AboutIT engineering student (basically compsci) twenty-something likes coffee, winter mornings, HHGTTG, sweaters and cursing loudly in multiple languages
Skillsforced into C++ slowly falling for Python learning some JS and PHP working on my Linux-fu, can do a little bash I'm basically a noob OK
Joined devRant on 12/26/2016
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*Romantic candlelit dinner*
GF: "What are you thinking about, my love?"
Me: "The chocolate custard always seems to behave differently under stress than vanilla. It has a lower base viscosity, but a similar shear thickening. I was wondering whether anyone has ever made a database of all custard brands and flavors together with their viscosities"
My brain: *Oh fuck, that's not what I'm supposed to say during a romantic dinner*
GF: "Do you wanna check whether we can find a cheap second hand viscometer.... wait.... no.... you'd need a rheometer for that, right? Do you think we could build one ourselves?"
Me: *blinks in awe*
Even after 15 years, I'm still just puzzled, she really fucking is my soulmate25
If you spent a week fixing that bug last month that has now been sent back to you ...
And you still have to go through your PR to remember what part of the codebase handled that piece of functionality ...
Your architectures probably wack and doesn't define your use cases well.
Like if problem "x" is strictly tied to functionality "y", I should be able to say it is located in Controller<y>, repository<y>, model<y>, service <y>.
I've been reading alot about "Screaming architecture" lately and it makes me yearn for more. Imagine a suite of software, so transparent that new hires can begin making resourceful impacts within weeks.
That'll be the day!
You know what?
Young cocky React devs can suck my old fuckin LAMP and Objective-C balls.
Got a new freelance job and got brought in to triage a React Native iOS/Android app. Lead dev's first comment to me is: "Bro, have you ever used React Native".
To which I had to reply to save my honor publicly, "No, but I have like 8 years with Objective-C and 3 years with Swift, and 3 years with Node, so I maybe I'll still be able help. Sometimes it just helps to have a fresh set of eyes."
"Well, nobody but me can work on this code."
And that, as it turned out was almost true.
After going back and forth with our PM and this dev I finally get his code base.
"Just run "npm install" he says".
Like no fuckin shit junior... lets see if that will actually work.
Node 14... nope whole project dies.
Node 12 LTS... nope whole project dies.
Install all of react native globally because fuck it, try again... still dies.
Node 10 LTS... project installs but still won't run or build complaining about some conflict with React Native libraries and Cocoa pods.
Go back to my PM... "Um, this project won't work on any version of Node newer than about 5 years old... and even if it did it still won't build, and even if it would build it still runs like shit. And even if we fix all of that Apple might still tell us to fuck off because it's React Native.
Spend like a week in npm and node hell just trying to fucking hand install enough dependencies to unfuck this turds project.
All the while the original dev is still trying TO FIX HIS OWN FUCKING CODE while also being a cocky ass the entire time. Now, I can appreciate a cocky dev... I was horrendously cocky in my younger days and have only gotten marginally better with age. But if you're gonna be cocky, you also have to be good at it. And this guy was not.
Lo, we're not done. OG Dev comes down with "Corona Virus"... I put this in quotes because the dude ends up drawing out his "virus" for over 4 months before finally putting us in touch with "another dev team he sometimes uses".
Next, me and my PM get on a MS Teams call with this Indian house. No problems there, I've worked with the Indians before... but... these are guys are not good. They're talking about how they've already built the iOS build... but then I ask them what they did to sort out the ReactNative/Cocoa Pods conflict and they have no idea what I'm talking about.
Well, one of these suckers sends a link to some repo and I find out why. When he sends the link it exposes his email...
This Indian dude's emails was email@example.com...
We'd been played.
Company sued the shit out of the OG dev and the Indian company he was selling off his work to.
I rewrote the app in Swift.
So, lets review... the React dev fucked up his own project so bad even he couldn't fix it... had to get a team of Indians to help who also couldn't fix it... was still a dickhead to me when I couldn't fix it... and in the end it was all so broken we had to just do a rewrite.
None of you get npm. None of you get React. None of you get that doing the web the way Mark Zucherberg does it just makes you a choad locked into that ecosystem. None of you can fix your own damn projects when one of the 6,000 dependency developers pushes breaking changes. None of you ever even bother with "npm audit fix" because if security was a concern you'd be using a server side language for fucking server side programming like a grown up.
Mine are still working.35
I think some of us have moved past the apocalypse and some how landed in utopia.
Person online complaining their app build is slow and wants tips for speeding it up, apparently 23 seconds is too much time to wait.
Personally if my app build is going to be slow I prefer around the “how long it takes to make coffee” timeframe. Can’t even turn on my machine in 23 seconds...3
So, some time ago, I was working for a complete puckered anus of a cosmetics company on their ecommerce product. Won't name names, but they're shitty and known for MLM. If you're clever, go you ;)
Anyways, over the course of years they brought in a competent firm to implement their service layer. I'd even worked with them in the past and it was designed to handle a frankly ridiculous-scale load. After they got the 1.0 released, the manager was replaced with some absolutely talentless, chauvinist cuntrag from a phone company that is well known for having 99% indian devs and not being able to heard now. He of course brought in his number two, worked on making life miserable and running everyone on the team off; inside of a year the entire team was ex-said-phone-company.
Watching the decay of this product was a sheer joy. They cratered the database numerous times during peak-load periods, caused $20M in redis-cluster cost overrun, ended up submitting hundreds of erroneous and duplicate orders, and mailed almost $40K worth of product to a random guy in outer mongolia who is , we can only hope, now enjoying his new life as an instagram influencer. They even terminally broke the automatic metadata, and hired THIRTY PEOPLE to sit there and do nothing but edit swagger. And it was still both wrong and unusable.
Over the course of two years, I ended up rewriting large portions of their infra surrounding the centralized service cancer to do things like, "implement security," as well as cut memory usage and runtimes down by quite literally 100x in the worst cases.
It was during this time I discovered a rather critical flaw. This is the story of what, how and how can you fucking even be that stupid. The issue relates to users and their reports and their ability to order.
I first found this issue looking at some erroneous data for a low value order and went, "There's no fucking way, they're fucking stupid, but this is borderline criminal." It was easy to miss, but someone in a top down reporting chain had submitted an order for someone else in a different org. Shouldn't be possible, but here was that order staring me in the face.
So I set to work seeing if we'd pwned ourselves as an org. I spend a few hours poring over logs from the log service and dynatrace trying to recreate what happened. I first tested to see if I could get a user, not something that was usually done because auth identity was pervasive. I discover the users are INCREMENTAL int values they used for ids in the database when requesting from the API, so naturally I have a full list of users and their title and relative position, as well as reports and descendants in about 10 minutes.
I try the happy path of setting values for random, known payment methods and org structures similar to the impossible order, and submitting as a normal user, no dice. Several more tries and I'm confident this isn't the vector.
Exhausting that option, I look at the protocol for a type of order in the system that allowed higher level people to impersonate people below them and use their own payment info for descendant report orders. I see that all of the data for this transaction is stored in a cookie. Few tests later, I discover the UI has no forgery checks, hashing, etc, and just fucking trusts whatever is present in that cookie.
An hour of tweaking later, I'm impersonating a director as a bottom rung employee. Score. So I fill a cart with a bunch of test items and proceed to checkout. There, in all its glory are the director's payment options. I select one and am presented with:
"please reenter card number to validate."
Bupkiss. Dead end.
OR SO YOU WOULD THINK.
One unimportant detail I noticed during my log investigations that the shit slinging GUI monkeys who butchered the system didn't was, on a failed attempt to submit payment in the DB, the logs were filled with messages like:
"Failed to submit order for [userid] with credit card id [id], number [FULL CREDIT CARD NUMBER]"
One submit click later and the user's credit card number drops into lnav like a gatcha prize. I dutifully rerun the checkout and got an email send notification in the logs for successful transfer to fulfillment. Order placed. Some continued experimentation later and the truth is evident:
With an authenticated user or any privilege, you could place any order, as anyone, using anyon's payment methods and have it sent anywhere.
So naturally, I pack the crucifixion-worthy body of evidence up and walk it into the IT director's office. I show him the defect, and he turns sheet fucking white. He knows there's no recovering from it, and there's no way his shitstick service team can handle fixing it. Somewhere in his tiny little grinchly manager's heart he knew they'd caused it, and he was to blame for being a shit captain to the SS Failboat. He replies quietly, "You will never speak of this to anyone, fix this discretely." Straight up hitler's bunker meme rage.13
Top gripes about getting older as I'm about to turn 40:
5. Actually starting to have moments at home after work where I'm contemplating saying 'Hey babe, wanna bang?' but before I can get the words out my body pipes in with 'Dude, cool your jets, we're wiped out today; check back tomorrow.' Women say they like older guys because <insert character trait here> but I'm now convinced it's just because they know there's less work involved. =/
4. Friends with young children. I hardly ever see them anymore, and when I do, all they talk about are their kids and their shitty relationship with their co-parent. The circle continues to get smaller...
3. Having to go get glasses in order to renew my driver's license. How do we not have a heads-up display in every vehicle by now that shows the street numbers of buildings as I'm perpendicular to them as well as the names of upcoming cross streets? That way I'd fix the problem the way I do for everything else: notch up the font scaling on my display a point or two. Elon, you're slipping...
2. Realizing that the "American Dream" isn't worth the paper it was printed on. (Anyone else remember paying 97¢ for a gallon of gas or $2 for a pack of Marlboros?) Concurrent realization: It's not easy to find work in another country without moving there first, even if you speak the language. Any devs in Portugal that read this, ligue-me.
1. Being too busy to just chat with new people I meet except on rare occasion. Mostly referring to work time here, when it seems I'm always needing to find the shortest route to the objectif du jour. If I could tell my teenage self just one piece of advice, it'd probably be "start your career in Europe, not the USA" but I really want it to be "treasure the time you spend on IRC talking about anything and everything with people that always have time for you and vice versa, because it's going to be over before you know it."
So, the house next door to me is being renovated into half a dozen apartments. This process has been ongoing for like 4 years of here-and-there houseflipper failboating, and if I had to guess, 3 owners worth of this fuckery.
The latest shitheel trying to polish this turd into something saleable has had it sit partially covered with plastic for months, mostly getting rained on. One crew came by last week and put half the thermal shielding up before something happened and they left. Then half of it fell off the house, into my yard. Nice person that I am I gathered it all up and left it in the various excavated pools of water on their property in which I can only imagine they are busily raising farm to table mosquitoes for the local market.
FF to today and I see a crew pull up to the house and start nailing plywood to the side of the house with no thermal pad underneath it. Which is a legit code violation and a mold hazard, but yolo amirite? I chat up some of the guys and find out that they were scheduled to install the plywood today (apparently he'd run out of money for the nice modular siding they used on the back half) and the owner didn't give a shit if the rest of the work was done. Meanwhile shit is still falling off the house onto my house, but also wgaf. 🚬
Tl;Dr the people trying to flip the house next to mine were obviously IT managers in a previous life.6
One week, and it turned out to be worse than that.
I was put on a project for a COVID-19 program in America (The CARES Act). The financial team came to us on Monday morning and said they need to give away a couple thousand dollars.
No big deal. All they wanted was a single form that people could submit with some critical info. Didn't need a login/ registration flow or anything. You could have basically used Google Forms for this project.
The project landed in my lap just before lunch on Monday morning. I was a junior in a team with a senior and another junior on standby. It was going to go live the next Monday.
The scope of the project made it seem like the one week deadline wasn't too awful. We just had to send some high priority emails to get some prod servers and app keys and we were fine.
Now is the time where I pause the rant to express to you just how fine we were decidedly **not**: we were not fine.
Tuesday rolls around and what a bad Tuesday it was. It was the first of many requirement changes. There was going to need to be a review process. Instead of the team just reading submissions from the site, they needed accept and reject buttons. They needed a way to deny people for specific reasons. Meaning the employee dashboard just got a little more complicated.
Wednesday came around and yeah, we need a registration and login flow. Yikes.
Thursday came and the couple-thousand dollars turned into a tens of millions. The amount of users we expected just blew up.
Friday, and they needed a way for users to edit their submissions and re-submit if they were rejected. And we needed to send out emails for the status of their applications.
Every day, a new meeting. Every meeting, new requirements that were devastating given our timeframe.
We put in overtime. Came in on the weekend. And by Monday, we had a form that users could submit and a registration/ login flow. No reviewer dashboard. We figured we could take in user input on time and then finish the dashboard later.
Well, financial team has some qualms. They wanted a more complicated review process. They wanted roles; managers assign to assistants. Assistants review assigned items.
The deadline that we worked so hard on whizzed by without so much as a thought, much less the funeral it deserved.
Then, they wanted multiple people to review an application before it was final. Then, they needed different landing pages for a few more departments to be able to review different steps of the applications.
Ended up going live on Friday, close to a month after that faithful Monday which disrupted everything else I was working on, effective immediately.
I don't know why, but we always go live on a Friday for some reason. It must be some sort of conspiracy to force overtime out of our managers. I'm baffled.
But I worked support after the launch.
And there's a funny story about support too: we were asked to create a "submit an issue" form. Me and the other junior worked on it on a wednesday three weeks into the project. Finished it. And the next day it was scrapped and moved to another service we already had running. Poor management like that plagued the project and worked in tandem with the dynamic and ridiculous requirements to make this project hell.
Back to support.
Phone calls give me bad anxiety. But Friday, just before lunch, I was put on the support team. Sure, we have a department that makes calls and deal with users. But they can't be trained on this program: it didn't exist just a month ago, and three days ago it worked differently (the slippery requirements never stopped).
So all of Friday and then all of Saturday and all of Monday (...) I had extended panic attacks calling hundreds of people. And the team that was calling people was only two people. We had over 400 tickets in the first two days.
And fuck me, stupid me, for doing a good job. Because I was put on the call team for **another** COVID project afterwards. I knew nothing about this project. I have hated my job recently. But I'm a junior. What am I gonna say, no?8
At a certain client, was asked to help them with an "intermediary" solution to stopgap a license renewal on their HR recruiting system.
This is something I was very familiar with, so no big. Did some requirements gathering, told them we could knock it out in 6 weeks.
We start the project, no problems, everything is fine until about 2.5 weeks in. At this point, someone demands that we engage with the testing team early. It grates a little as this client had the typical Indian outsourcing mega-corp pointey-clickey shit show "testing" (automation? Did you mean '10 additional testers?') you get at companies who put business people in charge of technology, but I couldn't really argue with it.
So we're progressing along and the project manager decides now is a great time to bugger the fuck off to India for 3 months, so she's totally gone. This is the point it goes off the rails. Without a PM to control the scope, the "lead tester," we'll call her Shrilldesi, proceeds to sit in a room and start trying to control the design of the system. Rather than testing anything in the specification, she just looked at the existing full HRIS recruiting system they were using and starts submitting bugs for missing features. The fuckwit serfs they'd assigned from HR to oversee this process just allowed it to happen totally losing focus on the fact this was an interim solution to hold them over for 6 months and avoid a contract renewal.
I get real passive aggressive at this point and refuse to deliver anything outside the original scope. We negotiate and end up with about 150% scope bloat and a now untenable timeline that we delivered about 2 weeks late, but in the end that absolute whore made my life a living hell for the duration of the project. She then got the recognition at the project release for her "excellent work," no mention of the people who actually did the work.
Tl;Dr people suck and if you value your sanity, you'll avoid companies that say things like, "we're not in the technology business" as an excuse to have shitty, ignorant staff.6
!dev, sort of
Days like today make me not ready for Monday. Goddamnit nature, why you gotta be so pristine?16
How do you debate the "it's more complex in my opinion" statement?
So, some months ago I was looking at some code which has stuff as 300 lines of code function(s) and I could feel the bad smell irl...
I analyze it a bit and there is a lot of stuff which is misplaced, repeated or unsafe.
I first re-arrange it and remove redundancy, then break it down in about five functions (plus a caller), all is now readable and assignIcon k(made-up name) only assigns an icon, it doesn't also send a rocket in space.
But then I put the code in review and the previous author of the code says that it's now unreadable, because s/he has to look as multiple functions. I counter by showing how s/he does not need to read 300 lines of code to find a bug, but approximately 60, and I point at how misleading having an `assignIcon` function which also sends rockets in space is.
The counter? "But it looks confusing to have smaller functions, revert it."
How would you debate that? I am shy and hate myself a lot, so I have issues debating good points, but I am really really sure a lot of bugs I encountered were due to stuff like this so I would like to be able to explain my point in a more efficient way, for future teams.12
When I got positive feedback from senior and lead software engineers in PS4. They were in Namco before, and developed the games I played when I was like 8-9. Real life heroes.
It was a technically complex collaboration, tight deadlines and 0 documentation in places where it was crucial. I was the only one they mentioned specifically for good work, and the only one who got a gift from them when they came to visit :)3
Slowbro: Do you have time tonight?
Me: No sorry, I can't stay late tonight, I have a thing with my wife.
S: Oh yeah, I'm not staying late either.
M: Oh, so what do you want?
S: Can you help me install linux?
M: Uh no, I can't stay late -
S: No, no you don't have to stay, you can do it from home.
M: What? No I don't have time tonight. Wait you want me to take your computer home?
S: No, no I need to use my computer tonight.
M: So... What do you want me to do?
S: You can do it on your computer.
M: You want me to install an OS on your computer, but on my computer??
S: No, no *sigh* just try it on your computer so we know it will work on my computer. It is a proof of principle.
M: Reinstall my OS?
S: As a proof of principle. So tomorrow when we do it on my computer, we need not waste any time.
M: ... No I'm not going to reinstall my OS just as a test for you.
S: Not a test, a proof of principle.
M: What are you.. I'm sorry, I don't have time for this tonight.
S: Just a proof of principle!!
M: Ok see you.13
So, to anyone defending IBM at this point, a member of a client's offshore team used their paystub as test data. Aaaaand I was horrified by what I saw.
Their pay is less than $2/hr ($3973/yr, 300k INR).
I can't even. Not only that someone would pay so little to a supposedly degreed professional (I question the validity of that claim based on performance, that's a story for another time), but that companies feel comfortable giving full production system access to people I would not blame for taking bribes.
Companies are laying workers off these days like it's nothing.
My company dismissed (just within my department) 90 out of 129 workers — that messed me up.
However, though, my team experienced just a partial effect: 2 Senior devs are needed out of 3 — mid and junior devs are going. I literally had to re-interview for my role again, since they need to keep only 2 senior engineers.
To cut the long story short, I was the first selected candidate — grateful I still have my job. But, I'm sad to see the disruption.
I understand that at the end of the day, it's all business, but mehnnn ...
Is anyone going through the same thing here?
How y'all coping?2
Colleges here in the US get to decide the GPA threshhold at which you can no lonver get any aid for. My college is the cheapest in the state (hence why I can attend, despite my treatment) and seems to make it stupid hard to recover from any fuckup, even on their end. First, anything that's an F is normalized to a 0% grade for GPA. Acceptable. However, any GPA-affecting grade that's a 0% also removes a static .125 from your GPA permanently. A combination of the school's fuckups, retarded profs, constant unhelpful runaround and constant server outages (even before the Great 2020 Fan-Shitting) ended in, effectively, 2 perfect As and 2 perfect Fs. My GPA, first semester, due *mostly* to extenuating bullshit, is a 1.75. I cannot fuck up at all ever again or i'm unable to continue going.
It's almost like they just want my money and refuse to fucking provide a decent learning opportunity due to all the absolute horseshit they force me through to do so much as schedule classes, much less lodge a complaint or get help with issues.7
Last day on the contract from hell. I'd written a project with one other person in our spare time that performed a critical business function. The following conversation was had between myself, the job thief who was handed my job and their manager, with the 10 other IBM GS "dev domain experts" assigned to that team sitting silently on zoom:
Moi: hey all, what seems to be the problem?
JT: how to update the java for requirement?
Moi: I would assume a text editor, have you tried intellij
JTM: she's talking about ticket BS-101, the data is wrong
Moi: ah, well, you might want to fix that
JT: how to fix?
Moi: update the database and update the logic that depends on it
JTM: what changes are those?
Moi: the ones described in the ticket, I would assume, I'm no longer on that project
JTM: didn't you write this application?
JTM: ok, so do you know how to fix the issue?
JTM: ok... ... Can you tell us how to fix it?
*The sound of silence*
JTM: *will* you tell us?
Moi: I would, but I'm already off the clock, and as of an hour ago I no longer have a contract. And even if I did, I don't have a contract or authorization to work on that system. I'm not actually being paid for this call.
JTM: ... What are we going to do about this?
Moi: I have no idea
JTM: ok, so we can look at getting a 1 month contract to support this
Moi: I'm sure our firm has someone who can definitely help you out
JTM: *heavy raging* ... Can you do the work?
Moi: Unfortunatley, I'm already committed to a new contract at another customer. I also don't do one month contracts. I'm an engineer, not a car wash employee
JTM: well, I don't understand how you can just leave us in the lurch like this?!
Moi: well, respectfully, it was your decision to cut me from the budget because you thought you were close enough to end of the project to get it across the line with junior resources.
Interjecting-JT: I am senior!
Moi: Right. So, basically, you took ownership of the product before go live. We advised against it, in writing, numerous times. We also notified you that we would not carry a bench, so the project resources are now working on other things. We can provide you with new resources for a minimum 6 month duration who can help you out. Also, since we've cycled out, our rate has increased per the terms of our MSA.
JTM: we don't have budget for that! How are we supposed to do this?!
Moi: *zoom glare at JT* that question is more appropriate for your finance officer and the IT director. I can send a few emails and schedule a call with your account representative and the aforementioned individuals so you can hash this out.
I'm free! 🥳 That said, still plenty of residual fodder I need to get out of my system on these guys. Might need to start my own Dilbert.15
Kudos to Fedora for the 32 workstation release. It works as advertised on Lenovo laptops (even the new ones) OOTB, no issues.
Caveats: It's Wayland with Nvidia graphics disabled and has no fingerprint support, but that goes with the territory. Still an arch adherent personally, but it makes the office engineer laptop story significantly easier.