AboutFreshly graduated Software Engineer way in over his head
SkillsC++, C, Python, Java
LocationArtisan Cave Entrance, Battle Frontier
Joined devRant on 1/28/2020
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Emotionally painful dev learning experience: My laptop (and only computer I had in the area) broke at the worst possible time during university and the guy fixing it fucked it up meaning it took even longer. Combine this with:
*Stuck having to learn Android Studio in two weeks to make a whole-ass app with a professor who didn't know how to make a Hello World and gave us no resources. Pair project so I had someone depending on me to do my part, meaning a lot of sharing their computer just to be able to use Android Studio.
*Having to work on another solo project by using various public and awfully specced university computers. Said project involved real-time 3D graphics and was running at about a third of the speed it should on every machine.
*Realizing how much I depended on my laptop for entertainment and that I basically had nothing that could help me de-stress and relax at home.
*Not knowing when the laptop's spare parts would arrive or if the repair man would give me bad news and even more delays.
*A very poorly timed issue in my relationship.
I know university can be stressful even though it never really affected me before or since but man, those couple of weeks broke me.1
Literally painful dev learning experience: Do your damn stretches and invest in a good chair.
Spent a couple of months of WFH working eight hours a day in an awful chair and started getting back pain out of the blue. Part of my first paycheck after that went into a decent office chair, in hindsight I should've spent more on it but goddamn what a relief it was not having to spend an entire day in the tiny, back-breaking piece of shit my landlord calls a desk chair.1
Is the devRant website not feature complete or am I just stupid? Liked rants and comment history only go like 30-40 entries back unless you use the app.6
Is it normal for productivity to wildly fluctuate from one week, or even one day, to the next? There are days where I hardly get a couple of hours of real work in and others where it's eight hours straight, and I find it hard to "justify" to myself why the former happens if I'm capable of the latter.7
This Part 3 and finale of the tale of Mr DDTW, or the worst coworker I've ever had to deal with. I suggest you start from the beginning if you don't have the context, it's been a trip.
Part 1: https://devrant.com/rants/4210605
Part 2: https://devrant.com/rants/4220715
The problem with this man threatening to snitch on me to the professor if I didn't revert my commit was that he backed me into a corner. Letting him go at his pace with his quality standards would have ruined the project for the rest of us, and I'm not going to let three other people's grades suffer because one was lazy. I'm the PM, team lead, the guy who will ultimately be held responsible for this project succeeding or failing and the mediator of problems.
So I snitched first.
The professor knew us. He had an idea of how we worked as a team, who was enthusiastic about this subject, who was diligent, and who wasn't. It'd been half a semester and he wasn't stupid. I'd also taken the not-so-minor task of testing our software and handling all the little integration problems between components and between the professor's server. This had resulted in several calls between me and him because he'd been flying by the seat of his pants with some of the upgrades he'd been doing to the server code and as the fastest group we were the ones running into all the bugs on his end. And he'd also noted our prior complaint and seen the discrepancy in commits, author tags and hours logged. Mr DDTW had been graded significantly worse than the rest of us. So when I sent him a goddamn novel about our team's internal problems, the bomb was set. And so we get to the conference call, with everybody panicking and with no clue what any of this is about. Except me.
Dear god. That call was pure catharsis. Never have I seen a man get demolished so hard. Mr DDTW got a 45 minute LECTURE, a goddamn SMACKDOWN, about how he needs to take some responsibility for this team effort and that in the real world he'd have been fired. And the professor was so incredibly serene throughout! He could've blasted him with the rage of a thousand suns but he said it in such a way that Mr DDTW's only real responses were "yes", "I understand" and "I'm sorry". An entire semester of this useless fucking bitch being nothing but a leech on our team in three separate projects and he was finally getting SCHOOLED. And then, it gets even better. The professor asked how we could solve this problem, as Mr DDTW needs to do work to be graded but he can't hold us back.
I dropped a suggestion: As I had implemented the module in a way that worked, we could carry on using my version while Mr DDTW could work on a separate branch. Everything else was working reasonably well for an MVP, we just needed to improve and test now, so if Mr DDTW got it working we could merge it back into the main branch. This solved the team's problem of not being able to progress, it solved Mr DDTWs problem of not wanting to fail the course, and it solved my problem of not having to work with this shit-for-brains for the forseeable future. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. No more Mr DDTW. No more bitching and no more shitcode. A grating arsehole that had been bugging everyone all sememster put in his place and out of my hair.
On the way home from uni that day, I rang a friend and told him the entire story as I needed to get it off my chest. Every time I brought up a problem, an issue, a setback, an argument, he made a remark.
"Damn, if only he just... did the work."
Every time he said it it was in a slightly different way, but every time it made me laugh harder as he just didn't stop interrupting me with the same comment. If only he did the work. But the funniest part of all was how right he was. Mr DDTW had so many opportunities to just sit down, shut up, and do the work like the rest of us, but instead he decided to do fuck-all until he got flak for it and proceeded to dig his own grave. What sort of delusional entitlement, sheer incompetence or other dumbfuckery was he suffering from to make such terrible decisions? It's his last year of university and he still hadn't learned to just do the goddamn work (I would later find out that his friend had covered his shortcomings a lot and was apparently the reason why he hadn't flunked out of uni yet).
And so ends the story of Mr Didn't Do The Work the worst person I have ever had the displeasure of working with. We never did merge his branch as we ran out of time during testing. The professor passed him, possibly out of pity or just so that he wouldn't have to resit the course and burden some other poor sods. We weren't the top scorers this time, partially because of my shortcomings as PM but mostly because of the huge delays and manpower deficit, but we did well enough to pass the course with some very high grades. With one exception of course.5
Part 1: https://devrant.com/rants/4210605
So let's talk about these tasks we were assigned. Ms Reliable and Mr DDTW's friend who I just realized I haven't named yet were in charge of programming communications. Ms Enabler and Mr DDTW were in charge of creating the vehicle subclasses for the new variants we were instructed to build. Each one had to handle one variant, and we estimated that both of these would be about the same difficulty (Ms Enabler's one turned out to be a little harder).
I like Ms Enabler, and she's a good friend, although she isn't the best at problem solving and her strengths as a dev lie in her work ethic and the sheer amount of theory she knows and can apply. These just so happened to be the exact opposites of my strengths and weaknesses. Within a few days of having assigned the tasks, she came up to me asking for help, and I agreed. Over the following couple of weeks I'd put in quite a lot of hours reviewing the design with her, and we'd often end up pair programming. It was more work for me, but it was enjoyable and overall we were very efficient.
The other two girls in the group were also absolutely fine this sprint. They simply did the work they had to and let us know on time. Outside of some feedback, requests, bugfixes, and mediating disagreements, I didn't have to do anything with their tasks.
A week and half into the sprint and everybody else has their part almost in an MVP state. As Mr DDTW hadn't said or shown anything yet, I asked if he could push his stuff to the repo (he got stuck with this and needed help btw), and what does he have?
A piece of shit "go to this location" algorithm that did not work and was, once again, 150 lines of if statements. This would not have been such a massive deal if THE ENTIRE PREVIOUS SPRINT HAD BEEN DEDICATED TO MAKING THE CODE DO THIS IN A SENSIBLE WAY. Every single thing that this guy had written was already done. EVERY SINGLE THING. A single function call with the coordinates would let the vehicle do what he wrote but in a way THAT ACTUALLY WORKED AND MADE THE TINIEST BIT OF FUCKING SENSE. He had literally given so few shits about this entire goddamn project that he had absolutely zero clue about what we'd even done last sprint.
After letting this man civilly know through our group chat about his failures, giving him pointers on what's wrong and what he can use and telling him that he should fix it by the end of the week, his response?
That was it. Fuckass was starting to block us now, and this was the first sign of activity he's given since the sprint started. Ms Enabler had finished her work a fucking week ago, and she actually ASKED when she ran into trouble or thought that something could be improved. Mr DDTW? He never asked for shit, any clarification, any help, and I had let everybody know that I'm open. At least the other two who didn't ask for shit ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING. He'd been an useless sack of shit for half a semester in three separate projects and the one time he's been assigned something half important that would impact our grades he does this. I would not stand for it.
I let him know all this, still civil (so no insults) but much less kind, capped with "Stop fooling around. Finish this by the of the week." which probably came off as a threat but his shithead kinda had it coming.
He was actually mad. Dropped a huge faux-apologetic spiel in the chat. Why couldn't I just trust him (his code was garbage and he was constantly late without explanation), his work was almost done (it wasn't and if he'd started he'd understand the scope of what he was assigned), that the problem was that I'm a condescending piece of shit (bruh), and was suddenly very interested in doing work. Literally everybody ignored him. What was funny was seeing the first questions and requests for help after that spiel. I obliged and actually answered what he asked.
The end of the week came and went he'd just uploaded more garbage that didn't work. I had foreseen this and, on top of everything else, had been preparing his section of the work done by myself and properly. Thus came a single commit from me with a working version of the entire module, unblocking the entire team. I cannot imagine the sheer hatred for this man at that moment for the commit message to simply be:
And with that, all I got was a threat to report me to the professor for sabotaging his work. The following day our group got an email from the professor, with no explanation, asking for an almost-immediate video conference. Group chat was a shitshow of panic, as nobody knew what was going on. Least of all Mr DDTW.
Once again, I'm approaching the word limit so to be continued in part 3 (hopefully of 3)7
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a rant with a capital R, this is gonna be a long one.
Our story begins well over a year ago while I was still in university and things such as "professionalism" and "doing your job" are suggestions and not something you do to not get fired. We had multiple courses with large group projects that semester and the amount of reliable people I knew that weren't behind a year and in different courses was getting dangerously low. There were three of us who are friends (the other two henceforth known as Ms Reliable and the Enabler) and these projects were for five people minimum. The Enabler knew a couple of people who we could include, so we trusted her and we let them onto the multiple projects we had.
Oh boy, what a mistake that was. They were friends, a guy and a girl. The girl was a good dev, not someone I'd want to interact with out of work but she was fine, and a literal angel compared to the guy. Holy shit this guy. This guy, henceforth referred to as Mr DDTW, is a motherfucking embarrassment to devs everywhere. Lazy. Arrogant. Standards so low they're six feet under. Just to show you the sheer depth of this man's lack of fucks given, he would later reveal that he picked his thesis topic "because it's easy and I don't want to work too hard". I haven't even gotten into the meat of the rant yet and this dude is already raising my blood pressure.
I'll be focusing on one project in particular, a flying vehicle simulator, as this was the one that I was the most involved in and also the one where shit hit the fan hardest. It was a relatively simple-in-concept development project, but the workload was far too much for one person, meaning that we had to apply some rudimentary project management and coordination skills that we had learned to keep the project on track. I quickly became the de-facto PM as I had the best grasp on the project and was doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
The first incident happened while developing a navigation feature. Another teammate had done the basics, all he had to do was use the already-defined interfaces to check where the best place to land would be, taking into account if we had enough power to do so. Mr DDTW's code:
-Wasn't actually an algorithm, just 90 lines of if statements sandwiched between the other teammate's code.
-The if statements were so long that I had to horizontal scroll to see the end, approx 200 characters long per line.
-Could've probably been 20 normal-length lines MAX if he knew what a fucking for loop was.
-Checked about a third of the tiles that it should have because, once again, it's a series of concatenated if statements instead of an actual goddamn algorithm.
-IT DIDN'T FUCKING WORK!
My response was along the lines of "what the fuck is this?". This dipshit is in his final year and I've seen people write better code in their second semester. The rest of the team, his friend included, agreed that this was bad code and that it should be redone properly. The plan was for Mr DDTW to move his code into a new function and then fix it in another branch. Then we could merge it back when it was done. Well, he kept on saying it was done but:
-It still wasn't an algorithm.
-It was still 90 lines.
-They were still 200 characters wide.
-It still only checked a third of the tiles.
-IT STILL DIDN'T FUCKING WORK!
He also had one more task, an infinite loop detection system. He watched while Ms Reliable did the fucking work.
We hit our first of two deadlines successfully. We still didn't have a decent landing function but everything else was nice and polished, and we got graded incredibly well. The other projects had been going alright although the same issue of him not doing shit applied. Ms Reliable and I, seeing the shitstorm that would come if this dude didn't get his act together, lodged a complaint with the professor as a precautionary measure. Little did I know how much that advanced warning would save my ass later on.
Second sprint begins and I'm voted in as the actual PM this time. We have four main tasks, so we assign one person to each and me as a generalist who would take care of the minor tasks as well as help out whoever needed it. This ended up being a lot of reworking and re-abstracting, a lot of helping and, for reasons that nobody ever could have predicted, one of the main tasks.
These main tasks were new features that would need to be integrated, most of which had at least some mutual dependencies. Part of this project involved running our code, which would connect to the professor's test server and solve a server-side navigation problem. The more of these we solved, the better the grade, so understandably we needed an MVP to see if our shit worked on the basic problems and then fix whatever was causing the more advanced ones to fail. We decided to set an internal deadline for this MVP. Guess who didn't reach it?
Hitting the character limit, expect part 2 SOON7
I worked on a game jam last year, and for the first time I managed to finish a full software project that wasn't for a job or university. It was really fun to work on, and seeing my vision come to life, even if compromises had to be made, as well as applying all the programming and project management knowledge I'd picked up until then was an experience unlike anything I'd had before.
The community aspect was great too, everybody shared and discussed each other's games and were super friendly and encouraging.
First or second week of my first job (internship) and my manager mentions that upper management has decided that a couple of engineers are being reassigned to the new technical writing team, myself included, effective tomorrow with no prior warning, before dragging us into a tech-writing standup.
A couple of hours later my manager apologizes to me for forgetting to tell me about this and asked how I felt about this. I basically answered "not well, this isn't what I signed up for", and credit to him, he pulled enough strings to get me out of that team and back to my actual job. In hindsight I suspect that it was more due to the fact that this internship was a three-way contract with the university and that if I complained they might get their intern supply cut off.
Why would companies ever hire a manager from a non-tech background, at least for managing engineers? After reading @IAmNotARobot's latest rant I just have to ask because it makes absolutely no sense to me. Surely non-tech people should be reserved for managing non-tech roles like sales, HR, and maaaaybe team leads, right? How can you manage someone if you don't understand anything of what they do?3
Shitty meme I made when talking to a friend about how much I hate dealing with UX and people problems:2
I got hired!!
It's been a long month of jobhunting, interviews, and paperwork, but I finally got a job. Real world dev life here I come.9
Dealing with government bureaucracy today. Prepare for pure anger.
First of all, what fucking dipshit site does testing and maintenance in production without letting users know? Bitch I'm getting an invalid date error when I use your own stupid date selector and I had to waste the office lady's time asking about it because you couldn't be arsed to either test your shit properly or actually take it down if it's broken. Who made that stupid ass decision and why the fuck did nobody question it. Fuck you.3
I wanted to make a (shit)post when my ++'s were at the same number as Sudowoodo's pokedex ID. Missed it ages ago by a long shot but I woke up today to find out that I missed Bonsly's pokedex ID by a single ++ that I got an hour before.4
How did you decide what you wanted to do with your career? I'm fresh out of uni and am looking for work but have no idea what roles or languages or software types I want to work in, only a vague idea of stuff I don't want and a vague idea of what could be nice. I'm also at a bit of a crossroads because I've applied to multiple very different jobs and have no idea which one to accept if multiple offer me a job (given that there weren't any red flags when interviewing).1
Best documentation have probably been most language docs and references I've worked with, official or otherwise, especially C++. Completeness, consistency, tidiness and examples really help a lot, since I know I can rely on the docs for basically any problem and makes work so much easier since I'll be guaranteed to leave understanding what's up.
Worst documentation has got to be the internal docs we had to create for a seven-man uni project, you couldn't find shit in the sea of docs that were out of date or just plain wrong. It was so much easier to ask whoever was working on that part about the intricacies of the cobbled-together mess than to either read the code or the docs. One absolute mouthbreather was working on the database docs and put in that it stored ArrayLists. Fucking Java ArrayLists in a motherfucking database. One day I am going to rant so hard about this dumbass and it's gonna be a spectacle.
Bonus points goes to the company's public documentation at my internship. It was good and pretty complete, but sometimes there was a document from 2 years ago that had been written by a non-english speaker that was absolutely awful. Some of them were so bad that as soon as I'd finished learning what I needed to, my mentor told me to go and fix the docs, I don't blame him.
Learning how to make browser plugins by shamelessly ripping off my favourite dumb Reddit Enhancement Suite feature. DevRant Nicknames, coming Soon™️.8
Finished my internship today, turns out I won't be getting hired because upper management is cutting back due to COVID.
Fuck fuck fuckity fuck, compared to the horror stories I've read here, it was beautiful. The work experience was super worth it though, despite the intern pay. Time to start looking for a real job I guess.2
I was always into computers, ever since I was a kid. Played a lot of videogames on Windows 98 and XP, and a lot of my earliest drawings were level ideas for those games. My first encounters with code were with game creation software like GameMaker, but I barely touched the code proper outside of editing a few variables from other people's code. After that I basically forgot all about it and spent most of my teen years being a shutin.
Skip ahead to my last year of high school without much idea on what to do. I was good at math when I wasn't being a lazy shit, so between that and what my parents expected of me, I was prepared to go to university for civil engineering. However, two things changed that decision, the first being a great IT professor, when me and a friend were so far ahead, he started assigning us some harder work, and suggested we study computer science at university. The second was a super jank and obscure open-source early 2000's game that somehow still has a thriving community and is actively being developed. I stumbled upon it by chance, and after playing for a while, I submitted a balance change on the GitHub repo. Even though it was just a single variable change, that time I got it. That time I saw how powerful programming could be and what could be done with it. I submitted PR after PR of new features, changes and bugfixes, by the time I left there I had a somewhat solid grasp of the fundamentals of programming, and decided to enrol in the computer science degree.
Enrolling was possibly the best decision I ever made (not america; debt isn't an issue), as well as giving me actual social skills, every course I took just clicked. The knowledge I already somewhat intuitively had a vague grasp on from videogames, general computer use and collaborating with russian coders who produced the jankiest shit that was still somehow functional was expanded upon and consolidated with a high-quality formal education. Four years later and I'm fresh out of uni, it was a long road between when the seed was first planted in my mind and now, but I've finally found out what I want to do with my life.
won't know for sure until i find a job though ffs
While this wasn't technically a real client, it's still one of the most insane requests I've ever had.
I chose to specialize in software engineering for the last year and a half of my degree, which meant a lot of subjects were based around teamwork, proper engineering practises, accessibility, agile methods, basically a lot of stuff to get us ready to work in a proper corporate dev environment. One of our subjects was all about project management, and the semester-long coursework project (that was in lieu of a final exam) was to develop a real project for a real client. And, very very smartly, the professors set up a meeting with the clients so that the clients could tell us what they wanted with sixty-odd students providing enough questions. They basically wanted a management service for their day-center along with an app for the people there. One of the optional requirements was a text chat. Personally not something I'm super interested in doing but whatever, it's a group project, I'll do my part.
The actual development of the project was an absolute nightmare, but that's a story for another day. All I'll say is that seven juniors with zero experience in the framework we chose does not make a balanced dev team.
Anyway, like three months into the four-month project we've got a somewhat functional program, we just need to get the server side part running and are working our asses off (some more than others) when the client comes in and says that 'hey, nice app, nobody else has added the chat yet, but could you do voice recognition okay thanks?'.
This was a fucking basic-ass management app with the most complicated task being 'make it look pretty' and 'hook up a DB to an API' and they want us to add voice recognition after sitting on their ass for three months??? The entire team collectively flipped its shit the second they were out of earshot. The client would not take no for an answer, the professor simply told us that they asked for it and it was up to us whether we delivered or not. Someone working on the frontend had the genius idea of 'just get them to use google voice recognition' so we added the how-to in the manual and ticked the requirement box.
What amazes me about all that is how the client probably had no idea that their new last-minute request was even a problem for us, let alone it being in a completely different ballpark in terms of implementing from scratch.9
The more I use LinkedIn the more I hate it. I know I shouldn't be a nosy fuck but sometimes I've got nothing better to do for a couple of minutes on my work OS and the tab's right there. Every time I open it up it reminds me of why I'm not on Facebook. My coworkers are probably the most benign people to follow, all they do is repost company videos and blogposts. Basically advertizing, whatever.
It's the other people who get to me, the ones who are advertizing themselves. The soapboxing, the 'look at all the cool shit im doing', the reposting shit from people who I have no clue about. It's literally a window into just the good parts of peoples lives, like any other shitty social media site, but put through the filter of corporate PR bullshit. At least you can be yourself somewhat anywhere else, everything on LinkedIn needs to conform to what's acceptable to the sterile corporate environment, which amounts to showing off your certs or marketable products and the most surface-level 'progressive' social politics.
Fuck LinkedIn and fuck my curious ass for opening it like a dumbass kid who doesn't understand why you shouldn't touch a hot stove.6
The man just asked how to make folders with the command line, what on earth is this 100-line nightmare json?
How ignorant we all are about the world. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just a fact. After a four year degree I've learnt so much, how a computer works from the physical phenomena on the hardware level to the inner workings of an OS to the highest level abstractions of modern web development, a wide array of programming languages covering several different paradigms, mathematics from calculus to statistics to algebra, how to work with databases, how to administrate a server, how to build a website, and much more.
And that's just in a degree. I have knowledge in one domain and I wouldn't even call myself an expert in it. Medicine, physics, biology, the hundreds of branches of engineering from civil to nautical to aerospace to automobile, to geology to meteorology to astronomy, to the practical application of this knowledge in hundreds of trades. There's so much more to know in so much depth and only recently have I realized how little we all know on an individual level.
Finding this out has been a mixed bag, on the one hand it's made me value what I know and what others can teach me a hell of a lot more, on the other, knowing that people haven't realized this and adamantly discuss and impose from a position of ignorance isn't very nice.
tl;dr I know that I know nothing3
Just got back to a solo project I hadn't touched in 5 months due to having other priorities. The whole thing is probably less than 1k LOC split over a half-dozen files and I'm not sure whether I should be angry at my past self for leaving the most recent part untested and insanely bug-ridden, taking almost an hour a fix, or be happy that past me organized and documented everything well enough for it to only take almost an hour to fix.2