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messed up practices

2015-12-31 17:30:32.786457+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

How Completely Messed Up Practices Become Normal. I don't think this is a great essay, but one of the challenges in my life right now is trying to work for positive change in an environment in which...

  • Everyone logs in to the servers as root.
  • The most critical software doesn't have defined release procedures, and as such may or may not end up in version control. And because everyone's in as root, often there's no way to tell who did what.
  • The critical error logs are so full of noise that it takes a surge in log activity to alert people, and groups alert other groups to critical errors because they happened to be poking through those.
  • Code reviews are largely non-existent.

And... well... there are other challenges. I came into this environment at the urging of another programmer who said "they need a process, we can help develop one". Other programmer left for Google shortly after I started.

I'm now at something of a cusp, and one of the things I'm concerned about is what that essay talks about, where the normalization of bad practices becomes so entrenched that people take those practices from one organization to others.

The company has grown with these practices. All of these practices have perfectly rational sources. The system is mostly working.

But it ain't right.

[ related topics: Nature and environment Software Engineering Writing Work, productivity and environment ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: messed up practices made: 2015-12-31 18:04:50.272208+00 by: Jack William Bell

My 2016 New Years resolution? Stop complaining about bad practices at work, because I fear co-workers think I'm being too negative and no one seems to be listening anyway.

This essay both re-enforces that resolution and makes me wonder if the best thing I could do for the company is continuing to complain: maybe I get fired, but then maybe change will happen anyway. (As often seems to be the case.)


#Comment Re: messed up practices made: 2015-12-31 18:33:45.86368+00 by: Dan Lyke

I have a couple of peers with whom I co-grumble, and lip service is paid to some complaints at a higher level, but then what actually ends up prioritized and implemented ends up creating the same damned problems over again.

I'm also realizing that I've learned from this job what I have to learn here. So I'm diving into getting current on machine-learning technologies, and networking more, and thinking about how I can get more exposure... Because continuing to work in this environment will not make me a stronger programmer.

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