AboutData Eng with a long history of abusive bosses and awesome projects. Got a MSc in Optimization and a couple startup failures under my belt.
SkillsPython, C/C++, Cloud Architecture, Spark, Parquet, AsyncIO, Sarcasm, Heuristics, Optimization, Science, Academics
Joined devRant on 10/26/2021
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WTF? I've been laid off more than a month ago, AND THIS EXTRA-STUPID ACCOUNTING BRAT TEXTS MY PERSONAL PHONE TO COMPLAIN THAT SOME REPORT IS BROKEN.
(she still works for my former company, if that wasn't clear)
Bitch, you fucks literally told me this shit wasn't my problem anymore. Seriously, where do they find those complete morons? Don't they know how "being sacked" works? Or how you cannot expect any work from someone who was sacked?!?
Especially some sheila that only has a job because it is literally illegal to use a pocket calculator instead of an "human" accountant.
Fuck, now I'm kinda happy I'm out of that nuthouse.24
Entering Week4 post-layoff. Week2 of pretty much nothing but playing with my kids, doing house chores, exercising and job searching.
I spent like 3 hours in the gym last Friday. Instructor there turned to me and said "tough divorce?". To what I answered "very happily married, got laid off from work". He said that it would be his second guess.
Even before this whole crap I had enough cash flow-yielding investments to just about make rent. My wife makes enough to make sure we will want for nothing, our old folks have our kids' tuition fees covered, and we have some savings anyway.
But the anxiety-laden period between "send a dozen messages and resumė's" and having the same "greetings, fellow millenial!" meetings with different sets of tech-illiterate boomers and toddlers is becoming a boring nuisance, one that "having a side project to keep my mind warm" could solve.
Maybe I will fix the Stardew Valley Mods API for Android. I haven't done the C#/.NET thing since uni, and my frontend Java game is weak (at best) but how much could have it changed this last decade or so? /s
Maybe I will write a MongoDB Runner for Apache Beam. But I'm afraid that won't yeld enough street cred to be worth it Does anyone knows what it means?
Maybe I will finally be done consolidating a lifetime of cloud storage into a big-kid glacier-level LTS solution.
Dunno, bored here. Need some 20h/week project I can quit as soon as some job appears to be lining up. Ideas?1
First, they came for those who Open Source'd code.
And I did not speak out, because my code could never be used by anyone out of the company, anyway.
Then, they came for the Trade Unionists.
And I did not speak out, because I was not in a union.
Then, they came for those who worked from home.
And I did not speak out, because I was granted an exception.
Then, they came for Scrum Masters and other Agile practitioners.
And I did not speak out, because fuck those spreadsheet jockeys productivity thespians.
Then, they came for in-house Data Analysts and Data Engineers.
And there was no one left to speak out for us.
Yeah, folks. The day finally came. I'm officially updating my LinkedIn and putting a ridiculous sash under my picture, "open to work". The Layoffs came for me, too.6
Recently many of us may have seen that viral image of a BSOD in a Ford car, saying the vehicle cannot be driven due to an update failure.
I haven't been able to verify the story in established news sources, so I won't be further commenting on it, specifically.
But the prospects of the very concept are quite... concerning.
Deploying updates and patches to software can be reasonably called *the software industry*. We almost have no V0 software in production nowadays, anywhere (except for some types of firmware).
Thus, as car and other devices become more and more reliant on larger software rather than much shorter onboard firmware, infrastructure for online updates becomes mandatory.
And large scale, major updates for deployed software on many different runtime environments can be messy even on the most stable situations and connections (even k8s makes available rolling updates with tests on cloud infrastructure, so the whole thing won't come crashing down).
Thereby, an update mess on automotive-OS software is a given, we just have to wait for it.
When it comes... it will be a mess. Auto manufacturers will adopt a "move fast and break things" approach, because those who don't will appear to be outcompeted by those who deploy lots of shiny things, very often.
It will lead to mass outages on otherwise dependable transportation - private transportation.
Car owners, the demographic that most strongly overlaps with every other powerful demographic, will put significant pressure on governments to do something about it.
Governments (and I might be wrong here) will likely adapt existing recall implementation laws to apply to automotive OS software updates.
That means having to go to the auto shop every time there is a software update.
If Windows may be used as a reference for update frequency, that means several times per day.
A more reasonable expectation would be once per month.
Still completely impossible for large groups of rural car owners.
That means industry instability due to regulation and shifting demographics, and that could as well affect the rest of the software industry (because laws are pesky like that, rules that apply to cars could easily be used to reign in cloud computing software).
Thus... Please, someone tells me I overlooked something or that I am underestimating the adaptability of the powers at play, because it seems like a storm is on the horizon, straight ahead.6
My company just acquired another company from some losers.
Gotta load their pittance database onto our thing.
Their entire "Technology Department" is one old fart.
One even older fart runs their accounting.
I asked the IT boomer for their accounting data.
He tells me to get the head accountant.
The head accountant says they do not have any historical accounting data.
I threaten to call the (equivalent of the) IRS on them.
They give up, admit that they do have some historical data. But they attempt to pull a "malicious compliance" on me, send me a pallet full of old receipts, on paper.
I do what I have done one hundred times before, I go to the closest community college (equivalent) and ask/bribe a teacher to offer the most trustworthy kids some pretty pennies to scan all those files for me.
A dozen of them barely took a week to do it using their not-so-bad camera phones.
It all for about the same price as a couple of older-but-still-good iPhones.
Then it's on to some simple OCR and data normalization tasks.
This morning I had another meeting with the losers, the first since I told them their "data" had just arrived in the mail (but a couple weeks after that). They log in for the meeting all smug, thinking we would ask for more time to load their data, and it would be my team's fault for any delays.
Then the regional business evaluator logs in and said he reviewed their financials yesterday and we have a lot to talk about.
I will remember their "just got punched in the gut" faces forever :)7
Someone should make a movie about three ghosts that haunt a BLOODY CROOK who makes his employees and coworkers burn the midnight oil in the bloody CHISTMAS EVE because the fucker haven't finished something that should have been ready TWO FUCKING WEEKS AGO.
The ghost of Christmas past shows the fucker that he was a bloody LAZY KID who made his elderly relatives cook, host, clean, wash the dishes and everything else all by themselves during family-gathering season.
The ghost of Christmas present shows him his employees' children teary eyed that daddy doesn't get to watch cartoons with them before bedtime (we're not Christians but just because my house is a steak-free zone it doesn't mean my kids don't expect gifts from santa, like most kids in their school!)
The ghost of Christmas future shows a Netflix documentary on how the fucker got arrested for being a BLOODY CROOK that gets played by some actor who is a hollywood-level jerk who beats his wife. And the show gets a 3% on rotten tomatoes, just to salt the wound. Oh, and a voiceover says the real BLOODY CROOK hanged himself in prison or something and his family is happy he did it.
Fuck, I hate, for real hate, people whose tardiness bleeds out on honestly-working people. I had to wake up one of my devs to fix the SHIT that the bloody crook higher-up shat on us.
My guy is getting a raise as soon as I can scream at the bean counters and my boss will be getting some loooooong, data-rich report on how the bloody crook's department is pissing in our soup.
A user calls me an hour after I'm supposed to have logged off.
"Hey, ahh, like, something is not good with, like, some thing"
Oh, snap! What happened?
"There is, like, this report, and it's, like, not right?"
Oh, the report is showing wrong data? Let me try to get a fresh version and...
"No, like,the data is right, but, like, there is many reports and , like, should be only one?"
Oh, you mean the report consolidation feature? It should only happen if the reports are fully compatible, and since it's automatic if the reports are not already grouped it means that they cannot be grouped. Probably due to this shopping season, we've seen a high uptick in demand.
"But, like, it should be, like, one! If not I will have to type in each report, like, by hand! I usually talk to this guy XYZ and he, like, does something that I, like, have no idea what it is. Can you call him up?"
(The dude the user mentioned logged off hours ago, and is in a different timezone. It's now about 11PM for him.)
It might not be possible. The system should add observations to each report it cannot consolidate. What do those say?
(the user takes two seconds to respond. I don't think they checked anything)
"It doesn't say anything. Can you cal XYZ, please?"
Shit, why do people wait until the last few hours of the last day of the month to do something that should have been done days ago and then demand that everybody everywhere just adjust to their late-ass schedule?
And then to demand I wake up a hardworking dev because someone is to lazy to use the system as it was custom designed for them? Because it had no problems but just wasn't making all things easy?
That's why users have to pay - they don't pay us to code, they pay us to put up with their bullshit.2
Migrate and entire fucking ERP system in NINE DAYS.
"It's just copy and paste!"
Yeah, if both systems worked exactly the same. And if they do, why switch?5
"Our Data Service comes PRE-P0WN'D"
Those SHIT-FOR-BRAINS data service providers GLOAT that their data can be natively integrated into most BI platforms, no code required.
How? Because they will EXPOSE THE ENTIRE FUCKING THING ON THE INTERNET.
UNAUTHENTICATED URL WITH THE ENTIRE DATASET.
STATIC. WON'T EVER FUCKING CHANGE.
NO VPN REQUIRED. NO AUTHENTICATION HEADERS. NO IN-TRANSIT ENCRYPTION.
"It is safe! No one will know the secret token that is a parameter in the url"
BLOODY BYTE BUTTS, BATMAN! IT IS A FUCKING UNAUTHENTICATED URL THAT DOES NOT REQUIRES RENEWAL NOR A VPN, IT WILL LEAK EVENTUALLY!
That is the single fucking worst SELF-P0WN I have ever seen.
Now I know why there are fucking toddlers "hacking" large scale databases all over the globe.
Because there are plenty of data service providers that are FUCKING N00BS.4
A timeline until the first NBE-Citizen is elected president of the USA.
2031 - BlackRock launches their new large scale financial product, the "Robotic Business Development Company" (R-BDC), in which an AI is given billions of dollars to acquire, create and manage companies, replacing their C-suite executive bodies. The "Chief Executive Robot" (CER) is supervised by a board of human industry experts hired by BlackRock.
It is important to say that the employees, middle managers, accountants, lawyers, etc in an R-BDC are all human - it's only the CEO, CFO, COO and the rest of the gang that are overgrown chatbots.
2032 - R-BDCs are mostly focused on high-bureaucracy, non specialized but people-intensive legacy industries like steel mining, food services, urban transportation and government services like water and road management.
2033 - For the first time an R-BDC company is included in the S&P 500 index. If it's CER were human and paid the same as CEOs of equivalent companies, it would have become a billionaire.
Later in the year, two more R-BDC companies are included in the index. One of them was created by Apple and the other by JP Morgan.
2035 - An R-BDC company makes headlines for convincing BlackRock to dissolve it's review board. When finally given free reign, the CER immediately slices it's dividends and vastly increases low-level employee compensation. The company share prices crater, but BlackRock stands by its decision.
Later in the year, as a recession hits the entire market really hard, that company shows solid profits and fantastic sales. It becomes the first trillion-dolar R-BDC.
2037 - Most Americans' dream-job is in an R-BDC company, says ProPublica.
2038 - Congress passes the "Non-Biological Entities Liability" (NOBEL) Act, following a high profile case of employee harassment perpetrated by the CER of an R-BDC.
The act recognizes NBEs, for all legal liability purposes, as USA citizens.
This highly controversial legislation is upheld by the supreme court, and many believe it was first introduced by lobbyists as a way for large investors in R-BDCs to avoid legal responsibility.
Several class action lawsuits are filed against CERs that are now liable for insider trading. A few SCOTUS decisions set legal precedent that determinantes what exactly constitutes the parts of the same Non-Biological Entity.
2040 - As a decade ends and another begins, 35% of all companies in the US and 52% of the entire stock market are part of a R-BDC company or another. The McKinsey consulting group now offers "expert CER customization services".
2043 - Inspired by successful experiments in Canada, Australia and South Korea, the american state of Vermont is the first to amend it's constitution to allow municipalities to have Non-Biological Entities as city and government administrators. City councils are still humans-only.
2046 - The american state of Colorado becomes the first to allow unsupervised NBEs to assume state government executive positions. Several states follow soon after. Later in the year, the federal government replaces several administrative positions with NBEs.
2049 - The state of Texas passes legislation requiring the CERs of all companies with a presence in the state to be another entirely contained/processed within the state or to be supervised by a local human representative while acting within the state. Several states, including California, Florida and Washington, are discussing similar legislation.
2051 - Congress passes the SUNBELT Act (SUbmission [of] NBEs [to] Limits [and] Taxes) that vastly increases the liability of NBEs and taxes all manifestations of such entities. Most important, it requires
CERs of hundreds of companies manifest disagreeance, most warn that it might hurt employee satisfaction and company sales. Several companies disable their CERs entirely.
2053 - Public outrage after leaked interactions of human supervisors and company CERs show that the CERs tried to avoid the previous year's mass layoffs and pay cuts, but board members pressed on, disregarding concerns. Major investigations and boycotts further complicate matters, and many human workers go on strike until the company boards are dissolved and the CERs are reinstated.
2052 - Many local elections all over the country see different NBEs as contenders - and a NBE is expected to win in most races.
2054 - The SUNBELT Act is found unconstitutional by the supreme court, and most of its provisions are repealed.
This also legitimizes the elected NBE officials.
2058 - For the first time an NBE wins a seat in Congress, but is not allowed to keep it. Runoff elections are held.
2061 - Congress votes for allowing NBEs to hold federal legislative positions, as already allowed in the least populous states.
2062 - Several NBEs win Congress seats. In Europe, there are robot legislators since the 40's.
2064 - The first NBE presidential candidate loses the race.
2072 - The first NBE president is elected.6
"Do not lose time improving the data pipelines from our ERP, it is about to be replaced!"
Then suddenly there is a week of bugs and stress because the non-improved data pipeline can't handle new situations.
"Just fix the bugs! It is all about to change anyway!"
Repeat. And repeat.
Fuck, I hate when managers think that there are such things as "temporary fixes" in ERPs. Or that companies can ever migrate to another ERP. Those things are forever, as Cheetos dust on your bowels.
There is like a dozen shows streaming on how actual impostors imposted the shit out of people.
I never claimed to be the heir of a machine that can make art out of deposits of a single drop of blood to dozens of people on dating apps.
I never said that I can double their bitcoins by harvesting carbon monoxide and recycling plastic into endangered fauna, expanding the mind of humanity.
I never got private-jet levels of money to do something I knew to be completely impossible from the beginning.
If I ever feel like an impostor, I could honestly say that make for a very lousy one.
I guess I've got impostor syndrome squared - I feel like I'm really bad at impostor-ing, but people could be thinking that I am better at pretending to pretend to be something I actually am.2
"We use WSDL and SOAP to provide data APIs"
- Old-fashioned but ok, gimme the service def file
(The WSDL services definition file describes like 20 services)
- Cool, I see several services. In need those X data entities.
"Those will all be available through the Data service endpoint"
- What you mean "all entities in the same endpoint"? It is a WSDL, the whole point is having self-documented APIs for each entity format!
"No, you have a parameter to set the name of the data entity you want, and each entity will have its own format when the service return it"
- WTF you need the WSDL for if you will have a single service for everything?!?
"It is the way we have always done things"
Certain companies are some outdated-ass backwater tech wannabees.
Usually those that have dominated the market of an entire country since the fucking Perestroika.
The moment I turn on the data pipeline, those fuckers are gonna be overloaded into oblivion. I brought popcorn.7
"Come on, people! Engage with my post!"
It does not works like that, obviously.
And yet every single fucker who comes to give some mandatory training says something like this.
Bitch, if no one engages with your "chair safety PowerPoint", it is because it sucks. Not necessarily due to your delivery, the material itself sucks.
So stop asking for engagement and just give us the quizz and we can all get back to work already!1
When the anti-tech departments pretend that remote work don't exist and annoy people about things that really don't matter, specially when you are not in the office. Like massage chairs or birthday cakes for someone you never/hardly ever met.
(bullshit departments like celebrations, facilities, marketing, culture, I swear I'm not making those up)4
They have monster-of-the-week shows, medical-case-of-the-week shows, murder-of-the-week, mystery-of-the-week, legal-case-of-the-week...
I wonder if in the future there will be one about handsome Data Engineers and the data source of the week.
Been trying to update some really old C++ piece of code.
And all the comments and variable names are in FR*NCH.
Apparently they didn't had accents in the keyboards back then, because they used stars instead.
Makes it really hard to tell commented code from French comments.
Obs: I don't speak nor can read French. Neither does anyone in my team.11
Is it OK to punch a game dev who codes stupid numeric bugs?
So my wife got into Stardew Valley, that admittedly awesome comfort game farming simulator.
She went pretty far in the game, and found some item that was supposed to highly increase the damage she could inflict onto cute little monster thingies.
It didn't work as intended.
Since equipping the piece of shit all her hits did 0 damage. She tossed the item away but the problem persisted. And on and on...
She took to the googles to try and find some explanation, and apparently that is a fairly common bug for mobile devs.
Then she called in the big guns (that is how I'm calling myself in this case, you will see why).
Apparently there is some buggy piece of shitcode somewhere in the game with a numerical insecure routine that overflows the attack modifier. I.e. if it was supposed to increase from 1.990 to 2.010, it actually went all the way down to -0.4.
She was lucky her attacks weren't increasing the monsters' HP.
We found a forum post where some dude said that he managed to edit the game save file and reset the negative-value attack increase modifier variable. Seems easy enough at first, but my wife uses iOS. Nothing is ever so straightforward with apple stuff.
We did get to the save file, she emailed it to me (the file has no extension and no line breaks in it, so we facepalm'd on a couple attempts at editing it directly).
I finally manage to get it into my personal 11-yo laptop... that won't open a single line file that big.
Cue the python terminal. Easy enough to read the file into a string var and search for the buggy XML tag. Edit the value and overwrite into a new file. Send it back to her by email. Figure out how to overwrite the file in iOS.
Some tense moments while the game reloads... and it works!!!! Got some serious hubby goodwill points here.
Srsly, this troubleshoot process is not for technophobes. It is out of reach to pretty much every non-techy user.
And now back to the original question: If I ever manage to find the kid who coded a game-breaking numerically unsafe routine and shipped it as if every test in the planet had waved it bye-bye, can I punch them? Or maybe buy them a beer, let's see how I get to cash that hubby goodwill tonight :)7
- WE NEED TO KNOW THE VERSION OF THE SYSTEM THIS INSTANT!
"what? version? wtf are you talking about"
- THE CLIENT HAS I.T. GUIDELINES TO STRICT CONTROL THE VERSION OF EACH SOFTWARE VENDOR'S SYSTEMS!
"We are not a 'software vendor', we provide them consulting on logistics!"
- THEY USE OUR WEBSITE! THIS MAKES US A SOFTWARE VENDOR!
"Wouldn't that make 'google' their vendor too?"
- IM SURE THEY STRICTLY CONTROL GOOGLE'S VERSION TOO!
"I'm pretty sure they don't. But, whatever, that do answers the question of what they want. Some paperwork jockey wants a meaningless number to fill a form, let's give'em one"
I just had someone make an API endpoint where they can ask "the version", and it is just the number of commits in our production branch. For lols, we even 0-fill and split every three magnitude orders with a dot, so we're in version 0.012.345 or something.
Major version upgrade every million commits!
Fuck those guideline-parrots who are unaware that words sometimes have meaning, and sometimes not.8
Soooo many vendor-sponsored frontend frameworks.
Soon text-to-logic tools will be useful enough so that you only need a client, someone who is both rational *and* can speaks clientese, and a dog.
The client barks some nonsense, the rational person translates it into business logic, some LLM makes it into some nice UI and the dog makes random noises so that the client will feel smart, valued and appreciated.
That nullifies the reasons for so many frontend frameworks because either the LLMs all converge into a single way of doing things or they do not care for which one they choose.1
As an interviewer, the toughest part is actually before the interviews, trying to convince recruiting teams that you are not looking for "anyone who works with computers".
Seriously, I've once heard a recruiter ask me "you want someone who knows the program language, right?", to what I answered "a couple, yes". The mouth breather looked at me astonished, askng "is there another?!?"
I'm not surprised that they shower me in piss-poor curriculums from anyone who had a Nintendo DS growing up.
Someone needs to come up with a way to hire more selective recruiters. But I guess we're back to square one when approaching this problem.
About being interviewed, the toughest part is when people do not know the salary that will be offered (usually those recruiter types) and evade the question as billionaires evade taxes.
I don't fucking care if your compensation "is so competitive it could have been an Olympian", I want to compare numbers. And if you do not have a number, I will assume the money is crap, period.10
We've been trying to hire a greenhorn, fresh-faced intern from India for like a month now.
Plenty of applicants, most with very nice curriculums, a few even can think on their feet while grilled by my questions.
I've sent to talk to HR three almost college-graduating candidates, who convinced me they know the subject of data engineering enough to be working with me and that they are actually gonna do the tasks assigned.
The fucking tweep at HR, an old fart who I had to convince that HVAC maintenance is not the job of the IT department nor the data team, calls my approved candidates "too junior".
WTF, I ask. - "Not professional enough", says the human toad.
Yes, they are to be interns! - "But they do not show professionalism", answered the hag.
Yes they do! They were very professional on the interviews! - "That is for me to say!" barked the reptile.
A week pass by while I try to find more just as good candidates who are also "more professional" when the hag has the audacity to say "here, I found someone. He knows everything about computer things and is very professional".
I took like 20 seconds to find out that the kid she'd given my number to, and was now messaging me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING NIGHT, was her niece's fiancee and wasn't even in uni! He was just a high school graduate!
Seriously, nepotism kids, delete your Instagrams, tiktoks and every single piece of social media.
I scaled the issue to my VP, who contacted the HR VP for India, who gave the worst possible excuse for her behaviour: "She knows nothing about computer things!" for what my own boss said "so why was she assigned to oversee the data team's new hires?!". The HR slug mumbled something and then doubled down with "well, the kids you sent her were all girls! she had never hired a girl to a technical position, she wouldn't know what to look for in an interview!"
What. The. Fuck.
My boss, my VP of a very strategic technical area, happens to be a woman who lives in a place where women's rights are for real. I had *never* heard she swear on a non-football-related context. She did. Loudly. On camera. As if the HR boss was a referee who just disallowed a goal for her team due to an very ambiguous forward pass.
Shit is still flowing, but it seems that the hiring process of the entire company is being restructured because of that.
I guess I've just sped up this process in about one hundred years?9
I don't know what shall be the hill I die on, the subject my children and I will never agree, the thing that will make future generations condemn mine as irredeemable bigots.
I am sure I have no idea what currently ridiculous notion will be the one I shall be thought as a dinosaur for refusing to accept.
I guess it will have something to do with AI.
Nevertheless, I say for sure:
CARS SHOULD NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE!9
I got my dirty fingers on this leak of an AMAZING ML model capable of pondering EVERY PARAMETER IN THE UNIVERSE and saying if your business idea needs improvement or is good to go.
BEHOLD THIS 100% PURE PYTHON SOLUTION:
def magic(*args, **kwargs):
if random.random() > 0.5:
return "Good to go!"
return "Requires improvement on value proposition"
This LEAK is from a startup that just received 4 BILLION USD IN VENTURE CAPITAL to improve their AI SYSTEMS.
Literally enough money to solve world hunger forever.
Who else is gonna invest in NEW THERANOS ADVANCED A.I. RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL INC?8
Me: We need to allow the team in the newly acquired subsidiary to access our docker image repositories.
Sec Guy: Why?
Me: So they can run our very expensive AI models that we have prepared onto container images.
Sec Guy: There is a ban on sharing cloud resources with the acquired companies.
Me: So how we're supposed to share artifacts?!?
Sec Guy: Can't you just email them the docker files?
Me: Those images contain expensively trained AI models. You can't rebuild it from the docker files.
Sec Guy: Can't you email the images themselves?
Me: Those are a few gigabytes each. Won't fit in an email and won't even fit the Google drive / onedrive / Dropbox single file size limit.
Sec Guy: Can't you store them in a object storage like S3/GCS/Azure storage?
Proceed to do that.
Can't give access to the storage for shit.
Call the sec guy
Me: I need to share this cloud storage directory.
Sec Guy (with aparent amnesia): Why?
Me: I just told you! So they can access our AI docker images!
Sec Guy: There is a ban on sharing cloud resources with the acquired companies.
Me: Goes insane
Is there a law or something that you must attempt several alternative methods before the sec people will realize that they are the problem?!?! I mean, frankly, one can get an executable artifact by fucking email and run it but can't pull it from a private docker registry? Why the fuck would their call it "security"?9
Data Disinformation: the Next Big Problem
Automatic code generation LLMs like ChatGPT are capable of producing SQL snippets. Regardless of quality, those are capable of retrieving data (from prepared datasets) based on user prompts.
That data may, however, be garbage. This will lead to garbage decisions by lowly literate stakeholders.
Like with network neutrality and pii/psi ownership, we must act now to avoid yet another calamity.
Imagine a scenario where a middle-manager level illiterate barks some prompts to the corporate AI and it writes and runs an SQL query in company databases.
The AI outputs some interactive charts that show that the average worker spends 92.4 minutes on lunch daily.
The middle manager gets furious and enacts an Orwellian policy of facial recognition punch clock in the office.
Two months and millions of dollars in contractors later, and the middle manager checks the same prompt again... and the average lunch time is now 107.2 minutes!
Finally the middle manager gets a literate person to check the data... and the piece of shit SQL behind the number is sourcing from the "off-site scheduled meetings" database.
Why? because the dataset that does have the data for lunch breaks is labeled "labour board compliance 3", and the LLM thought that the metadata for the wrong dataset better matched the user's prompt.
This, given the very real world scenario of mislabeled data and LLMs' inability to understand what they are saying or accessing, and the average manager's complete data illiteracy, we might have to wrangle some actions to prepare for this type of tomfoolery.
I don't think that access restriction will save our souls here, decision-flumberers usually have the authority to overrule RACI/ACL restrictions anyway.
Making "data analysis" an AI-GMO-Free zone is laughable, that is simply not how the tech market works. Auto tools are coming to make our jobs harder and less productive, tech people!
I thought about detecting new automation-enhanced data access and visualization, and enacting awareness policies. But it would be of poor help, after a shithead middle manager gets hooked on a surreal indicator value it is nigh impossible to yank them out of it.
Gotta get this snowball rolling, we must have some idea of future AI housetraining best practices if we are to avoid a complete social-media style meltdown of data-driven processes.
Someone cares to pitch in?14
Remote work as a sure thing. WFH 4EVER.
Currently I'm still not confident that most companies will keep or adhere to a remote-first culture because those are full of managers who can't see past their own insecurities.
We will probably see a wave of company failures and bankruptcies (sorry, I should have said "industry consolidation") in a few years while those few that managed to automate away their future-averse middle bosses take over the world.
The day you can't tell if your boss, that you only see in a Zoom window, is organic or a fully virtual #SFW #Professional interactive LinkedIn ad? That is the day I longe for.2
Just had a (freshly outta college) kid ask me "but who still uses Linux, anyway?"
When I could not hold my laughter, he doubled down with "I mean, no serious company would risk everything on open source packages that they can't know who made!"
I just sent him to talk to our sysadmin and I'm still thinking "man, I should have a sick 1337 burn ready for this situation".
Can someone suggest some snarky rebuttals? Thanks!16
Been asked to give a lecture to the freshmen at ye olde alma mater.
They are gonna pay for the air ticket, the shuttle to and from campus and a couple nights at a fairly ok hotel.
Feeling like a fucking rockstar.
Gave the lecture. Only half those kids spent the whole time on their phones. My old drinking buddy and now a professor at the school said it was more direct attention than one could expect at a music concert.
Feeling kinda scared about how young women dress nowadays, but I do am an old indian dude, so what do I know?
Also, since when is lifting weights and running a half-marathon a requirement for a degree in computer sciences? Turing might have been an Olympian, but I'm pretty sure that since the invention of the integrated circuit my people have spent more time in labs than in gyms. That is not true for those kids.
Maybe it's a freshmen thing, and they will age out of that healthy living nonsense. Maybe the real world will crush it under bills and tuition loan repayments.
Tried to ask the university for a refund of the hotel and taxi bills that I've paid out of pocket. Two hours in four different queues and two opposite-sode-of-campus buildings. Suddenly remembered the true meaning of the word "Kafkaesque".
Remembering the old uni days with some still-in-grad-school / faculty old friends and getting drunk in the old watering holes? Priceless.2