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They Watched Us With Webcams And Rewrote Our Code!

jaymeedwards profile image Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» ・Updated on ・1 min read

One of the most frustrating software projects I've been on involved webcam spying and having our code rewritten.

A large company that bought out two young entrepreneurs hired me and 9 other consultants to help them.

But the entrepreneurs didn't really want help.

They had no desire to listen to our advice, or treat our opinions as worth anything whatsoever.

Their parent company had hired us to help with serious problems with performance of the data layer of the application.

But when we offered solutions, we were subjected to intimidation and ignored.

In this story, I share how software developers can act irrationally when they fear being "found out" as not knowing something.

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Discussion (12)

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jbeetz profile image
J Beetz

Yup, I've lived through similar. Not as big as you have described, but definitely as irrational and fear-based.
One of my coworkers died from a heart attack in this type of situation.
That was a rough day.
The beauty of programming is the continuing opportunities to learn and make new things/ better things.

Thanks for telling the story.

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jaymeedwards profile image
Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

That’s horrible to hear about your coworker! People don’t always realize how much this nonsense can impact lives.

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feralcode profile image
F Ξ R Ξ› L

That's a crazy situation. I hate this is pretty common with smaller organizations. Thank you for sharing. Definitely smashing that bell on youtube. I remember being scared of sharing my code earlier in my career because I felt I wasn't a top tier developer yet. As time went on and I met many of my idols and well seasoned professionals, I learned the best of them always ask questions, always accepted help and said "I don't know" in a year more than I had in my entire life.

So it took some time before I was comfortable taking outside help unless it was forced.

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks Feral. Glad to hear you worked through that phase and came out stronger on the other side! ✌️

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somehenry profile image
Henry

Well first of all, good for you, that you are being open and honest about it. Obviously you dealt with it and were able to translate your frustration into a better perspective with a "lessons learned"-aspect.

Secondly, from the point with all your co-workers being on the project and its implications for your company to the dynamics of the office situation and the webcam bit... that was nuts.

Lastly, the lesson about code and being humble about your own code: so true. It's probably easier said than done.

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks Henry, when I post this stuff it’s part β€œis anyone else experiencing this?”, part β€œhere’s what I think I was supposed to learn from it.”

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buinauskas profile image
Evaldas

Fear to reveal crap code and decisions behind the scenes. :)

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jaymeedwards profile image
Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author • Edited

Leadership who remind their colleagues failure is necessary to grow can prevent this sort of thing.

But it’s much more common to have managers who are more concerned about accountability on paper than innovation.

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perttisoomann profile image
Pert Soomann

So what happened with that project in the end?

Sounded like server config was massive part of the issue, did it got solved with SQL expert on board?

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Yeah he got them to build a cube off their data and that plus fixing the configuration issue overcame the performance problem.

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks Ankush, appreciate the support ✌️