Software engineer with 15+ years (I got my first job in ~2001) of experience working with different technologies and devices (jack of all trades, master of some
Persistent hardhead (I'll try again and again, until I succeed), dad of two boys (
Unfortunately I didn't contribute much to open source, but it was enough to make "jonas raoni" bring +24K records on GitHub and +32K for "jsfromhell". These little pieces of text have the power to transcend my own existence
How I Code/Solve Problems
General Beliefs/Rants About Programming
Personal rule of thumb: Every now and then we're surrounded by new ideas and technologies, which means that everything we're building is already a kind of legacy, which will be dumped (errr transformed) a couple of years ahead.
I think it's part of our job to make the transition easier, by minimizing the amount of code, complex architectures and customizations to the minimum. Choosing long-standing libraries and avoiding being an innovator/early-adopter might help.
Code fragmentation: The less code the better! Naturally the same should apply to the number of files, classes, tools, services, etc.
Simple and small functions/classes (implicitly fragmented across several files) are easier to test, reuse, understand and difficult to break. I can't disagree with that! But in my experience debugging/reading such code highly increases my cognitive load, I feel like reading a book where each paragraph sends me to a random page, with no context, and switching between these pages is painful (unless when I'm the creator
This way I generally try to avoid fragmenting too much the code and also creating too many abstractions... Basically, I think that a god method/class is horrible, but the inverse is not less cruel.
Micro-optimizations: I like them haha! But it's not fruitful to spend much time nitpicking (micro-optimizations) and sharpening your knife (overengineering) for a war that may never come, better to spend some time on macro-optimizations using a profiler ¯\(ツ)/¯
Code complexity: Everything in life needs equilibrium, especially when a piece of code becomes so complex, that even its creator can't fully understand it without reading the code throughly. As there's no rules about it (what's simple for you, might be complex for me), I think it's enough to align the complexity with your team.
Dependencies: I'm against depending too much on specific features from closed source products/vendors, everything should be replaceable. On the other hand, I fully support using popular open-source projects, as you get support, documentation, testers and upgrades for free.
After having some experience modernizing large legacy code bases, I'd say it's much better to use ready packages than hand-made code, even if you can do a better job.
p.s.: I'm still trying to swallow micro-dependencies (hello
node_modules), but well, as long as it saves you some lines of code, it should be ok...
Slow vs fast languages: I enjoy using the fastest language available, but in the end processing speed is overrated. For general applications, what really matter is having an effective data transfer/structure, as the key to performance is avoiding/delaying/throttling the resource usage.
Coding patterns: I see coding as a kind of art, so I'm not a big fan of materials spitting coding rules. Some people end up using those as a kind of "horse eye patch", which limits their alternatives, while the truth is that a problem might have N different (and equally great) solutions. But yeah, things are easier when everybody speaks the same language :)
Reinventing the wheel: Traditional jobs, require standard approaches. Despite that, I think reinventing the wheel is the best way to evolve something, it gives us freedom to filter out bad decisions and merge in the good ones, that's how disruptive tools/approaches are born.
Hiring in IT: We're often looking for our clone. Someone that thinks and knows the same things as us, and in this process a lot of great professionals are lost... And I think it's not possible to fix it.
Big companies can afford to add more people/steps into the hiring process, to make it less biased (but more stressful for the interviewer) or to raise the bar with complex requirements, to ensure they are hiring an exceptional brain (hopefully they are not hiring a bazooka to kill an ant).
For smaller companies I'd follow these priorities: indication from someone I trust > previous experiences/personal projects AND/OR offline coding/implementation test (not huge, but complex enough to allow the person to show his organization, reasoning and resource management skills) > soft-skills.
First Open Source Projects
Just small codes and notes which I thought wasn't worth to create a repository.
- I've been working remotely since 2015, and I fully recommend it.
- I got my first computer when I was around 10 years old, a 486-DX2. I've learned how to use it by spying my cousin giving classes about DOS (not DoS
👀), so I still remember something about:
winto start the Windows 3.11, turbo button, sound blaster kit, cleaning the mouse ball, zipdrive, SCSI (the super fast disk that nobody had
- I've got access to the computer after finding the key (yeah, computers had locks) and discovering the password (which was errrrr "password" in my language
- I've joined the internet after listening to some guys discussing about it and HTML in the classroom when I was ~14... I've got curious and once I arrived at home, I found an AOL CD and installed it, but well, it required a modem... Hopefully I remembered my cousin was talking about this device, when he was setting up a Dial-Up connection to play Duke Nukem online againt my other cousin (a real WTF at the time and, I still don't know from where he took all this knowledge haha)... So I found a great 13.4 Kbps modem in a box with old hardware pieces, cut some cables and it just worked! I still remember about using the internet at night to save money, losing the connection when someone was calling and the introduction of "download resumers" was awesome
- I still feel proud about my old codes, since I've created a binary parser (which was used by the MongoDB Driver), a big number library and other things in JS, some years before they were introduced to the language, it's cool when you get random (as I totally didn't need these things) ideas and make them work =]
- Given that frontend has changed a lot these days, I don't have a specific preference to work in the backend/frontend anymore (it used to be the backend).
- I took part into the contest where the creator of JQuery (John Resig) was starting to become popular haha (our entry is the number #2, John's entry is #3).
- I've won a video game championship when I was a child (and others at my working place). The older guys (which lost for me by scores of 10x0), were praising me as a god
- My first paid task was converting handwritten monographies to Word when I was around 13. I have nothing to complain, any amount of money is a treasure for a teenager haha.
- My favorite type of task is improving performance and diving into weird bugs.
- My first home page is still accessible through the https://archive.org, but I'll never reveal its address! Some close friends must still remember about it
- I've got my first programming job around 2001, a kind of freelance job to work on the integration of a machine to test the cushioning system of cars using Object Pascal/Delphi (I didn't receive my last paycheck
- I've been once a victim of a kind of social engineering attack... When I was 16, a friend of mine asked me to take a look on a game that he made and it had a hidden keylogger haha (that day I realized how ineffective antivirus were against unknown threats haha)... Hopefully he warned me later! These days I was looking for him in internet and looks like he became famous for earning prizes in online promotions, such as a CAR haha... I have a small guess about how he got the prizes
- I've been once a victim of a ransomware as well! Someone connected to my MySQL database years ago and renamed the databases to form a message asking for money (after that I've finally became a bit psycho with security)
- My favorite PC games were Euro Fighter 2000 (a flight simulator), Full Throttle, Indiana Jones, Quake, Duke Nukem and Warcraft, countless hours spent on them... The most revolutionary one was Carmageddon, my family was just shocked! Then it came a lot of trash games + the infinite Battlefield/Counter-Strike (I was the AK guy) seasons, which were then replaced by eternal (successful, but full of hatred against the game's AI) FIFA seasons, until I got retired from games
- I don't trust in the current state of crypto currency, but digital money is here to stay (I can't remember last time I've touched bills/coins)... Also descentralization in general sounds great given our failed leaderships.