AboutInternational IT consultant and author
SkillsSQL, Scrum, Windows, Linux, macOS, C#
Joined devRant on 1/21/2022
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The most disappointing (not so sure about upsetting) rejection was from none other than Google.
I was ecstatic when Google respond to my application by inviting me to an interview. If I recall rightly I had two pre-interview screenings, two technical interviews, and about four interviews with people. The people were great and the HR person I was dealing with was open that the feedback was all good.
And then the rejection came! I called the HR guy and asked what happened. He said there’s a central group somewhere who approve all hiring and they decided I hadn’t worked for a “big enough” company in the past.
Yet - my potential colleagues and manager thought I could do the job, I passed the Google-scale technical tests … and then some faceless person somewhere says “meh” and that’s that.
It’s not like they didn’t have my resume that whole time, or the opportunity to ask any questions they wanted !
So that sucked.10
BI dev: Hey, can you help me with my SQL query?
Me: Sure, let me see it.
BI dev: sends screenshot - not even the whole query, literally a screenshot with a segment of text in it. No errors showing either.
Why is it most companies think being “agile” simply means “let’s say we do work in two week blocks” but without planning or showcases or reviews, without estimations, with ad-hoc tasks inserted continually, priorities changing, tasks moving to the next “sprint” over and over …
But yes, these companies proclaim they are “agile” and do “two week sprints” when it is nothing more than chaos and rhetoric.6
I took a job with a software company to manage their product, which was a SaaS property maintenance system for real estate, social housing, etc.
There was no charge to real estate agents to use it but maintenance contractors had to use credits to take a job, which they pre-purchased. They recharged their credit costs back to the real estate agent on their invoice).
Whether this pricing model is good or not, that's what it was. So, in I came, and one of the first things management wanted me to deal with was a long-standing problem where nobody in the company ever considered a contractor's credits could go into the negative. That is, they bought some credits once, then kept taking jobs (and getting the real estate agent to pay for the credits), and went into negative credits, never paying another cent to this software company.
So, I worked with product and sales and finance and the developers to create a series of stories to help get contractors' back into positive credits with some incentives, and most certainly preventing anyone getting negative again.
The code was all tested, all was good, and this was the whole sprint. We released it ...
... and then suddenly real estate agents were complaining reminders to inspect properties were being missed and all sorts of other date-related events were screwed up.
I couldn't understand how this happened. I spoke with the software manager and he said he added a couple of other pieces of code into the release.
In particular, the year prior someone complained a date on a report was too squished and suggested a two-digit year be used. Some atrocious software developer worked on it who, quite seriously, didn't simply change the formatting of that one report. No, he modified the code everywhere to literally store two-digit years in the database. This code sat unreleased for a year and then .... for no perceivable reason, the moron software manager decided he'd throw it into this sprint without telling me or anybody else, or without it being tested.
I told him to rollback but he said he'd already had developers fixing the problems as they came up. He seemed to be confident they'd sort it out soon.
Yet, as the day went on more and more issues arose. I spoke to him with the rest of the management team and said we need to revert the code but he said they couldn't because they hadn't been making pull requests that were exclusive to specific tickets but instead contained lots of work all in one. He didn't think they could detangle it and said the only way to fix was "play whack-a-mole" when issues came up.
I only stayed in that company for three months; there was simply way too much shit to fix and to this day I still have no idea the reasoning that went on in the head of anyone involved with that piece of code.2
Hired a new BI developer. She tested reasonably ok in SQL, and certainly showed good strengths in visualising data, plus had a good attitude in the interview. We hired her. She broke her laptop the first day. We got her another then she complained the camera didn't work but didn't realise the lever in front of the camera was to move the privacy shutter off and on.
Assigned her some work of taking queries that are used in a BI tool that targets the transactional database directly, and re-jigging them for Snowflake which we're using as a data warehouse now, aggregating all our data into one place. Yet, she's struggling to understand why the SQL query she's pasted in doesn't work as-is.
I go over it again; the source schemas and tables are this, but in Snowflake we've named them this. She then bemoans how much work that is to change them all - I say use find and replace. She then struggles with Snowflake syntax errors and asks for a guide on T-SQL to Snowflake. I show her Google and say "this is what I did when I hit these problems - search for 'Snowflake equivalent to T-SQL getdate()' or 'how to get current date in Snowflake' but she still doesn't understand. I ask if she's every had to work between T-SQL and MySQL or MySQL and PostgreSQL or Oracle and so on and she says yes. I say the syntax isn't the same, is it? And she goes oh, now I understand.
She scored reasonably in her SQL test but I'm now concerned there's something fundamental missing in her grasp of SQL. I gave her a detailed demo of the tools, I explained in the interview and on her start about our move to a data warehouse for all our apps, and put her through some training plus gave her time to work through our Confluence pages - not expecting she'll remember everything, but more to ensure she recalls they exist and what the general contents are.
Anyhow, that's my rant.7
What is it with devs (not all, by any means!) who don't understand networks or basic computer operation? I'm not talking about anything complex, but things like the dev who asked if his IP address could be whitelisted so he could remote in from home. We asked what his public IP address is and he said 10.0.0.27.
Or the new dev who started and said her laptop camera didn't work and logged a ticket, only to be asked if she had the camera cover open or closed and said, "oh, that's what that lever is for."
Don't get me wrong - many devs and sysadmins and IT people of all fields are excellent. And there are some who are crap in every field. This is no rant about devs in general, just *these* crap devs that I can only throw my hands in the air and think, well, they scored ok in the SQL test.4
Year 7 maths in 1984 - the teacher had a computer and showed us some BASIC commands to do mathematics.
I was spellbound. That year my father also bought a Commodore 64 for the family and I gravitated towards it. I typed program listings out of magazines and learnt programming almost by osmosis.1