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Symbolic Violence Beats Lava Lamps All To Pieces

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the next-version-needs-harmless-electrodes dept.

Programming 128

cdance writes "Traditional Lava Lamps, and of course email, are the tools of choice to notify your dev team that the build in your continuous integration system is broken. However, lava lamps, just like pink curtains and shag pile, don't really fit into the culture of many modern development teams. There is now a solution. Retaliation is a new Jenkins CI build monitor that automatically coordinates a foam missile counter-attack against the developer who breaks the build. It does this by playing a pre-programmed control sequence to a USB Foam Missile Launcher to target the offending code monkey."

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128 comments

The 90's called (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37171804)

They want their dot.com bubble era development culture back.

Re:The 90's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37171818)

Sigh. I hate you because it's true.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171854)

I'll glady donate someone else's Kingdom for a +1 there. Bravo.

Re:The 90's called (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174938)

It would be 'symbolic' violence if it just aimed the nerf missile launcher at the person.

It becomes actual violence once the projectile is launched, whether or not it actually strikes the intended target.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175512)

Oh stop being such a wussy... What's a foam missile between developers?!

Here where I work, the offender has to buy cake if the code he committed is broken. Here the cake is not a lie!

Re:The 90's called (3, Funny)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172180)

You didn't warn them?? YOU MONSTER!

Re:The 90's called (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172256)

They want their dot.com bubble era development culture back.

No, that was me calling. I wanted to go back to the 90s era development culture, as we seemed to get a lot more done back then.

Re:The 90's called (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172534)

Let me guess, you were born sometime after 1990, weren't you?

In the 1990s and the very early 2000s, this kind of behavior never happened at places making real profit. Why? Because developers at a place like that are too fucking busy making money. They are also talented enough to not fuck up constantly, and don't need goddamn build failure lights or co-workers hitting them in the genitals with foam sports equipment.

We only ever saw this nonsense at places made up of fools. You know, the sorts of places where they hired people with useless Sociology degrees to be programmers because they once turned on a Commodore 64 in their youth. When you put enough of these idiots together, especially doing work they have absolutely no clue how to do, and you end up with people throwing beach balls around the office rather than getting work done and making money. Oddly enough, these places end up going under! But the work environment was so much fun, the former employees would say. For the six months it lasted before the funding ran out, it was a great time!

The same thing is happening today. The Web 2.0 bubble is about to burst. We've got many Ruby on Rails "developers" and NoSQL "DBAs" all over the place working on unprofitable applications. They often waste time playing cubicle games instead of working. When the bubble bursts, they'll be out on their asses. Nobody will touch them, thanks to the terrible reputation that Rails and NoSQL are getting these days.

Re:The 90's called (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172858)

I'm sorry that you still cry yourself to sleep every night over the startup you worked at that fizzled out in 2000, but that doesn't mean that any other company that reminds you of your lost love in some minor way is also doomed to failure.

The grapes aren't sour just because you couldn't reach them, Mr. Fox.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174454)

It's called a work ethic and companies that are getting things done are burying companies playing touchy feely with their HR Depts and playing cubicle games.

I had the misfortune of being a liaison to one of these companies. This kind of behavior is unacceptable rubbish of the highest stinking order.

- Dan.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175452)

I remember TripWire was making huge profits, and they had alcohol and nerf weapons in the office every Friday.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37177288)

You could tattoo ".com" on a monkey's butt and make profits back then.

Re:The 90's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175838)

What web 2.0 bubble? I think you're on crack. LOL :P

Re:The 90's called (2)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176008)

We only ever saw this nonsense at places made up of fools.

A great deal of the agile stuff has actually been tested -- as in, measuring the number of production defects before and after adopting agile practices.

CI works. Information radiators work. (That is, anything that shoves vital info like "the build is broken" at people with no opt-out).

This particular information radiator is a bit daft, but it doesn't seem like it took much effort, and someone's enjoyed themselves, so where's the harm?

I'm somewhat oblivious to what the world thinks about Rails. It seems like a good fit for certain types of web site, to me.
I don't know where you're perceiving this terrible reputation NoSQL has. Where I'm sitting, I perceive a huge sigh of relief from people who don't have to work with Oracle DB any more.

Re:The 90's called (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37177470)

I don't know where you're perceiving this terrible reputation NoSQL has.

Me neither. I mean, it's webscale! [depth-first.com]

Re:The 90's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172636)

Yeah money and taking care of your employees ... good times... good times...

Re:The 90's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172406)

Tell that to Google, Facebook, et al.

People want life to suck a little less... is that really so much to ask?

Re:The 90's called (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176850)

Yes. Now back to work, maggot! And don't you dare smile!

With love,

Your manager

Break the build? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172672)

Does this mean maliciously change production code?

Does it mean I commit a change that fails unit tests and that someone merges to the master branch?

Does it mean I push changes that prevent compilation repository?

Seriously, if build breaking commits are bad enough that you need to consider ways to stop them, and are small fry enough for this to sound cool....change your shit up so that build breaking commits are not blockers and never going to make it to production.

The lava lamp thing's pretty cool though.

Re:Break the build? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176036)

Yeah, it means something gets committed to the master branch, which either prevents compilation, breaks a unit test, or breaks an integration test.

It's serious because the rest of your team is relying on that master branch being good, so they can test their own changes against it.

In theory it should almost never happen, for the reasons you're hinting at; you don't merge into the branch until you've run unit tests elsewhere.

In practice, real life gets in the way. Your unit tests weren't complete, or made some dud assumption about an interface, or whatever. CI builds your code, runs tests, alerts everyone that something's broken. You fix it. Everything's back on track.

The lava lamps / etc. are just a way to get some (hopefully good natured) taboo around merging code that breaks the build. It should motivate developers to be more careful with their tests before committing/merging.

Re:The 90's called (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173714)

How about the 201x era where we throw molten lead?

Re:The 90's called (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174842)

How about the 199X era where you are already dead?

Re:The 90's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175936)

Sounds like you have an office linebacker.

We have something similar (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37171836)

My job uses approximately the same tactics, although instead of a python script we have Dave the Project Manager, and instead of a foam missile launcher, Dave has a baseball bat. You see, unlike traditional product managers who have a background in, well, project management, Dave has a background in being a large and terrifying individual. So, our code builds every damn time.

Re:We have something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175070)

Good for Dave

Re:We have something similar (2)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37177512)

we have Dave the Project Manager, and instead of a foam missile launcher, Dave has a baseball bat

Dave: A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Unit testing! A man sits alone with his editor. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But when checking in, what? Part of a team. Teamwork... Builds, runs unit tests, svn update, svn checkin. Part of one big team. If his team don't field... what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, gcc compiles without errors. What does he have to say? I'm goin' out there for myself. But... I get nowhere unless the team runs the unit tests!

Developers: Team!

*Dave beats one of the developers to death with a baseball bat*

nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171844)

Is this posting a sign that Slashdot has been hacked? Or perhaps it is sending apparently random information to sleeper cells? Letsee... if i try every third word... nope. hmh.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172026)

Read it a second time, and it makes more sense.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1, Flamebait)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172090)

I've now read it 3.7 times and it still makes no sense. I think the key to understanding would be either to doggedly follow the links (which somehow i feel it's a fail if i have to follow the links to begin to understand a posting of "News") or if i was in on the necessary "darmok/his arms wide" patois. Anyway, i'm not the target customer, apparently. So... nothing to see here move along...

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172586)

In larger software development environments, it is common for many contributing programmers to work on a single copy of the project's source code at the same time (typically through a mechanism called source control.) As a matter of etiquette, developers are expected to test their code before contributing it back to the master copy. If the master copy fails to compile, typically due to an error in coding, then it is said that the build has been broken, and that the developer who contributed the bad code broke the build.

An article posted on Slashdot in 2004 suggested that software teams keep a red lava lamp in their server room, and have it turn on whenever a broken build is discovered. The reason for picking a lava lamp in particular is because it can take several minutes for the wax to warm up enough for the bubbles to reach the top of the oil: the article's authors proposed using this delay as a period in which the build could be fixed without inspiring a greater breach of decorum, and hence invoking the ire of the rest of the development team.

This summary, by contrast, is a slashvertisement for a different solution to the same problem, wherein foam projectiles are launched at the offending developer. It attempts to conceal its absurd premises by referencing a past incident in which a similar idea was suggested, thereby hoping to capitalise on an in-joke as a means of creating something more acceptable as a cultural object of Slashdot's community; however, the submitter most likely just did a search for something he or she could exploit to provide padding.

That all being said, you should probably get used to being expected to read embedded links in order to garner a cohesive understanding of the relevant context for something written on the Web. Most people don't have the communication skills necessary to clearly and accurately introduce context in a compact space, and in lieu of this ability, it is highly preferable to have a reference to the original subject matter (or at least a more primary resource) than to be left with mere hearsay or no context whatsoever. This is one of the greatest ways the Internet has changed how people communicate, and while it has its annoying side effects at times (especially dead links) it does more good than harm.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1, Redundant)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172722)

If i had moderation points, you would get them, Thank you for the highly cogent, and link-less, summary ((s'funny, i used to have moderation points too where did they go?))

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173032)

I love you, and want you to have my children.

Seriously, take them. They're nothing but a drain on my resources.

You can even re-name them if you like.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173288)

I think that's illegal.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173034)

Your writing style is pretty good for the most part, but you should try to not split infinitives.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173270)

I encourage you not to split infinitives, as well, even if Microsoft insists that a single word is acceptable. However, I think that particular piece of linguistic style is best considered deprecated at this point. Personally, I find that placing adverbs (or adverbial clauses) after the "to" helps tie the structure together, and that not doing so often feel stilted; though I suppose, in longer constructs, it can complicate easy comprehension by leaving the reader hanging and potentially creating the dreaded "garden path" sentence. Such is life.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174722)

you should try to not split infinitives.

AUX -> { {(T)(M)(to)} (perf)(prog)(pass)}

An auxilliary can be a tense, modal, or to along with the combinations of the perfect, progressive, passive aspects. This rule comes from The Grammar Book (which I have sitting on my desk because I am a TESOL instructor), chapter 31, page 645. The use of to to make the infinitive in English is accepted by most linguists to act as any other auxilliary and conform to the rules of how adverbials interact with auxilliaries.

The idea of not splitting infinitives was concieved in the 19th century when linguist tried to push Latin grammar onto the English language with the Latin infinitive being an inflection of the verb rather than an aspect of the verb as it has been since English pushed towards the analytic side of the language spectrum.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (2)

YenTheFirst (1056960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174692)

I was under the impression that the term 'slashvertisement' referred to:

  1. a slashdot story
  2. linking to a singular post from a company or interest group
  3. which is written primarily to be persuasive on a certain matter
  4. especially for the sale of product or services from that company/interest group

Alternatively, it could refer to a vague, sensational story, meant to drive traffic to a blog.

In either case, the story was submitted by the owner of the landing page, with intent of some sort of personal gain

the link points to a free, open-source project(*), which has a parody of advertisement encouraging its use. The only product one would need to purchase, if convinced either by said 'advertisement' or the slashdot posting, is a certain toy rocket-launcher, unassociated with the company behind the FOSS project.

how is this a slashvertisement?

(*) All the source code is freely available online, there is no indication of desire to charge for or limit use of the code, and it's built as an extension to the FOSS project 'Jenkins'. That said, no license is explicitly given. I could be incorrect about the project being FOSS

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37177072)

It's Slashvertisement Lite, wherein the primary developer (Chris Dance, I believe) of an open source project tries to conceal the fact that he or she is trying to get attention for their work. This usage has cropped up once or twice before. This is comparable to many modern television advertisements, which have a dreadfully low chance of actually getting you to buy anything, and are much more focused on playing the longer, deeper game of making you remember the name. (Which, in this case, is PaperCut [papercut.com] .) It's there, just not quite as obvious.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174902)

This. After watching the video, I think they need to use a larger turret, ideally one linked up to a speaker which plays "You Bastard" each time it fires.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175476)

And even tiny shops, too!

I don't expect them to read any links, I just expect them to continually integrate nerd culture.

I don't like the nerf missiles, spilled coffee is the last thing a broken build needs. I suggest disco lights.

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172612)

And before I forget: Sokath, his eyes uncovered.

Damn! (0)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173194)

And to think I spent my mod-points on trolls...

Re:nope, didn't get any of that. (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175584)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!

If you have a giant build, it's not modular enough (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171876)

If you have a giant build, your design is not modular enough. Above some size, it's time to go to multiple intercommunicating programs.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (5, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171934)

If you have a giant build, your design is not modular enough.

That makes no sense. You can have a modular system and still make changes the require giant builds. For example, if your module is something in the base of your system it will usually require you to recompile most of the rest of the system. Being modular will not stop that because you need to make sure that what you did in that one module does not break the pieces that use it. Secondly, what you seem to be complaining about is rather that people might not be doing incremental builds using make or a make-like tool. So, yes, if you are always rebuilding the entire system for no purpose that is stupid.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172440)

Hey, you can't do that! You can't go and crush his nice theoretical arguments with reality! All of his professors said that modularity would solve every problem, and it would take no work at all to achieve. How can they all be wrong? Among all of them, they have almost 2 years of real programming experience!

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (1)

Uberdog (73274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173248)

You can structure your modules and your tests such that you can test them independently, using unit tests and functional tests while mocking other services. This keeps each individual build, likely to be kicked off by a change in the revision control system, to a minimum. Integration tests using all the components together can be kicked off at larger intervals (twice daily, for example). These should always pass if all the individual module tests passed. If not, then your tests are incomplete.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173778)

And what happens if you make a change to the build system?

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175064)

Of course, as the system complexity increases, unintended consequences become more frequent. However, if changes in underlying modules cause categoric rebuilds, it really isn't a true component system. A component's ABI should be extremely stable under normal circumstances. Almost impossible to accomplish with C++ unless you sacrifice most of the object-oriented goodies, but easily achievable with almost any other language given proper developer discipline.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172384)

And you still need (more than ever) regular builds and test executions while you refactor it into something more modular.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37174414)

If you have a giant build, your design is not modular enough. Above some size, it's time to go to multiple intercommunicating programs.

"When your national debt is huge, stop spending."

See, I think you're missing the real problem.

Re:If you have a giant build, it's not modular eno (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175964)

Those modules communicate with each other. If you screw up the way they communicate, integration tests fail. That's a broken build.

Translation please? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37171936)

WTF?

As if we didn't look geeky enough (2)

dotbot (2030980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171988)

We'd all have to wear plastic safety specs too...

I must be missing something (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172062)

Because I find things like this to be juvenile.

Re:I must be missing something (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172150)

a sense of humor?

Re:I must be missing something (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173800)

My thoughts exactly. Am sorry but what is that suppose to mean "a foam missile counter-attack?!" I remember friends picking PhD title by using a simple Combination function on the set {statistical, genetic algorithm, bayesian, theoretical, neural network, logic, reasoning, inductive, design, probabilistic, integrating, non-linear, optimization ...} Is life totally meaningless now?

Re:I must be missing something (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176254)

Am sorry but what is that suppose to mean "a foam missile counter-attack?!"

Er, what's difficult about that?

You know what foam is. You know what a missile is. You can probably imagine what a "foam missile" is, and if you've been to a toy shop in the last 20 years, you've seen one. So that bit's easy.

Now then. "Counter-attack". Is that the difficult bit? The commit that broke the build is the "attack". Launching the foam missiles at the culprit is the "counter-attack".

I remember friends picking PhD title by using a simple Combination function on the set {statistical, genetic algorithm, bayesian, theoretical, neural network, logic, reasoning, inductive, design, probabilistic, integrating, non-linear, optimization ...} Is life totally meaningless now?

All those words have fairly precise meanings. I do hope your friends failed their PhD if their thesis didn't match the words in the title.

Re:I must be missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37177132)

Try growing up and learning how to have a little fun? Work doesn't have to be 8-12 hours of mashing keys with a serious face and no non-work related conversations. A break now and then to have a "hallway meeting" to socialize, go bowling down the hallway, or attack fellow co-workers with Nerf weapons is great for stress relief and can even boost productivity on a bad day (see the slashdot story on cyberloafing). Seriously, people burdened with being mature and looking down on people that like to find fun in the mundane suck. So what if I want to hop on the back of my shopping cart and glide through a store? If I enjoy it, and nobody is hurt, screw you.

W-w...what?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172064)

Did I just get laid?

We had a similar system to this at microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172132)

Balmer set up a similar system at MS when I worked there. Only every time you broke the build, you had to take a drink. I'm posting anonymously just in case this was in the NDA...

Re:We had a similar system to this at microsoft (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172248)

Balmer set up a similar system at MS when I worked there. Only every time you broke the build, you had to take a drink. I'm posting anonymously just in case this was in the NDA...

I believe that it wasn't in the NDA, or there have been some leaks [xkcd.com] already. Did you work there in 1999 by any chance ?

Re:We had a similar system to this at microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172262)

Oh, I thought you were going to say he threw a chair.

Are they men or children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172162)

Arnie says 'Girlie men'

be carefull what you encourage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172190)

..most people will break the build to play with the toy. ..some people would adjust scm credentials and make it look like someone else did it and got hit:)

Why bother with the physical component? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172192)

Since everybody in the group already has a networked computer, a general-purpose system capable of inflicting considerable suffering, why not take advantage of that?

A few days of being stuck using the "Penal Image"(WinME, Incredimail, Bonzibuddy, 800x600), they'll be begging for a chance to redeem themselves.

Demeaning != Fun (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172322)

That launcher just looks like another small way to degrade people.

If I worked in an office that did that, I would ensure the launcher kept on having mysterious accidents that rendered it inoperable. Like somehow falling 10 stories out of an open window.

Re:Demeaning != Fun (1, Insightful)

CadentOrange (2429626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172492)

You're obviously not a developer, or you're working in a place that's so dull it might be time to change jobs. As a developer, I absolutely dig this (and there's a 1/3 chance of me breaking the build in my team)!

Re:Demeaning != Fun (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37174718)

No, if you need to get shot in the balls to enjoy your job, then I'd suggest that you are the one who's working in a place that's so dull it might be time to change jobs.

Re:Demeaning != Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176864)

If that is how you feel, good luck implementing it. I will happily sue you for a hostile work environment. Work is a place for proffessionals.

Re:Demeaning != Fun (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172526)

It doesn't, and you wouldn't.

Sigh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172366)

So we've got two different ways of handling errors here. Say I made a serious mistake like breaking the build that 1000 people have to work on. Company A looks into how the mistake happened and exactly what needs to be done to avoid the mistake happening again, be that changing the procedure I used (e.g. running tests), training of me and coworkers to make sure we know to follow the procedure or automating the failed step so that we can't do it wrong (e.g. have the build server run tests before checking something in). Perhaps something can be done to mitigate the seriousness if such a mistake happens in the future, such as an automatic roll-back on the server. Company B's solution, on the other hand, is to humiliate me so spectacularly that I'll try my best not to cause a problem again.
 
  What'll really happen is that I'll try my best to ditch company B in favor of a professional setup like company A. So company B ends up with the people who can't get to a better place. Don't manage errors by humiliating whomever you think is responsible, have the whole company learn from the error instead. If one guy could make a mistake, we could ALL make that mistake on a bad day. Blaming one guy doesn't solve that, learning and preventing the mistake from happening again does.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172572)

no all learning in the work will make lazy people think before committing a broken solution. also, mistake do happens, no training in the world will help me if I forgot to attach a file to the changeset. and no course ever will allow me to avoid breaking the build if the system is badly configured, like having a change spanning on multiple modules on different scm.

the morale is: sometimes the solution is just to fire bad developers.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172904)

You're clearly on crack, because over here in the CS department (where we're on weed instead), it's perfectly obvious that the build-breakage of any commit is deterministic, so it's possible to check all commits before permitting them, and then if you forget to attach a file, the check will fail and the commit will be rejected.

A naive approach would be to run a local build, but that's silly, since we don't care about the compiler output, merely the syntactic (which is a solved problem we won't treat here) and relational correctness needed to guarantee compiler success. With this in mind, a more enlightened approach is to parse each file and generate a dependency index for each file, preferably in XML, allowing us to mathematically prove that the build is broken or not broken.

Re:Sigh (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175836)

>> no training in the world will help me if I forgot to attach a file to the changeset. and no course ever will allow me to avoid breaking the build if the system is badly configured, like having a change spanning on multiple modules on different scm.

I'll go further and say that no toy missile will ever prevent you from doing something stupid.

You just like being hit in the balls with foam in a public manner, do you?

          -dZ.

I'm 23 and what is this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172370)

Is it just me or did the article actually mean something? Lava lamps, dev team, missile counter-attack, USB Foam Missile, code monkey... what the fuck am I reading?

Re:I'm 23 and what is this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172454)

A throwback to the .com era where small startups thought The Coolest Thing They Just Thought Of was somehow of value to society.

Re:I'm 23 and what is this (2)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173826)

I agree. "WTF" is the correct response to this article.

Ahhh, the care free office. (5, Insightful)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172478)

I once recall the care free office antics of yesterday. Where software developers were called "code monkeys" and silly games of Nerf and office parties lasted all night long. Then the bubble burst and the glitter spilled out, I had to grow up and drop my engineering balls, only to have them cut off after layoffs. Now I come to a job where my title is Systems Engineer and parties are best left to managers. I wear an id badge with some long meaningless number linked to my IRS tax forms. I have to turn in daily SCRUM updates, weekly Sprint updates, monthly team updates, quarterly employee evaluations, and year reviews. If I break the build I get a shit storm from my co-workers and getting to be known by managers as the reason why we slipped a milestone date that was arbitrarily imagined by someone that hasn't coded in 25+ years.

But hey, that's really cute toy you have there. Your scripting abilities are coming along nicely.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172704)

"If I break the build I get a shit storm from my co-workers and getting to be known by managers as the reason why we slipped a milestone date that was arbitrarily imagined by someone that hasn't coded in 25+ years."

Then you're doing SCRUM and sprints wrong, code monkey.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172978)

More probably it's his PHBs that are doing S.C.R.U.M. and sprints wrong and he therefore has no say in it. It's really sad to see all good ideas eventually get perverted by clueless MBAs and PMPs

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173690)

Then he's doing scrum like most of the companies out there.

I've had managers scream at me because I wasn't burning down exactly 8 hours per day.

I've had managers pick arbitrary dates six months in the future as the Absolute Must Ship date, and complain when one month into that, we laid out the reasons why we didn't think we'd have all the desired features by then, demanding that we fix things so our burndown chart showed us completing on time, because obviously the problem was in the burn-down chart, not in the schedule or staffing level.

I've had managers complain when we re-scoped things after finding a problem, because it meant that the beautiful chart they'd made at the beginning of the sprint wasn't accurate anymore.

I've had managers complain that we didn't have tasks laid out in detail three months in advance.

SCRUM is great if everyone including management understands what it's about and how to do it. It's a nightmare if the guy in charge doesn't get it.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

SomeStupidNickName12 (1377421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175472)

Grow a back bone! The rubbish only happens if you put up with it.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175852)

Looks like someone needs a foam missile launcher...

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (2)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172946)

I suggest you get into consulting.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173286)

I'd like to print that out and put it up on my divider wall but I've already hit my limit of 3 personal non-work-related items.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37174740)

And all I read is "Whine whine whine, no one else should have any fun 'cause my life sucks"

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175860)

Damn right, I was in a bubble company in 1999, we used to play Half Life deathmatch mid afternoon, go to the pub for lunch and decide not to bother going back to work. Oh happy days. I still get paid to press buttons on computers, there are no deathmatches and we try not to get TOO drunk at the pub but FFS it's just a job, it shouldn't define your existence

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37176088)

I'm being a bit over-cautious by posting anonymously.

Very profitable and ubiquitous code was written in this kind of atmosphere.

I worked for a 1000LB Gorilla business-oriented computing company in the 90s. I missed the boat, but a few years before I joined, the culture was very much - turn up mid morning, pub for lunch, stay in the pub til 6pm, back to the office, churn out code into the wee small hours, stagger home, repeat.

Serious mainframe code for serious business use was produced by that working model. It's likely some of that code still runs every time your supermarket re-orders Coke, or your payroll gets processed.

Re:Ahhh, the care free office. (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176058)

So wait...we're supposed to respect your choices and their results, and therefore respect and wish to emulate you, thus making your condescension about "toys" and "scripting abilities" have bite?

Does it occur to you that there is another possibility...that you screwed up, made a lot of poor decisions, and now justify them to yourself in terms of "growing up"? That it was your party that ended, not the party?

An Obvious Sign of the Times (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172854)

This solution clearly was impossible in the "good old days." First of all, programmers once had offices with four walls and a real door. Back then, the favorite correctional action was a skunk in the desk's file drawer (yes, they had real desks, too!). Even during the era of cubicles, it would have been impractical to fire over the partitions blindly. Lastly, robotic armaments have come along way toward making corrective actions more selectively punitive.

However, this seems like a Disney version of management. Instead of foam missiles, wiring their chairs with remote controlled tasers would be far more effective. It might even become the basis for a new form of Agile programming. You will laugh at the suggestion until you read that it has been standard practice in China and India.

Re:An Obvious Sign of the Times (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173442)

Offices yay! (I hate open concept...) Paper in offices icky!

i has root, kthxbye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37172912)

Unless you work for a place like SparkFun or ThinkGeek this sort of thing just isn't acceptable in today's corporate culture and frankly I'm not exactly weeping about it, it got annoying quickly and untalented people soon became untalented and unproductive. I'm not here to play with toys, I'm here to do a job that I get paid to do so STFU and stop shooting foam crap at me because I'm armed with administrator privileges and an open shell and I'm not afraid to fuck your day up by forcing you onto a whitelist in squid.

But Violence Never Solved Anything! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37173246)

At least that's what my hippy educators in the 70s liked to tell me. Though to render everything they told me false and irrelevant, I just need to find one example where it did. Hmm... Ah! World War 2! Suck on that, hippy educators! Perhaps you just didn't use enough violence in your solution!

Re:But Violence Never Solved Anything! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175828)

Robert Heinlein would agree [thinkexist.com] .

Software that actually works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173358)

I use the software that these guys churn out. It always works, does exactly what it says on the box, and has new features and updates added on a regular basis. The same can't be said for a lot of other "business" software that I've used, and is probably churned out by coders in environments diametrically opposed to the one portrayed in the video.

Whatever happened to society? Can't people have a bit of fun whilst working anymore?

Great minds think alike!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37174104)

We built the same thing last year, and the guys at Atlassian wrote up a blog post on us.

http://blogs.atlassian.com/devtools/2010/12/missiles-failed-builds-bamboo-punisher.html

Re:Great minds think alike!! (1)

mattgow (932082) | more than 2 years ago | (#37176040)

Yeah, the Bamboo one is better IMHO cause it supports a web-cam strapped to the launcher so you can re-live the moment. https://github.com/crossroads/bamboo_punisher [github.com]

ind your favourite (1)

infashion2011 (2332952) | more than 2 years ago | (#37175814)

welcome to my site http://www.infashion2011.com./ [www.infashion2011.com] share my view, find your favourite
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