Coding House Expose

These days you hear a lot about coding dojos. Get immersed and learn code quick. Of course you got to put in a lot of work. But they promise to turn you into a junior developer that can make a lot of $$$. Recently I read a scathing review about the Coding House. The review was written by Jose. You can find a copy online.

Here is a summary of the problems that Jose encountered. He paid a whopping $14k for the program. It was supposed to last for 60 days. Coding House is different in that you live in the house where you learn. Full immersion.

Jose was initially promised a chef on site that would cook all the meals. Then the meals turned into catered meals. Finally they ended up eating Costco microwave meals. That's not the worst of it though. Jose says a lot of his training was online. Other times he was told to Google the answers to his questions. Doh.

Jose says he was unable to get a job after attending the Coding House. There was supposed to be a money back guarantee if you could not find a job. However that guarantee apparently had a lot of string attached. Jose did not receive a refund. Instead he got a cease and desist letter to take down his review.

I know there is not really any shortcut to being a developer. Still a coding dojo might provide a quick onboarding to get your started. You must choose wisely. I bet some of these programs are scams. And they might also be trying to control bad reviews about them, as it seems Coding House is doing with Jose.

Hot Technology

I read a couple articles on the technologies associated with high paying tech jobs. And I saw a couple trends emerging. One is that of your software development process. Scrum and Kanban knowledge will do you well. But surprise surprise. So will the waterfall method.

All things Java seemed up there on the list. You should learn Hibernate. Know your JSPs. Even old school Java technologies such as JDBC can help you get a good salary. And of course app servers like jBoss can give you a kick up in pay.

I am hearing more and more about DevOps. Not quite sure I get it yet. But knowing Puppet, Chef, and Jenkins can put you in the running for a lucrative career.

Then there is the Hadoop corner. I don't know all the details. But good buzzwords are Hive, Pig, and Hbase. Heck. Even the base technology of MapReduce is still a desired one by employers paying the big bucks.

Finally there is the noSQL camp. Turns out Cassandra is one of the hottest implementations of a noSQL database out there. Hot trends are always changing. But it is good to try to learn a thing or two in the hot sector.

Spell Check Your Resume

I got an email from a guy at my company who is looking for a project. I guess he needs to get placed or he is out of work. So I took a peek at his resume. One of the first things I saw was that he listed his maticulous [sic] trait. Oh boy. We might be in trouble.

It was a bit funny but sad too. How meticulous can you be if you cannot spell meticulous? At least run your resume through a spell checker and correct the problems before blasting your resume out to strangers. Otherwise you will face peril.

I took a closer look at the resume. Seems like the guy is going to college to get his degree. Not sure how my company hired him. I tried to get a rock star college student hired. Was told that we only hire college grads from good colleges here. Go figure.

Middle Management

When I first joined my company, there was a team of managers on the project. They worked hard. There was a lot of work to do. I got used to them. Then something happened. I suspect they got tired of working hard. What did they do? They hired their replacements.

Well replacement might be the wrong name. They hired new middle managers and called them the delivery management team. Now the senior managers sit back and let the middle managers handle all the muck. We have a lot of middle managers working hard.

My own team has been dwindling down due to attrition and reassignment of team members to other initiatives. We each have more responsibility. Oh well. My team is now small. I took a vacation last week. When I came back, the team lead had also taken some time off.

The delivery manager in charge of us seems to have a plan of his own. He wants to delegate down to the team leaders. And when my team lead is out, I guess the buck stops with me. Now doing management by itself might not be evil. But I don't want to manage when I also need to turn around and do most of the actual work.

I call shennanigans. Definitely don't want to end up doing a middle manager's job. Not at all.

Ooops I Did It Again

Was reading a forum talking about some big tech company laying off all their employees. Ouch. Different people were talking about opportunities for these employees on the forum. I suspect these may have just been some recruiters looking to cash in.

On such recruiter listed the needs they were looking for. Lot of requirements looked familiar such as experience with PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, jQuery, etc. Then there was a line describing the need for programming skills and strong OOPS. Umm LOL? Either they were trying to comminicate a need for Object Oriented Programming, or they are talking about a new OOPS acronym I don't know about, or they are singing Britney Spears songs.

Ha ha. That's going to be my new methodology. OOPS. Just have to come with a catchy algorithm and run with it. Heck it sounds close enough to OOP that I might just be onto something.

Metadata

I have an action item for my yearly review to propose a major change to any of our systems. That should be easy. I want to make my proposal beneficial to me. So I looked around for a pain point. I got a lot of yearly maintenance to do with our hard coded SQL. Maybe I could address that.

Metadata to the rescue. I could store all the info about the tables and columns in a metadata store. Then a query builder could interrogate the metadata and build up my SQL strings on the fly. Maintenance of the metadata will be a whole lot easier than going through all the hard coded SQL.

Had a manager call me up today to discuss my proposal. He tried to drill down into the structure of the metadata. Unfortunately he did not fully understand the problem being solved. He also pitched a very verbose metadata structure. I want my job to be a whole lot easier. Don’t want to shift all the hard work from code changing to metadata maintenance. Got to formulate a plan to get him to see things my way.

Methodology

A developer asked me for some help today. He tested out his code and threw it over the wall to the test team. They said his stuff did not work. Then he tried his code again. Sure enough it was broke. He could debug the C++ code using his Microsoft IDE. However he was stuck once it called some stored procedures in Oracle.

I told him the thing to do would be to activate some logging so he could build a bread crumb trail. That way he could figure out what was going on in the stored procedures. I call this the old printf style of debugging. So we sprinked some logging to a database table in his routines. Then we ran the code again.

Sure enough, some output was generated in the database table. We traced it down to the code he wrote. Then we iterated and added more logging in the local area where he thought the code was not working. All of a sudden, the application started working correctly. Wait what? I could not imagine just adding logging would fix the problem.

I gave it some thought. The logging did not magically fix his code. He was just not running the same version of the code that he was looking at. He just assumed that the version of code he worked on was what was deployed. Next time I should have him extract the source code of the stored procedures right out of the database. That would prevent this surprise.