The Daily Grind

What is it that you actually do?

Ha! I’m glad you asked. Well, let me tell you…

Today, dissolving into tomorrow, I’ve got this issue with a software project that contains more than 1,000,000 lines of code where the primary “tribal knowledge” developer was summarily laid off due to economic and COVID related business reasons back in May. “Hey ‘Mole, can you fix this?”

“Uh, does my livelihood depend upon it?”


“I’ll get right on it.”

So, here’s the deal:

Azure Constant Integration/Constant Deployment, CICD in DEVOPS parlance, has been building and deploying this 54 project, 1,000,000+ code line web application, containing ASP.NET, RazorPages, AngularJS, Angular+, EntityFramework and myriad other industry provided WebService endpoints for WSDL configuration and JSON data translation and has failed to XML/XSL translate the web.config file to include the RELEASE version of the configuration payload.

So, I had to figure out exactly why this CICD Publish step in AZURE’s incredibly useful but mindbogglingly complex Build + Release Pipeline process was NOT honoring our web.config transform embedded in the .CSPROJ file that contains the instructions for Publishing the entire ensemble.

Ah, I said, we’ve (I, now that all the other developers have been cast to the COVID wayside) included a BeforeBuild step in the project file but not a BeforePublish step, where we should be injecting the RELEASE nodes of the XML so that when we ship the whole payload from DEV to QA to UAT to PROD server (allowing each band of Quality-Assurance brothers/sisters their time to pass muster on the said server environments) the appropriate changes accompany the aforementioned web.config file.

Voila! Problem solved. Until tomorrow, when the apparent solution exposes internal corporate credentials, during non-TLS1.2 compliant transfer to a vendor that “says” they need the API to the EF data project but, hey, we know better and they can use the default login’s to access the data through REST just like all the other smucks who want in.

Right? Am I right?

If you’re reading this, way-the-fuck-down-here, know this: all of that up above is legit. Real, actual, nightmare inducing, shadow in the mirror—with a ghostly hand upon your shoulder, shit. Everyday is like this. Only way, way more involved, with another dozen software languages tossed in. Who the fuck has even heard of X++? Or VUE or BLAZOR, or geezus ach crist!

So, now you know what I do for my day job. What do you do?

[Here’s a funny aside: Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud solution right? Well, what is the definitions of “azure”… the color of a cloudless sky! What Dumb Fucks! I’d have called it Olympus, The Data Fortress in the Sky! Armed with God like capabilities and protection against Titan-like threats.]


25 thoughts on “The Daily Grind

  1. Like Curmudgeon in the past, I do “office shit.” Sometimes I think that I should have gone towards what you’re doing so I don’t have to deal with people. And then I read this post. Ummm… yea. Did you post a hidden message in there somewhere, knowing that we just wouldn’t get it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mostly I sit around all day chatting with a co-worker or checking social media, waiting for those brief moments (okay, sometimes hours) when a customer comes in to buy a washer/refrigerator/whole house of appliances then I turn it on. I have a complex set of deeply-ingrained algorithms with which I access when it’s go time. Just yesterday, while training my pal, I explained to him how key questions lead the customer to a mutually desirable result – like an if/then protocol (he has an IT background). It clicked.

    But I have to admit, I glossed over most of what you wrote with a “WTF” look on my face. I’m glad you’re in the world, ‘Mole, cuz I wouldn’t want to do what you do. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is why I never ask people what they do for a living. Back in the day when I used to be a contributing member of society, if people asked me that stupid question, I would reply, “Office shit”. Otherwise, I’d have to regale said person with a bunch of mind-numbing boredom about mortgages. I was recently offered a remote mortgage processing job. I declined. I told myself it was because I want to get a job in the veterinary field but really…I just don’t want to work anymore. All that transcribing I did on my blog isn’t nearly as impressive when taken in this context. Though unpaid, it’s the closest thing to a job I’ve had in a long time…and there’s no dress code.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’d say the worst part of my snapshot in time of a software eng. is that none of that will have made a thimble-full-of-snot’s worth of difference, to anyone, anywhere.
      Sad truth: 90% of all the code I’ve ever written, for 25 years of effort, was never used. And the 10% remaining may have been used for a few months before being abandoned.
      What even sadder is that in 5 years (Retire? Can’t, no $) I will have had to learn a whole other set of tools, forgetting much of the previous ones, yet for the same 90/10 split in usefulness. I’d been better off, mentally, being a janitor.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I discovered doing clinics with tech that nobody cared how it was made, only what it did that was fun. I wondered why we had to understand it, but there was always some pocket protector type in the back with questions. I made them wait until the normal people were gone. As regards explaining what one does, take the shortest, least question inducing route. I was a “Corporate Musician”. When asked what I’d done for fun I’d say “Paint my deck.” Because “Rock Star X and I propped up a very drunk Rock Star Y between us and got him out of the Brand Z VIP reception standing up, before he faced out in the deli tray.” Because people don’t believe that shit, so why bother? Even when I knew I’d often say “I don’t know how it works, but it sure sounds good, don’t it?”
    Good luck with the acidic vocational environs. I couldn’t do it. My father even said “Your middle fingle has a hair trigger. You better find something to do that requires only rare visits to an authority figure or you’ll starve to death.”
    Azure. Marketing exists in a vacuum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried to “onboard” the business (that’s what they call folks who actually use the software, as if /we developers/ are not really part of the company) people as to what it is we do. This so that they might describe their issues in more useful terms. But, “Sorry, I don’t understand. Just make this doodad here turn grey when Bennie uses it—because he’s not allowed to change it.” Yeah, OK.
      Every complex industry has this going on. Mine feels like the worst as there is competition to create the next-best poorly-named thing—that I’ll have to learn, resent and eventually forget.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But the good news is that the business environment is so predictable. “We really need a transpose button.” Why?” “Everyone else has one. It’s an expected feature.” “Then the fact that we don’t have something confusing and complex becomes a benefit, yeah?” “Uh, the transpose button makes it less confusing than menu diving.” “Did you not hear the part about make it a benefit?”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The real fun is getting between sales/marketing/engineering/legal and all the regs for safety and ADA and FCC and producing a useful owners manual. There was time when I wrote bland this does this content only, service and engineering wrote the appendix and legal wrote the preface and warranty. Some fun in those editing meetings. You can’t say that! Why? Because it implies a result! But…did you know that loudness and volume are implied and indeterminate results with wide interpretations? Turning this knob increases the output, it doesn’t make it louder or increase volume. Which it does. But technically it increases the circuit’s output. Holy fuck. I feel your far more advanced but very similar pain.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. … I just emerged from a deep dive into some code (completely different from yesterday’s deep dive) where I rarely spend time.
          “This report is broken.”
          Dig, dig, dig, Well, this code, written BY MICROSOFT says that you must promote your production order into the Ended state not just the Reported as finished state so that certain quantities get copies over here where they’ll get consumed by the report.
          So, it’s not broken.
          YOU ARE!
          Thanks for wasting 2 hours of my time!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Words. Discriminating between Ended state and Reported as finished. Like safety nudge. We don’t believe it’s finished if you reported it, only with the finality of ended. You need to write a Fat Lady has Sung state to report the Ended has truly ended. Finished? Wheeeee tim3 to burn one and eat red meat.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! I enjoyed reading that. It reminded me of being a cataloguing librarian, which is what I was for 30+ years. If I wasn’t lazy, I’d get back into that mode and put together a couple of paragraphs of cataloguing jargon. Some of it would reference the rules (AACR2 revised was what I used for most of my career) and some would be MARC Format, which is an ancient (1970s) way of labelling parts of catalogue records for manipulation by (gasp!) computers. Actually, libraries were on the cutting edge of applying computer technology at one time. Those were the days. I actually enjoyed the work; what I didn’t like so much was the constant battle to stop managers from reorganizing cataloguers out of existence. I get the impression you like your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No doubt more useful, in the long run, than that alpha-soup blather I professed. I can design the apps, write the code but will anyone use it? Will it make the world better? Never has, never will.


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