Shitty CEO

Ok. I’ll preface this with saying that I actually like the guy. It’s just when it comes to the business of software development, he is clueless. A bad thing when you’re primary product is software and half of your employees are software “engineers”.

So what happened?

He’s a bit of a scatter brain and promises new products with little to no investigation, prototyping, or even questioning the potential customer for the right details. So what does he do? He promises delivery of a product in five months that doesn’t exist…

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So another dev and I were assigned this product that was sold with vaporware.

For the uninitiated, vaporware, in software, is a mockup that looks like it works, but it’s essentially hardcoded trash.

I asked the CEO about specs. “Any particular way you want this built?” “No”, he says, “I don’t care how you get it to work, just get it to work.”

Well, alright then.

We get to work. The other dev starts on frontend stuff. I start on database design. After that, I have to decide on the best way to make this happen. A little explanation first.

We are working on inventory tracking with RFID readers. We have to track items in a building, constantly, with antennas in every room. A set of four antennas are attached to a single reader. The reader connects to a network. There could be “unlimited” readers. Readers can be interacted with through their own API. Like turning on/off, settings, etc. Also, the readers can send their reads through an HTTP post request. I decide, since we are dealing with at least two brands of readers, each with their own internal API, that it would be best to build an API to consume the requests sent from the readers. A much simpler and more flexible approach than what they’ve done in the past. And by god I got it to work pretty damn well.

demo day

So my partner has a front end going. Running off of my database design and being filled by data from my API. The CEO thinks it looks great and works smooth. Then I show him the Swagger interface, just to give him an idea of what’s happening behind the scenes. Dude flips his lead.

“Don’t you know that the readers already have an API? You’re just doubling up work!”

Thank god the VP was there to clear things up. But damn, if I didn’t have that stupid covid mask on, he would’ve seen the scowl. Actually, my coworker said he could tell, even with the mask on, so maybe the boss could, too.

Anyways, what did I do about this? I got a new fucking job, baby!

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More on that later.

Golden Handcuffs

I’m glad I’m not in retail. I’m glad I’m not busting my ass everyday on some hot roof, or in some stymie assembly line. I’m glad I get decent pay for sitting infront of a screen all day. That desk and paycheck is affectionately known as a pair of “golden handcuffs.”

We all feel it sometimes: Stare at code. hit compile. “Fuck!”. Repeat.

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Then it hits you. The original title was going to be “what are ya in fer?” Who doesn’t feel like a prisoner sometimes. I know it’s the most first world thing to say, but hell, everyone has it worse than someone else.

Sometimes it feels a bit like a post office. Endless mail. No matter how many letters you send out, more comes in. Like Newman.

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Sometimes it just gets really boring. Working on the same, boring project. Maybe you’ve been relegated to a certain part, like the api, or a certain feature. Sucks balls.

Thats why I think every software engineer needs a no-tech hobby. Otherwise, you’ll get burned out big time.

But hell, I’m on break now. I’m just going to try not thinking about it.

How did you get sucked into this industry?

Merry Christmas, Devs

It’s finally Christmas. I’m sitting here trying to make some obnoxious bots to generate some passive income. I see it as my only way out. It’s a terrible thing to spend a day meant for family and friends working on code. But if I want peace of mind in the future, I need to grind.

Like most robotic, 1st world shitheads, I try to set some goals for the upcoming year. I’ve gotten pretty good at lowering my expectations enough to hit them; however, his upcoming year may be a real challenge.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m sick of people. Wether it be the general public at some godforsaken big box hell-hole, co-workers, or extended family, I know I’d rather be left alone. So I need to work toward that if I want to achieve any semblance of satisfaction.

New Years Plan

Like I mentioned early, I’m working on a bot. It’s not my first, but it’ll be my first serious attempt at monetizing it. I won’t mention what it is yet. But hopefully it can be scaled to the point where it generates enough income to invest elsewhere (mainly real-estate).

I’m not trying to get out of working, but I need to get out of working with people. If not, I’ll slowly slip into a pit of depression and loose all my drive.

So that is my main goal for the year. Generate passive income and start working remotely. Check back in a year to see if I made it, or if I’m slumped over some toilet in a dive bar complaining about conflicting merges from my coworkers between dry-heaves.

Have a great holiday.

Scrum Sucks Ass

Scrum generally sucks big ole monkey balls. Not that the idea of scrum is inherently bad, but it lends itself to being exploited by different personalities, wether intentional or not. Here are some of the ways scrum gets derailed:

The over zealous Scrum-master

So someone just did a weekend course on the company’s dime and got a meaningless certificate. Let’s call this person Bob. And Bob is excited to put all the great things he ‘learned’ to good use. Big dreams. Big goals. Big Bob is gonna do it all. He’s a real go get ‘er.

Bob wants ice breakers to kick off the sprint meeting. Bob is in the meeting room 5 minutes early for daily Scrum, staring down his team. Bob decides to pull a bunch of people with a few hours to spare per week to put on the project. Bob can’t understand why the Jira board isn’t moving while team members are catching up new members who only work a few hours a week on the project. Bob is upset when delivery is late. Bob schedules extra meetings to get to the bottom of it. Bob is an idiot. Bob is destined for management.

The Blabber Mouth

You’re lucky if you don’t have this person on your team. The daily standup is going smoothly. “What I did. What I’m doing. Do I have any roadblocks.” Most people don’t talk more than a minute. But you’re waiting, because you know it’s about to be their turn. Then it happens. Blabber Mouth Marty. Fucking Marty doesn’t know when to shut up. Marty thinks he looks oh so fucking cool when he describes, in painful detail, his solution to his problem. Rather than being a normal developer and just saying, “I fixed that bug”, Marty wants approval and admiration. Not from the other devs, because we don’t give a shit. Marty is sucking up to Bob. The problem is, Bob is actually impressed. Fuckers. Two peas in a shit pod.

Your eyes are glazed over. You’re thinking about what you’ll work on next, or how badly you need to piss. Marty is now asking questions that should be in the fucking project requirements. But Bob is sucked in. He lives for this shit. Daily standup just turned into a full blown meeting.

I hate you, Marty.

The Ass

So your plate is pretty full, right? You’re juggling a few different issues at once. You’re stressed. Like butter spread across too much bread. You mention an issue you’re hung up on. Fair enough. You have a lot going on, and it’s tricky.

But Ass-Hole Larry just kinda scoffs. Man. Fuck you.

Pigpen

Remember Pigpen from The Peanuts? He was the dirty, smelly poor kid in the class. Except this guy at works makes as much or more money than you do, yet he still can’t seem to afford soap. Well, that’s what you assume, because that is the only logical reason why someone would clean before coming to work like a normal fucking human.

This guy(s)(woman/women) can’t seem to figure out that I can smell him coming. I literally know he’s walking up just because of his smell. Just fucking shower and roll on some deodorant. God damn.

Surefire Way to Identify the Dead Weight (a guide for managers)

So you’re some kind of manager at some bull-shit software company. Cool. Good for you. You’re always trying to optimize and maximize. But for some reason, you keep doing retarded shit like throw more people at a project, add features, and waste time with useless meetings.

I’m going to provide you with a 100% tried and true method to identify dead weight on a software team. I expect you to send me 10% of your annual savings if you use my process.

So what can a manager/team lead/etc do to find the biggest drag on the team?

Here it is: follow productivity during people’s time off.

Ever notice when a certain employee takes a few days, and suddenly a ton of shit gets done? That’s because that employee is not only bad at their job, but pulls everyone else down.

Do what you will with this info.

The Crying SE1

Emotions in the work place are strange. I understand we are all emotional creatures and we can’t ignore our feelings, but I think we can all agree that there is a time and place for expressing emotions; wether they are excitement, anger, sadness, or joy.

It’s often said that women are more emotional than men. While I don’t think that is true, I do see women expressing certain emotions more often. Argue with me on that if you wish.

However, I haven’t really noticed women in the workplace being overly emotional. I’ve had the strange experience of mostly working with women. Since my teenage years at a grocery store, I’ve been surrounded by a majority of women at work. I’ve even had jobs where I was the only man. I’ve also had jobs where I was one of two in a department.

I’m no stranger to working with women at all. I have zero problem with it. I only mention my work history in relation to men-to-women ratios to say that I haven’t had an issue with emotional women at work. This may be a surprise to some people. It breaks a persistent stereotype.

Things have taken a weird turn. Now that I’m in a primarily male dominated field, I have to deal with the ‘diversity hire’ I introduced last time.

And she is fucking emotional.

And I goddamn mean it.

If you’re involved in software in any capacity, you’re well aware that sometimes, features get scrapped or replaced. Right? You could get assigned a task, work on it, perhaps complete it, and the customer comes back with different requirements and requests.

Your code doesn’t make it to production. Woopty-fucking-doo, right? You get paid regardless.

Not the Diversity Hire.

Recently, she implemented a feature (that took way to damn long for her to complete for what it was) that was scrapped. Our PM tells us about the change in scrum. What does she do? She fucking cries.

She cried because her work wouldn’t get used.

I have never heard of someone taking a feature change that hard. It’s not even a major feature in a big project. It’s some janky side project that was requested and whipped up in a few weeks. It’ll be used for a couple of months and then be dead. Who cares?

And this is the tip of the god-damn cunt stained iceberg. Stay tuned for a shit show of a post in the near future.

The Diversity Hire

There are two people at work I really can’t stand. One is some fat piece of shit that will “ackully” everything I say. It doesn’t matter how little he actually knows about the subject. He has a real hard-on for shutting me down. More on him later. Today I’m talking about the other person.

In the past few years, there’s been a real push to “diversify” the workplace. Incase you’re an idiot, this means putting women in typically male dominated jobs, as long as they’re “cool” jobs. Not logging, trucking, welding, or sanitation. It’s mainly just tech. Note that this doesn’t work the other way around. No push for more men nurses or preschool teachers.

Why the fuck am I talking about this? Because the day-to-day bane of my existence is a diversity hire. My company really likes to taut how it’s a ‘woman’ owned business and trot out their “female developer.”

Now I couldn’t give two shits about a woman writing some code. I only have a problem with hiring someone because of their sex parts. But this woman only started writing code a few months before starting.

Okay, cool. A company that gives young devs a chance. They put her in charge of the company’s flagship software.

WTF.

A multimillion dollar piece of software is in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand many-to-many relations in a database. Serious. She tried to put a list of usernames in a varchar column. I asked her why, and she kinda got huffy and dismissed me. That is the root of her personality. She can’t stand criticism and just really bitchy. it seems like every week during scrum (her scrum spills will be a whole separate post) she talks about someone she hates. I’m not sure if it’s insecurity or bitchy-ness. It may be both.

No one really challenges her. Just praise. Since I have to deal with her code the most, I’m the only one who dares to speak up. I’ve given up on that.

I try to be as diplomatic as possible. Even then, she gets defensive, and everyone else looks at me like, 😮 “how could you say that to her?” It’s a real coddled environment for her. If she ever gets a job at a real dev house, she’s in for a rude awakening.

Sorry for the rambling. I’ll try to be more cohesive in the future.

Intro

Most every developer is faced with these constant, nagging annoyances that seem unavoidable. It seems to be a product of our time. A glut of “developers” coupled with a market that can house them. The market demand for quick, “working” code allows for shoddy code with poor to zero testing.

But this blog isn’t really about better code, testing, AGILE, or anything else that may make your job easier. This is a place for me to vent my frustrations with an inexperienced team, supervisors who are blind to the obvious, and certain individuals.

The distinction between the team and the individuals is important. The team is like its own, separate annoying person with its idiosyncrasies.

I’m not certain where this will go or what will become of it. I hope to jot down some experiences and thoughts about some things. I don’t think this will be very PC. I have to put up with some shit and keep my mouth shut everywhere. Maybe that’s why I’m writing this. Because I can’t vent to anyone in ernest. Hopefully someone will come across this who can releate.