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Not a whole lot. But when I was 9 I started trying to fix an old Compaq computer that my parents replaced. I never actually got it to work but I did tear it apart and put it back together. Eventually a friend's parent gave me a a Dell that didn't work. Figured out it just needed a new HDD. Around that time my dad (who is literally the textbook definition of technically challenged) got a old textbook about computer hardware from a friend of his that was a bit of a hobbyist. This was in maybe 2006. The book was from 1988. I don't remember the name but it's somewhere in my parents house still. I didn't get much out of the book. Time passed and I started building computers. For myself, the local library, my friends. I ended up going to college for business while building computers on the side. I was making pretty good money for the amount of time I put into it. Eventually I ended up switching careers. My parents didn't really help me get into software but they offered encouragement. And a book from 1988 about computer hardware... So that's something.
I had a coworker that was an Air Force pilot (99% certain he was telling the truth as I was working for a government contractor and he had security clearance so I'd be a little surprised if he fooled HR and our whole team). Thing is... He genuinely believed the earth is flat. Whenever anybody would ask "haven't you seen the curvature of the earth? Like... More than once?" He'd respond with "yes I have, what's your point?". Uh.... Okay.
Didn't help that he also was convinced cpp is the only language you ever need for any project. Like, "what if instead of building a web API and two separate native mobile app frontends (Swift/Java)... We instead build our own proprietary C++ framework that somehow runs on IOS and Android and we can also use it for our Backend instead of .Net?"
I'm not saying I love Java or Swift or that at some point I haven't thought about why we can't just use cpp in both, but you're supposed to grow out of that kind of thinking. I think every noobie or college students thinks "oh there's got to be a way". But at some point in your career you realize even if you could, it wouldn't be any easier to use and the performance gain would crazy small compared to amount of effort and you'd be playing catch up with both IOS/Android forever.
But no matter how many times we'd shoot it down, he'd keep bringing it up. And he wasn't straight out of school or something. He had like 20 years of programming experience.
I don't have a lot of memorable co-workers that were positive but honestly I think that's because usually if they're good at what they do I don't have to interact with them a bunch or spend time thinking "Jesus what am I going to have to fix next from this guy". I definitely have worked with good/great programmers, they just don't stand out as much as the shitty ones.2
I had dabbled in some game programing in Unity (like Unity 1 or 2 at the time) and played around with python. But I hadn't spent much time programming. I was going to school for marketing because when I graduated high school, there were basically no software jobs anywhere near my hometown. But I got an internship at a place that had a single web developer but like 5 clients who had websites. The dev left and I volunteered to build websites, thinking it had to be better than writing about asphalt pumps. They gave me a $5 raise. At that point I realized 2 things.
1. The area around my hometown was starting to have more software jobs (I actually ended up moving and I'm extremely happy I did now).
2. Devs usually make more than marketers.
I already knew I enjoyed programming, I just didn't see it as a realistic career until I got a pay raise I didn't even ask for, and for a job I wasn't qualified to do even.
I messed up. We have a senior executive that loves this phrase... "It's going to require all of us to make some sacrifices". 100% of the time he's talking about working 10, 12, or 14 hour days.
So after a few months of this I just chimed in with "this isn't church I don't give sacrifices to my employer. I get PAID for my work."
Honestly I can't say it slipped. I've been telling my wife the exact same phrase for a couple months now. Initially I wanted to discuss it with him directly. Maybe I could explain how making everyone work 14 hour days is not going to end well for us, short or long term. We already know the results short term. We got 50+ defects reported back in our first day of testing for a new project (I'm not on the project but we had a sort of "all hands on deck" meeting to talk about how we can "improve our process so that we don't make so many mistakes". I politely suggested move some people onto this project while we interview candidates. I volunteered to take some of the work items even. But that advice went ignored.
So that's why I asked to meet with the senior exec. He refused to even meet with me. Okay fine you're busy. I emailed him my concerns and suggested solutions. Never heard back. I knew he was going to pipe up with the sacrifice thing so I just blurted it out. It went ignored... So I guess we'll see if I have a job tomorrow or not.15
I can't stand when people spend a single day familiarizing themselves with a new technology or concept and then come to the conclusion that's it doesn't work and really the old way is great. Not saying all new things are better. In fact, I'm probably more in favor of tried and true methods than shiny new methods. But one day? Really? That's all it took? In this particular case it's code-first DB development. Again, I'm not a fan myself really. But I have a co-worker who said creating tables and and schemas is much harder using code-first instead of DB first. I mean... Neither are hard. I personally think it's easier for basic things like tables and schemas but either way it's not hard. Now SQL triggers and index's all that fun stuff? Yeah code first is probably more complicated (I'm clearly not a database expert or anything). But a day? Really? You know enough to force a design paradigm on the whole company now? Wtf.4
I still have no idea how bit shifting and masking work. I don't have to use it in my day-to-day anymore but I briefly worked as a game developer and still occasionally do side gigs and personal game projects. When I was working on games as my day job I had to do a fair amount of masking for a bunch of different reasons. But I've never gotten the hang of it. Everytime I have to create a mask I have to Google it and then I'm like "oh yeah of course that's simple enough". But inevitably the next time I have to do it I end up back at square one.4
I haven't had a lot. But I recently had a dream that our site went down due to this extremely weird, rare bug. So I was at the office tell 4am the next morning. Not that weird.... Except I went into work the next day and wouldn't you know it, the site crashed and I didn't leave until almost midnight trying to fix it.
Just came across a job description where the first qualification was:
° Smart and intelligent
Really? Do better HR.8
Just got an offer for a mid engineer position. The pay is actually less than what I currently make. I get that different companies have different salary expectations. But this company is actually closer to a major tech hub then where I'm at. They actually came in 5k less then what I asked for. But here's the real kicker, I'd only start with 7 days of PTO and 5 recognized holidays. This seems super low to me. So the question is, what's everyone's expectations (particularly in the US) for PTO? I get 15 right now and 8 recognized holidays. Which seems reasonable.8
How do people feel about including bugs and how'd you fix them in a job app/email? I have a couple companies that are super interesting to me but their public facing sites have a few layout issues (for example, the footer is squished into one column on mobile). I can definitely see how it would come off as arrogant, especially if it's a cold contact.
I'm extremely lucky I'm not violent person. What happened today for some reason just completely pissed me off. I'm not sure why it got under my skin so much, but I feel completely disrespected.
I went to our marketing person's office to discuss a basic requirement for our api. Very simply, we have a lot of old shitty date that doesn't have a lot of fields filled out (worse yet, some are simply bogus values like crazy random dates and whatnot).
She put in a ticket claiming our most recent change started changed the creation dates to be empty. Easy enough to disprove, because the marketing software we have shows a records of all the edits for each contact, and if it came from our api it'll be labeled as "Web API". So of course I check the example contacts she give us, and there's no history of changes, meaning they never had the date to begin with (which is correct, as until now we didn't track creation date WHICH IS NOT MY DECISION. So dude 10 years ago probably made that decision).
So I start asking what exactly we're using it for. She does an absolutely horrible job of describing it and keeps telling me "no you absolutely have to be able to do all this, it's our requirements". By "this" she wants me to magically give all these contacts correct creation dates after the fact.
Eventually she gets the whole campaign idea out and I point, politely, that they're probably violating GDPR. She starts yelling saying her and her boss have been doing marketing for years and they know what they're doing. So I (less politely this time) said that's fine, I just want to talk with her boss to make sure he understands he's in the grey area and that if I'm the one building this, I'm kind of liable as well.
She clearly didn't like that, but I thought whatever, let's just agree on some requirements and I'll pass it on to my boss (who genuinely shits on her every single day and is constantly saying she never knows what she's doing).
So I go back , do some work. A little later I have to go print something off which is next to her office. Her door is shut, but I can hear her from down the hall yelling at someone about the conversation we just had. She actually starts mocking me. Doing the "stupid person" voice. This goes on for longer than our conversation.
Like I said, I know I'm right and she's just venting because she doesn't want to admit she's made a mistake. But for some reason it just completely broke me. I'm new but up until this point everyone had been pretty open about how they feel about me and my co-worker. But she just didn't need to go that bloody far.14
I've come to my first real fork in my career. I currently work as a web developer for a medical software company. The pay is pretty abysmal but they're flexible and not super demanding. However, my formal education (take this with a grain of salt obviously) is in game development and I've been trying to build my portfolio and what not. I was offered a part-time internship, because I'm still in grad school, I haven't held a part time position since high school. But not only is the position a job I actually want, but the company is pretty great. I'd have to stay part time tell graduation (Next December). But they said they are already interested in transitioning me to full time once I graduate. Another note, I have to get some security clearance for the job, which is another reason they want me to start part time.
So I truly don't like web development and the company I'm at has been very up front that I'm going to stay at this pay rate for a while. But it's possible that they offer me a contract/part time position after I leave (mostly because I'm the one and only web developer and they're already on a hiring freeze). However, if they don't I'd have to scramble to find something else to pay bills for the next year.
Long rant. tl;Dr: should I stay or should I go?6