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We were still using python 2.7 waaay into 2020 - It had been heralding the impending doom since 2018 and finally end-of-lifed in 2020.
That's when I finally managed to be the loudest asshole in the room and allocate a team (myself included) to refactor shit up to 3.6 (then somewhat more modern) for a month or so.
COVID the destroyer may have helped by wrecking havoc on our client's demands pipelines.
It was the third week into "the red sprint" when my entire team (myself included) were beheaded out of the company since we had "not delivered ANYTHING in weeks!" (emphasis in the original).
Frankly, being laid off was by a large margin the best thing that company ever did for me.
I heard from a poor schmuck who stayed behind that they were still using the shitty spaghetti code from before our refactoring - in freaking November 2021 - and that our entire last effort was thrown out because "nobody knows how to use it".
There is tech debt and there is tech bankruptcy.
I may have a lot of tech schadenfreude now :)13
So.. the software team I work with still maintain Java 6 apps.. meanwhile management keep asking when we're "moving to the cloud".
DevRant posts are too small for me to describe our technical debt.... 🤦10
Well, for starters there was a cron to restart the webserver every morning.
The product was 10+ years old and written in PHP 5.3 at the time.
Another cron was running every 15 minutes, to "correct" data in the DB. Just regular data, not from an import or something.
Gotta have one of those self-healing systems I guess.
Yet another cron (there where lots) did run everyday from 02:00 to 4ish to generate the newest xlsx report. Almost took out the entire thing every time. MySQL 100%. CPU? Yes. RAM? You bet.
Lucky I wasn't too much involved at the time. But man, that thing was the definition of legacy.
Fun fact: every request was performed twice! First request gave the already logged-in client an unique access-token. Second request then processed the request with the (just issued) access-token; which was then discarded. Security I guess.
I don't know why it was build this way. It just was. I didn't ask. I didn't wanted to know. Some things are better left undisturbed. Just don't anger the machine. I became superstitious for a while. I think, in the end, it help a bit: It feels like communicating with an alien monster but all you have is a trumpet and chewing gum. Gentle does it.
Oh and "Sencha Extjs 3" almost gave me PTSD lol (it's an ancient JS framework). Followed by SOAPs WSDL cache. And a million other things.6
IMHO technical dept is kind of like smoking cigarettes for some decades.
You were told that shit will hit the fan but you do not take proper action. And one day you'll realize that you fucked up (or not, also seen that).
Worked for a company in IT, where we maintained an ERP which was "in progress" for over a decade. The basic implementation was done by people with zero technical understanding. To clarify: not self coded. Software was bought. We are talking about integrating the system.
Therefore, the foundation was like a wet noodle. When I joined that company, I told them that they need to address that. I told them that things will get slower and slower and that shit will hit the fan if no proper actions taken.
Even made a list with flaws I found. With potential risk and actions to take, that could then be measured.
At that time, five people worked in said department (including me).
People did not want to listen. "Would be too expensive to rewrite stuff".
Nothing has changed about the wet noodle, but I tried to fix as many things in a working system as I could. Felt like heart surgery, because changes got implemented and "tested" in prod. No version control, no documentation, everyone implemented things like they felt (no guidelines for consistency).
A lot of small fuckups that summed up over the years.
I left the company after two years because I had the chance to land a job as a dev.
Been around two years now since I left. Now 9 people work in that department with around the same efficiency as us 5 people back then.
The new employees struggle to be productive, because things are just implemented poorly and not maintainable anymore.
Had some dialogs with them some time ago. Everything I told them would happen, actually happened. What a suprise :-|
I will not go into too much detail about all the shit that's going on there, as it would be just too much (and my morning coffe is almost finished).
I think that we all know the difference between "not beautiful, but does the job" and "oh, that will backfire - badly". And I wish that my communication skills increase so that people start listening in future.8
Well, our board dedicated to On call has so many tickets that given the rate our team is going, it'll take 30+ years to finish them all.
Oh and it keeps growing
MySQL 5.5 end of life’d in 2010. In 2021 my company started an upgrade to 5.6. The outdated dependencies meant we needed 25 engineers for 2 months full-time to make the upgrade as invisible to users as possible. We still took about 90 minutes of downtime on cutover day. Not upgrading MySQL on time meant we paid way more in terms of engineering hours. The reason we call it debt, is because you pay interest when you don’t tKe care of it right away.4
The company I work for now has so much tech debt. When I find an issue, I can’t necessarily fix it right away because I have other priorities. If something isn’t a site-breaking issue, then I only fix it when a user or staff member reports it.
The website is a mess because it was built and maintained by an outside dev agency. It was so expensive to outsource that my employer decided to bring development in-house.
That’s where I came in. I found so many issues. Tech debt. UX weirdness. Newish features that no one seemed to use. It goes on.
So I’m balancing new feature development, fixing bugs, and trying to lessen our tech debt. I’m a team of one.1