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Comment Re: Lack of vacation is the big problem (Score 1) 262

It didn't come without some fight. I made it completely clear in the interview I would not do death marches. I assured them if they needed overtime for a short period to hit a serious deadline I would do that, but I wouldn't death march for weeks on end to fix bad estimates or project management. I wouldn't do it to my team either. There was some friction with middle management, but some things are worth fighting over.

When I moved companies, they accepted that, and as a reward had their most productive and profitable years ever while I was at the helm of their development team.

Now, my examples are small to medium sized companies, working for very large financial companies. YMMV.

Comment Re: Lack of vacation is the big problem (Score 1) 262

The issue here is trying to sell a product you are not actually capable of building. Your company sold them x amount of work over y time, when they only had x/z amount of people to do that work in y time.

It's like a factory capable of making 2000 widgets / hour taking on a contract for 6000 widgets / hour.

Management and the development team need to work hand in glove to be sure they are capable of what the sales team is selling. At those jobs I had enough sway and close enough relationships to both management and sales to ensure we were covered.

If you over-sell your ability to produce, you better hope like hell you can recruit either some good permanents, or fill up the gaps with competent contractors (often a better choice) to make any deadlines you promise.

Again, I am going to state, if you are on a death march lasting five years, or even five weeks - that's not a death march - it's just business as usual for that company. Even if they hired enough people to cover that project, they would have oversold more work and left you all death marching to the next deadline.

Don't work for companies like that. It's not worth your health, or the massive loss of income you incur, because you're working 60-80 hours for a 40 hour wage.

Comment Re: Lack of vacation is the big problem (Score 1) 262

That sounds like total incompetence from the people responsible for managing the project. Either your deadlines were ridiculous to begin with, you didn't re-negotiate smarter deadlines and more money from the client like you should have, or your company wants to work you to death then quickly replace you with another zombie.

Any death march that lasts more than a few weeks is a red flag you are working at a terrible company and need to switch jobs.

The rest few years I worked, not one single product I was responsible for required a death march. We shipped everything on time and to spec to the client. My team were happy, productive, and motivated because of this. They had a good solid work / leisure balance. People would happily stay late for a few nights if we had some things that needed doing outside business hours - even a few weekends, for the same reason. They were always rewarded with time off or a bonus for going above and beyond their job description.

Comment Re:99.9% perfection X 14 million lines = 14,000 fl (Score 1) 236

Since we have the word "regression" no, I am not implying that. I am stating that when reviewed there is a decent chance of errors being found and that code will tend towards less errors in the absence of new features. It's unreasonable to expect that code refactors will never add new bugs, but it is perfectly reasonable to assume that they will trend towards less bugs.

Comment Re:99.9% perfection X 14 million lines = 14,000 fl (Score 1) 236

You've forgotten about the existence of iteration. Your assumption is they only have one chance ever to write a piece of code, and that it is never reviewed by another coder, or even the original coder after it's been written. You assume the code is never refactored, or passed through static check tools or other forms of analysis.

Comment Re:I feel that lone sysadmin's pain (Score 1) 356

Accenture made exactly this blunder on the London Stock Exchange website root folder (running on IIS). Some nimrod came in and accidentally deleted all the files from that folder taking about 30 different financial products offline. We noticed pretty quick and scrambled to restore from a backup.

Funny thing is...some other nimrod or the same one did almost the same thing a month later, this time only removing a few key products :-)

Comment Re:Artistic control? (Score 1) 213

You're missing the fact that you can actually develop the film at home in your own darkroom, and have total control over the type of film, the chemicals used to develop it, the temperature of the chemical baths, under and over exposure, push processing and cross processing. Sure, most of these decisions have to be made in advance and apply to a while roll at a time, but 120 film on a 6x7 camera is only about 10 shots. Better yet, using a frame camera you shot individual shots on massive pieces of film and can develop it exactly the way you want.

Once you have the negative developed, it's child's play to scan it into a PC and do anything that could be done to a digital photo. Alternatively, spend a few hours in the darkroom developing prints the old fashioned way. You have quite a lot of control at the print making stage, from dodging and burning, contrast filters, toners (sepia, chocolate, etc)

Comment Re:Just bought one (Score 1) 130

If you're in Australia you can switch to a mobile plan from Aldi supermarket. It's pre-paid, but unlike most which expire the credits each month, this one lasts for 12 months at a time and is only $15. So, if like me, you really only keep a phone on hand in case of a vehicle break-down or a rare lunch meetup then you can switch to this plan and save $525 / year for the rest of your life.

Comment Two Party System (Score 3, Insightful) 191

It's probably not so much they are fanatical about Android, but simply don't want to use Apple, and there's really only the one main competitor to turn to from there. If you don't want an Apple handset you are almost bound to buy an Android set, unless you have a fetish for Windows.

People are pretty heavily conditioned by decades of advertising to believe brand is a highly valuable thing when deciding which item to buy. Samsung has a lot of brand recognition and many leading products on the market - it's no surprise they held their ground.

Comment Just bought one (Score 1) 130

I literally just bought a Moto G4 Play phone a couple of days ago. Being vanilla Android was a big selling point for me. I don't care for mobile games, so as long as it works as a phone, can SMS, and run a couple of apps that I want it's perfect for me. The price was pretty damn good compared to the other stuff out there. I really like the fact it has little to no bloatware.

It took me 10 years to replace my old Nokia N73. I hardly ever make calls, and I have a desktop PC so I could care less about what most people use their phone for. The local telco finally removed 2G and some 3G support forcing me to look for a new handset...I guess I'm a ludite.

You can get off my lawn now.

Comment Re:Hate the office life (Score 2) 250

I had only one dev job where they had a virtual jukebox loaded with music which played at annoying volumes all day long. The real problem was that the people who loaded it up had terrible generic radio friendly taste in music. I heard the same dull songs day after day with the worst offender being a guy who queued up La Bamba and Come on Eileen every single day near knock off time.

I couldn't stand it, so I had to bring in a big set of headphones and play something I liked just to drown out the 80's / 90's radio friendly playlist. There's nothing like having to have a big set of cans on your head all day just to get your job done.

These days, I work alone, at home and almost never play anything. If I do put something on it's usually an internet radio playing some form of trance or vocal trance. I just flip between a couple of stations till I hear something groovy, then settle in and work. I change stations if needed, and if there's nothing good - it's back to silence again.

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