Apr 08 2017

You thought friend-zone was bad?

Category: English posts,MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:33

Before telling you what is worse than friend-zone let me tell you a few things about me.

I did not have the occasion while growing up to cultivate friendships because my parents moved me from place to place, there was no internet, or even phones back then, and we were also poor, so keeping in touch with my friends once we’ve switched cities was not an option.
I studied in a technical high school and a technical university. Maybe the situation improved now, but when I did all those, there were not many girls interested in technical domains like computer engineering. So most of my colleagues were boys, and because we spent a lot of time together, few of them became good friends. Some of them are men now, they have wives and kids and the whole package, but they are still my friends. People that are lucky enough stay in one place they make friends among neighbors, among school colleagues, faculty colleagues, etc. I did not have any of these for a enough of a long time to build long-lasting friendships. Friends have changed over the years and the most lasting friendship that I have is 11 years long and going strong and he is a guy.

I currently work in a domain that for years used to be dominated by men, and in some countries, like Germany for example, still is.

And another information that might seem useless, but it will make sense soon: the love of my life died in 2001 and since then every relationship was a failure for me and I took the decision to stay away from romantic involvement, because I do not want to waste anybody’s time, not anymore.

Why have I told you all this? Because a while ago I met a new colleague and we seemed to be hitting it off right away. Not in a sexual attraction/romance way, in that “two peas in a pod”, “brother from another mother” way. The thing I like most when befriending adults, it is really easy to put everything on the table. We’re not insecure adolescent hormone bombs anymore, so you can make dirty jokes and say silly things without the worry of being interpreted in a different way. Because, we are adults, we accept that might happen and well… life goes on and not everybody must like you.

When a colleague asked me about this guy, I just told him straight away: “I think I have a geek crush!” Talking with him about tech, the company we both work for, peculiar movies and books is just time well spent. And I really really wanted to have a beer with this guy, because he seems really uncomfortable at work. So being the no-filter person that I am, I told him so. And that’s when it happened: he colleagued-zoned me. Yeap, this is worst than being friend-zoned. Because what it means, is that this person does not even want to be friends with you. Why did he do it? Well… something about his wife being jealous of him making a new friend that happens to also to be a girl. I can understand that, sort of.

But for me this was never a problem. If my ex-boyfriends would have gotten agitated every time I left the house to meet with my male colleagues, the relationships would have been much sorter. At some point I was going to some of my faculty colleagues houses to work on projects and faculty related stuff, colleagues that they did not even know. I was jealous in two of my relationships, but I had reasons to be. Of course looking back now I realize, that instead of being jealous I should have just ended it. But oh well, mistakes were made. Live some, learn some.

Of course after that chat I never dared saying another word to this guy. It’s not like I’m dying to befriend him or something. I can live well enough with the friends I have. But it just feels stupid. Here we are in a world where we are trying to convince people to treat men and women the same, but I can’t start building a friendship with a guy, because his wife gets jealous.

So yeah, I’ve been colleague-zoned. Achievement unlocked. :D

Stay safe, stay happy!

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Apr 08 2017

git unpack failed: error Missing tree solution

Category: English posts,TechnicalIuliana @ 19:18

More than a year ago, I convinced the company that I work for to switch from CVS to Git. This was not done as I wanted it, because … management… and thus a lot of stupid issues appeared. I did Git support for more than a year, and all this time 80% was Eclipse support, because the EGit Eclipse plugin is … a mess.  Now after more than a year later, a new problem appeared. When people tried to push their changes, a nasty pop-up appears:

And after you get this pop-up, doing it from the command line, doesn’t do it either:

C:\work>git push -v
Pushing to ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent
Counting objects: 91, done.
Delta compression using up to 8 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (85/85), done.
Writing objects: 100% (91/91), 44.68 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 91 (delta 41), reused 0 (delta 0)
remote: Resolving deltas: 100% (41/41)
fatal: Cannot receive pack: error: unpack failed: error Missing tree 07b3431321048e15dccc9e022e258b93252894ef
To ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent
! [remote rejected] HEAD -> hotfix/H5.14.0.XX_ADV_XMW_branch (n/a (unpacker error))
error: failed to push some refs to ‘ssh://gigi.pedala@git:29418/gmp-parent’

If you search for a solution on the internet for this, you will most probably be told that your repository is corrupted and that the only solution is to re-clone it. Or you will be required to execute a lot of commands… that might do nothing for you.

Two days ago a colleague of mine from Frankfurt had it. As I was in the office I took the other Git expert in the company with me and went to his computer to dissect his repo. And being the nice person that I am, I will share the solution with you. We ran a git gc

git gc
Runs a number of housekeeping tasks within the current repository, such as compressing file revisions (to reduce disk space and increase performance) and removing unreachable objects which may have been created from prior invocations of git add.

Basically, when you do a push, git packages the information and tries to send it to the remote. Problem is that, whatever is sent to the remote in this case, cannot be unpacked because a git tree is missing for some reason. If you try to do a git show on the tree with the SHA1 code mentioned in the error, all the information is there. So what is happening? Well, git gc will help you here, because when trying to repack the information, you will get a set of errors like these:

cannot unlink file .git/objects/pack…”

Apparently Eclipse, or any other program, or even Windows holds a lock on the repository files, which prevents packing, and obviously incomplete information is send to the remote which cannot unpack it, thus the upacker error problem. I mentioned Windows here, because I haven’t heard anybody having this problem on a Unix system yet.

The solution for my colleague was to restart his computer(we closed Eclipse, but some java processes were still hanging and keeping the files locked so we took the easy way out) and before opening any other program execute git gc. The operation executed without any errors and he was able to continue his work, and do any remote operations he needed.

So this is the easiest solution: restart the computer, do a git gc and go about your work as usual.

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Apr 05 2017

Sonder

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 21:39

Until today I had no idea this word existed and what it meant.

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

It’s like ponder, but a little deeper. Until recently this word had a different meaning, but because people are creative and languages evolve, this word was reborn with a new and interesting meeting. I guess the English language tries to follow German that has words like Schadenfreude, Erklärungsnot, Futterneid, and one of my favorites: Weltschmerz.

I’m not gonna tell you what they mean, I won’t make it easy for you. ;)

Stay safe, stay happy!

 

Source of the new definition for sonder: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


Apr 04 2017

The Default People

Category: English posts,PersonalIuliana @ 23:49

A lot of time I tried to match the pattern of a default life. The first Trainspotting movie told it in a blunt way:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television.Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning…

 

Of course, the quote is longer and it ends by praising heroin usage. I just kept what fits my post. Most of us that grow in sort-of normal families and are encouraged to follow a development pattern, the same one described in the above quote. Not all parents force you to follow the pattern, but they kinda expect you to and some of them strongly express their disappointment if you fail to follow the pattern. My parents are such creatures, are disappointed in me because I did not follow the pattern. They praised this development pattern so much, that sometimes even I, fall from my passion driven high horse into the muddy waters of disappointment with myself. When this happens I just watch an episode of House, Sherlock or Elementary and then go to sleep. In the morning, the feeling is gone and I get into “planning” a new day mode.

Having a career, job, family, a house with a white fence that you pay monthly for 30 years and parents in law to visit for any holiday is the default mode of this world. It’s nice and it’s comfy. It is expected and it is praised.

I think I’ve always been a glitch. If I look back and analyze my past, a lot of things never made sense. I made unexpected decisions and I always seen the world differently than 99% of my peers. I felt like a misfit for this. I had low self-esteem and went to a psychologist to try to understand what is wrong with me.

I kept expecting frustrations related to me not being able to follow the development pattern to grow proportionally with my age, but as time passes I embrace more and more the anomaly that I am. I learn to appreciate the strong points and make them even stronger. Sure, I will probably never have a mate and never share my genes with the world, but my legacy will be in every developer I train, in every book I write and every person I help grow personally and professionally.

I’m not sure how much my memory will last, but in the end, the entire universe gets born and dies without reason or purpose. We are all dust in the wind, and when I will turn to dust, that is a pattern I will finally be able to match.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Apr 04 2017

Head Hunters … I despise them

Category: TechnicalIuliana @ 23:14

For the following two months I will be replacing my manager, so I’ll do less code(he hopes none at all) and more people/project managing. I’m scared like hell, but I’ll do my best to fill his shoes and make sure all the projects will be stable and maintainable in his absence.

While he in on parental leave, apparently I should hire two more people in Frankfurt. Until now, the way people are hired here was a mystery to me. And I was quite confused how some people ended up working here when they seemed quite .. unsuitable for the job. It’s not a critique, it’s an observation. The bigger the company, the bigger the chances some people do not fit their role, and even bigger the chances for nobody to notice it. But I digress. So, this company is using a head hunting company to find potential candidates.

I hate head hunters. Even the term “head hunter” seems aggressive and sends me into defensive mode. I’ve been “hunted” on LinkedIn and it always felt like an invasive process. It’s a weird sensation, because they seem amiable and diplomatic, almost likeable, but pushy in a way. They push you for a meeting, they push for an answer and so on. They are oblivious to the kind of person you and they do not seem to care if you are going to fit in an existing team or not. All they care about is the technologies you know and the number of years you have in the field. If you worked for a renowned company, even better. These are they details they flash in front of their clients and they push them too for a contract, because the commission for a successful interaction is about two salaries of the person they delivered. So yeah, I guess they are quite motivated.

Unfortunately, head hunter companies are useful in a big city, with busy people with no time to maintain a LinkedIn or Xing account and no way  for companies of verifying their credentials. Head hunters are for people, what real estate agents are for houses. They are mischievous and elusive because they want to sell you something that you might discover later it does not fit you. It’s like a shop keeper selling you pants two sizes small and with a no return policy.

They are despicable indeed, but you, the professional that do not want to invest a little time in your career are to blame for this. Wrong people will get a job and wreck projects, and drive other people to desperation and  onto other jobs. Because you cannot find it the motivation within yourself, if you are not satisfied with your job, to invest a little time in creating  a proper LinkedIn or Xing profile. Or a personal site, why not do it if you have the expertise?

The “Iuliana Cosmina” brand was not born in a day. It is the consequence of more than 10 years of work. But Google knows who I am. Of course, Google only knows what I want it to know. There is no need for a head hunter to hunt me or convince me. There is no need for a company to hire a head hunter to “get” me. They just have to send me an email, or a message on LinkedIn or Xing. Because I am currently at a certain level in my career that allows me to choose my employer. I will do this based on a set of criteria. Money is important as long as it provides a comfortable lifestyle in the job area. But if I do not like the project, the team leader and feel like I do not fit the company culture or the team, I will never say yes to a job. Interaction through a head hunter is unfair, because I cannot meet the team I would be working with, I cannot test the chemistry, the “feel”. And this is important for me, because people are “feeling-based” creatures. And the difference between feeling comfortable and uncomfortable in a team, shows its teeth in a person’s productivity.

So dear head hunter, if you want to create a brand for yourself as a competent professional and be sought for your services, allow the people you propose for a job to meet the team without asking for money. Pretend that you actually want for both parties to be satisfied with their arrangement. Dear head hunter, I know you have to survive too and pay rent. But if you play the game right and build a reputation of integrity you will win much more on the long run.

And reputation gets you really-really far. And sometimes you can learn things from movies too.

“When I propose a candidate for a job I don’t do it because the person in question is the best but because he is the one the client will employ. I provide them with a head that is good enough, placed on a body they want. […] The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.”

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Mar 27 2017

Today’s good manners code

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 0:55

In the image on the left there is a picture of the book I’m reading now. It is in Romanian and it is called Today’s good manners code.
It’s not that I lack manners, nor I want to learn how to act as a princess, but I’m just curious how much manners I already have.

A while ago, I had the intention to write a post about titles and what they really mean. I did some fast-scanning of my blog and realized that I did not do it. I wanted to say something like this, if you were given a certain title in a certain context, or small society, or universe you are part of, if you do not act the part perfectly, the title means nothing. And I wanted to give myself as an example. I only mention my company given title if somebody asks me, otherwise I am just Iuliana from the XBRL team. Why ? Because the work I currently do, does not match the title. They call me a software architect, but I haven’t designed a full software solution since I got promoted. So I don’t feel comfortable when being called a software architect, thus I don’t mention the title in social situations unless asked. Actually, I go so far and not mention my title even in work situations. I let other people that know me mention it.

And apparently, according to this book, this is the right way to go. Of course, I was not mentioning the title for other reasons, but in my world, still counts. And when writing these lines, I can only think of president Trump. He’s got the title, but he does not have the behaviour, nor the manners, nor the expertise. Must really suck being him. If he is not retarded and totally oblivious to the world around him, he probably knows this too. And he probably feels like shit.

Another thing this books says is that you should never refer to your superior as boss.  Apparently it is impolite to do so, and it is most of the times used sarcastically, or it is used by ass-kissers. How should you refer to your boss then? Just call him sir or mister, and you can also add his family name, probably if he is a good guy, he will tell you to call him by is last name quite soon into the first interaction.

Also, this book is the one that basically convinced me to never write about politics ever again.  Also religion should never be a topic as well. These two topics are known to cause fervent disagreements which can actually dissolve friendships. Giving up politics was easy, but I cannot give up criticizing religions tough, especially since my almost 18 years of being in the church quire, basically growing up in the church and the fact that I’ve actually read a few versions of the bible gives me quite a lot of expertise.

I’ll probably come back with some more details related to what I read in this book, other sources of inspiration I do not really have at the moment.

Stay safe, stay happy!


Mar 19 2017

Freaky brains

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 20:38

I was just talking to a good friend of mine and he just told me he was doing some work around the house and he started day-dreaming about some old time in his life when we were living together and I was wearing some sort of dress. And I just had a realization, if it’s good or bad I don’t know but here it goes.

When I think of the past, I only think of not so pleasant things. It’s actually really easy to do, because there were not many pleasant things anyway. But I digress. Really, when I think of the past, I tend to get lost only in bad memories. I do that because I want to educate myself to appreciate the present. Because it’s not all good days and sunshine, but it is not that bad either. My life is way better now than it was for the first 30 years of my life. So when I tend to slip into dark thoughts about the present, I think of bad things in my past, to have something way worst to compare it to. I do not know if this is normal or not, but this is what I do.

When I day-dream, I day-dream about the future. I dream about my future career and my plans, I dream about cities I will see and people I will meet. I day-dream about unreal scenarios involving people that I know in different contexts, I day-dream cartoons and movies that were not made yet. But I rarely day-dream about good times in my past. And if I do it is really short. And the strangest thing is when people start telling me about great things I did for them in the past, and I cannot remember them. And it makes me sad a little, because I really… really want to remember things that were meaningful to others, because they should be meaningful to me as well, right?

No idea why I am this way. Maybe it is a survival mechanism. Maybe I’m stuck mentally at my child-adolescent level, when all I wanted was for time to fly faster and to wake up when I’m an independent adult with the strength to work and fight for what I need and want. All I did as a child/adolescent was to read, learn and dream of better times.

Maybe I’m defective. But maybe it is in a good way.

Stay safe, stay happy!