AboutData Eng with a long history of abusive bosses and awesome projects. Got a MSc in Optimization and a couple startup failures under my belt.
SkillsPython, C/C++, Cloud Architecture, Spark, Parquet, AsyncIO, Sarcasm, Heuristics, Optimization, Science, Academics
Joined devRant on 10/26/2021
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Tech people should have a codeword. So that I don't have to explain to every data provider showing off their own crappy limited analytics tool that "I do know what SQL means and I just need the ODBC user/pass, thanks".
I wish I could just say "hey, &0x00A0 = 1337;" out loud and he would be like "oh, thanks! I needed the break. Here is the ODBC crap, I'm gonna grab some coffee."5
EoS1: This is the continuation of my previous rant, "The Ballad of The Six Witchers and The Undocumented Java Tool". Catch the first part here: https://devrant.com/rants/5009817/...
The Undocumented Java Tool, created by Those Who Came Before to fight the great battles of the past, is a swift beast. It reaches systems unknown and impacts many processes, unbeknownst even to said processes' masters. All from within it's lair, a foggy Windows Server swamp of moldy data streams and boggy flows.
One of The Six Witchers, the Wild One, scouted ahead to map the input and output data streams of the Unmapped Data Swamp. Accompanied only by his animal familiars, NetCat and WireShark.
Two others, bold and adventurous, raised their decompiling blades against the Undocumented Java Tool beast itself, to uncover it's data processing secrets.
Another of the witchers, of dark complexion and smooth speak, followed the data upstream to find where the fuck the limited excel sheets that feeds The Beast comes from, since it's handlers only know that "every other day a new one appears on this shared active directory location". WTF do people often have NPC-levels of unawareness about their own fucking jobs?!?!
The other witchers left to tend to the Burn-Rate Bonfire, for The Sprint is dark and full of terrors, and some bigwigs always manage to shoehorn their whims/unrelated stories into a otherwise lean sprint.
At the dawn of the new year, the witchers reconvened. "The Beast breathes a currency conversion API" - said The Wild One - "And it's claws and fangs strike mostly at two independent JIRA clusters, sometimes upserting issues. It uses a company-deprecated API to send emails. We're in deep shit."
"I've found The Source of Fucking Excel Sheets" - said the smooth witcher - "It is The Temple of Cash-Flow, where the priests weave the Tapestry of Transactions. Our Fucking Excel Sheets are but a snapshot of the latest updates on the balance of some billing accounts. I spoke with one of the priestesses, and she told me that The Oracle (DB) would be able to provide us with The Data directly, if we were to learn the way of the ODBC and the Query"
"We stroke at the beast" - said the bold and adventurous witchers, now deserving of the bragging rights to be called The Butchers of Jarfile - "It is actually fewer than twenty classes and modules. Most are API-drivers. And less than 40% of the code is ever even fucking used! We found fucking JIRA API tokens and URIs hard-coded. And it is all synchronous and monolithic - no wonder it takes almost 20 hours to run a single fucking excel sheet".
Together, the witchers figured out that each new billing account were morphed by The Beast into a new JIRA issue, if none was open yet for it. Transactions were used to update the outstanding balance on the issues regarding the billing accounts. The currency conversion API was used too often, and it's purpose was only to give a rough estimate of the total balance in each Jira issue in USD, since each issue could have transactions in several currencies. The Beast would consume the Excel sheet, do some cryptic transformations on it, and for each resulting line access the currency API and upsert a JIRA issue. The secrets of those transformations were still hidden from the witchers. When and why would The Beast send emails, was still a mistery.
As the Witchers Council approached an end and all were armed with knowledge and information, they decided on the next steps.
The Wild Witcher, known in every tavern in the land and by the sea, would create a connector to The Red Port of Redis, where every currency conversion is already updated by other processes and can be quickly retrieved inside the VPC. The Greenhorn Witcher is to follow him and build an offline process to update balances in JIRA issues.
The Butchers of Jarfile were to build The Juggler, an automation that should be able to receive a parquet file with an insertion plan and asynchronously update the JIRA API with scores of concurrent requests.
The Smooth Witcher, proud of his new lead, was to build The Oracle Watch, an order that would guard the Oracle (DB) at the Temple of Cash-Flow and report every qualifying transaction to parquet files in AWS S3. The Data would then be pushed to cross The Event Bridge into The Cluster of Sparks and Storms.
This Witcher Who Writes is to ride the Elephant of Hadoop into The Cluster of Sparks an Storms, to weave the signs of Map and Reduce and with speed and precision transform The Data into The Insertion Plan.
However, how exactly is The Data to be transformed is not yet known.
Will the Witchers be able to build The Data's New Path? Will they figure out the mysterious transformation? Will they discover the Undocumented Java Tool's secrets on notifying customers and aggregating data?
This story is still afoot. Only the future will tell, and I will keep you posted.4
What is gonna happen in 8/16, 2048?
(August 16th, 2048)
People are always making dumb conspiracy predictions. Let's make one, like that's the date when AI relinquishes control over the economy to leave earth or something.7
Profoundly cynical idea: sell NFTs of devRant rants.
This post is would be worth about the same as a pizza... restaurant.6
Worst dev experience of the year:
So, I went to my folks' for the holidays. My old man is a hospital practitian and is still resentful because I did not want to be a doctor too.
So he made me fix the whole fucking wiring at his place over this last couple days, because "well, you choose to be a glorified electrician!"
BTW, I have three kids and am still WFH during this time. I haven't slept in a week.6
In the begining of time, when The Company was small and The Data could fit in some fucking excel sheets, Those Who Came Before implemented some java tool to issue invoices, notify customers and clear received payments.
Then came the Time Of The Great Expanse, when The Company grew to unthinkable levels. Headcount increased with each passing day, and The Data shows that everything was going great!
But when the future seemed bright, came The Stall-Out. The days when The Company could not expand as fast as it did before. And Those Who Came Before left, abandoning their Undocumented Java Tool to its own luck.
Those who came after knew nothing of the inner workings of the Undocumented Java Tool. They knew only that the magical Jar would take a couple fucking excel spreadsheets and spit out reports and send emails like magic.
And those were The Dark Days.
In the darkness, The Data grew to be a monster. Soon a fucking excel spreadsheet could not hold The Data contained any longer. Those Who Came After, fearing the wrath of The Undocumented Java Tool, dared not mess with its code. Instead, they fucking cut away the lowest volume transactions from the fucking input spreadsheet, and left the company to report the unbilled invoices as "surprise losses". Fucking script kiddies, were Those Who Came After.
Then, at The Darkest of Days (literally, Dec 21st), marched into the project The Six Witchers, who fear not the Demon of Refactoring.
This story is still unfolding. Will The Six Witchers manage to unravel the mysteries of The Undocumented Java Tool? Will they be able to reverse engineer the fucking black box, and scale it's magic into a modern application?
Will they decrease revenue forecasting error by at least 2% in a single strike?
Only the future will tell.12
"Old Person" (noun):
Someone who refuses to wear earplugs, headphones or other personal hearing aid audio devices while demanding, but not paying attention to, a living room television set on the loudest possible volume.2
Idea: management strategy diversification experiment.
Basically we fund a company that has exactly the same fucking business model that we have, but a radically different management strategy. If it works, we know our culture needs some meddling.
Is your code vegan?
After I saw an ad for a vegan higiene product I keep wondering "do the word 'vegan' actually means what I think it does?"
I mean, how do an object made of silicon and plastic could be "not vegan"?!?23
In my latest interview. It's the first in a overly morose process that includes many.
Me: So, about the scope of responsibilities...
Interviewer: <translated from fart noises> "we're a dynamic company"
<translated again> do any shit some big headed brass asks of you
Me: it involves many meetings?
Interviewer: <dismissive fart noises>
Me: Is it for an open field project or an ongoing structure?
Interviewer: We have many ongoing projects, and you allocation may be changed dynamically <so, fart noises>
Me: about the salary...
Interviewer: <Extra-stinky-fart noises>
It went on for an hour, never an straight answer. Not even for the name of the company.
Me: Have you noticed that, even that you are interviewing me, I'm the one asking all the questions?
Interviewer: <actual fart> yes, you really seem to have the knack for it!
Interviewer: so, any more questions?
Me: Yes. Are you flammable? <actual quote>
My in-laws seem allergic to keeping fruit on the fridge. In a 40° heat. No wonder half the fruit are spoiled by next morning.
My algorithm for storing produce:
Is it fresh produce? => (No) use another algo. (X)
Is it potatoes or onions? => (Yes) put it in a bowl in a closet (X)
::: Put it all in the fridge, dammit.
Can AI recognize fake smiles?
So, my good-for-nothing brother-in-law comes with his toddler. I'm pissed at him for reasons, but gentlemen are always polite IRL and look at each other for greetings.
His toddler has always loved me and runs towards me. But see my fake-ass smile and suddenly she is shy and nervous.
She has noticed the stealth-fake smile that fooled her mother and grandmother.
Can AI do that? are there enough markers to differentiate a fake smile from a real one? Or is it waaay to personal?
If is it trivial, can someone please make a fake-smile coach app?10
Is there anyone in the whole of devRant working with VR, AR, speech or motion detection?
I keep thinking that those were just fads that disappeared, because I'm still to see a single lasting-success product.
It might be temporary, someone might invent motion control that actually works or an Alexa that does not suck (unless you speak English with an toothpaste-commercial accent), or a non-goofy AR set.
But if not a single dev in devRant is working with it, it does not seem likely.7
My annoying 19-yo nephew wants to drop out of CompSci to "create the next billion-dollar startup".
I told him I would give him 10 rupees (USD 0.10) for 0.000000001% percent of his "pass me the butter at the diner table" company.
He accepted. Thus, his "heritage protein logistics startup" had an series-A valuation of a billion American dollars!
Hopefully he will stay in college now.2
Did a presentation to the brass with data so summarized that no informed decision could conceivably come out of it.
They want it even more summarized.
Here is your messy-suit-that-cost-50-grand, version, your overpaid tool:
1) Client be dumb
2) Supplier be slow
3) Money be good
4) We be smart
5) We make money (if you stop meddling and eating my whole morning with a PowerPoint to a meeting you got an hour late to, your fiduciary sack of douchness)
Old-school tabletop RPG and board games.
Taught me how to work out data and stats tables, establish many-actors processes and strategies, how to ask for clarification (and give it), and even gave me practice in drawing a representation of what is in my mind, and understanding someone else's.
Who have ever surrounded a dragon in D&D knows what I'm talking about.1
How does devRant makes their money?
Hypothesis 1: they word count our rants to identify most well known tech terms and sell it to hiring companies and consulting firms.
Hypothesis 2: they aggregate rants on an specific management fad or technique and sell it to management research and consulting firms
Hypothesis 3: currently burning through investor cash and plan on filling the place with ads when that runs off.
Hypothesis 4: something along the lines of "devs of the world, unite!"
Or is there another way?10
Remote work (for the software industry, at least) is PERFECT and I still haven't heard a single argument against it that could not be derived into one of the following explanations:
- the complainer is/has a terrible manager
- the complainer has a shitty house
- the complainer has a shitty family
- the complainer is a shitty person
Naturally I mean only real-adult healthy people who work in the software industry.
I will now list the complaints I have heard more often. All fit neatly in the categories above:
- "my family interrupts me a lot, require lots of attention and/or creates an environment I cannot work in" - in this case it is very irresponsible of the complainer to try and escape to an office. If the adults you live with cannot get by without you, how going to an office will help them? If you can't teach your children to behave, who will?
- "my house is noisy and/or uncomfortable" - move out! if you can go to the office, you can look for another place to live.
- "I need in person conversations to understand people / zoom meetings are a waste of time" - why? do you need the smell of other people to properly organize your thoughts? Yes, meetings are extra-shitty during the pandemic. But pandemics come and go and your terrible time management skills won't simply improve themselves. Learn to lead better meetings instead of blaming the medium.
- "I miss face-to-face interactions at work" - Those do not miss you. If you want to have personal conversations, do it *out of working hours* with consenting adults. If you want to have personal touch in work contexts, it is called "sexual harassment" and is a crime.
- "my employees / colleagues are not as effective without me breathing at their necks" - you are a terrible manager and leader if you can't inspire people in words only. Maybe even video.
My main point is, there is no argument against WFH. When people try to argue against it, they often actually mean "I don't like the pandemic". No shit. Life will be better after people stop dieing for breathing close to their friends and family. In the mean time, learn to organize your life instead of running away from it every day.
Have you ever been to love theatre? How many times? Have you ever seen a movie? How many?
Why so many more movies than live theatre? You think you would have liked the movies, and their price, more if it was live theatre? Would you have seen as many?
WFH is not perfect for everybody in the planet. But it sure is for the software industry.16
"In the beginning, God created Heavens and Earth. It was supposed to have been done in a week, but He had problems with some SaaS service providers and it ended up taking several billion years"
My one-week-task haven't got to a billion years (yet), but it was EXCLUSIVELY due to SaaS providers going bananas and not solving SHIT with their own shitty problem-making solutions.17
So, today I saw another job offer, but this one says things like "aggressive compensation" and "advanced English required".
The offer itself was *NOT* In English.
It does not speaks highly of a company that they had to resort to recruit in a language that is not the one they want.
And that they are afraid of numbers.
If I were to do-over, I would:
- Know that the world is MUCH bigger then even the largest city in the most populous country, and I get to pick where I'm going. So I'm going where the grass is green and bosses are not allowed to physically assault their employees, thank you very much.
- Do not care for missing or useless requirements, and only deliver the PoC. the requirements will all change the very second a client, BA or boss look at the PoC, anyway. Let them come.
- know that companies will replace you and do not need you, just as you do not need them. fuck their needs and live your own life. If they ask for overnight unpaid overtime, leave immediately and laugh all the way home.1
MARKETING IS A MENACE FOR SOCIETY and a large waste of time and resources.
Imagine that for some very stupid reason people were allowed to steal cell phones from unsuspecting victims and sell it on open market legally, tax invoices and all.
One could create a business like this. Steal some lad's brand new $600 iPhone and sell it for $280, because why not?
That is marketing. A company goes and makes a phone for lets say $180. Add in taxes, shipping and development costs, and we get to $300. Put some real nice profits on top (let's say 40%) and we get to $420.
The last 180 are the cost of marketing for society.
Today some stupid marketing conmen goosesteps into my lab and says that we must use Tensorflow and in-memory databases and multicloud redundancy and, I kid you not, "profound learning".
WE HAVE A FREAKING LOGISTICS OPS APPLICATION.
"We are putting it on the brochure, those technologies are set to sell well in our core market, and improve employer-branding" says the conmen.
A request for a feature is one thing, a request for an whole other technology because some snake-oil salesmen read the term in some clickbait rag and thinks that some starry-eyed moneyhead will pay extra because the brochure says "NOW WITH 2X MORE TECH!" is just an assault on society.5