AboutI'm an...older...dev who got derailed by a stint in social media PR management. Tryna get my coding mojo back and need a place to rant.
SkillsWordPress and way too much social media.
Joined devRant on 11/26/2016
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HR people who contact you to schedule an interview and you give them your available dates and times and then they ghost you...what are you even doing?4
Me right now looking for programming jobs after neglecting to memorize every programming language like a doctor memorizes human anatomy and biology.8
So I'm looking at the jobs available and the jobs I'm applying for and realizing that even though I'm never gonna use the 70+ languages (exaggeration) in daily work for any of these prospective employers, I'd better have those languages (and 5+ years of experience in each) just because HR is keyword happy about stuff they know nothing about.
So how do you manage to get 5+ years of experience in something you don't have 5+ years of experience in so that you can get a job where you don't actually need 5+ years of experience in those things anyway? Do I just hit up LinkedIn Learning and start grinding away on tutorials, then stick their "certifications" on my resume? For what purpose if it's stuff I can't get the needed experience in because I don't already have 5+ years of it?
How did I ever get a job in my field if, according to HR drones, I don't have any experience in what I'm doing now?10
Ever lose a laptop? I did. 13 days ago. at the airport in security. left it behind because I had two with me, which I don’t usually do. i just realized YESTERDAY that it was missing. someone come to my house and shoot me. because i’m too stoopid to live.8
Let me run something by all of you. Let's say you once started freelancing as a "Plan B" in case your full-time gig dropped you. Over 12 years you've managed to build a long-standing personal brand around that occasional freelancing. You have several clients who adore you and the work you do and they tell you they would be lost without your talent and have nowhere else to go and nobody else they trust. You know, because in the past you tried to send them elsewhere (for various reasons) and they just kept coming back.
You get laid off from the full-time gig and ACME Company calls and interviews you as a top candidate they're really interested in for that same type of work for a full-time job they're offering.
Here's the catch...if hired, you have two months to basically erase your personal brand and agree never to do any freelancing work as before, even on your own time on evenings and weekends. ACME wants your full focus and attention. Additionally, you find out that the person you'd be replacing is being let go because they weren't sufficiently tech-skilled for the job. And, with a little digging, you find out that person _also_ had several freelancing gigs going on the side. Probably for the same "Plan B" reason. Which is probably why ACME is demanding exclusivity.
Your client base is small. ACME says "we don't care". The work you do is 90% automated and easily achievable in just minutes a day on a weekend or evening. ACME says "doesn't matter". You already had full-time work to begin with so you weren't doing a ton on the side. ACME couldn't be less interested in this "excuse". And you're not keen on the idea of burning down your brand, especially with no guarantees of any kind in the present IT industry hiring/firing/layoffs climate. ACME says this issue is make or break for them.
If you get to the offer stage do you:
a) Flip the bird to your brand and clients you've built up for over a decade and memory-hole it?
b) Negotiate a non-compete clause with ACME, agreeing not to take on any new clients while working full time for them?
c) Flip the bird to ACME and look for something else?
Asking for a friend. ;)17
Get a programming career, they said. The more experience you get, the more people will want to hire you, they said. Well, I'm finding the inverse to be true. Everyone wants a 20-something who knows 100+ programming languages (none of them well) and who'll sleep at the office and kiss butt all day vs. a guy who has a few gray hairs but has seen some things and knows where the bodies are buried.11
Just got laid off from full-time salaried position due to various business circumstances. I absolutely loved working there because they paid well, are low demand, they were 100% remote before it was COVID cool, and they didn’t micromanage anyone. Will continue to work for same employer but on hourly work order basis. I’m fighting the “provider” urge to find something else full-time as quickly as possible. My wife, who’s also working part time, says I shouldn’t be in a hurry and take my time to find just the type of job I really want. She’ll even go full-time while I search.
I’m the luckiest unlucky guy.13
The other day I was thinking about how much more truck drivers in the US can sometimes earn delivering the goods that are sold on the e-commerce websites I build than I earn building said websites.
Plus, they get to see way more of the country than I do as a coder.
Seriously thinking that before I retire I might have to give being a truck driver a go.9
Remote work for me, but not for thee!
Google angers employees with 'hypocritical' remote work policies
Employees were already stirred up over opaque policies on remote work.
Then a senior executive announced he's moving to New Zealand in what some workers consider special treatment.
I didn’t turn down a dev freelance project when the client decided against going with best practices because the solution I offered was a well-established design pattern but created a need for a financial management change she didn’t like. I stupidly built what she asked for. It worked fine in the 3rd party vendor test environment but failed on production. After hours of analysis of code to ensure no changes happened to my source during test->prod deployment, and the vendor denying they had config differences between them, and the client refusing to pay, all I could do was abandon the project.2
Regex syntax and vocabulary when talking about it reminds me of what Scientology would look like if it had its own coding language.3
Astronaut was always my first choice. But I suck at math, so logically I chose programming. ;)
Librarian sounds like a nice job. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind being a truck driver. Would get to see lots of places and the pay is really good right now with shortages of drivers who aren’t high on drugs every day.
“I suck as a coder. I have no business writing a single function. None of what I’m doing is working. I should be fired and nobody should ever hire me again.”
*Remembers to clear caches and it works right the first time*
“I’m a pretty great coder.”
This is horrifying. Testing code seems to have been an afterthought that ended up ruining dozens of peoples’ lives.
“Bad software sent postal workers to jail, because no one wanted to admit it could be wrong”
Taught myself assembler at 13 (this was the mid 1980s) and wondered how the hell people could stand to do this. Then I found out there were more abstract languages like BASIC or COBOL. So I taught myself BASIC and MS-DOS batch scripting. Various other languages came later (PROLOG, Pascal, C, Smalltalk, C++, VisualBasic, etc). But it’s never been easy for me because I suck at math and complicated logic structures. Especially not good with OOP. My brain was ruined by learning procedural coding first. It refuses to incorporate OOP.
When you’re eager to convert Joomla websites into WordPress websites because Joomla is that bad. I mean, it’s just awful.8
On a non-Dev forum about a hobby topic, someone felt the need to go all woke about certain famous creators in said hobby. Particularly that those creators have ideas and philosophies antithetical to the (ever shifting) ideals of wokeness. And that everything those creators made should be destroyed and never allowed to be portrayed or discussed in public again. In the name of tolerance, of course.
If this starts to happen to the dev world to the point that I can no longer earn a living because it has become known that I have possibly committed or might commit Thoughtcrime because of who I associate with, I will be glad to see that asteroid, polar flip, or worldwide EMP reset. Because humanity can’t progress if no one can write, sing, play, or make something simply because they are not woke enough.7
Kid brings me an ancient Chromebook with non-functioning "t" key.
I crack open the case and remove a bunch of screws trying to get to the keyboard.
No can do. This thing is built to basically self-destruct upon user tampering (Dammit, China!!!)
Put it all back together with the intent of trying to wipe it and recycle it.
The "t" key is suddenly working fine.4
How to Develop Your Talent Stack https://elmghari.com/talent-stack/
"Building your talent stack will give you a unique edge for particular roles or tasks. In doing so, you won’t be competing with everyone else anymore. You won’t be playing a zero sum game.
Instead, you’ll be focusing on yourself, playing positive sum games, and building your own path."
Well, this’ll get me a downrant and probably a pile of abusive and hateful comments, but I chose WordPress as my dev specialty. It’s in that sweet spot between my own uselessness as a full stack and front-end coder and my clients’ inability to comprehend how to click an “Update plugin” button. So they pay me to do that, plus the occasional “design”, and are seemingly happy to do so.
I think I won something. Not sure what. But my stress levels in my career are consistently at an all-time low. I have lots of flexible time in my day to do work, go outside, get exercise, work on hobbies, network with other people, and be with family. I guess being a WordPress “expert” isn’t all that bad.8
I think if a FAANG company accidentally hired me, I'd last all of 15 seconds before they'd be showing me the door. https://stackoverflow.blog/2021/02/...4
Bossman kept giving me a new “high priority” every month. Which would’ve been fine except for the fact that the prior month’s “high priority” was always a type that needed several months to come to full fruition. So he was constantly pulling the rug out from under me just as I was starting to gather steam and make progress. Also, he was begrudgingly paying me only half of the market salary for my job title in my locale. Would have loved to have paid me less and worked me twice as hard. I endured about 9 months of that and then I quit. Now my job is the exact opposite. Paid nearly twice as much with no micromanaging and plenty of time to work on my projects.1
Ever apply for a dev job in an industry you really wanna be jn even though you know you aren’t very qualified for the job? How’d that go for you?8
TIL the best way to “win” an argument on Twitter is to simply abandon the thread when people think you should answer for your “crime” of having a difference of opinion and they start bringing social justice nonsense into it as a replacement for logic. They’re going on and on about how you are obligated to reply to them to answer for your alleged “privilege” and your silence just makes them sputter with rage.9
Spent all day yesterday and a pile of StackOverflow good will on debugging the fact that I was missing a hyphen and a period.
I really, really, really suck at this.
It began when I was tasked with creating a better and more engaging experience for our new Facebook page. This was in Facebook's early days, so there were not really any "best practices". We were making it up as we went along. I decided one way would be to game-ify things, since gaming, at the time, was a Big Deal on Facebook and people were starting to use it to build customer funnels.
Grasping for low-hanging fruit, I decided a Tetris variant around our topic would be fun. I had to hire a dev because at the time I was a static HTML web developer just getting into social media management. I knew nothing about game development or how to use Facebook's API for such things.
Long story short, we got about $10,000 (FB app devs came at a premium then) into the project when I came across a very recent article about the history of Tetris games. It said that even though Tetris had once been considered for all intents to be public domain due to it being created by a Russian coder during the Cold War, it had just been acquired by an IP protection entity that was charging royalties for any variant of Tetris created from a specific date onward and paying the original developer. So, even though I thought I had been thorough in my initial permissions checking, it turned out we were gonna be in deep doo-doo with licensing fees and restrictions if we released this game to the public.
I had to call my boss and admit my error. She was FURIOUS and really gave me an ass-chewing over it. I then had to call the marketing person whose budget I'd been slaving away at wasting. She was a bit more forgiving (her budget was in the millions). Then I had to call the corporate legal department and explain what was going on. They told me to immediately pay any outstanding hours, then fire the dev but not before getting him to send me all code and assets, deleting his copy, and then, upon my receipt of those assets, deleting MY copy so that nothing of it ever existed. And I was supposed to say _nothing_ to the dev about why he was being let go, so that there would be no "trail" leading back to this fiasco. (The dev hounded me for weeks asking what he'd done wrong. It killed me that I was bound and gagged by corporate legal and couldn't tell him.)
I was in so much trouble. I was literally in tears over it. I'd never wasted that much money in my life. That incident pretty much sealed my fate as far as any trust my bosses ever put in me again (not much at all). I was a bit of a pariah in a lot of ways for the next 5 years whereas I had come onto the team as a young social media rockstar at first.
After that, and a couple of other bad scenarios that were less my fault and more due to a completely dysfunctional management and reporting structure, they eventually "transferred" me to another team. Which was really just a way of getting rid of me by sending me to a department that was already starting to outsource overseas and lay people off. It was less messy that way. I was in the first set of layoffs.
Since then, I've had a BIG fear of EVER joining a large corporation EVER again. I prefer to work for small businesses now, even if I get paid less. Much less stressful from an office politics and impact of mistakes standpoint.3
I’ve done it again. I started a new online business thinking that some out of the box solutions would work for managing it. Turns out, in spite of my initial thinking that I had covered the bases, it turns out that none of those solutions fully matches my business requirements. So now I have to either rely on my own wits and poor coding skills to roll my own solution or spend money I don’t have to pay someone smarter than me to code my vision all while hoping I’ll find enough customers to recover the cost. What was I thinking?!7
Let's say you have a business that is 100% gonna get canceled from lots of internet infrastructure services because reasons. Let's say you decided "Screw it. I'm gonna build all my own infrastructure and services from the ground up and deliver all my digital content to millions, including broadband video, apps, gaming, devices, etc."
A) Is that even remotely possible?
B) If money were no object and time were not of the essence, how would you do it?
C) How could that even scale at all if thousands of other businesses did the exact same thing?13