Playing: 400: Horror Web Dev Stories - 2021
Jan 13th, 2023
Supper Club × Katherine Mello on Liberal Arts → Coding, Bootcamps, and Sustainability
Dec 23rd, 2022
Supper Club × Switching into Coding and climbing the Pommade ladder with Kenneth Lyerly
Oct 28th, 2022
Supper Club × GraphQL as an Aggregation Layer with Filipe Ferreira of Sky TV
Oct 10th, 2022
Syntactic Sugar, Declarative and First Class Citizens? What does that even mean?
Sep 9th, 2022
Supper Club × The Primeagan - Vim, Streaming, Rust, all Around Interesting Guy
Sep 7th, 2022
Potluck - How to Pick a Tech Stack × useEffect × setTimeout × Staying Focused
Aug 17th, 2022
Job Types Agency, Tech, Startup, Entrepreneur VS Tech company VS In House
Jul 15th, 2022
Supper Club × 70,000 Serverless Functions with Kristi Perreault of Liberty Mutual
May 9th, 2022
TypeScript Fundamentals × Narrowing, Discriminating Unions, and Type Guards
Apr 20th, 2022
Potluck - Working on a Team × Dealing with Imposter Syndrome × Animating on the Web × Icon Libraries × Demanding Clients
Apr 13th, 2022
Potluck - Multi Tenant Apps, JS Sprinkles, Kids Coding, Server Error Handling
Apr 6th, 2022
Making Content × What is our Process? Youtube, Blog Posts, Courses, Conference Talks, and Podcasts
Mar 16th, 2022
Potluck - Handling Auth × Are Web Dev Real Developers? × Handling Git Conflicts × Converting PNG to Box-Shadow × Bad Docs vs No Docs × Making Shopify Headless
Feb 16th, 2022
Potluck - Selling Themes × Which Browser Should Devs Use? × Where Do You Keep 2FA Codes? × Remix vs Svelte Kit × Getting Unstuck from Tutorial Hell
Dec 8th, 2021
Nov 17th, 2021
Potluck — Copilot × Glasses × Databases × Dealing with Stress × Employment vs Self-Employment × Auth in GraphQL × Headless CMS × More!
Nov 10th, 2021
Web Containers, StackBlitz, and Node.js in the Browser with Tomek Sulkowski
Oct 20th, 2021
Potluck — Coding for Kids × MongoDB Hosting × NoMoreFoo × Best Cities for Dev Jobs × GraphQL Resolvers × Package Security × Prototypes and Portfolios × More!
Oct 6th, 2021
Potluck — Corn Shucking × Self-Hosting Images × WordPress × Getting Scammed × Portfolios
Sep 8th, 2021
Potluck - Sass × Houdini × No JS? × Solid Project × First Dev Job Tips × Bartering × DRM × Dev Laptops × Databases × Frontity × More!
Aug 18th, 2021
Potluck - Moist code × Memoization × Ready for full-time? × Deadlines × Design ethics × React components × Video hosting × Local fonts × More!
Aug 4th, 2021
Potluck - WordPress × 3rd-Party Cloud Services × Backend Hosting × Drupal × Getting Clients × GPS vs BEM × More!
Aug 2nd, 2021
Hasty Treat - Git the Latest - New Things In Tech - CoPilot, Petite Vue, Stackblitz, Web3 + More!
Jul 21st, 2021
Potluck - Svelte × Bleeding-Edge Tech × Git Process × Screencasts × Government Jobs × Permissions-Based APIs × Rescript × More!
Jul 5th, 2021
Jun 28th, 2021
Jun 23rd, 2021
Potluck - Web components × Gear × Docker × Web Dev Frameworks × Golden Handcuffs × Browser Testing × SSR React × Code Prediction × More!
Jun 9th, 2021
Potluck - Immutability × Turning Off Your Brain × Types vs Interfaces × Hooks vs Components × Making the Most of Your First Job × Confidence in Svelte × More!
May 12th, 2021
Potluck — Freelancing × Leveraging your experience × Component size × Dealing with mediocrity × How to spend "extra time" × Rust vs Node × Free hosting? × More!
May 5th, 2021
Potluck — Is it worth it to still learn WordPress? × Is Safari the new IE11? × Mobile website testing × Pirated content × Styled components × SSGs × Transitioning to full-time freelance × More!
Apr 7th, 2021
Potluck — Video Hosting × Fake Names? × Portfolio Projects × Monorepos × APIs × TLDs × Recording Tips × More!
Mar 10th, 2021
Potluck — VSCode × Vercel vs Netlify × Models × Mutations × Multi-Vendor Platforms × Websites vs Web Apps × More!
Feb 17th, 2021
Potluck — Do titles matter? × Should clients pay for plugins? × Can I debug my baby? × How we prepare for Syntax × Deno × Learning things quickly × More!
Jan 20th, 2021
Potluck — $100k Dev Jobs × Sponsored Blog Posts × How To Keep Your Skills Up To Date × Libraries vs Custom × Dev Tools × More!
Jan 4th, 2021
Hasty Treat - Hyper Productivity with Keyboard Shortcuts + Window Management
Dec 23rd, 2020
Potluck — New Macs × Podcast Statistics × E-commerce Testing × WordPress × Charging More × Learning Web Dev × More!
Nov 25th, 2020
Potluck - Frameworks vs Libraries × Debugging × CSS Modules vs Styled Components × Resumes × Stress Management × More!
Oct 7th, 2020
Potluck - Is Angular good? × Stencil.js × Self XSS × SVGs in React × Social Platforms for Devs × Project Handoff × Cleaning Knives × More!
Sep 21st, 2020
Hasty Treat - Our First Bucks Made From Web Dev, Teaching, YouTube and Tutorials
Sep 9th, 2020
Tales from Webdev Past - Clearfix × Floats × Cufon × Guestbooks × PNG Fix × More!
Sep 2nd, 2020
Potluck - RIP Firefox? × Safari × Changing Careers × Regression Testing × Google Analytics Alternatives × Malicious Github Users? × Mac vs Windows × More!
Aug 26th, 2020
Potluck - MDX × Portfolio Projects × Code Commenting × CSS Properties × Reusable Components × More!
Aug 19th, 2020
Potluck - Subscriptions × ES Modules in Node × Chicken Thigh × Being a Good Dad × Refactoring × More!
Jul 27th, 2020
Hasty Treat - Target=_blank security issue? What's the deal with noopener and noreferrer?
Jul 22nd, 2020
Potluck - Beating Procrastination × Rollup vs Webpack × Leadership × Code Planning × Styled Components × More!
Jul 6th, 2020
Hasty Treat - Forms, Captchas, Honeypots, Dealing With Malicious Users and the Sad State of Contact Forms
Jun 24th, 2020
Potluck - Libraries vs Frameworks × Firefox × Career Advice For Teenagers × Who Would Win a Thumb War? × More!
Jun 17th, 2020
The Fundamentals Leftovers - Terminal, Shortcuts, View Source, Github + More!
May 27th, 2020
Potluck - Courses for Kids × Sub-Components × Recursion × DB Hosting × Frameworks × Data Structures & Algorithms × More!
Apr 29th, 2020
Potluck Part 2 - Magic GQLess × Are classes dead? × Custom Hooks × Staying Up To Date × CSS × More!
Apr 22nd, 2020
Potluck - Mobile First × Arrow Functions × Deno × JSON APIs × Refactoring Tips × More!
Apr 1st, 2020
Mental Health and Dev ft Dr. Courtney Tolinski - Depression, Anxiety, Imposter Syndrome, Focus, Motivation, Burnout
Mar 25th, 2020
Potluck - Bootcamps × Career Change × Figma × Gatsby × AMP × Mongoose × More!
Feb 26th, 2020
Potluck - Next vs Gatsby × Headless CMS × Vue.js × Is Ruby on Rails still good? × More!
Jan 29th, 2020
Potluck - Dev Culture Fit × Slack Communities × Vanilla JS × Backpacks × Raspberry Pi × More!
Jan 27th, 2020
Hasty Treat - Building A Community Slack, Discord, Spectrum, Discourse, Forums
Jan 20th, 2020
Hasty Treat - Picking the Stack for uses.tech - Gatsby, React, Context, Styled Components
Jan 1st, 2020
Potluck - Fonts × Frameworks × Teas × Coding Subscriptions × Client Work × More!
Dec 4th, 2019
Potluck - Tabs are better? × Coding Music × SEO × Is Angular good? × Biggie Smalls × Soy Sauce × More!
Nov 6th, 2019
Potluck - Gatsby vs Next × Is Google Home spying on you? × Flat File CMS × CSS Frameworks × Hosting Client Sites × More!
Oct 9th, 2019
Potluck - Terminal Configs × CSS Reset × Flexbox × Freelancing × NPM Dependencies × Project Hand-off × More!
Sep 18th, 2019
Potluck - Why Webpack? × Serverless × Agencies × Recruiters × CSS Grid × MQ in Styled Components
Aug 21st, 2019
Potluck - Deploying Applications × Typescript × Live Coding with Twitch × Fullstack Architecture × More!
Jul 31st, 2019
Potluck - What is "State"? × Web Sockets × Remote Working × Firefox × Machines Taking Our Jobs × More!
Jun 26th, 2019
Potluck - Career Switch at 33 × Cover Letters × Kids × Learning Quickly × More!
May 29th, 2019
Potluck - CSS × Angular × Dev job preparation × Svelte × File organization × Gear × More!
May 1st, 2019
Potluck - Media Queries × NPM Vulnerabilities × Fullstack JS vs JAMstack × Web VR/AR × Switching Jobs × More!
Apr 3rd, 2019
Potluck - Interview Qs × Headless CMS × React Hooks × Resume Design × Redux vs Context × More!
Mar 6th, 2019
Potluck - Are classes dead? × Tutorials vs Real Life × CRA vs Next × Scraping × More
Mar 4th, 2019
Hasty Treat - Authentication - LocalStorage vs Cookies vs Sessions vs Tokens
Feb 27th, 2019
How We Manage Our Lives — Notion, Todos, Notes, Focusing, Calendars, Goal tracking, and more!
Feb 6th, 2019
Potluck - Changing careers × Repo organization × CSS Grid × Certifications × Freelancing × Spammers × More
Jan 10th, 2019
Potluck - Where to start with JS × Freelancing × Cron jobs × Split testing × Frameworks in 2019 × More
Dec 19th, 2018
Potluck - Typescript × E-commerce platforms × Job-hopping × Working for agencies × more
Dec 17th, 2018
Hasty Treat - Where are they now?! Gulp, Grunt, Bower, Backbone and Compass
Nov 21st, 2018
Potluck - $100/hr × Redux Replacements × Full Stack Designers × JWT × VS Code Tips × More
Oct 26th, 2018
Potluck - Working with designers × Is WordPress Crap? × When to stop working × More
Aug 29th, 2018
Potluck - Programming Languages × Soft Skills × PHP vs JS × Breakdancing x Spice Blends
Aug 1st, 2018
Potluck - Editor Fonts × Portfolios × Meetup Tips × Switching to Windows × Freelancing Sources
Jul 24th, 2018
The Undocumented Web - scraping, private APIs, proxies and “alternative solutions”
Jul 18th, 2018
Advice For Beginners - Tech Skills, Applying for Jobs, Focus, Imposter Syndrome + More
Jul 4th, 2018
Potluck EP × Remote Work × Headless WordPress × Good Client Questions × Alternate Careers × React API Credentials
May 9th, 2018
Potluck EP × Is Redux Dead × Learning Quickly × Developing Solo × Specialist vs Generalist × Funnest Projects × Wes’ BBQ Course
Apr 18th, 2018
Potluck EP × Vue.js × Headless WP × Typescript & Flow × Productivity × Server Side Rendering × Yeoman
Feb 7th, 2018
Wes and Scott's Lives - Breakdancing, BBQ, Wives, Work/Life Balance, Problem Solving, YouTube Subscriptions
Jan 31st, 2018
Snack Pack — CSS Frameworks, React HOC, Render Props, Coding Designers, Early Career Advice and a sound board!
Jan 24th, 2018
Hosting & Servers — Heroku, Now, Galaxy, Digital Ocean, Linode, Docker, Netlify and more!
Nov 29th, 2017
What's New in CSS? Variables, Scoping, New Selectors and Color Functions
Nov 1st, 2017
22 Buzz Words Explained — Mutations, Pure Functions , Serverless, Hoisting, MVC + More
Oct 18th, 2017
Tasty Treats — Rems VS Ems, Remote Work, Making Money, Getting good at Design + more! 🍬
Oct 27th, 2021
Horror Web Dev Stories - 2021👇 Download Show✏️ Edit Show Notes
For episode 400, Scott and Wes talk about web dev horror stories - 2021 edition!
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02:54 - Hi guys, love the show. I wanted to share with you something that happened just the other day (Oct 4th), I was starting my new job today at a large tech company. They use React for everything (even DNS!, don't ask me how, it's complicated). I figured I'd celebrate my first day and push some code to prod, (how hard could useEffect be right?) Next thing you know, they ended up bringing in a guy with an angle grinder to get access to the server cage.
04:15 - No one from Denver can buy
06:38 - Bug accidentally gives $90 million to users
08:34 - Share Pointy Knives
- Once I updated a feature that saves accessories on orders (same solution). However, I failed to add all the new fields to the production environment. Which meant that accessories were not saved at all... Which was discovered after a week... I fixed the error in 5 minutes and the sellers had to contact x number of customers to double check what kind of accessories they would have for their orders...
11:22 - External HD
- One time I needed to format a server. It was an outdated Windows server. I selected all the files and copied and pasted to an external hard drive. My drive was pretty fast and it took like a minute. I was like: “Wow! That’s a great external hd”. Formatted the server and, as soon as I realized it didn’t copy 10% of the files, I had that face. We all know that face. Anyways. Tried to restore the files using some HD recovery tools but they were all corrupted, not by the formatting itself but for the installation of the new OS. My boss was pissed! I was very young so I blame it on the server. I’m not proud of it. But why the heck they would ask a developer to format a server in the first place? By the way, my birthday is on Halloween. Spoooky.
13:07 - Hey Loser
- I was testing new code to automate mass-mailings to our customers. Who knows what demon drove me but I wrote the “test” mailings like ransom notes: “Dear loser! Fork over all your $$$ or else!” Well, all was looking great and I wa s feeling pretty pleased with myself. Progress bars were sliding and counters were spinning. But I could hear a rising commotion from the marketing guys behind me. Phones ringing, voices raised. Turns out I had moronically wired myself to the production database! Even worse for me, I’d only been at the company a month or two. I thought my goose was cooked and the Big Boss was plenty mad, but I owned up right away and apologized. We put out a cover story that we’d been hacked and all was forgiven.
15:01 - HE HATE ME
- I was part of the developer team that accidentally leaked the 8 cities the XFL, an alternate football league, a week before their press conference. ewrestling.com/article/wwe-ac… We were using Contentful and Gatsby. A junior dev entered the information into the prod space instead of the UAT space and when we released some bug fixes, it picked up the contact us content update. I found out after seeing stories pop up in Google News when I was about to go to sleep. Was taking the content down when we started getting calls from the CIO of the WWE. The league went bust because of COVID.
19:23 - I Don't Have Memory of This
- I had two pretty bad code changes that only showed their problems when they went live in production. Around 6 years ago, I was running into a large performance issue with some of our queries running slowly against this giant DB. We were using JPA/Hibernate and we had a bunch of joins that were done lazily. I switched a few of them to eager so that they would create a single SQL statement instead of a bunch (or thousands). The change worked fine on my dev environment, QA, and staging. Staging was supposed to be representative of production. So we went live and within minutes the entire system went down because of out of memory errors. We quickly switched back to the lazy joins. We found out that staging had more memory and fewer DB records than production though they were supposed to be exactly the same.
21:05 - Your Performance is Slowing us down
- Back when VMWare was becoming a thing, like 2010 or so. I was working at an ecomm site and we were seeing slow performance between the app server and some data services. I decided to build a little multithreaded logger that could track when a query to Oracle Financials was running too slow and generate a warning. Oracle Financials was doing the credit card transactions, orders, and all the rest of the sites DB work. The code had no impact on my dev, QA, and staging environments. We were hitting well over our minimum number of concurrent users. We deployed it to production and then the system got slower and slower, but never crashed. Again, production and staging were set up differently. Staging was a bare-metal server. Production was running on an ESXi server on a host that was split 4 ways. The multi-threaded code meant to detect performance degradations was slowing the whole system down when it tried to synchronize data across threads. I was pretty embarrassed by both these two issues. It went to show that production is its own special thing and that you really don't know if your server-side code is really going to work until it starts running there.
23:15 - Dead Button
- Way back when mainframes were king, a guy I worked with pushed a button in, that if released, would immediately take down the entire company. He stood there for 4 hours, holding the button in, until we could let it crash after business hours. We gave him a chair after 2 hours.
25:12 - No Deploys on Fridays
- I was a junior dev working on our company's website. They were HTML + nunjucks templates that were later being integrated with the backend using some Python witchcraft. There was also a metric ton of JS libraries added (like Babra for page transitions, threejs for a cool interactive animation on the landing page etc.). Didn't really get much of all this package.json stuff at that seniority level. So after running yarn or npm or whatever, and seeing some warnings about a couple packages being outdated, I decided to update some of them. It ran great locally, but I didn't build the prod version, as I didn't know there could be any differences. I was working on some minor feature (or maybe even some minor bug) and the PM decided there's no time for code review. So I pushed it to the repo, the backend guy did his integration, and launched it on prod. As it turned out, there were some breaking changes in one of the libraries I decided to update. It crashed the entire site. On Friday. At 4:30PM. And that, kids, is why you don't deploy on Fridays.
27:33 - Stupid Selfie
- Horror story for you Wes. I work for one of the biggest retailers in the UK and we were working on an app that would go on a 'media wall' in their flagship store in London. Basically a giant 200-inch screen in the middle of the store that social content can go on. Turns out that I left my local Dev version connected to the production API when I uploaded a couple of stupid selfies of my big head in the office. Get a call the next day to ask why my face is on the medial wall.
28:37 - Soda
- I was a computer operator back in the late 1960’s, operating a Honeywell mainframe. The consoles were huge, about the size of a dishwashing machine, with the console typewriter and printer inset in the middle, on top. I had a soft drink on the console, next to the typewriter mechanism. We were told never to bring a drink into the room but we all did it, especially on third shift. Long story short, someone called my name, I turned around and knocked the glass of soda into the console. Had to be completely replaced – machine was down for two days. My boss was not happy.
31:22 - Oof
- A bigger horror story. I had my own software company in the 90’s and was in Singapore, customizing my software package for Johnson & Higgins Insurance Brokers – I had their Asian contract for my Insurance Broker/Accounting package. I spent a good 40 hours on Saturday and Sunday, making all the changes they asked for, getting ready for a demo on Monday morning. I finished up about 4am on Monday morning and was cleaning up my files. All this work was done on a Novell server. Print files had an extension of .prt and I had a ton of them in the main directory from all of the testing I had done. I was cleaning out old files, getting ready to back everything up and I thought I would delete all of the print files. I mistakenly keyed in erase *.prg, instead of erase *.prt (or whatever the delete command was – can’t remember it now). Programming files have a .prg extension – I had deleted all of my updated files from the weekend. In desperation I called Novell in Utah, hoping they could help me recover the files, but no-go. The demo Monday morning was not fun.
33:24 - Young Dev
- I was a young dev right out of college. My first job was at a child support company where we had desktop apps that would handle case information more efficiently than using Excel. My first project was to write a POC that would later be implemented into a new, bigger app that consolidated all the “POCs” for various parts of the child support process. For some odd reason, I still don’t know why to this day, my boss wanted me to write this “new” app on top of an old app with a bunch of legacy code. I never understood why but as a young dev fresh out of school, you tend to just do what you’re told. In school, I mainly used PHP/HTML/CSS for learning how to work with a database; this job however used C#/.NET for their desktop apps so I was doing a lot of learning as I went. I remember finally learning how to connect to the database and run some SQL after fighting with this old pile of legacy code. In early versions, I chose to handle creates/updates for these records in the same function. My young, dumb self wrote a try catch statement that would attempt to create the record and if it failed, it would try to update the record. Before the first production release, I updated the flow to handle creates/updates in separate functions - but never removed the update in the catch block of the original function now used for creates only. Somehow I, or any PM/QA, never failed on a create and hit this catch block while testing. Fast-forward probably 9-12 months later, I got a ticket to investigate why every case’s data looked the same in Production. I login to the app, search a few case numbers and sure enough, every case’s data is the same. I began freaking out as I had no clue how this could’ve happened. I mean it had never happened in all the dev work, testing, and months of live Production use. After I investigated with a senior dev, we realized the try block had failed and the update query in the catch block ran for that record - we also realized that I left off the where clause in the related SQL query to specify which record needs updating - so ALL records got updated with this data. Thankfully, we kept regular back-ups and were able to restore the data to a recent timeframe without users losing a ton of work. We commented out that database update call and redeployed the code ASAP. Also the senior dev was cool about it and was like “hey, it happens to all of us at some point”. Let’s just say I’ve learned a ton since then and definitely steer clear from writing code like that. You live and you learn I suppose.
38:40 - Where Wolf
- Here’s my development tale of terror: One night I was burning the midnight oil trying to get caught up on a never-ending workload. At the time I was working for an online travel booking site. It was after 11, and the last thing I had to do for the night was to rename one of the hotels in our production database. So I wrote my query:
UPDATE hotels SET name=‘Some Hotel Chain’;One problem, I FORGOT THE WHERE CLAUSE. Suddenly, over 5,000 hotels in our production database all had the same name. This was around 2003, so well before the time of point-in-time restores, and we were only backing up the database every week at that point. I was panicking. Fortunately, I had a dump of the production database that I had created only a couple of hours earlier sitting on my local hard drive. So thankfully, I was able to restore almost all of the hotel names, save for a couple that signed up after that data dump, and my boss was none the wiser. That’s when I learned that working late hours is not worth it, because at some point you are so tired that you can no longer make good decisions.
41:19 - I Want Your Job
- When I first started out I worked for a consultancy and they trained us in sales meetings to help managers get promoted because we were coming in to make them "look good". This was okay b/c obviously, we were coming in as a contractor; however, after being laid off due to 9/11 (yes, this was about 20 years ago), I was looking for a new job and during an interview when asked where I'd like to be in X years, I mentioned to the hiring manager that I wanted to eventually do what he was doing. Well, I guess he didn't take it that I wanted to make him get promoted to then take his spot. Safe to say I didn't get hired. 🤦♂️😜
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