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Author Topic: I am a "developer"!  (Read 802 times)

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Salmon Trout

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I am a "developer"!
« on: February 11, 2018, 05:08:14 AM »
I mostly fit this description, which I found in a comment to an article on The Register:

Quote
Most "developers" aren't systems engineers and never will be. They're hack-and-bash, copy-and-paste, trial-and-error Google/StackOverflow-searching code monkeys who don't really understand what they're doing.

I do try to understand what I am doing, but I do find Google/StackOverflow-searching handy, especially now I have decided to port as many of my handy little batch & vbs scripts as I can to Python. Another comment I found on El Reg reminds me strongly of a situation I have at work: "Who cares if it doesn't work at first? That's what Agile is for!"


DaveLembke



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Re: I am a "developer"!
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 07:36:50 AM »
Sounds more like they were poking a stick trying to get traffic to their website by creating an uproar of people who are angry by how that affects them.

"Dont really understand what they are doing" ... just to me seems like they are poking people who develop with a stick in an effort to draw more attention to a website. If people are happy they skip over it and might not share it with friends ( so minimal traffic to a site ), if you upset people thats when they share that with their developer friends and far more traffic rolls into a site with people defending their position/title/label after being offended etc.

Salmon Trout

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Re: I am a "developer"!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 07:50:18 AM »
To clarify, there was this article on The Register, a pretty good, irreverent tech and IT oriented site:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/10/github_account_name_reuse/

which was about how a Github (a code repository) member deleted his account, and how that led to lots of people's apps breaking because they had linked their projects to his code. Some of these tried to fix the situation by creating a new account at Github with the same name as the old one, and uploading locally saved archives of the missing code to the repository thus "re-created". This has obvious security implications. That was the story. The Register has always had very lively reader's comments sections under each story, and this is no exception.  Plenty of people use the comments section to moan about "developers today" not being like they used to be, a monkey could get a job as a developer, etc etc. What I posted was one of these. A site which specifically concentrates on "bad coding" is the Daily *censored*. I like to swing by there every week or so to see what has been submitted.

https://thedailywtf.com/


BC_Programmer


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Re: I am a "developer"!
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 08:01:31 AM »
I expect the article comment was trying to be pedagogical regarding how much better they are than everybody else. perhaps as a way of allowing those self-fellating systems engineers to compensate for how they have to deal with "real" engineers who talk about how they aren't actually engineers and shouldn't be calling themselves engineers.

The way I see it, Web searches provide an alternative to reference material. Some people might act all high and mighty that they never use it but then they may very well just be repeating the pitfalls that could be avoided by reading a relevant stackoverflow question's various answers.

"Programmer's Guides" used to come with most software development tools, and they often included code samples or even rather large applications- Visual Basic 2.0 even discusses a full-blown icon editor program - so it's not as if you couldn't copy code from those.

On the other hand, I sort of understand where they are coming from. There are some developers who do rely in web searches as a crutch and perhaps would have difficulty solving problems without it; But for the most part I think it is just by developers who really don't care about that specific problem because it's part of some larger puzzle they are trying to put together.

On the other hand, There is also this idea that you "have" to google and see what everybvody else is doing. Take my recent "Tetris" clone. The game concept is pretty straightforward so I decided to reference nothing and do no searches on how it's usually implemented. At the same time I tried to design it well, without hard-coding anything. I've referenced it elsewhere and pretty much just received "Have you seen X" where X is some other Tetris clone/engine project. The entire point wasn't to have a Tetris Engine, it was to Write a Tetris engine/game myself. If I wanted to simply play it it's not like I have to look far.

The best part there is that now that I've got everything working I  have looked at those other implementations and found them better in some ways, but lacking in others.

And once you get deep in domain knowledge  you can't usually google it anyway. if I have issues with our Internal components, I can't rightly google it. It hasn't always stopped me and sometimes I only remember when I've entered a google search like "TheosClient WriteCommand +Can't read 2 bytes from server Exception" or something, as if there are going to be stackoverflow questions about our specific internal server libraries. And I certainly wouldn't be able to google for the algorithms of how to void invoices, how to rebuild QOH, or how to auto-renew purchase orders or how to reverse Open Item disbursements on an Invoice because even if I find something it's obviously going to be for some completely different platform/framework.

But, I've found it valuable for trying to google issues that seem to be related to the language or framework, which helps point us in the right direction. And considering it is sometimes time sensitive because there is literally a customer having the problem right now I don't think there is any shame in googling the problem. There are some instances where I doubt I would have ever tracked down the real problem, or if I did it would have taken a significant time investment. In one case I googled some of the specific verbiage of the error they were receiving and found stack overflow answers which mentioned Group policies being a possible cause, which it turned out was the problem- Apparently their IT department had put in place Group Policies that restricted certain folders from executing software on specific secure PCs (the ones they used for accounting) And it was those policies which broke some parts of our software. The policy prevented any executable from running from %APPDATA% and that was where our update software downloaded the new installation packages to and ran them, thus the problems. And once we learned that- it was trivial to change the program to download software to the Common Application Data folder instead, since it was already running as administrator anyway.
 
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

BC_Programmer


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Re: I am a "developer"!
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 08:37:39 AM »
Also, a somewhat unrelated  thing I've noticed regarding the Internet in general- and articles and posts is that misinformation tends to spread a lot easier. To many posts/sites/blogs are largely "aggregates" who just take information from elsewhere, write some stupid abstract or re-write it into a paraphrased article, and post it so they can attract those sweet sweet pageviews to their add-ridden website. Of course, I'm not talking about any political gubbins here- I'm sure it applies there but that's outside both my expertise as well as thje scope of this forum.

In particular, and, To my endless frustration, for example, is the perpetuating myth that discoloration of ABS plastics (which is a common issue with older tech) is caused by the brominated flame retardants in the plastic.

So now you have countless enthusiasts "restoring" their older devices appearance- which is caused by oxidization, by slathering it with an oxidizing cream. It restores the colour because if oxidizes the carbonyl compounds that cause the discolouration, which are themselves a by product of the Butadiene's known properties of photooxidization that can be easily discovered through any number of peer-reviewed science studies/research. it also expedites the original reaction but worse than that it obliterates any remaining UV stabilisers and UV absorbers. But because after using it, it looks new, it spreads as this brilliant way of fixing stuff.

Down the line, I expect "No retrobrite!" is going to be one of those things people slap on their ebay listings as the deleterious effects of applying it start to be seen in a few years. Some people swear by yearly applications, which is probably a good way to give the plastic the consistency of an aged cheddar- but, thankfully, not the colour, so it's OK (?).
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Salmon Trout

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Re: I am a "developer"!
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 08:40:45 AM »
Apparently, the mainly US errant spelling "dilemna" (for dilemma) arose from a typo on a grammar site, widely copied.

shadow



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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #6 on: February 24, 2018, 02:14:30 PM »
     
    Being a "developer" is something that needs to be understood by the people who work with a developer and here I refer mainly to users, "beta users", other developers, architects, testers and managers.

     Nowadays looks like everybody wants things to be done as fast as possible regardless the consequences and preferably without limitations. Everybody is happy when you are giving short estimations but none cares how you will get to meet them.

     So you "as a developer" are being pushed from behind by all others to became a "monkey" and start to copy and paste tones of code or reuse code from other projects without to understand it just because you have to get better times on the development process.

      Usually people who works with an developer tends get happy with shorter delivery times than with things like "you know I had to develop it from scratch" or "I had to understand this how it works before to integrate it in our project" these will get probably critical remarks like "yeah you had to develop it from scratch but didn't were any online examples to get so that you could save some time by doing that" or "if it already works take it as it is and just handle the integration".

      I consider that "developers" are not willing to become "monkeys" but they are just pushed by all the others to get on this way.

    BC_Programmer


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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #7 on: February 24, 2018, 02:34:23 PM »
    That is completely believable but thankfully has not been my experience. Though, technically/legally my job title is "Programmer" so maybe that's the difference :P

    Another aspect is that a lot of the stuff I work on can't really be googled, so it's mostly simpler reference information like Date format strings that I end up looking up. There isn't going to be a Stack Overflow question about our internal database libraries or our networking protocols.
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

    Salmon Trout

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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #8 on: February 24, 2018, 02:36:42 PM »
      I consider that "developers" are not willing to become "monkeys" but they are just pushed by all the others to get on this way.
    Yes. Where I work, legal/finance in an organisation that processes 5 million dollars of payments a month, we have a gee-whiz web based app coming along to replace a paper-form-to-Excel process. I began to get misgivings when senior managers turned up to give a presentation last year. One of them said brightly "It uses a great new technology called Agile!". So far every single one of my fears have been proved true. It's late, clunky, brain-dead (they didn't think talking to the people who do the process was important), and severely inflexible. I heard last week the lead developer was on a 2 year contract that isn't being extended. A cheaper code monkey is coming in to "finish things off". I think too many senior people's reputations are riding on it for them to just abandon it now, which would be the right thing to do.

    BC_Programmer


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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #9 on: February 24, 2018, 02:55:07 PM »
    I guess my different experience is from working in a small company. Often the person writing the software change/fix is directly interacting with the customer staff who discovered it or requested the feature, rather than passing through multiple layers and "shielding" the developers from interacting with customers. In a few cases I've received a forwarded E-mail with a bug, fixed the bug, tested it, deployed it to their site, and responded within a few hours.
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #10 on: February 24, 2018, 03:01:21 PM »
    Know When to Quit.
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    Salmon Trout

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    Re: I am a "developer"!
    « Reply #11 on: February 24, 2018, 03:28:20 PM »