AboutA frustrated enterprise dev.
Joined devRant on 11/24/2017
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As a developer, sometimes you hammer away on some useless solo side project for a few weeks. Maybe a small game, a web interface for your home-built storage server, or an app to turn your living room lights on an off.
I often see these posts and graphs here about motivation, about a desire to conceive perfection. You want to create a self-hosted Spotify clone "but better", or you set out to make the best todo app for iOS ever written.
These rants and memes often highlight how you start with this incredible drive, how your code is perfectly clean when you begin. Then it all oscillates between states of panic and surprise, sweat, tears and euphoria, an end in a disillusioned stare at the tangled mess you created, to gather dust forever in some private repository.
Writing a physics engine from scratch was harder than you expected. You needed a lot of ugly code to get your admin panel working in Safari. Some other shiny idea came along, and you decided to bite, even though you feel a burning guilt about the ever growing pile of unfinished failures.
All I want to say is:
No time was lost.
This is how senior developers are born. You strengthen your brain, the calluses on your mind provide you with perseverance to solve problems. Even if (no, *especially* if) you gave up on your project.
Eventually, giving up is good, it's a sign of wisdom an flexibility to focus on the broader domain again.
One of the things I love about failures is how varied they tend to be, how they force you to start seeing overarching patterns.
You don't notice the things you take back from your failures, they slip back sticking to you, undetected.
You get intuitions for strengths and weaknesses in patterns. Whenever you're matching two sparse ordered indexed lists, there's this corner of your brain lighting up on how to do it efficiently. You realize it's not the ORMs which suck, it's the fundamental object-relational impedance mismatch existing in all languages which causes problems, and you feel your fingers tingling whenever you encounter its effects in the future, ready to dive in ever so slightly deeper.
You notice you can suddenly solve completely abstract data problems using the pathfinding logic from your failed game. You realize you can use vector calculations from your physics engine to compare similarities in psychological behavior. You never understood trigonometry in high school, but while building a a deficient robotic Arduino abomination it suddenly started making sense.
You're building intuitions, continuously. These intuitions are grooves which become deeper each time you encounter fundamental patterns. The more variation in environments and topics you expose yourself to, the more permanent these associations become.
Failure is inconsequential, failure even deserves respect, failure builds intuition about patterns. Every single epiphany about similarity in patterns is an incredible victory.
Please, for the love of code...
Start and fail as many projects as you can.31
So before I resign from my job tomorrow I thought I'd talk a little about a couple of things at work that I won't ever tell my boss in person but are generally some of the reasons I want to leave.
---------- warning long rant ----------
1. The CEO of the company finds out I only have my learner's and take the bus, goes on to belittle me about taking the bus.
(It may have been meant as a joke but I was offended, and we don't have any actual HR to complain to)
First off my real reason for not getting my restricted is mostly related to the fact public transportation does the job it needs to, I don't really complain unless the planning is fucked up (Adele concert rant lol) but typically I don't need a car. The other reason is because with a car I'd have to wait in traffic 1-2 hour each way. Also cars cost money which I don't have.
2. CEO buys himself and general manager brand new Range Rovers, you know those giant monstrosities box jeep looking things.
I hate this because I earn $31k, those things probably cost around $50 each (so typically 3 years worth of my wages).
When I had a talk about my contract at the 6 month mark, the general manager (my boss) said he wouldn't budge on my salary (yet they buy these jeeps)
3. I live way too far from work and because of it being Auckland and the current inflation for house prices, the rent prices have also increase, I wouldn't be able to get a house closer to home nor rent with minimum wage :(
4. Though it's not too necessary they mask that the app was made by me, whenever I see an email about the app to potential clients they refer to be as this app guy, and during their presentations they don't really include as part of the reason this app has been developed ( aside from my boss being the client, I came up with some interesting ideas to turn their paper form of the process they use into a digital one, I also did research for the specific topics, something I could have just asked for instead).
5. Old fashioned way of looking at so called "IT", they added fixing computers to my contract which I dread, especially since I'll be close to a deadline and then I get a call to fix someone's computer...
6. They don't seem to want to expand their "development team" to more than one person.
When I give my resignation I have to stay here for a month and I bet people will start to act differently around me, my likely my boss and the CEO. I think the other people that work will understand, given my situation.
I'm planning to for the last month to only do planning for the app they want me to work on, UML diagrams, use cases, Sprint planning (albiet, only developer here lol). Research on the third party libraries we need for the app and generally give the next guy the easiest path to getting the app done.
I want to do this because the Android and iOS app we're done via cowboy programming in a sense. (I don't have too much in terms of documentation and planning aside from a Microsoft planning website setup with to-do of which features are done for the iOS and paper Todo for the Android app.
Alright long rant over, I've got it all written down, glad I'll be leaving this place.51
I'm trying out a new rendering engine, it's pretty slow but I'm getting somewhere.
My (6 years old) client is sitting next to me and is kind of picky and tells me exactly what to do.
No payout though 🤔16
My "Coding Standards" for my dev team
1.) Every developer thinks or have thought their shit don't stink. If you think you have the best code, submit it to your peers for review. The results may surprise you.
2.) It doesn't matter if you've been working here for a day or ten years. Everyone's input is valuable. I don't care if you're the best damn programmer. If you ever pull rank or seniority on someone who is trying to help, even if it isn't necessarily valid or helpful, please have your resume ready to work elsewhere.
3.) Every language is great and every language sucks in their own ways. We don't have time for a measuring contest. The only time a language debate should arise is for the goal of finding the right one for the project at hand.
4.) Comment your code. We don't have time to investigate what the structure and purpose of your code is when we need to extend upon it.
5.) If you use someone else's work, give them the credit in your comments. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
6.) If you use flash, you will be taken out back and shot. If you survive, you will be shot again.
7.) If you load jQuery for the sole purpose of writing a simple function, #6 applies.
8.) Unless it is an actual picture, there is little to no reason for not utilizing CSS. That's what it's there for.
9.) We don't support any version of Internet Explorer and Edge other than the latest versions, and only layout/alignment fixes will be bothered with.
10.) If you are struggling with a task, reach out. While you should be able to work independently, it doesn't make sense to waste your time and everyone else's to not seek assistance when needed.
11.) I'm serious about #6 and #7. Don't do it.47
Fear of fucking failure and this thing called an inferiority complex.
I've had these two since highschool. I thought/was hoping the bullying would stop when I entered highschool but it only got worse.
All this lead to the fair of failure and inferiority complex I still notice and have to deal with every day.
The thing is that I know that I'm good at what I do and when I get a compliment I of course really like that but I forget about it rather quickly.
But I'm terribly afraid of failing/fucking something up badly and always that fucking feeling like you're inferior to every-fucking-one.
One might think that just telling me that I'm not inferior to anyone (and the other way around) helps, and I do appreciate it when people tell me that, but one person saying that once or twice is not going to overshadow the years and years and years of hearing the opposite.
Yes, that still eats me alive now and then and overcoming that with/in my work is still a huge-ass challenge.14
Does anyone else love their job? I never thought I would say this but I love Mondays and the work I do in general. I just wish I had more hours in the day.13
Update on my job interviews:
I had four so far.
Got rejected from all of them.
The reason of most of them was that they would have to teach me too much.
I am applying as a junior.
What do they expect? Fucking Linus Torvalds or geohot?16
We had a Commodore64. My dad used to be an electrical engineer and had programs on it for calculations, but sometimes I was allowed to play games on it.
When my mother passed away (late 80s, I was 7), I closed up completely. I didn't speak, locked myself into my room, skipped school to read in the library. My dad was a lovely caring man, but he was suffering from a mental disease, so he couldn't really handle the situation either.
A few weeks after the funeral, on my birthday, the C64 was set up in my bedroom, with the "programmers reference guide" on my desk. I stayed up late every night to read it and try the examples, thought about those programs while in school. I memorized the addresses of the sound and sprite buffers, learnt how programs were managed in memory and stored on the casette.
I worked on my own games, got lost in the stories I was writing, mostly scifi/fantasy RPGs. I bought 2764 eproms and soldered custom cartridges so I could store my finished work safely.
When I was 12 my dad disappeared, was found, and hospitalized with lost memory. I slipped through the cracks of child protection, felt responsible to take care of the house and pay the bills. After a year I got picked up and placed in foster care in a strict Christian family who disallowed the use of computers.
I ran away when I was 13, rented a student apartment using my orphanage checks (about €800/m), got a bunch of new and recycled computers on which I installed Debian, and learnt many new programming languages (C/C++, Haskell, JS, PHP, etc). My apartment mates joked about the 12 CRT monitors in my room, but I loved playing around with experimental networking setups. I tried to keep a low profile and attended high school, often faking my dad's signatures.
After a little over a year I was picked up by child protection again. My dad was living on his own again, partly recovered, and in front of a judge he agreed to be provisory legal guardian, despite his condition. I was ruled to be legally an adult at the age of 15, and got to keep living in the student flat (nation-wide foster parent shortage played a role).
OK, so this sounds like a sobstory. It isn't. I fondly remember my mom, my dad is doing pretty well, enjoying his old age together with an nice woman in some communal landhouse place.
I had a bit of a downturn from age 18-22 or so, lots of drugs and partying. Maybe I just needed to do that. I never finished any school (not even high school), but managed to build a relatively good career. My mom was a biochemist and left me a lot of books, and I started out as lab analyst for a pharma company, later went into phytogenetics, then aerospace (QA/NDT), and later back to pure programming again.
Computers helped me through a tough childhood.
They awakened a passion for creative writing, for math, for science as a whole. I'm a bit messed up, a bit of a survivalist, but currently quite happy and content with my life.
I try to keep reminding people around me, especially those who have just become parents, that you might feel like your kids need a perfect childhood, worrying about social development, dragging them to soccer matches and expensive schools...
But the most important part is to just love them, even if (or especially when) life is harsh and imperfect. Show them you love them with small gestures, and give their dreams the chance to flourish using any of the little resources you have available.22
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!166
Any Irish people here?
I’m planning to move to Ireland in the next six months, probably somewhere near cork.
Currently I’m living in Switzerland but I’m actually german.
However, I have two major concerns:
1) my English is good but not that good. It’s probably a bit better than the German average but still far from fluent. I think in the first months it might be difficult to communicate in English all day long in the office.
Did you have any coworkers or friends who moved there from a non-native English speaking country? How did they do? Did the company have problems with being patient with those people?
2) how hard is it to find a job as a java developer with 7+y experience considering #1?
Bonus question: what do you guys actually think about Germans, am I welcome? :)12
To all young freelancers in low-income countries: I want to share my experience, of 6 years working for a piss-poor country, and 6 years working in freelance, and then emigrating. Here's what you should watch out for, and what to expect:
My first salary was barely 1.5$ per hour. I lived in a piss-poor country that taught me a lot (like why it's piss-poor).
The main thing to note when you're a developer in such a country, is that you're being fucked. Your employer might scream at you and tell you how bad you are, while barely paying you. That is you ... being ... fucked. Gain some confidence with the help of friends and family, and a great effort from yourself, look at what freelance gigs you can find, and ditch anything related to jobs in your country.
Being a somewhat able developer, but with modest experience, I started my freelance gigs for 5$ per hour. Because I was lazy, and freelance gigs weren't exactly being thrown at me, I was making 100$ per week, AFTER the companies I worked for appreciated what I did and offered themselves to up my pay to 12$ per hour. Yep. I was lazy. You will likely get lazy in freelance too, so be prepared for this.
My luck changed when one of my clients became a full-time employer, at 15$ per hour, with a well organized team where I actually worked for 40 hours per week (I had already amassed 8 years of experience...). For people in first world countries that will seem laughable, but in my country I was king of the hill, getting paid more than government CEOs that ended up in the news as the "most well paid".
That was the top of the pyramid for international indie freelance, as I would later find out.
I didn't do stuff that was very difficult. In fact, I felt like my abilities were rotting while I worked there. I had to change something. So I started looking for better offers. I contacted many companies that were looking for a senior developer, and the interviews went well, and all was fine, except for my salary demands. I was asking for 25$ per hour. Nobody was willing to pay more than 15$ per hour. That's because of my competition - tons of developers in cheap-to-live countries that had the same, or more to offer, for the same rates. Globalization.
So I moved to Germany. As soon as I was legally able to work, I was hunted down by everybody. I was told that it takes a month to pass the whole hiring process in Germany. My experience demonstrated that 2-5 days is enough to get a signed contract with "Please start ASAP".
There is freelance in Germany as well. And in the US. And everywhere else. A "special" kind of freelance, where you have to reside locally. The rates that this freelance goes for is much, much higher than international freelance. I'd say that 100€ per hour is ok-ish. Some people (newbies, or foreigners who don't speak the language well) get less, around 60 or so. Smart experienced locals get around 150-200 or even more.
It's all there. Companies want good developers to solve their business problems with IT solutions, and they'll beg you to take their money if you can deliver that.
Screw the scumbags that screw you for 1-2$ per hour!
Anyone able to write something more than "Hello World!" deserves more.
Do the climb! There's literally room for everybody up there! There is so much to do, that I feel like there will never be too many developers.
Thank you for bearing with my long story. I hope it will help you make it shorter and more pleasant for you.14
Hi everyone, I'm just a bit worried with my future status, I'm currently a Software Engineer here in my home country, I will be going to New Zealand sometime this March. I have a reason why I'm moving to NZ but do you think I can get a Software Engineer job there? I'm 20 and been exposed by my Australian experience (I'm not from Australia btw) from Angular and PHP. I've been trained by my Seniors top notch that they're letting me deploy to-live our largest websites.
Do you think I'll be able to find one or I'll be settling with convenience store related jobs there?
Conversation with coworker at a staff function...
girl: ...we can't wait to see what you can do!
Me: Great! I can't wait to get stuck in, but you know, those exports you wanted from it, that doesn't have to wait. If you need that straight away, come to my desk and I'll make some queries for you and pull out the data you want...
Girl: ... Omg, you can do that?! You're awesome!!
Me later: o_0 - the Dev before me could never at least do that?!6
Hamburg and surrounding area!
Leave a comment!
Let's see if we can get a group of locals together17
Tomorrow Halloween is being celebrated in many nations as you might know. So we do in germany. Given that in Germany tomorrow is a national Holiday, the company skipped work today, with me being on call.
My On-Call time almost was over so I got ready to party (getting into my costume), not expecting any further calls.
I finished dressing up, still had some time, so I dug into coding a bit, as a costumer called. A customer from china. As I got told later on China does not celebrate Halloween in October and they do in another way.
So I set there, accepting the call, with my Camera set to autostart (Company policy).
As a monk.
With a bleach white face.
I was greeted by a man starring me "into the eyes". Took a good 1-3 secs til we bursted out in laugher. One of the funniest calls I had so far 😂 (and a short one, thanks China-Man)2
Talked to long time friend a while back.
I think he freelances now and does some kind of web design stuff.
He said, he hates java, and I asked what he hates about it:
" Those stupid variable types, I only use VAR in PHP to get around that stupid stuff. And what is this Oop anyway?".
😵 Dude? The fuck?8
Three back-to-back meetings today: Stand-Up, Planning, and Retro ... AKA two full hours of hearing everybody’s problems and hearing all viable solutions dismissed because we have no time to fix what’s broken.3
New day, new rant...
Yesterday was this: https://devrant.com/rants/1121939/...
So my daughter feels better, and I am getting ready for work, but alas, now my son has a fever.
I'm thinking having children and programming don't get along together...2
good evening folks,
im living in germany and want to get my first domain...
should i use ". de" or ". com", what would you prefer?
It should be an portfolio of myself if i finished it.
We have people from around the world here, how are you handling this? Does it matter at all?
thanks for help.7
So where to start... Let me preface this by saying I am a Software Architect for C# and do 99% dotnet development.
I just received a phone call from our Director of Development asking me to look at adding a feature for SSO with our companies main development project, which is written in PHP. I hope I made the correct changes but since I am not a PHP dev... I am not 100% confident in my code.
Now I am writing this as we are making the deployment Friday, December 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm. I should add that I am going on vacation for the next week.
So let me summarize... I am not a PHP developer, the non-PHP developer is making PHP changes on a Friday Night, and before a long weekend and before going on vacation.
I would like to point out that I said I was not 100% comfortable with this... but well this is what they wanted. I am not even sure what really to say about this though.6
Client: Please remove the address inputs from the inquiry form. Our marketing strategist said that more people will fill out the form if there are less input fields.
Me: But you are required by law to include the address in the generated inquiry PDFs!
Client: Can you remove the fields and still include the address in the PDF somehow?
Me: No. How would the website know the users address without asking for it.
Client: Okay. Wait! Can we change the form to just one large input where the user has to enter everything at once? That is even less inputs so more users would do it, right?
Explaining difficult things in a way that they are understandable by non-expert audiences.
This helps a lot to focus on simplicity when programming. And simple means it'll get understood by your peer programmers, it is simpler to test and it will be easier to maintain, and so on...
To the web devs here: What resources would you recommend for catching up a little to the web development state of the art? The last time I have designed anything HTML5/CSS3 were just being introduced. So my knowledge is pretty outdated, but I'm note starting from zero. I'm looking for some best practices and something framework-agnostic would be nice. Unless you say “Dude it's 2017, nobody even boils water without using *.js”, of course.9
Step 1. Get a large touchscreen monitor. Connect it.
Step 2. Modify the driver so touches don't actually cause clicks or anything.
Step 3. Let it play a sudden, loud BEEP instead. Increase the volume for each subsequent touch.
Step 4. Lean back and watch people learn that you don't like your screen being touched.17
I was at the robotics group of our school when suddenly two other students (both 2 grades above me) started talking:
P1: I always forget the brackets when writing code
P2: I always forget the return statements
P3: yeah, always takes ages to find out why your code doesn't work
P4: haha, in the end it's just something missing that you didn't notice like a semicolon or a bracket
Me (thinking): do you use a fucking toaster to code? Even if you don't use an ide the compiler tells you what's wrong8