can fit 7,895,345 balls in a Boeing 747. Manholes covers are round because that is the shape that won’t fall in. You ask the guard what the other guard would say. You then take the fox across the bridge first, and eat the chicken. As for how to move Mount Fuji, you tell it a sad story.
I: Ooooooooookkkkkaaaayyyyyyy. Right, tell me a bit about yourself.
X: Everything is there in the resume.
I: I mean other than that. What sort of a person are you? What are your hobbies?
X: Japanese culture.
I: Interesting. What specifically?
I: What’s hentai?
X: It’s an televised art form.
I: Ok. Now, can you give me an example of a time when you were really challenged?
X: Well, just the other day, a few pennies from my pocket fell behind the sofa. Took me an hour to take them out. Boy was it challenging.
I: I meant technical challenge.
X: I once spent 10 hours installing Windows 10 on a Mac.
I: Why did you do that?
X: I had nothing better to do.
I: Why did you decide to apply to us?
X: The voices in my head told me.
X: You advertised a job, so I applied.
I: And why do you want to change your job?
X: Money, baby!
X: I mean, I am looking for more lateral changes in a fast moving cloud connected social media agile web 2.0 company.
I: Great. That’s the answer we were looking for. What do you feel about constant overtime?
X: I don’t know. What do you feel about overtime pay?
I: What is your biggest weakness?
X: Kryptonite. Also, ice cream.
I: What are your salary expectations?
X: A million dollars a year, three months paid vacation on the beach, stock options, the lot. Failing that, whatever you have.
I: Great. Any questions for me?
I: No? You are supposed to ask me a question, to impress me with your knowledge. I’ll ask you one. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
X: Doing your job, minus the stupid questions.
I: Get out. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
All Credit to:
I put an Easter egg into a product, that if you enter the string "final countdown" into the stock code search field, it plays a YouTube vid of Europe's "The Final Countdown", in a hidden div. It's an in-joke for a few people in the company.
A well meaning maintainer with no sense of humour or judgement takes over and goes on the warpath against any hardcoded strings. The secret code gets moved into a config file.
A third developer changes the deployment script so that it clears any configs that aren't explicitly set in the deployment settings.
So the secret code is now "".
Literally every PC in the stock buying department is now blaring out "The Final Countdown" at top volume.
...Except none of them have speakers, so it remains this way for over a year and two more changes of maintainer.
I just noticed this afternoon and quietly re-hardcoded the string. The buying dept.'s PCs will silently sing no more.29
*Now that's what I call a Hacker*
MOTHER OF ALL AUTOMATIONS
This seems a long post. but you will definitely +1 the post after reading this.
xxx: OK, so, our build engineer has left for another company. The dude was literally living inside the terminal. You know, that type of a guy who loves Vim, creates diagrams in Dot and writes wiki-posts in Markdown... If something - anything - requires more than 90 seconds of his time, he writes a script to automate that.
xxx: So we're sitting here, looking through his, uhm, "legacy"
xxx: You're gonna love this
xxx: smack-my-bitch-up.sh - sends a text message "late at work" to his wife (apparently). Automatically picks reasons from an array of strings, randomly. Runs inside a cron-job. The job fires if there are active SSH-sessions on the server after 9pm with his login.
xxx: kumar-asshole.sh - scans the inbox for emails from "Kumar" (a DBA at our clients). Looks for keywords like "help", "trouble", "sorry" etc. If keywords are found - the script SSHes into the clients server and rolls back the staging database to the latest backup. Then sends a reply "no worries mate, be careful next time".
xxx: hangover.sh - another cron-job that is set to specific dates. Sends automated emails like "not feeling well/gonna work from home" etc. Adds a random "reason" from another predefined array of strings. Fires if there are no interactive sessions on the server at 8:45am.
xxx: (and the oscar goes to) fuckingcoffee.sh - this one waits exactly 17 seconds (!), then opens an SSH session to our coffee-machine (we had no frikin idea the coffee machine is on the network, runs linux and has SSHD up and running) and sends some weird gibberish to it. Looks binary. Turns out this thing starts brewing a mid-sized half-caf latte and waits another 24 (!) seconds before pouring it into a cup. The timing is exactly how long it takes to walk to the machine from the dudes desk.
xxx: holy sh*t I'm keeping those
The bash scripts weren't bogus, you can find his scripts on the this github URL:
Looking for a job as a deveoper be like:
Job title: car driver
Job requirements: professional skills in driving normal- and heavy-freight cars, buses and trucks, trolley buses, trams, subways, tractors, shovel diggers, contemporary light and heavy tanks currently in use by NATO countries.
Skills in rally and extreme driving are obligatory!
Formula-1 driving experience is a plus.
Knowledge and experience in repairing of piston and rotor/Wankel engines, automatic and manual transmissions, ignition systems, board computer, ABS, ABD, GPS and car-audio systems by world-known manufacturers - obligatory!
Experience with car-painting and tinsmith tasks is a plus.
The applicants must have certificates by BMW, General Motors and Bosch, but not older than two years.
Compensation: $15-$20/hour, depends on the interview result.
Education requirements: Bachelor's Degree of Engineering.29
Website design philosophies:
Apple: "...and a really big picture there, and a really big picture there, and a really big picture there, and..."
Microsoft: "border-radius:0 !important;"
Google: "EVERYTHING MOVES!!! And most websites get material design. Most."
Amazon: "We're slowly moving away from 2009"
Wix: "How can we further increase load times?"
Literally any download site: "Click here! No, click here! Nononono!! Click here!!..."
Facebook: "We can't change anything because our main age demographic is around 55"
University websites: "That information isn't hard enough to find yet. Decrease the search accuracy and increase broken links."25
What it's like to be a network engineer...translated into normal people speak
User: I think we are having a major road issue.
Me: What? No, I just checked, the roads are fine. I was actually just on the roads.
User: No, I’m pretty sure the roads are down because I’m not getting pizzas.
Me: Everything else on the roads is fine. What do you mean you aren’t getting pizzas?
User: I used to get pizzas when I ordered them, now I’m not getting them. It has to be a road issue.
Me: As I said, the roads are fine. Where are you getting pizzas from?
User: I’m not really sure. Can you check all places that deliver pizzas?
Me: No I don’t even know all the places that deliver pizza. You need to narrow it down.
User: I think it is Subway.
Me: Okay, I’ll check…No, I just looked and Subway doesn't deliver pizzas.
User: I’m pretty sure it is Subway. Can you just allow all food from Subway and we can see if pizza shows up?
Me: Sigh, fine I’ve allowed all food from Subway, but I don’t think that is the issue.
User: Yeah I’m still not getting pizza. Can you check the roads?
Me: It’s not the roads, the roads are fine. I’m pretty sure Subway isn’t the place.
User: Okay, I found it. It’s Papa Johns.
Me: Okay, I looked and Papa Johns does deliver pizza. Is it the local Papa Johns or one in a different town?
User: I don’t know. Can you allow pizza from all Papa Johns to me?
Me: No I can’t do that. Can you get me an address for Papa Johns?
User: No, I only know it as Papa Johns. Can you get me all the addresses of all Papa Johns and I’ll tell you if one of them is correct?
Me: No, I don’t have time for that. Okay, I looked at the local one and it looks like they have sent you pizza in the past and they are currently allowed to send you pizzas. Try ordering a pizza while I watch.
User: Yeah still no pizza. I’m guessing they are getting blocked at the freeway. Can you check the freeway to make sure they can get through?
Me: No, this is a local delivery. They aren't even using the freeway.
User: Okay, well then it has to be a road issue.
Me: No, the roads are fine. Okay, I just drove from the Papa Johns to the address they have on file for you and there is nothing there.
User: Hmm, wait we did move recently.
Me: Did you give your new address to Papa Johns?
User: No, I just thought they would be able to look me up by name.
Me: No they need your new address. What’s your new address?
User: I’m not really sure. Can you look it up?
Me: Sigh, give me a second…Okay, I found your address and gave it to Papa Johns. Try ordering a pizza now.
User: HEY! PIZZA JUST SHOWED UP!
Me: Okay, good.
User: (To everyone else they know) I apologize for the delay in the pizza but there was a major road issue that was preventing the pizza from getting to me. The network engineer has fixed the roads and we are able to get pizza again.
Me: But it wasn’t the roads…whatever.
User: Oh, can you also check on an issue where Chinese food isn’t getting to me? I think it may be a road issue36
I went to Paris for my first interview (that was 1989) for a job of Unix kernel developer. All dressed up. I step out of the elevator and see a young punk with scruffy hair and different colour shoes. I reckon he must be the pizza delivery guy. I ask him "dude, can you please point me to the CEO's office for interview". He said "sure, follow me man, I'll show you". We arrive at a desk, he sat down in the big chair and looks at me with a big smile and says "Ok dude, here we are. I am the CEO. Now let's see how good you are!"
I got the job. And 26 years latet, last week, amazing coincidence: I met him again at a trade show in Paris ... with the same coloured shoes. How cool is that!!!27
I recently met a young fella (14yo) playing League of Legends. He asked:
- What do you do for a living?
- I'm a programmer, do you know anything about programming?
- I don't, actually.
Apparently he was playing from a LAN Gaming center 'cause he didn't have a computer at home (his computer had broken and these Lan centers are pretty affordable).
I figured I could explain to him what was it and what super powers you could get from it. Turns out I recommended a JS course in codecademy and now he goes to the LAN center every day to study programming (he got really into it!).
Now he always pings me with questions about JS and apparently he's learning a ton! He had almost no English skills too (we're Brazilian), and because most of the material in the internet is in English he found himself some free English courses and he's now taking them!
Knowledge is free on the internet and I guess he's just realized that.
Not exactly a rant guys, just figured it was a nice story to tell :)
Some empty-headed helpdesk girl skipped into our office yesterday afternoon, despite the big scary warning signs glued to the door.
"Hey, when I log in on my phone, the menu is looking weird"
"Uh... look at my beard"
"Just look at this beard!"
"Does this look like a perfectly groomed beard"
"Uh... it's pretty nice I guess"
"You don't have to lie"
She looks puzzled: "OK... maybe it could use a little trimming. Uh... a lot of trimming". "I still like it though" she adds, trying hard to be polite.
"I understand you just started working here. But the beard... the beard should make it clear. See the office opposite to this one?"
"Perfectly groomed ginger beards. It's all stylish shawls and smiles and spinach smoothies. Those people are known as frontend developers, they care about pixels and menus. Now look at my beard. It is dark and wild, it has some gray stress hairs, and if you take a deep breath it smells like dust and cognac mixed with the tears caused by failed deploys. Nothing personal, but I don't give a fuck what a menu looks like on your phone."
She looked around, and noticed the other 2 tired looking guys with unshaven hobo chins. To her credit, she pointed at the woman in the corner: "What about her, she doesn't seem to have a beard"
Yulia, 1.9m long muscled database admin from Ukraine, lets out a heavy sigh. "I do not know you well enough yet to show you where I grow my unkempt graying hairs... . Now get lost divchyna."
Helpdesk girl leaves the scene.
Joanna, machine learning dev, walks in: "I saw a confused blonde lost in the hallway, did you give her the beard speech?"
"Yeah" -- couldn't hold back a giggle -- "haha now she'll come to you"
Joanna: "No I already took care of it"
"She started about some stupid menu, so I just told her to smell my cup". Joanna, functional alcoholic, is holding her 4pm Irish coffee. "I think this living up to our stereotype tactic is working, because the girl laughed and nodded like she understood, and ran off to the design department"
Me: "I do miss shaving though"69
My dumb CEO just hired an even dumber CTO. The new CTO asked me the following questions...
1. What is GitHub?
2. What is JSON?
3. What’s an array?
4. What is Get and what is Post?
5. When an iPhone is offline, can it call an API on our server to tell us it’s offline?
6. I know you’ve spent 11 month the writing this backend in PHP but can you change it to Java now?
Dumb CTO: Because it’s better.
Dumb CTO: because it is.
7. I know you’ve started to rewrite this codebase I Java but can you convert it to Node.JS now?
Dumb CTO: Because Facebook uses it.
8. What is MySQL? Why aren’t you using a database instead?
9. What does NULL mean?
Somehow, I doubt that asshole is remotely qualified for the job.
Fakin shyt for brains.178
- Hello! Gordon's pizza?
- No sir it's Google's pizza.
- So it's a wrong number?
- No sir, Google bought it.
- OK. Take my order please ..
- Well sir, you want the usual?
- The usual? You know me?
- According to our caller ID, in the last 12 times, you ordered pizza with cheeses, sausage, thick crust
- OK! This is it
- May I suggest to you this time ricotta, arugula with dry tomato?
- No, I hate vegetables
- But your cholesterol is not good
- How do you know?
- Through the subscribers guide. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years
- Okay, but I do not want this pizza, I already take medicine
- You have not taken the medicine regularly, 4 months ago, you only purchased a box with 30 tablets at Drugsale Network
- I bought more from another drugstore
- It's not showing on your credit card
- I paid in cash
- But you did not withdraw that much cash according to your bank statement
- I have other source of cash
- This is not showing as per you last Tax form unless you got it from undeclared income source
-WHAT THE HELL? Enough! I'm sick of Google, Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp. I'm going to an Island without internet,where there is no cell phone line and no one to spy on me
- I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport as it has expired 5 weeks ago..38
An entirely typical exchange at work:
PM: How long would it take to build an application that collates Gubblefluffs and exports them as a PDF?
ME: Hard to say. What’s a Gubblefluff?
PM: Nothing complex. Its basically an object with some stuff in.
ME: Erm, okay. So I’ll define a Gubblefluff object plus methods to add edit and delete, then for each Gubblefluff have it write a line to a PDF.
PM: It will need to email that PDF to somebody.
ME: Okay, cool. “Gubblefluffs-by-email” should take about a day.
6 hours later…
ME: I’ve done Gubblefluffs-to-pdf, I’m not clear on what’s in a Gubblefluff but I’ve made it flexible so it can take almost anything.
PM: No, a Gubblefluff can ONLY be one of 4 Snigglefingers plus a timestamp and some JSON.
ME: What? Right. Okay. What’s a Snigglefinger?
PM: (sighs) A Snigglefinger is the collection of relevant Babelsets.
PM: Yeah, a user can have any number of Babelsets but they must correspond to one of the four types of Snigglefingers.
ME: There are users!?
PM: Of course!
ME: But I’ve not coded anything for users.
PM: Shit. I’ve told the client they can have it today. How long to add in users?
ME: And Babelsets, and Snigglefingers and the new Gubblefluff rules?
6 days later…
ME: This is done now. It’s a beast but it works. Who should it email the PDFs to?
PM: Client X, plus cc to Y and bcc to Z.
ME: What? It doesn't support CC and BCC!
1 hour later…
ME: This is done. I’ve tested it and sent you a copy of the PDF it generates.
PM: Okay thanks. Is the cron running daily?
ME: What cron?
ME: Okay, so the cron’s running once a day at 8pm.
PM: Oh, it’ll need to be at 3:15pm. That’s when we’ve told the client they’ll get it.
ME: Right. I’ll change it...
PM: Also, the PDF you sent me looks nothing like the visual.
ME: What visual?
Dear people who complain about spending a whole night to find a tiny syntax error; Every time I read one of your rants, I feel like a part of me dies.
As a developer, your job is to create elegant optimized rivers of data, to puzzle with interesting algorithmic problems, to craft beautiful mappings from user input to computer storage and back.
You should strive to write code like a Michelangelo, not like a house painter.
You're arguing about indentation or getting annoyed by a project with braces on the same line as the method name. You're struggling with semicolons, misplaced braces or wrongly spelled keywords.
You're bitching about the medium of your paint, about the hardness of the marble -- when you should be lamenting the absence of your muse or the struggle to capture the essence of elegance in your work.
In other words:
Fix your fucking mindset, and fix your fucking tools. Don't fucking rant about your tabs and spaces. Stop fucking screaming how your bloated swiss-army-knife text editor is soooo much better than a purpose-built IDE, if it fails to draw something red and obnoxious around your fuck ups.
Everyone here ranting about a fucking missing semicolon. I can't remember the last time a missing semicolon was the issue...
You wanna know what's REALLY BALL-BUSTING????
WHEN THE FUCKING 10 y/o LEGACY CODEBASE, CODED BY FUCKING PHP WORDPRESS SCRIPTERS WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD BUILD AN ENTERPRISE SHIT CAUSE ZF2 "LOOKS EASY" AND THEN FILL IT UP WITH SPAGHETTI, IS SO BAD WRITTEN THAT IN ORDER FOR THE PAGE TO RENDER YOU ACTUALLY ****HAVE**** TO DISABLE ERROR REPORTING SO WHENEVER A FUCKING ERROR HAPPENS ON THE TEMPLATE RENDER COMPONENT OF ZEND FRAMESHIT 2, YOU'RE LEFT WITH A FUCKING BLANK PAGE AND NOTHING IS LOGGED TO THE LOG FILE, SO YOUR ONLY OPTION IS DIE() DEBUGGING LINE BY LINE ON THE 1300 LINES PHTML FUCKFEST OF A VIEW THEY HAVE.
MISSING SEMICOLON? YES PLEASE, GIVE ME MORE OF THAT SHIT38
I had a secondary Gmail account with a really nice short nickname (from the early invite/alpha days), forwarded to another of my mailboxes. It had a weak password, leaked as part of one of the many database leaks.
Eventually I noticed some dude in Brazil started using my Gmail, and he changed the password — but I still got a copy of everything he did through the forwarding rule. I caught him bragging to a friend on how he cracked hashes and stole and sold email accounts and user details in bulk.
He used my account as his main email account. Over the years I saw more and more personal details getting through. Eventually I received a mail with a plaintext password... which he also used for a PayPal account, coupled to a Mastercard.
I used a local website to send him a giant expensive bouquet of flowers with a box of chocolates, using his own PayPal and the default shipping address.
I included a card:
"Congratulations on acquiring my Gmail account, even if I'm 7 years late. Thanks for letting me be such an integral part of your life, for letting me know who you are, what you buy, how much you earn, who your family and friends are and where you live. I've surprised your mother with a cruise ticket as you mentioned on Facebook how sorry you were that you forgot her birthday and couldn't buy her a nice present. She seems like a lovely woman. I've also made a $1000 donation in your name to the EFF, to celebrate our distant friendship"34
My Friend: Dude our Linux Server is not working anymore!
Me: What? What did you do?
My friend: Nothing I swear!
Me: But you were last on it?
My friend: Yes. I just wanted to run a bash file and needed to give it permissions.
Me : WHAT DID YOU ENTER???!
My Friend: Chill man, just this command I found on the internet
chmod -R 600 /
chown -R root:root /
Me: WHY ARE YOU EVEN IN ROOT AND GOD DAMMIT WHY ARE YOU EVEN USING SOME RANDOM COMMAND FROM THE INTERNET. YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS OR JUST ASK!
My friend: Ok I did something wrong, how can I fix it?
Me: Did you make a backup or rsync of the server?
My friend: No. I just wanted to run this file.
Me: You holocausted the server. FUCK MY LIFE27
Got call from extremely angry customer, our product is shit and doesn't work. At all. Important customer so I went to visit.
He had the perfect setup, our product to the left, our competitor's to the right.
He connected the Ethernet cable to their product, it worked. He plugged it out and connected to ours... Nothing. Shit.
I started to debug on the premises, took logs, everything. It seemed like our product didn't receive any data at all. What the fuck? Tried everything, debugged low level, still nothing. Sweating as hell.
After two hours I got a strange feeling. So I swapped place, our product to the right, competitor's to the left. Now OUR product worked, competitor's zilch.
THE FUCKING ETHERNET CABLE HAD A GLITCH. IF YOU BENT IT TO THE RIGHT IT WORKED, IF YOU BENT IT TO THE LEFT IT WAS BROKEN.
I had never seen a customer be this embarrassed in my life. He apologized to me, my boss, his boss, the Queen, everyone.
We got the contract.18