Today I was revisiting the Powerthirst videos on YouTube to work up enough motivation to yell at some morons, when I noticed that their shitty flash video player was sucking down about a quarter of my CPU more than a normal video player would for the same content. Investigating this (checking out a bit of RedTube during my second lunch break) I noticed this is a fairly consistent phenomena.
Gratuitous Amounts Of Energy
That quarter of my CPU is about thirty fucking watts being eaten up by developer incompetence. With YouTube pushing out a billion views per day – average clip length of two and a half minutes – a constant 1.7 million streaming lolcats, emo video diaries, and other pointless crap are being pushed through Adobe’s abomination of a video renderer.
Its not often you can easily slap a monetary figure on developer failure – but there’s no difficulty here. For YouTube alone, Adobe fails at a constant rate of 52MW. At (.au) base power rates we are looking at around 70 million bucks a year burnt up for no gain.
You Will Even Win At Irony
If I gave a shit about the environment I’d probably have a cry over the quarter-million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions this causes as well, around 0.02% of global emissions. So remember kids; every time you rickroll, Adobe kills a penguin.
Fuck you Adobe. Top Score.
A little known fact about Moore’s Law is that average developer incompetence doubles every twelve months, easily outpacing any hardware developments. Your shitty staff phonebook gets its own server, then its own database server… pretty soon you have a bunch of blades, extra aircon units, and an ESX consultant balls deep in your accountant.
Not that anyone gives too much of a fuck – they have many times the pretty blinking lights for their money.
X to the motherfucking Zee
Everyone is happily pissing money up against a wall until CTO Monthly publishes an editorial describing how some Fortune 500 that nobody has ever heard of saved a fat wad of cash with Cloudy Computoring.
The technical staff will drool over on-demand linear scalability. Management is popping boners because capital expenditure gets rolled into ongoing support. You are going to migrate your shit into the goddamn cloud, and yo, that sounds cool as fucking shit, dawg.
I heard you like failing, so we put your shared hosting in a cluster so you can fail while you fail.
You Better Get Ready For the War
The developers will be the first to feel the butthurt of migration into the Cloud. The shitty API that you will be forced to use will be limiting to perform even the most basic of tasks. Then when you get everything working it will run like utter crap. You see, you’ll be sharing these services with people with huge budgets and tiny skills.
The natural evolution of your provider is towards oversubscribed services and you being outbid for the runtime you need by porn and gambling sites. Having limitless power on tap means there won’t be an upper limit on how much of it developer incompetence can eat up. This will only drive up resource consumption and cost. Soon a third of the world’s energy will be powering cartesian products and List.Find.
I guarantee epic lulz when some companies get their first bill for CPU cycles on these new deployments. People are assuming they will get infrastructure for nothing, and they are about to meet our very good friend, the First Law of Business.
From the veritable shit-storm of financial fail the world has sailed into, you would think that managers would have some degree of skepticism towards hippies peddling messages of happy inclusion.
It seems like every damn company is forcing its employees to join hands and attend “team bonding” days, and recite mantras on how there are no wrong answers, everyone is equally valuable, and we are a big happy family.
Handle My Balls
I had the misfortune to attend one of these days. I would’ve claimed to be sick, but the event being held at a pub gave me misguided hope. We spend eight long hours drawing happy thoughts on whiteboards and throwing small rubber balls to each other. Afterwards I felt even more hatred towards the goddamn idiots who actually thought this crap was beneficial. There was no beer.
Still, I got paid – and discovered which of the female employees had the best ball handling skills. What kind of idiot would pay contractors to come on one of these courses anyway?
We Don’t Need No Education
Most answers are wrong. To some it seems like there is plenty of right answers. If this is due to the question being not specific enough then apply the backhand liberally. Otherwise you probably should not be pretending to know what you are doing and giving people solutions that I’ll invariably have to come in and fix. Fuck you.
Texas Instruments made a shitload of cash after training its sales staff on aggressive techniques. The Art of War was mandatory reading. Survival in business doesn’t come from prancing around like a bunch of fairies and giving your co-workers an ego-reacharound over their stupid ideas. People learn from mistakes. Let them know when they have made one.
If you can crush egos before they develop, then your business will run smoothly.
Fundamental to web economics is the Pareto distribution. It usually applied in serious papers or serious hype justifying business plans with no potential customers. There is an illustration here, worth at least thirty words. 3laws’ first image tag. Welcome to Web 1.0.
By coincidence, this shape models the available funding for a typical failing company over time. The green zone represents 80% of their total funds, and somewhere in this zone the main product was expected to be creating that elusive thing known as “income”.
In The Guinness Book; For The Shit I Took
As usual, I’m deep in fail territory, right up the end of the funding Long Tail. Management has decided the project will succeed at all costs, yet they don’t have the balls to keep on spending until the project is done. As the amount of money dries up, they spend less and we start to head deeper and deeper into the yellow zone.
The product was rushed off to the client as soon as a build could be coerced into working. The client is unhappy and lawyering up. Programmers are fixing bugs and salesmen are sucking cocks around the clock.
The company should have filed for bankruptcy last year, but are managing to scrape together enough funds to stay afloat. It’s a hint that cash flow is getting borderline when they need ‘a couple more days’ to find $12k for an invoice when their staffing bill is around a half-million a month. Time to start billing in advance. First law.
Take Your Broke Ass Home
They are cutting costs by random firings and writing stern emails about printer usage. This will be kept up until there is a full complement of sales, HR, and management supporting a single immigrant programmer.
If you find yourself in the long tail then recognize that you are in “totally fucked” territory. The only thing that is keeping your project going is hope and the only thing that will make it succeed is a goddamn miracle. Hope has no place in business. Know when to cut your losses and GTFO. Third law.
Fail usually follows a pretty standard lifecycle, starting from a embryo of an idea in someone’s mind, until it grows into a beautiful rainbow chrysalis in their wild fantasies. Then comes the implementation, and the results are usually hilarious. Lets take a guided tour through the genesis of an epic failure, as our random noob wakes up one morning hoping to change the world.
National Epic Fail
Mr Conroy wakes up one morning and checks his email. “Sweet Baby Jesus!”, he exclaims, “3laws said ‘Fuck’ on my kids’ internet, and something must be done!”. Then he realizes that despite having the technological ability of a goldfish he has somehow ended up as the Minister for Communications. He thinks of his daughter reading on the internet about his failures regarding the National Broadband Network, and knows that some content must be blocked. For the children!
Suddenly, in an orgasm of misconceptions, confusion, and desperation a Fail is born. You see, a noob will always attack a problem with a predefined plan: “I need to achieve X by doing Y”. The Fail will swim around in the mind slowly growing and strengthening, until the parent is utterly convinced of how he will change the world with this exact plan.
The experts are called in. We tell them that achieving X is more difficult than they thought, and that Y definitely isn’t the way to go about it, for several reasons. We offer alternatives, but they aren’t Y, so our recommendations are ignored.
Parental Advisory: Do Some Fucking Parenting
Noobs seem to be able to continue to build truly epic failures, despite clear evidence that things are just not working. They beaver away, singing “Tra-la-la-ladies-blocking-the-ladies” with a big dumb grin on their face. The bemused look on their face when the monster they have built turns around and starts violently raping them is quite hilarious. Guess that dream of being able to go fuck a mistress while the magic technology looks after your children for you isn’t going to happen Stevie?
Conroy is looking surprised that his blacklist leaked, and isn’t 100% illegal content. The lead developer here is still confused when the ‘push messaging without rate control’ sometimes chokes up servers. Fuck. We told you retards this would happen.
There is a silver lining to this cloud. The experts got paid. First Law.
What the hell is it with you fucking role-players, anime lovers, fanboys, furries, etc? Its hard enough to find what I want on the internet without your inane and pointless bullshit cluttering up the place.
You’re the one whose choking Trojans
All it takes is a robot in an insignificant little cartoon aimed at 10 year old kids in Japan to collide with a real life product code for something worthwhile, and everything is ruined. All you can find on the internet for that product code is a bunch of fat geeks discussing how many dice Optimus Prime would have to roll to determine if he was capable of raping said robot while wearing a fursuit.
The internet is for Serious Business. If all of you lovers of make-believe crap and sexual deviants could kindly form a line and GTFO in an orderly fashion then the rest of us will be able to get some useful things done.
Its full fucking steam ahead here. The client has seen the final product. Release day is imminent. Version numbers have been updated to indicate the official status. Directors are fellating each other excitedly in the boardroom. Birds are singing, butterflies are circling around…
You are doing it wrong
I have a huge goldfish bowl of coffee, and a feature request. This feature requires so much reworking of the core model that very little of the app will be unaffected. Large sections based on lazy assumptions and slack requirements capture will have to be chucked out and rewritten. It will take two months.
It won’t take two months. We don’t have two months, the client wants it now. The music swells to a crescendo, and we are about to begin the hilarious dance with management known as the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Lets watch…
Madam, may I have the pleasure?
Its not my place to make business decisions around trading off product quality against time. That role is reserved for the guy who is going to be held responsible when it all fails. The first steps of the dance is for him to say things like “just use your judgment”, “do what you think is best”, and “allow me to blame you when I suck cocks at the project management”. Playing the part of the ho, I then follow his lead with a list of costed and risk-assessed options.
Expensive, late, or crap. Pick any two. Next time you might want to try some foresight with your low-ball estimates.
I had a lovely evening.