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Search - "terrible code"
Manager: This code you wrote violates the single responsibility principle!!
Dev: How so?
Manager: You have one function that you call in *MULTIPLE* places. That’s too much responsibility for one function! Functions should only have one responsibility!! Creeping the scope of a function beyond that is a TERRIBLE way to write code!
Dev: But why spin up multiple functions that all perform the same thing?
Manager: Well if a function has a bug in it and you use that function multiple places then that bug exists everywhere you use that function. If a function only has one responsibility then if it has a bug that bug will only exist in the single place it is called! You really should think first before asking questions like that.
I’m surrounded by idiots.
I’m continually reminded of that fact, but today I found something that really drives that point home.
Gather ‘round, everybody, it’s story time!
While working on a slow query ticket, I perused the code, finding several causes, and decided to run git blame on the files to see what dummy authored the mental diarrhea currently befouling my screen. As it turns out, the entire feature was written by mister legendary Apple golden boy “Finder’s Keeper” dev himself.
To give you the full scope of this mess, let me start at the frontend and work my way backward.
This function allows the user to better see the rows in the API Calls table, for which there is a also search feature — the very thing I’m tasked with fixing.
It’s worth noting that above the search feature are two inputs for a date range, with some helpful links like “last week” and “last month” … and “All”. It’s also worth noting that this table is for displaying search results of all the API requests and their responses for a given merchant… this table is enormous.
This search field for this table queries the backend on every character the user types. There’s no debouncing, no submit event, etc., so it triggers on every keystroke. The actual request runs through a layer of abstraction to parse out and log the user-entered date range, figure out where the request came from, and to map out some column names or add additional ones. It also does some hard to follow (and amazingly not injectable) orm condition building. It’s a mess of functional ugly.
The important columns in the table this query ultimately searches are not indexed, despite it only looking for “create_order” records — the largest of twenty-some types in the table. It also uses partial text matching (again: on. every. single. keystroke.) across two varchar(255)s that only ever hold <16 chars — and of which users only ever care about one at a time. After all of this, it filters the results based on some uncommented regexes, and worst of all: instead of fetching only one page’s worth of results like you’d expect, it fetches all of them at once and then discards what isn’t included by the paginator. So not only is this a guaranteed full table scan with partial text matching for every query (over millions to hundreds of millions of records), it’s that same full table scan for every single keystroke while the user types, and all but 25 records (user-selectable) get discarded — and then requeried when the user looks at the next page of results.
What the bloody fucking hell? I’d swear this idiot is an intern, but his code does (amazingly) actually work.
No wonder this search field nearly crashed one of the servers when someone actually tried using it.
Them: Root, you take too long to get tickets out. You only have a few simple ones. You really need to rebuild your reputation.
Also them: Hey, could you revisit this ticket? Could you help ____ with this other ticket? Hey Root, how do you do this? Root, someone had a suggestion on one of your tickets; could you implement that by EoD? Hey Root, i didn't read your ticket notes; how do you test it? Hey, could you revisit this ticket for the fourth time and remove some whitespace? Hey Root, someone has non-blocking code review comments you need to address before we can release the ticket. Hey Root, we want to expand that ticket scope by 5-6 times; still labeled a trivial feature though.
Also them: Super easy ticket for you. Make sure you talk with teams A, B, C, D, E and get their input on the ticket, talk with ____ and ____ and ____ about it, find a solution that makes them all happy and solves the problem too, then be sure to demo it with everyone afterward. Super easy; shouldn't take you more than a couple days. Oh, and half of them are on vacation.
Also them: Hey, that high-priority ticket you finished months ago that we ignored? Yeah, you need to rewrite it by tomorrow. Also, you need to demo it with our guy in India, who's also on vacation. Yes, tomorrow is the last day. (The next day:) You rewrote it, but weren't able to schedule the demo? Now you've missed the release! It's even later! This reflects very poorly on you.
Also them: Perfect is the enemy of good; be more like the seniors who release partially-broken code quickly.
Also them: Here's an non-trivial extreme edgecase you might not have covered. Oh, it would have taken too much time and that's why you didn't do it? Jeez, how can you release such incomplete code?
Also them: Yeah, that ticket sat in code review for five months because we didn't know it was high-priority, despite you telling us. It's still kinda your fault, though.
Also them: You need to analyze traffic data to find patterns and figure out why this problem is happening. I know you pushed the fix for it 8 months ago, and I said it was really solid, but the code is too complex so I won't release it. Yeah I know it's just a debounce with status polling and retrying. Too complex for me to understand. Figure out what the problem is, see if another company has this same problem, and how they fixed it.
Yep. I'm so terrible for not getting these tickets out, like wow. Worst dev ever. Much shame.
LF work, PST.14
The code is a freaking mess. Shared behavior, terrible variable/method naming, misleading module naming, dynamic polymorphic spaghetti, whitespace errors, no consistency, confusing even if you understand what the code is doing, ... . It should never have passed code review. It probably wasn't code reviewed.
The comments are sparse and useless. Quality level: // This is bridge.
The documentation does not exist.
Testing steps for QA are missing several steps, including setup, so actually using the feature is bloody challenging. If one thing is wrong, the feature just doesn't show up (and ofc won't tell you why).
The specs for the feature are outdated and cover only 4 of 19+ cases. And are neigh useless for those 4.
The specs for the report I'm fixing don't even check the data on the report; it just checks for one bit of data on each row it creates -- a name -- which is also the same on each row. gg.
The object factories (for specs) are a mess, and often create objects indirectly, or in backwards order with odd post-create overwriting to make things work. Following the factories is a major chore, let alone fixing or extending them.
The new type has practically zero test coverage.
The factory for the new type also only creates one variant -- and does so incorrectly.
And to top it all off: the guy who wrote the feature barely ever responds. If he does, he uses fewer words than my bird knows, then stops responding. I've yet to get a useful answer out of him. (and he apparently communicates just fine, according to my micromanager.)
But "it's just fixing a report; it'll be easy!"
Oh, fuck off.8
Hey Root, remember that super high-priority ticket that we ignored for five months before demanding you rewrite it a specific way in one day?
Yeah, the new approach we made you use broke the expected usecases, and now the page is completely useless to the support team and they're freaking out. Drop everything you're doing and go fix it! Code-complete for this release is tonight! -- This right after "impacting our business flow" while being collapsed on the fucking floor.
Jesus FUCKING christ, what the fuck is wrong with these people?
If I dropped the ball on a high-priority ticket for two weeks, I'd get fired, let alone for five fucking months.
If I was a manager and demanded a one-day rewrite I can only imagine the amount of chewing out I'd receive, especially on something high-priority.
And let's not forget product ownership: imagine if I screwed up feature planning for someone so badly I made them break a support tool in production. I'd never hear the end of it.
Fucking double standards.
And while I'm at it. Some of the code I've seen in this codebase is awful. Uncommented spaghetti, or an unreadable mess with single-letter variables, super-tightly coupled modules so updates are nearly impossible, typos in freaking constants added across sixty+ files, obviously-incorrect comments, ... . I'll have to start posting snippets to show them off. But could I get away with any of it? ha. Hell no. My code must be absolutely perfect. I hear about any and every flaw, doesn't matter how minor, and nothing can go out until everything is just so.
Hell, I even hear about flaws in other peoples' code during my code reviews. Why? Because I should have fixed it, that's why. But if I do, I get yelled at for "muddying the waters."
Just. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.
It's like playing a shell game where no matter which shell I pick (or point to their goddamn sleeve where they're clearly hiding it), I get insulted for being so consistently useless, and god damn, how can I never find the fucking pea or follow the damned rules? I'm so terrible and this is why "nobody trusts me." Fuck you.
I'll tell you why I can't find your damned pea: IT'S RATTLING INSIDE YOUR FUCKING HEADS, you ASSHOLE FUCKING IMBECILES.
That's right: one pea among the lot of them.
goddamn I am fucking pissed off.8
Web Devs - I need your opinions.
To make a long story short, when my fiancé and I first moved in together I changed cities. One day at the grocery store we ran in to one of his old buddies, whom I had never met. His buddy works as a counselor at a non profit organization for mental illness. His friend asked me some questions to get to know me and found out I was a web developer. He instantly got exited and told us they needed a new website for their non profit, and asked me what I charged. Being shy, put on the spot, newer to the industry (uncomfortable talking $ due to inexperience) and seeing the guy was paralyzed I felt I HAD to say yes. I also said I would consider donating the site to them, as I knew my other web dev friends had done that for other non profits.
They were easy to work with and the build went smooth. We chose Wordpress so that they could go in and update the site on their own. I was under the assumption that I would create the site for them, but that they would take care of changes on their own, that I wouldn't be "supporting it". I even trained the friend 2-3xs on how to use Wordpress and make changes, but they ALWAYS have changes every month, including slides and content creation. Being a noob at the time, I KNOW it's my fault for not being more clear on the I'll build it but not make changes thing, and I've tried to kind of get them to see that I'm too busy, politely.
We'll, 3+ years later I've now found success in a different career path that takes up ALL of my free time after my 9-5 corporate web dev position, and am no longer interested nor able to do freelance work, including supporting existing sites. Since we don't have a contract in place, and they've never given me a cent, i was thinking of giving them a notice at the end of this month saying as of 2018 I will no longer be able to take care of their website, and that they'll have to find someone else by that time? I feel bad because it's a non profit and they don't have a lot of money. I'm afraid they won't find someone else nor be able to afford it. The situation is a little more sticky since this is my fiancés friend and I don't want them to feel like I'm leaving them high and dry, cuz I know they're very thankful for the site. I just wish they understood that I never promised to do changes for them every month. Even if they offered me money, I just don't have the time. I'm 100% fine if they want to keep the site and my code, although they really could use a redesign anyways cuz my code back then was terrible. What are your thoughts on this? Is 5 months fair? Am I doing the right thing?8
I am just saying that many successful biotechs were built on shoddy Unix scripts.
We don’t have to go that far anymore, but if your programmers are swearing at you in five years about your terrible code, that’s a win! You lasted five years and grew enough to hire judgmental programmers! Congratulations!
- Michele busby1
i had an epiphany today, in a discussion with the software architect of our new project.
i'm having the epic job to design & implement a prototype for a C++ library in a new software project and collected some inspiration in our "old" software, where i'm maintaining the module that fulfills the same functionality (i thought). i've been maintaining this module for around a year now. i analyzed the different features and stuff to consider and created a partial model of the new library.
when i showed it to the architect today, he was like "oh my god, no no no, you don't need all this functionality, this shall not be part of the new library!"
this was the moment when i realized how deeply fucked up the code base of the old module is.
imagine it like this:
you want to automate the process of making yourself a good ol' cup of coffee.
the reasonable thing would be to have
- a smart water boiler where you set parameters water temperature and amount of water to be fetched from the water supply
- a smart coffee bean grinder where you can set type of beans, amount of beans and grinding fineness
- a component where water and ground coffee are joined to brew the coffee, where parameters like duration, pressure etc. are set
- a milk tank where amount of milk, desired temperature and duration / speed of foaming can be set
- a sugar dispenser where amount of applied sugar can be set
- optionally, additional modules with spices, syrup, ice cubes, whatever for your very personal coffee experience
on requesting a coffee, you would then configure and orchestrate all components to your wishes to make you a fine cup of coffee. you can also add routines like "makeCappucchino()", "makeEspresso()", or whatever.
our software is not like this.
it is like this:
- a smart water boiler consisting of submodules that know how to cook water for e.g. "cappucchino with sugar" or for "espresso without sugar, but with milk and ice cubes"
- 5 smart bean grinders that know how to grind beans for e.g. cappucchino, espresso, latte macchiato and for 73ml of water preheated to 82°C
- a very smart sugar dispenser that knows how to add sugar to 95, 98 and 100°C coffee and to coffee made of BOTH coffee arabica AND coffee robusta beans.
etc. etc., i think you're getting the gist.
when i realized this, it was like, right in front of my eyes, this terrible pattern emerged like a foul, corrupted caleidoscope of chaos, through the whole code base of this module.
i've already known how rotten from the core this code base is, but today i've actually identified a really bad pattern that i hadn't realized before. the whole architecture is so bloated that it is hard to have an overview of the whole thing. and it would require a LOT of refactoring to repair this pattern.
but i guess it would also be infinitely satisfying because i could probably reduce the code base for 30% or something...
but unfortunately, this is never going to happen, because screw refactoring.
it's a great feeling to start this new library from scratch, tho...6
I have to make a change to one of our web apps today. I hate front end, the code for this is terrible, the fix is going to be horrible and hacky.
I really miss having some kind of motivation for this work, it would make life easier.
Instead it’s just one empty pointless day after another.
Up all damn night making the script work.
Wrote a non-sieve prime generator.
Thing kept outputting one or two numbers that weren't prime, related to something called carmichael numbers.
Any case got it to work, god damn was it a slog though.
Generates next and previous primes pretty reliably regardless of the size of the number
(haven't gone over 31 bit because I haven't had a chance to implement decimal for this).
Don't know if the sieve is the only reliable way to do it. This seems to do it without a hitch, and doesn't seem to use a lot of memory. Don't have to constantly return to a lookup table of small factors or their multiple either.
Technically it generates the primes out of the integers, and not the other way around.
Things 0.01-0.02th of a second per prime up to around the 100 million mark, and then it gets into the 0.15-1second range per generation.
At around primes of a couple billion, its averaging about 1 second per bit to calculate 1. whether the number is prime or not, 2. what the next or last immediate prime is. Although I'm sure theres some optimization or improvement here.
Seems reliable but obviously I don't have the resources to check it beyond the first 20k primes I confirmed.
From what I can see it didn't drop any primes, and it didn't include any errant non-primes.
Your gotos should be nextPrime(), lastPrime(), isPrime, genPrimes(up to but not including some N), and genNPrimes(), which generates x amount of primes for you.
Speed limit definitely seems to top out at 1 second per bit for a prime once the code is in the billions, but I don't know if thats the ceiling, again, because decimal needs implemented.
I think the core method, in calcY (terrible name, I know) could probably be optimized in some clever way if its given an adjacent prime, and what parameters were used. Theres probably some pattern I'm not seeing, but eh.
I'm also wondering if I can't use those fancy aberrations, 'carmichael numbers' or whatever the hell they are, to calculate some sort of offset, and by doing so, figure out a given primes index.
And all my brain says is "sleep"
But family wants me to hang out, and I have to go talk a manager at home depot into an interview, because wanting to program for a living, and actually getting someone to give you the time of day are two different things.1
update : we are at hr round baby!!!
part 1 : https://devrant.com/rants/5528056/...
part 2 (in comments) : https://devrant.com/rants/5550145/...
the tech market is crazy mann! it's one of the top indie fintech companies in our country and has a great valuation.
i totally felt that they i am crashing the interviews , and am seriously not trying to be humble. before the dsa round , i was trying to mug up how insertion sort works 🥲
now my dilemma is should i switch if i get the offer. in a summary:
- small valuation but profitable (haven't picked funding for last 3 years , so poast valuation is some double digit million $, but can easily be a unicorn company)
- very major b2b player in my country. almost all unicorns (including this fintech company) and some major MNCs are their client and they have recently acquired a few other companies of us and eu too, making them- a decent global player
- meh work : i love being a cutting edge performer in android but here we make sdks that need to support even legacy banking apps. so tech stack is a lot of verbose java and daily routine includes making very minor changes to actual code and more towards adding tests , maintaining wrapper sdks in react/cordova/unity etc, checking client side code etc.
- awesome work life balance : since work is shit and i am fast enough, i am usually working only 2-4 hours a day. i joined gym, got into shape , and have already vsited 5 places in last 6 months, and i am a guy who didn't used to have time even on sundays. here, we get mote paid leaves than what i would usually need.
- learning opportunities: not exactly from the company codebase, but they provide unlimited access to various course learning platforms like linkedin learning, udemy and others, so i joined some web dev baches and i now know decent frontend too. plus those hybrid sdks also give a light context to new things
new company :
- positives : multi billion valuation, one of the top players in fintech , have been mostly profitable ( except a few quarters)
- positive : b2c so its (hopefully) going to put me back into racing shoes with kotlin, jetpack and latest libraries.
- more $$$ for your boy :)
- negetive : they seem to be on hiring spree and am afraid to junp ship after seeing the recent coinbase layoffs. fintech is scary these days
- negetive : if they are hiring people like me, then then they are probably hiring people worse than me 😂. although thats not my concern what my main concer is how they interviewed. they have hired a 3rd party company that takes interviews of people FOR THEM! i find that extremely impolite, like they don't even wanna spare their devs to hire people they are gonna work with. i find this a toxic, robotic culture and if these are the people in there then i would have a terrible time finding some buddy engineer or some helpful senior.
- negetive : most probably a bad wlb : i worked for an year for a fast paced b2c edtech startup. no matter how old these are , b2c are always shipping new stuff and are therefore hectic. i don't like the boredom here but i would miss the free time to workout :(
so ... any thoughts about it?4