Hello again! This week has been pure chaos. Between teaching TEFL, going on vacation, hearing more about trafficking, and doing some site maintenance, I’d say life has been pretty crazy. Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
Last week, I told everyone about a glitch I found between the SiteOrigins plugin and the Series plugin. As it turns out, I was right, so I went through and removed the SiteOrigins support from all of my series posts. That means there are no longer any buttons at the bottom of those posts. Instead, I’ve been linking the quizzes directly.
However, if you recall, I used to host bonus material on GitHub. When I decided to move that material to a private repository, I forgot to change the links on all my quizzes. As a result, every quiz has a broken link to that old repository. I’m working hard to get that issue resolved now.
Site Design Paradigm
The issue described above raises a tough question: how do I organize the site, so we don’t see these issues again? This is an important question because it affects how much work I have to put into site maintenance. Personally, I think I’m going to focus on two things only moving forward: the shop and the articles.
In other words, I plan to invest my times solely in improving the shop and writing articles. That means that there will be no such things as quizzes and bonus material moving forward. This reduces any maintenance nightmares I might have down the road when I want to make changes to the site.
Can I just rant for a second? Work is killing me and adding so much stress to the current chaos. Well, work has always killed me. After all, I’m a creative person who needs a volatile schedule. I like to change up what I do and when I do it every day to avoid burnout, but desk jobs aren’t designed like that. Instead, you’re chained to an 8-5 while your soul is slowly crushed over the course of the fiscal year.
The Last 10 Months
Fortunately, my job is pretty low stress. I’m the only coder, so I’m often making my own requirements and developing at my own pace. Now, keep in mind that I work hard and fast, but I exercise my due diligence to ensure the product we release always works. As a result, I sometimes get criticized in the business world for working too slow. It seems Capitalism prefers speed over quality, but I digress.
Anyway, I’m a bit more frustrated than usual. For the sake of argument, I’ve been on my current team for almost 10 months now. In that time, we’ve pushed out two “units” of software. However, within the last couple months, we’ve been getting pressured to push out four more before the end of the year. While we knew this was impossible, we decided to push forward to see what we could actually get done.
In the meantime, people were getting laid off, stock was dropping, and the business was setting itself up to be sold. Then, around Thanksgiving, my boss quit his job, and the head of leadership program decided to retire. Of course, none of that has stopped my team from grinding away like mad.
Last week, I was working 10-12 hour days to make master happy. I can’t complain about the hours too much, but I can complain about how certain team members handle stress. For example, we setup to release some software, but we never tested our deployment. As a result, everyone out in the field started bitching and moaning that the system wasn’t working.
Now, the beautiful part of this story is how the deployment crew reacted. Instead of fixing the deployment issue and trying again, they decided to aggressively retest my software as if it was the cause. Naturally, this led to a series of issues going against me for problems that either didn’t exist or were extreme edge cases. For example, we ran into a problem that seemed to crop up out of nowhere. Turns out it was an issue that could have been discovered if we ever did any stress testing.
Now, a rational person in this scenario would try to find the root cause. Of course, that’s what I did, and I discovered an issue with one of the libraries we were using. After some searching, I found that the library had released an update claiming to fix the issue. Naturally, I updated the library and went on my merry way.
Of course, the fix didn’t work as intended, so the team wanted to rollback to an older version thinking that would solve the issue. Naturally, it wouldn’t. It’s a stress issue that had never been explored, yet the team was convinced that it was never an issue on the previous version. Even after explaining the issue, the team still acted like they were right, so I gave up. There’s no point in arguing with a team full of panicking maniacs.
Dealing with BS at Work
The way I handled the situation above was exactly how the following video says I should have handled it:
Well, not exactly. I didn’t fix the deployment issue. The owner of deployment recognized the issue and made a fix. Instead, I found myself trying to track down this low-risk stress testing issue. The team simply didn’t give me enough time to thoroughly diagnose the issue and solve it. We were so focused on the blame game that we didn’t get anything done. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised:
Michele pretty much described exactly what happened this past week, but I’m not sure how I would use any of her solutions. The team is a bit too stressed out right now, and I’m on vacation! 😉
I wish my complaints could end there, but no. By the end of last week, we had a meeting to address the issue described above. Within ten minutes, I was ready to quit my job. There were around 3-5 “experts” who all thought they had a solution to our problem. The funny thing is not one of these people have ever even touched the product. They straight up had no clue what they were talking about.
By the time I got around to explaining myself, everyone stopped talking. I never heard a word from these “experts” after that. Ugh, I find that so frustrating. I hate when leadership is just a bunch of guys pretending like they know what they’re talking about. Heaven forbid one of these guys actually gets down in the trenches.
As you can probably imagine, Morgan and I have been planning our wedding during all this chaos. We’ve picked a date, and we have all the major decisions out of the way like catering and the venue. Unfortunately, we’ve already broken our budget of about $5000, and the wedding is slowly creeping toward $10,000.
Now, this is tough for us because I don’t think I’ll have a job by February, so we’re trying to save money for survival in addition to the wedding. Fortunately, Morgan is super reasonable, and neither of us want a big wedding. In fact, we’re trying to only invite close friends and family, but you can probably imagine how that’s going. I’ll avoid getting myself in trouble by just linking a few articles that should give you an idea of what we’re dealing with:
For a little while, I was getting excited about the wedding, but everyone seems to be getting bent out of shape over silly details like the guest list and the dress colors. At this point, I just want to elope and throw an informal party. I figure we can save all that money and pay off our student loans, or we can even go on an actual honeymoon and skip the charades. After all, the marriage is about us.
I just don’t understand the point of going through all the effort to focus on the guests. Most of the people we were considering inviting haven’t said a word to us in ages, and they’d probably bring silly gifts we’d have to haul around amidst our minimalist transformation. I just don’t get it. Fortunately, I’m not alone.
Mass Hysteria Strikes Again
To add to the chaos, that police report from last week was apparently not enough to get people to shut up about human trafficking. The latest story read as follows:
Well so watch out. There are multiple flop houses in Erie for sex trafficking. Apparently. At the mall the hit your car or hand u a business card laced w drugs. To knock yu out. Be aware. Tell anyone to F off and don’t go to the mall alone. We just had 2 14 yr old girls. One half strangled.
Drug Laced Business Cards
In a recent “outbreak,” claims have been circulating that criminals are lacing business cards with drugs to knock people out. A quick search for “drug laced business cards” is enough for me to declare this as another hoax. Just ask Snopes. Do people Google anything before they panic?
While it’s apparent the drug laced card story is almost certainly a hoax, there is a bit in there about criminals crashing cars. Personally, that seems even more far-fetched. What would the criminal stand to gain? They’d destroy two cars, potentially kill their source of money, and make a huge scene. I just don’t see that one as even remotely possible. But hey, what do I know?
I tried to dig up some stories on this, but most of them told stories of accidents which led to arrests for human trafficking. In other words, the criminals were already smuggling people when they crashed. They weren’t premeditated affairs. They were honest car accidents.
I think the worst part of this story is that the person sharing it didn’t even know the original poster. I tried to track down the original post, but the screenshots strategically left out the Twitter handle. However, it didn’t take long to dig it up. The account was public, and the tweet was already up to 500 shares when I saw it. Bullshit spreads fast.
WATCH OUT !! My mom works in Saint Vincent hospital in Erie and has seen people come in from sex trafficking, they’re giving out business cards with drugs to knock people out and crashing into cars. Don’t go anywhere alone and have mace on you always. pic.twitter.com/NphBcBLZTX
— Lauren Eidbo (@LEidbo) December 12, 2017
Honestly, I don’t doubt this girl’s mom works at a hospital where these two girls showed up, but once again we have people jumping to that human trafficking conclusion. It’s getting ridiculous at this point.
As usual, the tweet I shared has seemingly been locked down. The user has made her account private. Seems the tweet may have been faked, or perhaps the attention was drawing a lot of skeptics like me. At least Twitter has a much better embed which includes the text on my site even if it disappears.
Fortunately, there have been a few positive elements amidst the chaos in my life as of late. Over the past two days, I’ve been volunteering at the same school Morgan teaches to get some TEFL hours. And I have to say, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve basically just been observing, but I have been doing some running record assessments with many of her students. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be a teacher, and I’m excited to possibly begin this journey for myself soon. I cannot wait! 🙂
Song of the Week
Guess who’s back?! Eh, that was lame. Eminem has a new album, and I love it. It definitely shows his growth and maturity, so I’m a huge fan. As usual, a ton of people hate it. That seems to be a running trend for is work. It takes people awhile to appreciate it. Anyway, this week I want to share one of my favorites off that album right now called Untouchable:
I love this song. It reminds me a lot of his older stuff while sticking to the current context. Check it out!
Coming Soon to The Renegade Coder!
I know last week I mentioned an article about the proposal, but I just never got to it. I think I might delay that article until early next year. For now, I’m busy with TEFL and the holidays. After all, I’ll be driving home this Friday, and I’m busy the rest of this week. So, not much is planned for next week. Maybe I’ll write something amidst the chaos with my family. 😉
The ACT/SAT discourse is back, and I found a pretty cool article debunking many of the common arguments for them.
The Sample Programs repository is in its fourth Hacktoberfest. Are you interested in making a contribution?