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Last year I built the platform 'Tindex'. It was an index of Tinder profiles so people could search by name, gender and age.
We scraped the Tinder profiles through a Tinder API which was discontinued not long ago, but weird enough it was still intact and one of my friends who was also working on it found out how to get api keys (somewhere in network tab at Tinder Online).
Except name, gender and age we also got 3 distances so we could calculate each users' location, then save the location each 15 minutes and put the coordinates on a map so users of Tindex could easily see the current location of a specific Tinder user.
Fun note: we also got the Spotify data of each Tinder user, so we could actually know on which time and which location a user listened to a specific Spotify track.
Later on we started building it out: A chatbot which connected to Tinder so Tindex users could automatically send a pick up line to their new matches (Was kinda buggy, sometimes it sent 3 pick up lines at ones).
Right when we started building a revenue model we stopped the entire project because a friend of ours had found out that we basically violated almost all terms.
Was a great project, learned a lot from it and actually had me thinking twice or more about online dating platforms.
Below an image of the user overview design I prototyped. The data is mock-data.40
1. The quality of the coffee and toilet paper you encounter during an interview tells you more than promises about table tennis or fruit baskets.
2. Try to determine who their primary client is: subscribers, app buyers, advertisers, etc. It's a major influence on the company dynamic.
3. Before an interview, you can just say: "I would like to sit down with a PO and run through one backlog feature and one bug, to get a feel for the type of tasks at the company". Such an activity immediately reveals team structure, whether they have product owners & scrum masters, what a sprint looks like, how they prioritize tasks, and how organized/chaotic your work experience will be.19
Boss: "Could you join the new DevOps team for a week or two, for some coaching?"
Me: "I'd rather watch you masturbate furiously in a corner of the office while you cry over your ex boyfriend"
Boss: "Yeah... that's why I ask you. You are the only one brave enough to watch"
Me: *Sigh* "But I don't know shit about what DevOps does, I'm a DBA. I've told you the difference a million times. Can't we just douse it in gasoline and set it on fire?"
Me: "Not the team, the servers..."
Boss, imitating Gimli: "And my ex!"
Me: "I get why he left you"
Boss: "It's funny, he was actually better with computers than me, maybe even better than you. He hated me for starting this company, told me I was just chasing money instead of ideals. He just isn't grown up enough to see that there is more to the world than computer games, brewing beer, maker festivals and gay bars, that you need to take responsibility... Maybe it just never works out between managers and geeks..."
Me: "Indeed. The difference in competence is too large"
Boss: "Ugh. You are like straight version of him... but will you at least take a look?"
Me: "Fine, unzip your pants..."
Boss: "No, not that... you need to teach DevOps this docking thing, with the parallel stuff, and the horizontal growth"
Me: "Damn I really hope we're talking about servers now... Do you mean Docker?"
Boss: "That's it. They want to learn how to dock on the Windows servers. They reserved two 4xlarge on AWS. Is that enough for docking?"
Me: "You know what. I'm going back to hug my DB designs, and wash my brain with some queries. Then I'll return here to burn everything to the ground. There is no hope for you left"
Boss: "That's what he said"
Me: "You're using that meme wrong"
Boss: "OK. So what if you just stay on DB management, and I'll just give you the budget to recruit a new DevOps lead and pay for training?"
Me: "That would work"
Boss: "Why are you grinning?"
Me: "Because I have your ex's phone number"19
Le monday morning after a commit on sunday evening...
PM: BLAAAH!!!! Your commit broke the site, nothing is working!!!!!!
Me: What? All of tests passed (coverage 95%), no issues were found.
PM: NOO!!!! Site is broken, we can't use it no more!!!
Me: Ok, what's the problem?
PM: I've tried to enter -10021 into this field on that page and it gived me an error.
Me: Ok? So, that single page is broken?
PM: No, whole site!!!! This is important
Me: Sure... Let me take a look
* PM tried to enter a negative value into an unsigned field that I've mutated yesterday after checking LIVE database if there was no records with negative value. Reason: we've hit an int limit and there was no chance that the value would be negative. Validation? Well, yes.... Except that page was added by him this morning without even checking everything else *
Me: Here, this is the issue, *gives explanation*
PM: Well.... You shouldn't do this. This is unacceptable. You must never leave int fields without negative values. Didn't they teach you in school that integers can be negative?!
Me: What? *consufed as hell*
PM: *More morale... blah blah blah....* Revert it back!
Me: Ok but if anything else breaks, copy of this slack conversation will be kept.
PM: Don't care! Fix it!
Me: * Reverts the fix, saves chat copy * - Done.
* 5 wild minutes later *
PM: BLAAAH!!!! Site is down, service is not working, what have you done?
Me: Reverted the change needed for it to work. Todays schedule is full with other important tasks. * pastes a screenshot as a proof that he asked me to do this *
PM: FIX IT NOW! Apply your fix.
Me: You're the PM. - Done.
PM: Great, now I'll fix my code. You should be more careful next time.
Me: * YOU DENSE MATHA...KER * Sure.
How's your morning going? :)10
There is. My latest creation. A 8bit microcontroler made in minecraft.
(1.0 version without control room)
-8bit full adder + overflow flag
-16x8(4bit instruction, 4bit address)
-64 possible microinstructions (16 instructions with 4 step each)
-uncondintional and if oveflow jumps
(place determined using address written with instruction)
-1/3Hz clock speed 😨
New working version (2.0) has 1Hz clock and new faster instruction decoder.
In 3.0 in addition to that useless bus was replaced with 16x8bit "hardware" stack that can store adresses and data. The clock is going to be yeeted out because it is unnecesary #clocklessisbetter (WIP tho)
Might add more documentation and post it as learning model for CS wanabees 🤔. What do you think?
Picture: Old working version 1.0
(the only one with fancy diagram)
Newer version screenshots in comments.38
Bought a Logitech G13 a few years ago knowing that the Linux support isn't good. Thought fuck it, I'll develop something for it.
That didn't go as planned. Tried numerous times to write something but the fucker is proprietary and I couldn't figure out how to get data from it.
Decided to try it again tonight with a "You're not winning this time, motherfucker!" mindset.
Figured out how to read data from it, looked long enough at the data coming in to discover patterns and started programming while testing my ass off.
Two hours later I have "mapped" all specific data points that the device sends to the hardware keys and now, whenever I have the device connected and run the program (node, no kidding), it displays which key I'm pressing when I press a key!
I finally fucking won.24
Guy: "Hey I need a real quick script to pull some values out of an XML document...is that possible?"
Me: "Uh...yeah that's pretty simple if that's all it has to do."
Guy: "Ok excellent I'll send you some files and documentation."
Me: "Ok so is this like a one time use thing or do you need to parse multiple of these?"
Guy: "Actually it needs to run all the time, on this specific PC, watch directories for any files that are added, then generate a XLSX files of the values, and also log information to a database. Etc"
Me: "Oh that adds quite a bit of complexity from what you originally said. It's going to take more time."
Guy: "But you said it was easy."
Well fuck you...8
So i've been a dev manager for a little while now. Thought i'd take some time to disambiguate some job titles to let everyone know what they might be in for when joining / moving around a big org.
Title: Senior Software Engineer
- Typically has years experience building what management are trying to build
- Building new features
- Writing code
- Code review
- Offering advice to product manag......OH NO YOU DON'T CODE MONKEY, BACK TO WORK!
Title: Dev Manager
- Former/current programmer
- knows his/her way around a codebase.
- Recruiting / interviewing new staff
- Keeping the team focused and delivering tasks
- Architecture decisions
- Lying about complexity of architecture decisions to ensure team gets the actual time they need
- Lying about feature estimations to ensure team gets to work on critical technical improvements that were cancelled / de-prioritised
- Explaining to hire-ups why we can't "Just do it quicker"
- Explaining to senior engineers why the product manager declined their meeting request
Title: Product / Product Manager
- Nothing relevant to the industry or product line what so ever
- Found the correct building on the day of the interview
- Has once opened an Excel spreadsheet and successfully saved it to a desktop
- Making every key decision about every feature available in the app
- Learning to ignore that inner voice we like to call "Common sense"
- Making sure to not accidentally take some advice from technical staff
- Raising the blood pressure of everyone below them / working with them
Title: Program Lead / Product Owner
- Capable of speech
- Aware of what a computer is (optional)
- Sitting down
- Clicking random buttons on Jira
- Making bullet point lists
Title: Director of Software Engineering
- Allegedly attended college/university to study computer science
- Similar to a technical product manager (technical optional)
- Reports directly to VP
- Fixes problems by creating a different problem somewhere else as a distraction
- Claiming to understand and green light technical decisions, while having already agreed with product that it will never happen10
Before an interview prepare a list of questions for them, they expect it!
My list to give inspiration:
Describe your company culture? - if the response is buzzword heavy, avoid.
What’s the oldest technology still in use? - all companies have legacy systems but some are worse than others
Describe your agile process? - a few companies I’ve interviewed with said they are agile but it’s actually kanban
Are developers involved with customers?- if they trust you to talk to customers you can infer trust to do your job ( I’m sure others will disagree)
Describe your development environment?- do they have such a thing as dev, test and prod?
These are the only ones I can remember but should give others a bit of inspiration I hope 😄6
Interviewer: We have an opening. Are you interested to work?
Me: What is that I'll be doing?
I: What technologies and languages do you know?
Me: I know Scala, Java, Spark, Angular, Typescript, blah blah. What is your tech stack?
I: Any experience working on frontend?
Me: Yes. But what do you use for it?
I: Can you work with databases?
Me: I can, on SQL based. What are yours?
I: Can you do big data processing?
Me: I know Spark, if that's what you are asking for. What is it that you actually do?
I: Any experience in cloud development?
Me: Yes. AWS? Azure? GCP?
I: Do you know CI CD?
Me: Excuse me.. I've been asking a lot of questions but you're not paying attention to what I'm asking. Can you please answer the questions I asked.
I: Yes. Go ahead.
Me: What will be my position?
I: A full stack developer.
Me: What technologies do you use in your project?
I: We use all the latest tech.
I: All latest tech.
Me: You mentioned big data processing?
I: Yes. Processing data from DB and generating reports.
Me: what do you use for that?
Me: Are you planning to rebuild it using Spark or something and deploy in the cloud?
I: No we're not rebuilding it. Just some additions to the existing.
Me: Then what's with cloud? Why did you ask for that?
I: Just to know if you're familiar.
Me: So I'll be working with Java. Okay. What do you use for UI?
I sat for a couple of minutes contemplating life.
I: Are you willing to join?
Me: No. Not at all. Thankyou for the offer.6
"The customer reports that port 21 is closed on our FTP site. They said that port 443 is open, and wonder if they can use that instead."
"They are entering the wrong server name. Our FTP server is ONLY an FTP server. Port 443 is not open on our FTP server.
Please verify that they are entering `ftp.xxxxxx.com`
Our FTP site supports FTP/SSL if they are concerned about security."
"Customer responds that they would rather use port 443 to send files."
"I'm sure they would. I'd also like to enter our building on the west side when the temperature is below 10º, but there are no doors on the west side, so that's not going to happen, is it?"2
TABLE BASED WEB DESIGN
I was surprised there were no rants about this topic before I realized it was more than a decade back 😳
We've never had it better! So to help add a little perspective for all those ranting about what is unarguably the golden age for web developers... let me fill you in on web dev in the late 90's;
HTML was simple and purely a markup language (with the exception of the marquee tag). The tags were basically just p,ul,ol,h*,form inputs,img and table and html took 10 minutes to learn. Any style was inline and equally crude - anything that wasn't crude could not be trusted and probably wouldn't render at all in most browsers (never mind render correctly).
There were rumors of a style TAG and something called a cascading style sheet which were received with much skepticism since it went against the old ways and any time saved would be lost writing multiple [IE version specific] style sheets for each browser just to get it to work - so we simply didn't.
No CSS meant the only tags you had to work with to create a structured layout were br, hr and table... so naturally EVERYTHING was in nested tables! JS callback hell can't touch this! - it was not uncommon to have 50+ nested tables all with inline style in a single page which would be edited without any dev tools or linting.
You would spend 30 minutes scanning td tags until your eyes bled to find something, make a change, ftp the file to the server, reload the web page and then spend 10 minutes staring at the devastation on your screen convinced you broke
the internet before spotting an un-closed td tag with your bloodshot eyes.
Tables were not just a silver bullet - they were the ONLY bullet and were in the wild west!
Q: Want an inline form or to align your inputs left?
A: Duh table!
Q: Want a border with round-corners, a shadow or blur?
A: That's easy! Your gonna want to put that table in the center cell of another table then crop a image of the border into 6 smaller images to put in the surrounding cells... oh and then spend 10 minutes fucking with mystical attributes like cell-padding and valign to get them flush.
...But hey at least on the bright-side vertically & horizontally centering stuff was a breeze!24
Imagine if a structural engineer whose bridge has collapsed and killed several people calls it a feature.
Imagine if that structural engineer made a mistake in the tensile strength of this or that type of bolt and shoved it under the rug as "won't fix".
Imagine that it's you who's relying on that bridge to commute every day. Would you use it, knowing that its QA might not have been very rigorous and could fail at any point in time?
Seriously, you developers have all kinds of fancy stuff like Continuous Integration, Agile development, pipelines, unit testing and some more buzzwords. So why is it that the bridges don't collapse, yet new critical security vulnerabilities caused by bad design, unfixed bugs etc appear every day?
Your actions have consequences. Maybe not for yourself but likely it will have on someone else who's relying on your software. And good QA instead of that whole stupid "move fast and break things" is imperative.
Software developers call themselves the same engineers as the structural engineer and the electrical engineer whose mistakes can kill people. I can't help but be utterly disappointed with the status quo in software development. Don't you carry the title of the engineer with pride? The pride that comes from the responsibility that your application creates?
I wish I'd taken the blue pill. I didn't want to know that software "engineering" was this bad, this insanity-inducing.
But more than anything, it surprises me that the world that relies so much on software hasn't collapsed in some incredible way yet, despite the quality of what's driving it.65
Colleague (lets call him john) does this sometimes at the moments you least expect it, funny as hell:
random colleague: *walks towards john* hey john, do you have a second?
John: *face turns dead serious/scared* h-h-how do you know my name? 😶
Colleague: hahaha, nice try, I've got this server issu...
John: Who are you? Get away from me 😶
*johns face turns normal again*
John: what's up mate? *biggest goddamn smile ever*7
I greeted my staff this morning with the phrase
"Morning, mind if I ruin your Friday?"
They laughed, but won't be soon enough. The task we've been working on for weeks, ripping apart the codebase changing it to work a different way, fixing a tonne of bugs, making it faster and simpler to add features too. Well business has decided they want us to stop, undo it, spend a month on something "with higher ROI" and then finish it off after that.
Business are expecting this to have no impact on any of the timelines and just to be like flipping a switch. Now obviously I won't let that happen and fight back for more time, but yet another session of compromises, arguments, and yelling. YIPEEE!!!!!!10
I went out of office for a while, and when I was going to sit on my desk, a co-worker said me “Elizadeath, the boss wanna talk with you”. I was concerned, I though “maybe something broke in production code, or they need an urgent code, I don’t know”.
Well, that wasn’t what I expected.
“Elizadeath” she said “I’m seriously worry about you. I saw the plastic bottles our team has collected for the recyling project, and I realized that most of the Coca-Cola bottles came from you!”
Yes, it was a Coca-cola addiction intervention 😂 I’m drinking more water and less coke from now, for my health 😊19
“Open Source Software is bad because anybody can modify your code and insert viruses. I’d rather trust a billion dollar company with professionals than a community of people who potentially have no idea what they’re doing. And you can’t make money with OSS, so it will certainly die out soon”
I think it’s time to drop some multiple kiloton truth bombs on this dude. I’ll keep you updated.30
Why are job postings so bad?
Like, really. Why?
Here's four I found today, plus an interview with a trainwreck from last week.
(And these aren't even the worst I've found lately!)
Ridiculous job posting #1:
* 5 years React and React Native experience -- the initial release of React Native was in May 2013, apparently. ~5.7 years ago.
* Masters degree in computer science.
* Write clean, maintainable code with tests.
* Be social and outgoing.
So: you must have either worked at Facebook or adopted and committed to both React and React Native basically immediately after release. You must also be in academia (with a masters!), and write clean and maintainable code, which... basically doesn't happen in academia. And on top of (and really: despite) all of this, you must also be a social butterfly! Good luck ~
Ridiculous job posting #2:
* "We use Ruby on Rails"
* A few sentences later... "we love functional programming and write only functional code!"
Cue Inigo Montoya.
Ridiculous job posting #3:
* 100% remote! Work from anywhere, any time zone!
* and following that: You must have at least 4 work hours overlap with your coworkers per day.
* two company-wide meetups per quarter! In fancy places like Peru and Tibet! ... TWO PER QUARTER!?
Let me paraphrase: "We like the entire team being remote, together."
Ridiculous job posting #4:
* Actual title: "Developer (noun): Superhero poised to change the world (apply within)"
* Actual excerpt: "We know that headhunters are already beating down your door. All we want is the opportunity to earn our right to keep you every single day."
* Actual excerpt: "But alas. A dark and evil power is upon us. And this… ...is where you enter the story. You will be the Superman who is called upon to hammer the villains back into the abyss from whence they came."
I already applied to this company some time before (...surprisingly...) and found that the founder/boss is both an ex cowboy dev and... more than a bit of a loon. If that last part isn't obvious already? Sheesh. He should go write bad fantasy metal lyrics instead.
* Service offered for free to customers
* PHP fanboy angrily asking only PHP questions despite the stack (Node+Vue) not even freaking including PHP! To be fair, he didn't know anything but PHP... so why (and how) is he working there?
* Actual admission: No testing suite, CI, or QA in place
* Actual admission: Testing sometimes happens in production due to tight deadlines
* Actual admission: Company serves ads and sells personally-identifiable customer information (with affiliate royalties!) to cover expenses
* Actual admission: Not looking for other monetization strategies; simply trying to scale their current break-even approach.
I find more of these every time I look. It's insane.
Why can't people be sane and at least semi-intelligent?18
"Arch Linux is actually not that difficult".
I ssh'ed into my home server yesterday.
I was greeted by a message from an ext3 disk about needing fsck. Fine, "I haven't been in here for a while, might as well do some maintenance". fsck /dev/sda6, let's go!
This nicely "repaired" the sshd service (i.e. cleared the sectors), I cursed at myself for pressing enter at "repair (y)" right before the connection broke.
So I connected a display and keyboard... ok so let's just pacman -Sy sshd or whatever. We can do this! Just check the wiki, shouldn't be that hard!
Wait... pacman has not run since 2010? WAIT IT'S ACTUAL UPTIME IS 9 YEARS??? I guess we know why I'm a DB admin and not devops...
Hmm all the mirrors give timeouts? Oh. The i686 processor architecture isn't even supported anymore...?
4 hours, 11 glasses of cognac, 73 Arch32 wiki/forum pages, 2 attempts at compiling glibc, and 4 kernel panics later: "I think I'll buy a new server".22
Found a random website that lets you design your own anime avatars, its quite in depth and there are many art styles from different artists available:
* It's comprehensive, and it has a lot of styles available
* Editor is intuitive and Modern
* It's in Japanese, you might wanna use GTranslate.
* Randomizer fucks up on some of the more in-depth art styles.
* Seems to be mobile-exclusive design for the editor.
You can check it out here: https://picrew.me
Here's a little sample from picrew on the Gorilla Art style
(Note: this is actually my GitHub avatar as well)20