Jun 01, 2020
Post #1 in the Meta:Programming series.
Post #1 in the Meta:Programming series.
I’m hoping to write a blog series for my younger self. He is someone who used to look at a service and say - “I could build that over a weekend”. This is also someone who would look at a company with a small product, which rarely gets any new features, and wonder why that product needs 10 developers working fulltime on it.
I don’t plan on writing about the philosophical aspects of those questions. Maybe the weekend hack would come out better. Maybe that company is bad at resource utilization. Maybe capitalism is the root of all evil. I am taking the current state and processes at face value, and try to commentate on how and why this usually comes to be.
I hope that these posts don’t require a lot of technical knowledge, and are easily readable by beginners, or maybe non-technical folk.
Do keep in mind that these articles are restricted by my experience and perspective. If you feel that I might be wrong somewhere or am missing something important, feel free to suggest updates. The good thing about writing on the internet is that I can always update my old content.
Today was my first day at this stealth startup. The boss (CEO) is a dick, but we’re building great stuff. The physical entertainment/tourism industry is a huge market, and it’s very possible that we’re going to be the next Disneyworld.
Surprisingly, I feel halfway through my induction already. Things happen at such a fast pace here that it’s a bit exhilarating. Some areas definitely need much more oversight though. Just a few weeks ago, a field employee had an accident, which led to us getting sued for millions of $$. Thank fuck for insurance.
In other news, I met the rest of the systems team today. I was expecting to go through some sort of imposter syndrome, working in such a lean team, but looks like that these guys aren’t that much better than me. Except for Dennis, Dennis is the GOAT!
We got news that some outside “experts” would be coming in over the weekend for inspection. Most likely in response to the concerns of investors and the insurance company over the lawsuit. VCs are sending this mathematician who deals with risk-prediction models (I think?). On the other hand, John, our CEO, is also bringing in some famous academics who’d likely give us the required endorsement without much fuss.
Got to know more of my team today. Ray’s the cheif engineer. Good guy, heavy smoker. We really need a policy against smoking indoors here. This is not the 80s. Dennis turned out to be a bit of an ass though. There’s a lot of misplaced ego in him for building the system foundation.
Induction got over, and today’s my first real day at work. Now I have some clarity on how we’ve been doing things so fast. Systems seem to be well-built on the surface, but we have almost no testing protocols, no failover plans, and tons of single point of failures. And there don’t seem to be a lot of access controls in place too. We have all this high-tech environment, and almost any employee can shut down the system if they know no where to do it from.
On the plus side, the to-do list has points listing these problems. Though it’s unlikely anyone’s getting around to those anytime soon.
Today we spent most of the day preparing for the visitors tomorrow. Mostly maintenance work around the facility, tightening nuts and bolts and recalibrating power levels. Some things are buggy, but nothing deal-breaking. We’re told that John’s family is also visiting the facility this weekend, to sorta “beta-test” the rides along with the experts.
My shift just ended, and it’s been a smooth day so far. The family turned out to be little kids (John’s grandchildren, I assume). John insists that they are just visiting him, but I suspect he brought them in to try and butter up the experts. A lot is riding on their endorsements, and seeing kids experience the rides might give them a more positive outlook.
The tour had more kinks than we were expecting today. Ray’s been counting every glitch that he comes across today, and was up to 151 the last time I checked. “We have all the problems of a major theme park and a major zoo and the computers aren’t even on their feet yet”, his exact words.
To be very honest, I think he gives the system way less credit than its due. Sure, it’s far from perfect, but given the timeline, the company really spared no expense in building this place.
HOLY FUCK! WHAT THE FUCK! FUUUUUCK!
I’m writing this entry in the morning itself, as I’m not sure if I’m gonna find the time again. There’s a fair chance that we’d get shut down by tomorrow, if we don’t get arrested or get eaten by a stray disnoaur.
We don’t have a complete clarity on what’s happening. Power went out in most of the park yesterday, and is still out. Cage fences aren’t working, and even the phone lines are down! Wireless seems to be fucked too because of a very coincidental storm.
It appears that Dennis shut down the electrical grids yesterday and fled this island. No one knows why. We even seem to be locked out of the control systems. With no documentation, logs and system access, we’re probably not gonna be fixing this anytime soon.
Maybe a complete system restart throughout the park would work. Not ideal, but if there’s one thing that anyone in the IT crowd knows - it’s that turning computers off and on again is very magical.
Hopefully it works. Fuck you Dennis Nedry, and fuck you John Hammond!