Flyover Indies – 39th st Starbucks Showcase

I apparently can’t make blog posts that don’t show up in the blog but that I can still link to but oohhh welllll. This post is for members of Flyover Indies!

The Art Wall

Hey flyover buddies, I mentioned a couple of months ago that my sister curates the art wall at the 39th st Starbucks and wanted to know if we wanted to put some art up, such as like collages of our games maybe. I think we can’t outright advertise but could definitely just show off our work and especially plug our community.

This would be for the month of March so I probably need to get some stuff to her pretty soon.

I can get some prints done at Walgreens and stuff, if people just wanna email me screenshots of their games or art they’ve done? Like if there’s enough stuff I can kinda figured out how to mash it together into a few pieces.

Any kind of art is welcome! Screenshots, video game art, board game art, art art that isn’t part of a game, etc.!

So if you’re interested just email me like a ton of screenshots or art or something and once I see what all we have I’ll put it together and post it to the Discord or PM you for approval.

Rachel@Moosader.com

(Send me pretty high-resolution stuff, I can always shrink it as needed)

Also this is going to be for the month of March, so I probably need to get files by this Friday so I can arrange and go print stuff and hand it over on Saturday.

I can also add more throughout March if there are any “late submissions”.

Things to bring to India / the village next time…

If I put this on paper, I’ll lose the paper lol.

  • More yarn and crochet supplies, so I can make stuff for mummy-ji and village kids.
  • Nail polish and supplies for mummy-ji and to use. (Colors, top coat, nail file, etc.)
  • Always bring books ❤️❤️
  • Western dresses that are comfy and cover the same amount of skin as a Kurti outfit.

Stories from the Software Development Industry

I’m making this post to just log memories and shit so I don’t have to actively store them in my mind. I’m not going to put everything here at once – I’m on vacation and I don’t want to spend the day rehashing everything – but I’ll add edits whenever a particular memory has bubbled up and I want it gone from my brain.


“pronouns are hard” says the fucker who knows what kubernetes is

Year: 2019

One day at work, the guy (an ex-cop turned developer for what that’s worth) had asked me to run the lightening talks for him, since I was basically the only person who always participated. I agreed and ran that months lightning talk session.

He had posted a public “Thank You” in our company Slack. However, in it, he used the pronoun “she”. I sent him a private message, telling him my correct pronouns (“they/them”), which I had made public knowledge in the company prior. His response was “this isn’t important” and, when I pushed back on him, “this is too hard”. Instead he just deleted that public post of thanks.


“we can’t give you more money cuz you might not stick around.”

Year: 2010

This happened twice, for my first two jobs.

My first developer position they offered me $24,000 /yr and I took it. As a youngin’, I had no mentor or family in the field to really guide me on how to approach job offers, or even what I should be getting paid.

After six months, I asked for a raise. It was my first time working in web development, sure (all my school and personal stuff was software and game development), but I learned a shitton in those 6 months. As with every job, I became responsible for my own little special project (here, the customer control panel to customize their pages), as well as the development of public websites. I learned to use third party APIs, I picked up PHP and JavaScript and JQuery.

The response here to me asking for a raise was to immediately implement an employee review. (This company had maybe 20 total people, with 5ish developers). I was asked to rate myself in a spreadsheet with three options. The highest ranking literally said “eats, sleeps, and breathes [fuckity fuck company]”.

I refused, and instead wrote an ESSAY on what I had done and why I deserved more money.

During the in-person employee review with my boss, Mr. Glasses McFuckFace, he told me that “actually, they had thought of letting me go because they saw me on Facebook from time to time.” Then, they told me that they couldn’t give me more money because I “might not stick around”; as if I had to prove my loyalty to the company by accepting shit for pay.

Some days after, in a bit of wordplay on McFuckFace’s part, he inadvertantly got me to express interest in another company. In response to THAT, he asked for my two weeks’ resignation, since I was no longer loyal to Fuckity Fuck, Inc.

The following job I got through a school friend, but I was an “intern” and made $14/hr, no benefits. The company itself was pretty good. I liked my coworkers, I learned a lot about SEO and the marketing side of what we did, and there was free lunch made by a chef every day and there were arcade machines. But, the pay was still garbage.

I helped build up their new website versions, helped maintain their old websites, and was responsible for making and maintaining an employee control panel to make edits to those websites, but from a user-friendly interface. I learned C# and ASP.NET MVC there.

After six months, I asked for a raise. I was only able to argue my way up to $17/hr; I had wanted a salary of $40,000.

Side note: this was my SECOND developer job. I’ve had male students who get their FIRST job and start with $60,000.

The excuse I was given here, too, was that they didn’t know whether I’d stay, and therefore couldn’t give me a salary or the amount I had wanted.

It in my two weeks and GTFO’d.

I found my next job, the best dev job I’ve ever had, through an ex I had dated briefly through OK Cupid. I was offered $62,000 (which I also didn’t negotiate up because at this point NOBODY TOLD ME YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT EVERY TIME, but it was so much better than what I was used to).


Why are all of the systems broken?

My husband asked me this morning why people don’t get more of a break in their lives. I had incidentally Tweeted this morning, “Why isn’t society built around waking up at whatever time feels natural?”

And of course I know why. To those with the money and power, anyone of a lower class is simply a work-horse for them. We are given money to buy comforts and drown ourselves in entertainment for escapism, but we’re only given enough so that we don’t rebel. Otherwise, our dreams and our desires don’t matter.

We work and work and work, whenever those in power want us to, for however long they want us to, at the locations they want us to, in industries they want us to, and that’s why they keep us around. They need laborers, they need a mass of us, because they’re certainly not going to do it themselves. And if we don’t work, well, we get to be homeless and starve. We don’t have the option to just not work.

We’re only kept around so that we can labor (to make money for those in power), and so that we can consume (to make money for those in power.)

Our school system in America is broken, but so many of our systems are. The system isn’t built around educating children in the most effective or engaging way, it isn’t about inspiring or empowering the kids. It’s about training them from a young age to give up their days to a monotonous and torturous routine so that they’re prepared to do the same throughout their adulthood.

And even then, those in power want to suck all the value out of any public service we have. Even then, they’ll sabotage our schools so that private schools are the only option – if you have money. They’ll profit off of education, creating new tech and software and licensing it to schools, creating proprietary content where you rent digital textbooks for the same price as buying an old physical copy that you can use forever. So much good could be done with educational technology, but it’s becoming more and more closed up, built for making a profit by making promises that can’t really be tested because it’s proprietary. Even if it works to some extent, it’s not going to be as effective as anything Public; anything Free or Open Source.

Our justice system in America is broken. It’s not about rehabilitating people who need help. It’s about making money by building a cheap labor workforce, and making money by charging the government to house criminals in private institutions. It’s about cutting corners in every way because “they’re criminals, they don’t deserve things”. It’s about dehumanizing others so that society as a whole is OK with this defacto slave labor.

And when a person gets out of prison, they’re still screwed. And our society acts like it’s okay for someone to lose all rights and opportunities for the rest of their lives for any kind of mistake made previously.

Our housing system in America is broken. We require large sums of money to prove to banks that we can make regular payments on property, in order to get to pay for (usually) a lower monthly amount than what rent would be. Even if you could prove that you can pay the basic bills, the banks can still deny you, and have historically discriminated against Black people, preventing them from building the same wealth over generations as white people.

Even if a bank will give you a loan it knows you can’t afford, it will make money off you like they did, causing the situation leading up to the 2008 recession.

And when we are losing jobs and have to leave our homes, companies  swoop in and buy up the cheap properties, don’t care for the properties, and rent it out. They find excuses to keep deposits, or to evict people when it means more money for them. Tenant complaining about bugs? Easier to evict them than to treat the property.

Our insurance system in America is broken. We all pay into these companies monthly, on the off chance that we may eventually need that money back – for car wrecks, for medical bills, for our lives, etc. And they’re going to keep hold of that money as tightly as possible, and it is completely fine for them to deny procedures and services. They get to make the rules of how our money is used. (So do banks. Why do they need to charge me a fee for not having enough money in my account?)

Everything is built around making money off of you. They want you to be a consumer, and they give you money only so that you can buy small luxuries in exchange for your life. Maybe you’ll get to retire – maybe you won’t – because everything of value that we have they want to suck dry. Bits and pieces, they keep chipping off any support system we have. And by doing so, they also indirectly make money by making us too desperate to pursue other options.

We don’t have the option to just go live in a rudimentary structure somewhere and try to be self-sufficient — all of the land is owned, we cannot exist anywhere without paying money for the privilege. You sleep by a building for shelter from the weather? It’s easier for them to put metal spikes along the perimeter than to actually help you.

“But if everybody got to live for free, why would anyone work?”

We would continue working, but we would truly get the option of choosing our work. Whenever there’s a need for something, somebody is bound to gravitate towards that. And, not everything we have in our society is needed.

How many jobs are truly useless? What’s the point of multiple companies creating competing software if there weren’t that incentive to profit off the software? (What if we all built up a good system together, so we wouldn’t have to always be reinventing the wheel?)

We would still work, but we would no longer be work-horses for those in power. If we chose how we would help each other and our society, we would build support systems that would make us even more independent.

Society isn’t built around our happiness because we’re not the important ones; society is built around the happiness of those in power, and we are all just the worker ants that they exploit. We don’t truly matter to them, and we’re only given what we have to keep us barely happy enough – barely hopeful enough for a better future – to keep us from overthrowing the system.

FROM Twitter TO Mastodon using a web request and IFTTT

I had originally found a blog post that told me how to do this, but I can no longer find it; search results give me “from Mastodon to Twitter” but that’s not what I want – I want to post to Twitter and have those posts be duplicated on Mastodon.

Recently, the original Masto server I had registered for announced it was going down, so I moved over to https://lgbtqia.is/@rejcx and had to set up my webhooks again – unable to find the original blog post.

So I’m duplicating the steps here.

Mastodon:

First, in your Mastodon settings you’ll need to set up an Application. This is under the Development tab of your settings.

AFAIK, you need to put the URL as https://maker.ifttt.com/

I have Read, Write, and Follow set as permissions, but Follow probably isn’t needed.

After you’re done, copy the Access Token it gives you up top.

IFTTT

Log into your IFTTT account and hook it up to your Twitter.

In the search bar, look for Webhooks. Click the Services tab and select Webhooks.

Then, select “Connect Webhooks to Twitter to unlock powerful experiences”.

Then, I was using “Twitter to FreeFeed!” b

Select the Connect bu

The URL for the web request will be:
https://MASTODONURL/api/v1/statuses?access_token=ACCESSTOKEN

Update the MASTODONURL with the base URL of your instance (i.e., mastodon.gamedev.place) and ACCESSTOKEN with your token from the Mastodon settings.

Set Method to POST.

Set Content Type to application/x-www-form-urlencoded

I like to set the Body to
status={{Text}}
to just duplicate my tweets without any links or anything, but you can click on Add ingredient f

Save, post a test tweet to your birdsite, and double check to see if it shows up on your mastodon.

Goals?

Cw, trauma, suicidal ideations, tech sucks, school sucks

I’m at a weird place in my life right now, career-wise. What are my goals to work towards?

I’m scared of working as a software engineer again… Unless there exists some company that truly values that its workers have a life, that truly recognizes and fights sexism and racism and transmisia in its culture. It’s very unlikely to exist and be needing to hire a programmer and can pay money.

Software development work is, for lack of a better way to describe it, traumatic to me. My response to me thinking of applying for more dev jobs is akin to the response I used to have when I thought of accidentally running into a person who hurt me (to put THAT lightly).

I’ve tried multiple times to get into gradschool and tried to work towards a master’s degree, so that I may get a full time job as a college teacher. But, I don’t REALLY want to study computer science more. I don’t care. I kind of hate studying computer science more because of what it’s become in our society and because of the mentality of those in the tech field. I don’t CARE about this stuff. But, I enjoy teaching people about how to program. I enjoy teaching people discrete math and making it engaging and interesting. I don’t know if I’m into math enough to justify (or be able to) get a master’s degree in math.

I think that I don’t want a master’s degree. I don’t want to study these topics in depth, I don’t want to put in the work, I don’t want to spend that money. The only thing I feel like I could put that effort into is studying Linguistics, but I don’t know what job I would do with that. And I’m 31? I know I’ve had students my age or older trying to pivot jobs to a new field, but I feel stuck.

We want to buy a house. And then we want to have a kid. Rai is working, but when I was a dev too we had double the salary (but I was also having suicidal ideations). I will be teaching one class this spring semester, but that won’t make much money… (About $4300 over a period of 16 weeks… $1000 a month?) I feel bad for not bringing in more money. I had intended to stay at my last dev job for a full year, but I could only make it 8 months. Hopefully I can teach two classes in the summer and make about $8600 over 8 weeks… So about $4300/mo (heck yeah) but with adjuncting you can really only teach 2 classes a semester. My max possible pay would be a total of 6 classes in the year, perhaps 4 credit hours each, for about $31,000… Still, it’s the best paying part time job I could get, and it’s something I love doing.

The only thing I don’t like is the barrier to access for students… I want everyone to be able to learn, not just those able to afford community college. But, I make all my resources publicly available online. I put my video lectures on YouTube. I love that the job lets me create things that I OWN and can DISTRIBUTE on my own. I can write tons of resources and free it to the world.

Blah, where was I? House… Then baby I guess. We would also like to adopt, but somehow it feels better to make a child and figure out the ropes first before adopting? That sounds like we use our first kid as a test lol. But I mean, a kid adopted has to face traumas – separations, change of environments, so we will have to navigate that in addition to normal child raising things, so I suppose it would be better to have at least that part kind of “figured out” (as much as one can “figure out” child rearing…).

I dunno. I guess that’s our goal for the year… Get a house, get moved.

And, the election. If I’m not working full time I can volunteer more. I can’t donate much money, but I can be a valuable human help. This year is the year to influence the future. No more waiting, we have to fight.

Sigh. Career goals for me? Teach. Make money on my gamedev and making videos and maybe making apps. Write and sell some books. Try to find a way to be happy with my work and also not kill myself from over-work. I don’t think I can get a master’s degree any time soon, especially with trying to buy a house and having a kid… So yeah.

I just want to make educational things, and be able to pay our bills and stuff so that Rai isn’t doing it all alone.

D&D Draconic (Glav) Language

Based off information here: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Draconic_language

Attributes:

  • Hard consonants, hissing sounds, and throat sounds.
  • Stress on the first syllable; stress on first and last syllables for important ideas.
  • Modifier words (adjectives, adverbs) get placed before the modified word in descending order of importance. Modifier word may be repeated after the modified word as well for emphasis.
  • Iokharic writing system.

Dictionary:

Observations:

  • Doesn’t look like a lot of word building happened; possibly need to construct a list of core words.
  • Doesn’t seem like a very consistent set of sounds, and the noted affinity for hard and hissing sounds doesn’t seem consistent here.
  • A lot of prefixes have an optional (i) inserted in there, perhaps suggesting preference for separating consonant sounds.
  • Need more fleshed out grammar rules. Word order?

Word lists

Prepositions

  • ekess – to
  • erekess – through
  • gethrisj – to go
  • ghent – after
  • ghoros – before
  • ihk – for
  • shafaer – on
  • unsinti – beside
  • vhir – below
  • zara – behind

Conjugations

  • shar – but
  • sjek – if
  • usv – or
  • vur – and
  • zyak – so

Affixes

  • ar(i)- – my, of mine, of (genitive prefix)
  • veth(i)- my (used for items owned, possessive prefix)
  • er- (ethe-) – my (used for relationships, possessive prefix)
  • -i – plural or diminutive suffix
  • -ia – place name suffix

Pronouns

  • wux – you
  • ya – I

Insults

  • tiamash – like Tiamat (used like “asshole”)
  • henich – unhatched, rotten egg, bastard
  • pothoc – stupid

Observed phonemes

I made a list of observed sounds from the dictionary here: Draconic sounds.csv

I may write a Python script later to automate parsing out words, looking for consonant clusters, vowel clusters, and (roughly) discrete sounds.

D&D Language Construction?

I’m playing D&D for the first time this year. We just did our second session tonight, and I’m a complete newbie. However, I was able to make my character a LINGUIST which was really exciting for me. However, I’m not finding much information about D&D languages. Part of me figured there’d be some more stuff fleshed out; maybe not as comprehensive as like Klingon or other linguist-made languages, but… something? Official dictionaries? Nothing?

A picture of my character sheet. My character knows Draconic, Primordial, Sylvan, Orc, Dwarvish, Common, and Elvish.

Am I just missing something? I can’t find stuff. Maybe I’ll flesh out my own versions of the grammars and stuff. Though I don’t know if it will be useful at all in the campaign.

I need an excuse to use more languages in the game. :B

A picture of my game notebook.

Why are we still doing this?

Software development is still a slog.


“I need three monitors.” I think to myself, as I work on a feature that requires several microservices to be updated, which means I also need the database admin open, Postman open, I need to open Docker to run Kafka or Elastic Search or whatever, plus my notes. If I don’t keep notes I’ll lose where I’m at in this jumble of everything.

We need a new field for this sync. That means we have to add this field to probably around six different “POCO”s (Plain Old CLR Objects) that represent the data. I don’t know why there are six version of the thing, and why there are slight differences between each. Sure, the request isn’t going to have all the same info as the response, but there’s also the internal objects used at different layers of the software.

I update the feature and go to test it manually before writing a test for it. Start up Docker (probably after having to restart it, because it never seems to want to just work), run the service, run a request to authenticate, and then the request to create some data. Check in Elastic Search – it’s there. Now a request to search for that data – a count of 1 returned, but no data. Strange error messages in the service console.

I ask a coworker if they happen to know what this error is from before I spend time sifting through the code. It seems like they don’t even read my message and give me the same canned response as usual. I highlight a specific error message that seems unrelated to that canned response. They tell me that I need to be running some other service as well, but I have my local service configured to point to the dev server for that service.

But I’m doubtful; why would I need to be running that locally?

Why is testing this so fragile?

Why is there so much redundant data?

Why are we hand-coding all these little pieces?


I’m 31 right now. I’ve been programming for 2/3rds of my life; since I was about 10 years old. (That’s not to claim I was any good at it at that age)

Over the decades, game development has evolved greatly. Plenty of people are able to access game development through streamlined tools that require a minimum amount of “reinventing-the-wheel” effort. But with software and web development? It’s more of a mess than ever.

We seem to keep coming up with new languages, new frameworks, new new new without improving the process. We reinvent the whole way to create things, requiring everybody to learn a new stack, and increasingly more complex technologies just to get things done. And at the end of the day, is what we have really any more maintainable or scalable than the old? Does a company creating its own internal software that will be licensed out to clients need to structure everything in separate microservices? How often are we going to throw out the old and start over from the beginning? Will we do the same thing in another five years?

My mind tries to disconnect from my body every time I have to repeat the same process to add a new API endpoint. It’s always the same process, but we still do it manually, by hand. Automatic code generation would be slightly better, but really, why isn’t this all handled by some framework?

At this point, here in 2019, we should not be coding as much as we are. That’s not even to mention the frustration I feel at everybody having to roll their own proprietary version of the same thing (that’s perhaps another rant for later). None of this makes sense and none of it has to be this way but it seems good enough for everybody else.

For me, though, it makes my daily work-life nails-on-chalkboard agonizing. I’m not challenged by my work, I’m just frustrated by tedium, roadblocks that make no sense, and trying to express my needs to other developers.


For more thoughts about this sort of thing, I’d suggest this article: The Coming Software Apocalypse, by James Somers.


P.S., if I were running a software department, I would make sure my developers, QAs, BAs, etc. would all get training on the problem domain (healthcare, legal, business, etc.) and get to know how to use the software itself before getting really deep into the development process. Yep, it sounds really expensive to spend time training people, but when a developer starts and is thrown head-first into the code without knowing how the industry works and what those requirements are, do you expect them to write the best software? The best tests?

P.P.S. It seems like WordPress has a bug that doesn’t save the text I write after an italics block. YAY, SOFTWARE.

Haven’t done any work / depression

I don’t know if it’s just be, but I DON’T think it’s just me, but I have no idea how to cope with working a stressful full-time job and coming home in the afternoon and being too tired to do ANYTHING creative. I could be working on my language zine, I could work on a cute website, I could work on this game, but I’m too depressed to do anything. No video games even sound good. I just want to sleep, but sleep brings the following day even faster, and I have to repeat the cycle all over again. Sure, nothing lasts forever, but even thinking about spending the next three months repeating the same thing I’ve been doing for the next seven just sounds like an eternity. I’ve been more depressed, more anxious, and more stressed since I left teaching… Sure, I was over-worked as a teacher, but geeze…

from itch.io https://moosader.itch.io/undead-debt/devlog/99516/havent-done-any-work-depression
via IFTTT