SkillsC#, SQL, AngularJS
Joined devRant on 5/16/2016
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Dev checked in code (I suspect purposely not inviting me on the code review invite) saying he "fixed" the authentication bug in the web service.
Um no, like I told you last week, the authentication error is because the load balancer wasn't passing the user's authentication to IIS.
If I didn't overhear him telling a user "Still getting the error? I don't know, we might have to re-write that service", he might have gotten away with it.
Me: "Wait, that doesn't sound right. If I hit the server directly, authentication works. Its an issue with the load balancer, not the service"
Dev: "Admin said the load balancer is fine and it has to be the service."
Me: "I don't buy it. IIS is returning the authentication error, not the service."
Dev: "I added exception handling and nothing is being logged. Must be something in the service configuration."
Me: "No, IIS performs the authentication, not the service. I explained that last week, remember?"
Dev: "Oh yea. What changes do we need to make to the service?"
<my blood pressure starts to spike>
Me: "None. Give me a sec.."
<we have other apps on the same server farm that work just fine, so I re-configure the service pool settings to match theirs>
Me: "See, now going through the load balancer, the service works fine. For some reason, the admin had our service set up differently."
Dev: "OK, I'll let the users know the service is fixed."
Me: "Service was never broke and I'm not leaving it in its current state. In the morning I'll talk to the admin and see what he can do to fix."7
My favorite year as a dev + why?
It would have to be this year because ..
- The 'pointy hair' bosses I've ranted about on this forum have been fired or they quit. I almost kinda forgot what it felt like to talk to managers not feel like "Good Lord, how does this guy put on his shoes"
- I took over the position of my nemesis (his choice, not mine) who quit (he quit before he was fired) and deleted+replaced all remnants of his code/life's work. More out of spite than necessity.
- Reaping the benefits of properly logging/reporting errors and developers able to fix those errors, nearly eliminating those 3:00AM 'System is down' phone calls.
- Able to take time to learn new technologies (learning React right now) and not constantly running around putting out fires.
- Son just graduated college at age 21.
Awkward holiday party story?
Not sure how awkward this is, but our company gives away some fairly nice 'prizes' at the party. Several big screen TVs, KC Royals/St. Louis Cardinals game tickets, etc, etc.
A few years ago, tax laws forces us to charge the employee tax on the items given away at the party (taxed as part of their salary). Awkward part was HR didn't tell anyone until nearly all the prizes were given out.
HRMgr: "Oh, by the way, this year we are forced to include the price of the item as part of your salary so the appropriate taxes are taken out. If you have any questions, come see me on Monday."
I swear I could hear several "WTF"'s from various tables and (to me) awkward silence.
The HR manager sent an apology email to the company saying he should have let everyone know before the party so individuals could make an informed decision about whether or not they wanted to accept the prize.4
This one is for @Fast-Nop
Both a rant and a joke/meme.
Its also funny because its true. Couple of teams (team responsible for orders and team responsible for accounting) are in seclusion in a meeting room right now cleaning up the web team's screw up.5
Most unprofessional experience at work?
<about an hour ago> Went into the bathroom to do the morning deuce and there was crap all over the back of the seat. WTF!? Did you miss!? In our part of the building its only devs and network admins, so again, dudes, WTF!?
Oh, and never spit your gum out in the urinal. Its not a new, fun target for you to shoot at. *Somebody* is going to have to pick that nasty thing out. Our maintenance guys have hard enough job than cleaning up after 'so called' professionals.8
Most unprofessional experience at work?
Check out my previous rants. With so many, it would be difficult to pick just one.
Not sure if I've told this one before. 'Caleb' was part of a team responsible for migrating financial data from a legacy (DOS-based) system to our new system.
Because of our elevated security (and the data being plain text) Caleb had access to the entire company's payroll (including VP salary, bonuses, etc).
Solidifying my belief that that salaries should be private between the employee and the employer, Caleb discovered he was making considerably less than his peers (even a few devs that he had seniority over), and the green monster 'Jealosly' took over his professionalism. Caleb decided to tell everyone making the same and less than him, the salaries of the other (higher paid) devs, managers and VPs.
Nobody understood at the time, but these folks started to behave erratically , like showing up late, making comments like "Why should I document that? Make 'money bags' over there do it", etc and so on.
Soon at review time, Caleb decided to use his newly discovered ammunition to 'barter' for a higher salary by telling the manager if he didn't make $$$, he would send an email to the entire company containing everyone's salary.
The manager fired Caleb on the spot and escorted him out the building (Caleb never had chance to follow thru with that threat)
When word got out about Caleb's firing (and everybody knew why), those other employees started showing up on time and stopped complaining about doing their job.6
Worst disturbance while working?
Some of my faves:
- Mgr flying his new $400 drone around the office (hitting walls, ceiling, etc). I mentioned the price because he crashed it a week later (un-repairable kind of crash), so I didn't feel too sorry for his loss.
- Mgr trying out his new blowgun and blowing darts at a cardboard box down/bewtween the cube hallway (where anyone could walk out of at any time). We would hear the "pfffft" and a loud 'Yea!'.
- Mgr would walk by a cube entry-way, fart, and walk away laughing.
- Mgr called me into area and his desk+the floor area around his desk was covered in peanut shells.
Me: "Wow, you got a mess here."
Mgr: "Yea, got tired of trying to hit the trash can. Maintenance will vacuum the office this weekend."
The mess was one thing, but what disturbed me the most was this asshole thinks Maintenance-Jim has nothing better to do than clean up after this so-called adult.
Karma kicked in and an hour later the owner's wife (we're still a family owned company, so he+his wife are on friendly basis with everyone) stopped by to say hi and walked in on the mess.
June: "What do we have here!?"
Mgr: "Oh...um...uh..I was eating a few peanuts and putting the shells in the trash can and accidentally knocked it over. I was on my way to get the vacuum cleaner."
June: "Hmmm...this looks like more than a few. *You* clean it up right now and *never* let me see this again!"
Mgr: "Yes..yes ma'am...right now.."
Whole office heard the exchange and it was frickin' awesome.12
Worst dev I've interviewed?
"Archie" ran his own consulting business for almost 20 years. Prior to his interview, Archie sent HR (to send to us) his company's website, where he had samples of code for us to review (which was not bad, this guy did know his stuff).
What I found odd was Archie was the lone wolf at his company, but everything I found about him (the about page, his bio, etc), Archie was referred to as 'Mr. Archie Brown'.
Ex. 'Mr. Archie Brown began his humble career and 'Mr. Archie Brown is active in his church and volunteers his time in many charities ...'
Odd to refer to yourself in the third person on your own site, but OK, I like putting hot sauce on my mac & cheese (no judgement here).
Then the interview..standard stuff, then..
Me: "Given your experience, this is an entry level developer position. Do you feel the work would be challenging enough for you?"
Archie: "Yes, Mr. Archie Brown would have no problem starting at bottom. You see ..."
Almost any time he would reference himself, instead of 'me' or 'I', he would say 'Mr. Archie Brown'. As the interview continued, the ego and self-importance grew and grew.
My interview partner wanted to be done by using the escape clause, "PaperTrail, I'm good, do you have any questions?"
Yes, yes I do. I was having too much fun listening to this guy ramble on about himself. I made the interview go the full hour with the majority of time 'Archie' telling us how great he is.
The icing on the cake was my partner caught his gold cuff-links and tie-pin where his initials and how he kept raising his hands and playing with his tie to show us (which I totally missed, then was like "oh yea, that was weird")
After the interview, talking with HR:
HR-Jake: "How did it go?"
John: "Terrible. One of the worst. We would have been done in 10 minutes if PaperTrail didn't keep asking questions."
Me: "Are you kidding!? I had the best time ever. I wish I could have stayed longer."
HR-Jake: "Really? This guy was so full of himself I wasn't sure to even schedule with you guys. With his experience, I thought it deserved at least a round with you two. You think we should give him a chance?"
Me: "Hell no. Never in a million years, no. I never in my whole life met anyone with such a big ego. I mean, he kept referring to himself in the third person. Who does that?"
HR-Jake: "Whew!...yea, he did that in the phone interview too. It was a red flag for us as well."
Couple of weeks later I ran into HR-Jake in the break room.
HR-Jake: "Remember Mr. Archie Brown?"
Me: "To my dying day, I will never forget Mr. Archie Brown."
HR-Jake: "I called him later that day to tell him the good news and he accused me of being a racist. If we didn't give him the job, he was getting a lawyer and sue us for discrimination."
Me: "What the frack!"
HR-Jake: "Yep, and guess what? Got a letter from his lawyer today. I don't think a case will come in front of a judge, but if you have any notes from the interview, I'll need them."
Me: "What are we going to do?"
HR-Jake: "Play the waiting game between lawyers. We're pretty sure he'll run out of money before we do."
After about 6 months, and a theft conviction (that story made the local paper), Mr. Archie Brooks dropped his case (or his lawyers did).38
After 'Dev' deployed a service using Azure ServiceBus, a particular queue/client was receiving errors.
Dev: "Looking at the logs, client is getting faulted."
Me: 'What is the error being logged?'
Dev: 'Client is faulted'
Me: 'No, that is our error when the client is either unable to connect or there is an exception in the middle of sending a message. What is the exception from Azure?'
Dev: 'Client is faulted. That's it. I'm going to have to re-engineer the code to implement a retry policy.'
<OK, I smell someone cooking up some solution finding, so I dig into the logs a little further>
Me: "Looks like an invalid connection string. The actual exception being thrown and logged is from the Azure client connection string builder. The value cannot be null."
Dev: "No, I'm looking right at the connection string in the config. Looks fine."
Me: "Looks correct on your machine, but what is actually being deployed to the server?"
<I could tell he was getting agitated>
<Dev clicks around, about 10 min. later>
Dev: "Aha!..I found it. The connection string in the config on the main branch is wrong, in fact, the entry is missing."
<dev fixes, re-deploys, life is good, I document the error and the root cause>
Boss: "Great job Dev."
*sigh* ..go teamwork?3
My best code review experience?
Company hired a new department manager and one of his duties was to get familiar with the code base, so he started rounds of code reviews.
We had our own coding standards (naming, indentation, etc..etc) and for the most part, all of our code would pass those standards 100%.
One review of my code was particularly brutal. I though it was perfect. In-line documentation, indentation, followed naming standards..everything. 'Tom' kept wanting to know the 'Why?'
Tom: 'This method where it validates the amount must be under 30. Why 30? Why is it hard-coded and not a parameter?'
<skip what it seemed like 50 more 'Why...?' questions>
Me: "I don't remember. I wrote that 2 years ago."
Tom: "I don't care if you wrote it yesterday. I have pages of code I want you to verify the values and answer 'Why?' to all of them. Look at this one..."
'Tom' was a bit of a hard-ass, but wow, did I learn A LOT. Coding standards are nice, but he explained understanding the 'What' is what we are paid for. Coders can do the "What" in their sleep. Good developers can read and understand code regardless of a coding standard and the mediocre developers use standards as a crutch (or worse, used as a weapon against others). Great developers understand the 'Why?'.
Now I ask 'Why?' a lot. Gotten my fair share of "I'm gonna punch you in the face" looks during a code review, but being able to answer the 'Why?' solidifies the team with the goals of the project.4
10 year anniversary 'celebration' for a couple of employees (one dev, one a DBA) and the VP of the department was saying kind words about them, talking about the 'good old days'.
VP to the DBA: "I apologize, when you started, you walked into my database architecture. I didn't know that much back then and never thought about the architecture much beyond a few years. Its amazing my design has lasted over 20 years and triple digit business growth..blah blah blah"
Inner voice: "Mother F-er!...My database was designed IN SPITE of your meddling and demanding to create 1,500 field tables. Shut the F up you egotistical bastard!"
I can't even count how many times I had to stop him from, for example, adding a 'ProductID' field to a Customer table.
Me: "Why did you add a product id field?"
VP: "How else will we know what product the customer wants to buy?"
Me: "You mean like a wish list? What if the customer wants more than one product?"
VP: "Oh, that’s easy, we'll create more fields when that happens. ProductID2. Microsoft made it really easy to add fields."
Me: "We already have a wish list table schema. Customer can have as many wish lists and as many products as they want."
VP: "I don't understand. All I want is a field for me to store the product I'm buying. I don't know why you make this so hard, its just one more field."
Now the VP is bragging all the success was due to his expertise?! Gaaaaahhhh!
I quelled my rage with ample quantities of donuts, juice, and chocolate milk.
Attempting to get back on the docker container hype train and I get this error.
Find the issue, and Microsoft's response 'oh...ha ha...our bad. We may or may not fix it. Sorry, sucks to be you.'1
Attended one of the best meetups ever. To give you an idea how awesome it was..
Speaker took the first ~20 minutes introducing himself.
His intro card deck kept referring to himself in the third person (he is the only employee in consulting 'company'). Ex. "Mr. Smith began his humble career .."
The powerpoint presentation began with him clicking each page, not executing the slideshow (ex. pressing F5).
Finally someone asked "Can you make slide bigger?"
S:"You can't read that?..um..sure...I guess .."
Starts fumbling around the zoom ...
Dev: "No, can you start the slideshow?"
S: "I don't know what you mean...there...I zoomed it, is that better? Now I can't see my notes..just sec.."
<fumbles again with the zoom>
Dev: "No, not zoom, start the slide show, press F5"
S: "Oh...you want me to F5 it...OK..."
<he *clicks* the slide show button>
Finally getting into code, trying to get out of powerpoint ...
S: "How do I get out of this fullscreen?.."
Dev: "Hit escape"
<keeps trying to click on 'something'>
S:"I see visual studio, but its not on the big screen... "
<keeps click on 'something', no one is sure whats going on>
Dev: "Hit Escape to stop the slideshow"
<finally hits escape, then able to put Visual Studio on the big screen>
S: "Ahh...there, I figured it out."
Speaker had no end of making wild/random statements like:
".Net Core is the future of Microsoft, if you're using .Net 4.5...forget it, its not even supported anymore."
"When I was at Microsoft Build, I asked them why not put all the required .Net assemblies in one directory. Looks like with .Net Core, they listened to me" (he was serious)
"I don't use SQL Server Mgmt Studio. Its free and it sucks. I use <insert a very expensive SSMS clone>, its great, you guys should check it out", then proceeds to struggle to open a query window to write some SQL.
"When you use .Net Core and EntityFramework, you have to write your own stored procedures. If a developer can't write stored procedures, he shouldn't be in this business."
I was on the edge of my seat, hungry for the next crazy bat-shit thing to come out of his mouth. He did not disappoint. BEST MEETUP EVER!9
My process for estimating dev work?
3 hours a day of uninterrupted dev time, 4 days a week (~12 hours a week).
So when I say the project will take 24 hours, it is about two weeks worth of work.2
Working with QA department (QA for company processes, not IT) on creating a change history list in SharePoint. Name, fields, etc, simple stuff and all working fine for the past two days.
Today I get a request to change the name of the list because its the same name as another list on a separate SharePoint site (used exactly the same way).
Me: "I can, but no one really cares about the list name. Besides, it serves the same functionality as the XYZ site, so the same name would be consistent."
QAMgr1: "Go ahead and rename the list if its easy."
QAMgr2: "Agree! We already have that list in the XYZ system, we do not need to confuse people."
NOBODY IS GOING TO BE CONFUSED!
I would never, ever want to hear this from someone if there is a blunt object within my reach.
User: “I drove the forklift off the dock because I was confused by the SharePoint list name. Sorry.”
My geekiest non-dev activity?
Recently its been playing Star Wars Battlefront (on PC). Its been a good SharePoint stress reliever, but hardly anyone playing anymore.
Will be getting back into 'video production' this summer converting decades worth of VHS tapes to digital for various family member's (lots & lots of editing and cleaning up).
In-laws are vacationing in London right now (wife's parents and aunt/uncle), so to keep in touch with the kids, I installed+configured Skype on their phones (these are folks in their 70s, no where close to tech savvy), I think they are good to go.
Last night we try to connect (I 'see' them online)...nothing, so we call.
Me: "Did you see or hear the skype notification?"
Grandma: "Was that you? My phone made a weird sound I never heard before and I saw your picture. I wasn't sure what to do so pressed the red button."
Me: "Its the same sound and picture I showed you before you guys left, remember? That's OK, the kids want to see you and say hi. Hang up and when you hear the sound and see my picture, click the green accept button"
I try again...ring..ring...nothing. About a second later we receive a text "Grandpa hit something and your picture went away. What do I do now?"
So, I try again...ring..ring...they finally pick up (we can only hear them)
Grandma: "Hello...hello? I don't hear or see anything, damn it Fred, what did you hit?"
Grandpa: "Nothing Betty, you aren't holding it right, turn it sideways .."
Wife: "Guys..we can hear you, can you see us?"
Grandpa: "Press this button with the line crossed through it .."
Grandpa: "Hey!..See Betty, you had the phone turned wrong. Can you see us?"
Me: "No, you may have hit the video button..it looks like a little video camera, press it."
Grandma: "We did...nothing happened."
Me: "Are you sure? Try it again. The image may be grey or a little darkened, I don't remember."
Then we lose the sound.
Wife: "Oh good Lord they muted us. We're going to have to forget Skype and call them..."
All of a sudden we get video and sound. Cheers all around.
Then I hear in the background..
Uncle: "I thought 'PaperTrail' knew what he was doing? Apparently not."
I heard that and FU you, you old bastard. If you weren't a millionaire and paid for their London trip, I'd take 'knew what he was doing' and shove it up your ass when I see you.1
Worst architecture I've seen?
The worst (working here) follow the academic pattern of trying to be perfect when the only measure of 'perfect' should be the user saying "Thank you" or one that no one knows about (the 'it just works' architectural pattern).
A senior developer with a masters degree in software engineering developed a class/object architecture for representing an Invoice in our system. Took almost 3 months to come up with ..
- Contained over 50 interfaces (IInvoice, IOrder, IProduct, etc. mostly just data bags)
- Abstract classes that implemented the interfaces
- Concrete classes that injected behavior via the abstract classes (constructors, Copy methods, converter functions, etc)
- Various data access (SQL server/WCF services) factories
During code reviews I kept saying this design was too complex and too brittle for the changes everyone knew were coming. The web team that would ultimately be using the framework had, at best, vague requirements. Because he had a masters degree, he knew best.
He was proud of nearly perfect academic design (almost 100% test code coverage, very nice class diagrams, lines and boxes, auto-generated documentation, etc), until the DBAs changed table relationships (1:1 turned into 1:M and M:M), field names, etc, and users changed business requirements (ex. concept of an invoice fee changed the total amount due calculation, which broke nearly everything).
That change caused a ripple affect that resulted in a major delay in the web site feature release.
By the time the developer fixed all the issues, the web team wrote their framework and hit the database directly (Dapper+simple DTOs) and his library was never used.1
My biggest dev ambition? "Outliving" the pointy-hair bosses, monday morning quarterbacks, and the know-it-alls-and-do-nothings.
So far, I am seeing my ambitions fulfilled. The last know-it-all-do-nothing dev was fired a couple of months ago and its been really nice around here.
Going back and forth with Microsoft technical support right now over a SharePoint issue. Good Lord I want to reach across the wire and smack them in the face with a sea bass. Not enough to hurt, but get their attention and smell like fish for a while.
No genius, the warning on the PowerPivot Data Refresh page 'Warning: this page is not encrypted for secure communication ..' IS NOT the problem. The error messages I sent *three times* from the ULS logs are the symptoms you need to be researching. Stop guessing and trying to blame any random message you see on our configuration.1
Finished a validation library and knowing the common excuse for not using code already written (devs come down with 'not invented here' syndrome) is "I would have used it, if there was documentation". Spent this week documenting each class/method, diagrams, scenario based code examples, sent to my boss for review ...
Boss: "Wow...this is fantastic. All our libraries should have this level of documentation. You even updated the project's Nuget package to include a link to the documentation. Devs won't have an excuse now. I'll clear your plate for the rest of the year so you can get started."
What the hell did I just do to myself? FML.1
Dev sent out a code review request.
I take about an hour, ask questions, make suggestions, general feedback, etc.
Today I noticed none of my questions were answered, developer closed the review, and the code merged into the production branch.
So I email him, asking him why the review was closed and why none of my concerns were addressed before merging to production.
Dev: "No one responded or left feedback, so I thought it was OK to merge up."
Me: "I reviewed and left feedback within the hour you sent the request."
Dev: "Oh yea...you did. Sorry. The code is already in production, but if you still want to leave feedback, create a work item, and I'll take a look."
No you won't.
An example of the code...The dev added an async method to a test harness *console app*. Why? .. check in comment was "Improves performance and enhances the developer experience.."
NO IT DOESN'T!
OK..that's off my chest. No one is getting punched in the face today.6
A time I (almost) screamed at co-worker?
Too many times to keep up with.
Majority of time its code like ..
using (var connection = new SqlConnection(connectionString))
// data access code that does stuff
catch (Exception e)
// Various ways of dealing with the error such as ..
ShowMessage("An error occured.");
// or do nothing.
Range of excuses
- Users can't do anything about the error, so why do or show them anything?
- I'll fix the errors later
- Handling the errors were not in the end-user specification. If you want it, you'll have to perform a cost/benefit analysis, get the changes approved by the board in writing, placed in the project priority queue ...etc..etc
- I don't know.
- Users were tired of seeing database timeout errors, deadlocks, primary key violations, etc, so I fixed the problem.
On my tip of my tongue are rages of ..
"I'm going to trade you for a donkey, and shoot the donkey!"
"You are about as useful as a sack full of possum heads."
I haven't cast those stones (yet). I'll eventually run across my code that looks exactly like that.1
Most satisfying bug I've fixed?
Fixed a n+1 issue with a web service retrieving price information. I initially wrote the service, but it was taken over by a couple of 'world class' monday-morning-quarterbacks.
The "Worst code I've ever seen" ... "I can't believe this crap compiles" types that never met anyone else's code that was any good.
After a few months (yes months) and heavy refactoring, the service still returned price information for a product. Pass the service a list of product numbers, service returns the price, availability, etc, that was it.
After a very proud and boisterous deployment, over the next couple of days the service seemed to get slower and slower. DBAs started to complain that the service was causing unusually high wait times, locks, and CPU spikes causing problems for other applications. The usual finger pointing began which ended up with "If PaperTrail had written the service 'correctly' the first time, we wouldn't be in this mess."
Only mattered that I initially wrote the service and no one seemed to care about the two geniuses that took months changing the code.
The dev manager was able to justify a complete re-write of the service using 'proper development methodologies' including budgeting devs, DBAs, server resources, etc..etc. with a projected year+ completion date.
My 'BS Meter' goes off, so I open up the code, maybe 5 minutes...tada...found it. The corresponding stored procedure accepts a list of product numbers and a price type (1=Retail, 2=Dealer, and so on). If you pass 0, the stored procedure returns all the prices.
Code basically looked like this..
public List<Prices> GetPrices(List<Product> products, int priceTypeId)
foreach (var item in products)
List<int> productIdsParameter = new List<int>();
List<Price> prices = dataProvider.GetPrices(productIdsParameter, 0);
foreach (var price in prices)
if (price.PriceTypeID == priceTypeId)
prices = dataProvider.GetPrices(productIdsParameter, price.PriceTypeID);
* Omitting the other 'WTF?' code to handle the zero price type
I removed the double stored procedure call, updated the method signature to only accept the list of product numbers (which it was before the 'major refactor'), deployed the service to dev (the issue was reproducible in our dev environment) and had the DBA monitor.
The two devs and the manager are grumbling and mocking the changes (they never looked, they assumed I wrote some threading monstrosity) then the DBA walks up..
DBA: "We're good. You hit the database pretty hard and the CPU never moved. Execution plans, locks, all good to go."
<dba starts to walk away>
DevMgr: "No fucking way! Putting that code in a thread wouldn't have fix it"
Me: "Um, I didn't use threads"
Dev1: "You had to. There was no way you made that code run faster without threads"
Dev2: "It runs fine in dev, but there is no way that level of threading will work in production with thousands of requests. I've got unit tests that prove our design is perfect."
Me: "I looked at what the code was doing and removed what it shouldn't be doing. That's it."
DBA: "If the database is happy with the changes, I'm happy. Good job. Get that service deployed tomorrow and lets move on"
Me: "You'll remove the recommendation for a complete re-write of the service?"
DevMgr: "Hell no! The re-write moves forward. This, whatever you did, changes nothing."
DBA: "Hell yes it does!! I've got too much on my plate already to play babysitter with you assholes. I'm done and no one on my team will waste any more time on this. Am I clear?"
Seeing the dev manager face turn red and the other two devs look completely dumbfounded was the most satisfying bug I've fixed.5
Fantasizing about stabbing SharePoint in the throat, I'm being forced to contact Microsoft tech support, so I need to obtain our software assurance account info.
Our company's rep sends me our SA account numbers (assuming that was all I needed) and the link to create an incident.
Step through Microsoft support ticket 'wizard' which ends with requiring a login with a Microsoft account.
Me: "What login account should I be using?"
Rep: "You shouldn't need one. Just use the SA account number and access ID I sent you."
Me: "There is no entry for those values. I step through a support 'wizard' and the final page redirects me to the Microsoft login page."
Rep: "Use your work email address."
Me: "I can, but I shouldn't have to use my personal outlook email address. Can I just send you the issue and you submit the ticket? After the ticket is created, all the correspondence will be through email anyway."
<30 min. later>
Rep: "I just linked your work email address to your company's account. You should be able to login now."
Me: "Same error. I think you're messing with me."
<30 min. later>
Rep: "Select the option to create an account with your own email."
Me: "Now I know you're messing with me. Already tried that and received the error 'You cant sign up here with a work or school email address'."
Rep: "Weird...I guess Microsoft changed their policy."
Me: "So now what?"
<1 hour later>
Rep: "You might have to send me your SharePoint issue and I'll get a ticket created. After the ticket is created, I'll change the contact email address to you."
WHY DIDN'T YOU DO THAT TWO HOURS AGO!
Whew! Thanks devRant...that's better. I put the knife down and now only want to punch SharePoint in the face.3
Inmates are trying to take over the asylum again.
Got a message from the web team manager deeply concerned because since switching to the new logging framework, the site is significantly slower.
She provided no proof or any data to what 'significantly slower' means.
#1 The 'new logging' has been in place and logging for 5 years. We only recently depreciated the ILogger interface ('new' ILogger interface only has 1 method instead of 5)
#2 The 'old logging' was modified 5 years ago, so even if you were using the 'old' interface, the underlying implementation is still the same.
She tried to push the 'it wasn't this slow before' argument, so I decided to do some fact based analysis.
Knowing they deployed their logging changes couple of weeks ago, I opened up AppDynamics, looked at the average call time to Splunk (along with a few other http calls they are doing)
- caching services - 5ms
- splunk - 30ms
- Order Service - 350ms
- Product Data Service -525ms
Then I look at the data they are logging, for the month of June, over 5 million messages. At 30ms each, that's almost 42 hours spent logging errors...yes errors. Null reference exceptions, Argument exceptions, easily fixable stuff.
So far for the month of July (using the 'new' logging), almost 2.5 million errors. Pretty close so far with June's numbers.
My only suggestion was to fix the bugs in their code so they don't log so many errors.
Her response.."Can we have one of our developers review your logging code? We believe we can find ways to optimize the http requests"
Oh good Lord. I'm not a drinking man..but ...I might start.2
Any devrant-ers at the Kansas City Developer's Conference (kcdc) right now? Right now = July 12th & 13th, 2018.
If you see me, I'm that guy who just grabbed a handful of life saver mints at the vendor booth. Yea...*that* guy.
Rant? Only thing so far is the heat (air conditioning can't keep up with the outside) and breakfast (see attached). I guess some people call that breakfast, but I suppose its better than nothing.
Worst exp. on a collab/group project?
Had a few, here is one.
Worked with a dev team (of two devs) in Norway to begin collaboration on providing a portal into our system (placing orders, retrieving customer info, inventory control, etc)
They spoke very good English, but motivation was the problem. Start the day around 10:00AM...take a two hour lunch...ended the day at, if I was lucky, 4:00PM (relative to Norway time). Response time to questions took days, sometimes weeks. We used Skype, which helped, but everything was "Yea...I'll do that tomorrow...waiting on X....I have a wedding to go to, so I'll finish my part next week."
I didn't care so much, I had other projects to do, but the stakeholders pounded me almost everyday demanding a progress report (why aren't you done yet...etc..etc.)
The badgering got so bad I told the project owner (a VP) if he wanted this project done by the end of the year, the company would have to fly me to Norway so I personally push things along.
When real money was on the line, he decided patience was warranted.
A 3 month project turned into 9, and during a phone meeting with the CEO in December
O: "Thanks guys, this project is going great. We'll talk again in February. Bye."
PM: "Whoa...what! February!"
O: "Um..yes? It's Christmas time. Don't you Americans take off for Christmas?"
PM: "Yes, but not until Christmas. Its only December 12th. Your taking the whole month of December and January for Christmas?"
O:"Yes, of course. You Americans work too hard. You should come over here and see how we celebrate. Takes about a month so we can ease back into the flow of things."
<Jack is the VP>
PM: "Jack wanted this project completed by the end of the year, that is what everyone agreed to."
O:"Yes, I suppose, but my plane is waiting on me. Not to worry, everything will be fine."
<ceo hangs up>
PM: "Oh shit..oh shit..oh shit. What are you going to do!?"
Me: "Me!?..not a darn thing. Better go talk with Jeff."
<Jeff is the VP>
J: "This is unacceptable. You promised this project would only take a few months. I told you there would be consequences for not meeting the deadline."
PM:"But..but...its not our fault."
J: "I don't care about fault. I care about responsibility. I've never had to fire anyone for not meeting a deadline, but .."
Me: "Jeff, they are in Norway and no one is working this project for the next two months. You've known for months about them dragging their asses on this project. We're ready to go. Services have been tested and deployed. Accounting has all the payment routing ready. Only piece missing is theirs."
J: "Oh. OK. Great job guys. I guess we'll delay this project until February."
<leave the office>
PM: "Holy shit I'm glad you were there. I thought I was fired."
Me: "Yea, and that prick would have done it not giving a crap that it's Christmas."
<fast forward to Feb>
O: "Our service provider fell through, so I'm hosting with another company. You guys know PHP? Perl? I don't know what they called it, but it sounded so cool I bought the company."
PM: "You bought what? Are we still working with Z and B?"
O:"Yea, sort of. How's your German? New guy only speaks German."
PM: "Um, uh... no one here speaks German"
O:"Not to worry, I speak German, French, and Italian. I'll be your translator."
PM: "What? French and Italian?"
O: "On my trip to France I connected with a importer who then got me in touch with international shipper in Italy. I flew over there and met a couple really smart guys than can help us out. My new guy only speaks German, J only speaks French, and R speaks Italian, Russian, and a little English. Not to worry, I'm full time on this project. You have my full attention."
We believe the CEO has/had some serious mental issues, including some ADD. He bailed within the first month (took another vacation to Sweden to do some fishing) and left me using Google Translate to coordinate the project. Luckily, by the end, the Norwegian company hired a contractor from England who spoke German and hobbled together the final integration.3
Some days I feel like I work in a different universe.
Last night our alerting system sent out a dept. wide email regarding a high number of errors coming from the web site.
Email shows the number of errors and a summary of the error messages.
Ex. 60 errors
59 Object reference not set to an instance of an object
1 The remote server returned an unexpected response: (413) Request Entity Too Large
Web team responds to the email..
"Order processing team's service is returning a 413 error. I'll fill out a corrective action ticket in the morning to address that error in their service. "
Those tickets are taken pretty seriously by upper mgmt, so I thought someone on the order processing team would point out the 1 error vs. 59 (coming from the web team's code).
Two hours go by, nobody responds, so I decide to jump into something that was none of my business.
"Am I missing something? Can everyone see the 59 null reference exceptions? The 413 exception only occurred once. It was the null reference exceptions that triggered the alert. Looking back at the logs, the site has been bleeding null reference exceptions for hours. Not enough for an alert, but there appears to be a bug that needs to be looked into."
After a dept. managers meeting this morning:
MyBoss: "Whoa..you kicked the hornets nest with your response last night."
Me: "Good. What happened?"
<Dan dept VP, Jake web dept mgr>
MyBoss: "Dan asked Jake if they were going to fix the null reference exceptions and Jake got pissed. Said the null reference errors were caused by the 413 error."
Me: "How does he know that? They don't log any stack traces. I don't think those two systems don't even talk to one another."
MyBoss:"That's what Dan asked!..oh..then Jake started in on the alert thresholds were too low, and we need to look into fixing your alerting code."
Me: "What!? Good Lord, tell me you chimed in."
MyBoss: "Didn't have to. Dan starting laughing and said there better be a ticket submitted on their service within the next hour. Then Jake walked out of the meeting. Oh boy, he was pissed."
Me: "I don't understand how they operate over there. It's a different universe.
MyBoss: "Since the alert was for their system, nobody looked at the details. I know I didn't. If you didn't respond pointing out the real problem, they would have passed the buck to the other team and wasted hours chasing a non-existent problem. Now they have to take resources away from their main project and answer to the VP for the delay. I'm sure they are prefixing your name right now with 'that asshole'"
Me: "Not the first, won't be the last."2
Reviewing some code the other day, seeing a lot classes like:
I get the idea..Microsoft is doing it...disguising complexity with clever adjectives.
I think in my next project I'm going to start naming things like
Repository (cause, every framework needs one)
Then in a year and a half-dozen other devs adding their bits, someone asks "SpaghettiMonster...WTF?...why is this data access called..<dev looks at code> Oh good Lord ...oh well...at least the class name is accurate"2