Nov 22 2020

Avoid COVID scams

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 13:44

The virus that is wreaking havoc in civilized societies has been here for a while. The measures taken by politicians to stop the spread did not really help much. If we are lucky, maybe we will document our failures well enough so that a future generation dealing with a pandemic would learn from them.

When we think of the near future after this terrible time, for most of us the thoughts are grim. Because the nature of our society, businesses are collapsing, which means there will be a lot of people looking for a job. Looking for a job is difficult in normal times, because of inept recruiters and AIs deciding if a CV matches a job description or not. But now, there will be people that will try to take advantage of those desperate to feed themselves and their families.

Because of the nature of this pandemic, people will try to retrain themselves for jobs that can be done from home. One of the well payed remote job is that of a software developer. And I’ve already noticed companies selling programs that will turn you into a software developer in three months. As somebody that has trained for this job between 1997 and 2007 (high school + university), I am telling you three months is not enough. And taking one of those classes will not guarantee you a job. You have as many chances of getting a job as a software developer after a three months class, as you have at winning the lottery. And the lottery ticket is definitely cheaper. There are no shortcuts to becoming a software developer and those selling you one, are conning you. I’ve had a few interviews with people “graduating” these courses and it broke my heart to tell them that they are not ready to handle the job of a junior software developer.

There are no shortcuts to being a good professional in most jobs. Just like there are no shortcuts to get in shape. Anything  truly valuable, requires hard work. If you want to become a software developer, there are so many free resources on the internet, that you probably could do it without one of those classes, you just need a roadmap. And guess what, you could find free roadmaps on the internet too.

The second thing I’ve noticed recently, and I think is a con is people trying to teach you how to present yourself at interviews, how to sell yourself better so you get a job. I’ve received a few emails from people trying to sell me this kind of “service” and I’ve become worried because there are people desperate enough to get a job that will pay charlatans like the guy in the following image.

Let’s discuss this snippet:

Therefore we are launching a coaching program to help international candidates to get their dream job, to provide tips&tricks to get hired by Western Europe corporates.

And he sells coaching, so he can provide them “tips&tricks” to get an interview invitation. Also, I’ve followed the links, there is no we. It is just one guy.

So… tips and trick to bypass those inept HRs and silly AIs? So, I have to pay because an HR is too lazy to do its job properly and because a company rely on an AI to evaluate the potential of a HUMAN candidate. All for the privilege to be invited to an interview. Which, I cannot believe I have to stress this again: will not guarantee you a job.

Think about it like this: If you have a burst pipe, do you start interviewing plumbers? Nope, you just get the first one in your area returned by a Google search.  If you would rely on an HR company with inept HRs and a stupid AI designed to make their job easier, your house would be destroyed. Also, the plumber would be starving too. Thus, two parties have been affected by the greed of one, that wanted to tax you both for putting you in touch with each other.

So yeah, if somebody sells you coaching and “tips and tricks” to get a job, make sure you are not being conned.

If you are aiming to get a job as a software developer, guess who makes the decision of hiring you? In 90% of cases this decision is made by a person who will work with you. And they will evaluate your technical and social skills, and make sure they will be able to work with you and trust you to do your job. And since we are in the middle of the pandemic, you have to be pretty autonomous too. So, unless you are sure you will pass the technical interview, investing in tips and tricks to get to the technical interview is yet again, a lottery.

The bitter part of the email of that guy is this one:

Every crisis is a chance – the Covid-Crisis especially for Tech-Professionals!

So, there’s a crisis prople and here I am to … help profit!!!

It is so obvious he is trying to con people, it makes my skin crawl with disgust. So, be careful out there! In times of crisis, not many people will sacrifice their time and other resources for the survival of a community. Most will try to take advantage of the desperate and the weak.

I’ve hidden this guy’s identity, because it is not that important. What he and others are trying to do is wrong on so many levels and quite unethical from my point of view. But I cannot blame somebody for trying to survive and feed his family.(Yeah… a few internet serches told me everything I needed to know about the guys, including how many kids he has, where he lives, etc.) The pandemic and the incoming crisis might make some people think like his: “In love and war everything is allowed“. I wrote this entry, because I just wanted to make sure some people will keep their eyes open to avoid becoming victims of those that are willing to put their morals, empathy and humanity aside to survive.

Stay safe, stay hopeful!

Nov 18 2020

I have a castle, what do you have?

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:54

Most people from my generation have met their spouses while in school, high-school or during university, when we all had quite a limited universe. Also, social media was not the phenomenon it is today. Those who haven’t, they’ve met their partners at their first job, sometimes within big companies, so there was a big… matching pool. Not all of them have stayed married, but that is none of my business.

Dating after 30 is difficult for various reasons. By that time society expects us to have all our ducks in a row: to have a stable job, to own a decent enough car and a roof over our heads. Whether we like it or not, dating in your 30’s is no longer about your heart beating faster, kisses in the moonlight or finding yourself in the other person. Dating in your 30s and beyond is about finding somebody you can grow old with and that you admire so much, the prospect of taking care of them in case their health takes a bad turn won’t terrify you. Or if it does, living without them would terrify you even more.

Unfortunately, by the time you are 30 you know how many facets a person can have and trust is not easy given and it is so hard to gain. So, we try to compute the possibility of a person being worthy of trust, mostly by those three factors.

If they have a stable job, it means they probably are not sociopaths, they can communicate with other people, are not bothered by routine and they can obviously take care of themselves, which is nice.

If they have a car, they are probably mentally pretty sane since they’ve passed the psychological test required to be allowed to drive. Also, they are responsible enough to keep the metal monster in good shape, so they are responsible. If you know what you are looking for, a car and their behavior while driving can tell you a lot about a person.

If they own an apartment or house, well… regardless if they have a mortgage or not, having a roof over your head is a pretty damn good proof you are a capable adult. I mean, you have shelter from the rain and from the cold, that’s pretty damn big.

So, when we date, we tend to analyze these factors and imagine how our life would look like in the future.

Continue reading “I have a castle, what do you have?”

Nov 13 2020

I did this thing…

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 2:48

I had blonde hair until I was six. When I was a child, to keep work easy for her, my mum cut my hair pretty short, but never as short as to confuse people about my gender. I had bangs until I finished high-school, and by that time my hair turned dark brown. I had long hair until 4th grade, when it got cut really short because of a misunderstanding with a hairdresser. When I realized what happened I cried not for the hair, but because I was scared of my mother’s reaction. You see, my mother always had long hair and so did I and my sister too. It was her obsession for us to look as feminine as possible. And I expected her to be very upset and honestly… I expected at least a light beating.

Since 4th  grade I always had long hair, and people were in awe of it. After my last break up I’ve dyed it flaming red for a while. There were two reasons for my choice: I wanted to be as different as possible from the person he dumped and also, a lot of white hairs started popping up and I was not ready to be considered old. I was not ready to consider myself old.

A year, or two after the break-up, I cut my hair really short, shaved half of my head and dyed it black. But when the white hairs started sprouting again, I gave up and made it flaming red again. Continue reading “I did this thing…”

Nov 08 2020

The Trump reign is over

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:46

Theoretically the whole world can sleep better because Trump lost the US elections. It’s nice not fearing being nuked because the president did not like your meme.
Americans are joyful on twitter and other social networks, but …
Trump does not know how to lose gracefully, and I expect the army will be needed to kick him out of the White House.
During his “reign” two very narrow-minded idiots have been invested to the Supreme Court: Brett Kavanaugh, a rapist and Amy Coney Barrett, an indoctrinated catholic. Both will probably affect negatively all the progress done on equality until now.

Also, he already screwed US in so many ways, that a 4-year term might not be enough to fix it. It might take two (or more) terms to undo all the Trump fuckups. And Biden might not even have 4 years, because even if he is sharp as a tack, he is very old, and his body might fail him.

And another thing that always bugged me about US: there were other candidates beside Trump and Biden. Pete Buttigieg a smart, young and reasonable veteran. There was Elizabeth Warren a smart woman, younger than Biden, that’s for sure, a damn law professor with a progressive thinking. And there was Kamala Harris, a smart woman too with a good knowledge of the law, considering her previous jobs were district attorney of San Francisco and general attorney of California. And given all these choices of smarter, younger people, US limited its choices to Trump and Biden. Don’t get me wrong, he is the lesser of two evils, but he is still an old man, maybe senile and the best US can hope for is that when dementia will affect him seriously he will have the decency to step down and allow Kamala Harris to take his place.
Considering the US population is so narrow minded and prejudiced, that the only choices for president ended up being two senile white men, avoiding any candidates that were gay, female or colored, it would be ironic to end up with a president that matches two of these prejudices. Also, the supreme irony would be for her to choose Pete Buttigieg as her vice-president. This scenario that I’ve imagined here is probably the only one in which US might actually have a chance at some kind of progress.

Anyway, Americans, rejoice, but keep your wits about you and don’t expect everything to start feeling normal again too soon. US is a huge country, and changing a big country is a small process. So, keep your expectations in check to avoid being disappointed.

Stay safe, stay happy!

Oct 26 2020

Spring Boot + Kubernetes = Love (or something like that)

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 22:31

In the previous entry I had a Spring Boot application running in a Docker container. And that is good. But an application designed to be used by a lot of users should be scalable. Well… not the app per-se, but the setup managing it. So, I have a container with an application running. What if more users access it than the poor container with its limited resources can handle? Well, in this case, I need another container with the same application installed and a component called a load balancer that will direct traffic as needed. This is where Kubernetes comes in handy.

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. This means, now that I have an image of my containerized application, I can use Kubernetes to deploy it on more than one container and I can use it to manage my containers. I can decide the resources assigned to a container and I can tell Kubernetes how many containers I want for crowded and lighter situations. Kubernetes can do a lot for me, but I will focus here on something called Horizontal Pod Autoscaler – you can configure one of these to manage a number of containers. As the name of this components says it quite clearly, I can configure it to automatically decide the number of container with my application that need to be up and running based on a specific criterion. And because it is the easiest for me to do, my criteria will be the CPU load percentage. (instead of users requests)
Continue reading “Spring Boot + Kubernetes = Love (or something like that)”

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Oct 22 2020

Cheaters, cheaters everywhere

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 23:56

I’ve been single since 2014. The reason I became so, is because my then boyfriend dumped me for a younger woman with bigger boobs, and unfortunately for him with a bigger brains too. Almost two years later he did the same to her and when I ended in the peculiar situation of consoling her, I found out I have been cheated on, probably most of the relationship. Turns out, my ex had a long duration affair with a work colleague.

So yeah, I missed a very nasty bullet and I don’t regret a thing.

The boyfriend before him, almost did the same thing, but because he was an idiot that could not keep his mouth shut about a younger woman flirting with him, I ended up dumping him. And he finally could consume the affair with his colleague, without the guilt of hurting me over his head. We are still friends, but only because our relationship was based on friendship and we were able somehow to keep that.

While working in various companies, I’ve seen people fall in love at work. The phenomena always made sense to me. People fall in love easily with familiar faces. Also, in an environment that conditions us to show the best version of ourselves, because our chances of being promoted depend on it, it is very easy to fall in love with somebody. But I was always aware of the difference between the work persona and the one at home. Why? Because I was very aware that the real me was quite depressed, with a very low self-esteem and a lot of times, one push away from killing myself.  But rarely these aspects have seeped into my work persona. That is why I was promoted and praised for being an over-achiever a lot of times.  So, if it was like this for me, I concluded it must be the same for everybody, because I am human, and I am not special. So, I formed this ethical work-code that I have always applied in my work life: “Don’t fuck where you eat!”.  Yes, it’s the fuck version of “Don’t shit where you eat!”. Continue reading “Cheaters, cheaters everywhere”


Oct 14 2020

Memory anchor for a kind soul

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:56

Before modern inventions such as the photo camera and sound recorder, when a person died, they only lived in the memories of the people they’ve met and left a mark in their lives in one way or another. They truly died, when the last person that remembered them died too. Now we have cameras, we can record smiles and voices, if we use these resources in a smart way, we could keep somebody alive forever. But people need to forget and need to move on.

I don’t know where I read it, but apparently Facebook is a cemetery, there are a lot of accounts of people that are not alive anymore and that did not bother to share the password with anyone. So, they will be alive as long as their internet footprint is. It is morbid but comforting in a way. People that have had their lives touched by people they died, can still take a look at the person that impressed them so much, but that life moved them far away.

I am writing all this because I found out somebody I considered a friend died recently. I’ve met him only a few times, but he was always so kind and so lovely to be around. He had a gentle soul, a poet’s heart and although we lived in cities quite far away from each other, each interaction with him was pleasant. I probably liked him a lot because we shared the passion for music.

The last time we interacted, was in May, we talked on WhatsApp. He wanted me to write a LinkedIn recommendation for him. And I did. And it looked like this.

I have worked with Corian from 2014 to 2018 at BearingPoint. He was member of a team that my team interacted with very often. He was essential in integrating the two products and facilitated communication between teams. He is driven, open-minded, eager to learn and share knowledge. This was reflected in the quality of his work, he went the extra mile to make sure delivery deadlines were respected and the features delivered lived up to the expectations.
He is one of the most reliable and adaptable developers I have worked with. It was a pleasure working with Corian, I would have loved to have him in my team and I have no doubt he will have a wonderful career in software development.

And his reply was: “I love you too”. At first, I was dumbfounded. Nobody said they love me in a long time. And nobody uses those words so easily, I definitely don’t. And why would he write that? I haven’t talked to him in years. And then I realized in my recommendation I used “I would have loved to have him in my team” instead of “I would have liked to have him in my team”. So, he was a little bit sarcastic about that. We had a few funny exchanges and he sent me a link to one of his poems; out of the blue, with no context. I had no idea what to answer. So, I just said “ok ….. thx :)”. Looking at the WhatsApp exchange now, the poem is gone. Must have been an URL and the source was removed. But my awkward reply is still there. Maybe I should have read it with more attention, maybe said something about it. Maybe I should have talked to him more often.

A week later he invited me to his wedding, and I said no… because of the pandemic. Now I’m so sorry I did not make an effort to be there for him.

Almost any trace of him was erased from the internet. Apparently, his family wanted it that way. And although, we did not talk much, and we were not that close I will always remember him fondly. I wish I had more memories of him.

It seems so unfair a person so kind and so young is no more! Life has taken me far away, and probably we would have never met each other again. But, it was nice for the probability to ever meet again to be bigger than damn zero. Uff Cori, why do you have to be just another one of those persons that I will remember just by name in ten years or, so? I wish there was an afterlife for all musicians, because if there were, I would probably meet you there. By then my piano playing will be better and it will be my pleasure to jam with you.

It is being said that a man is not really dead as long as his name is still spoken. We are only truly gone, when we’ve disappeared from the memories of those who love us.

Rest in peace, Corian Paun! The world is poorer without you in it. Your kind soul will be missed, and you will be remembered.