A long time since my last article. During the last few months, I was fully involved in my last big project at my university. Dozens of articles and books, hundreds of visited pages and thousands of words later I had finished it and a few weeks later I defended my master’s thesis.
Since I took a short break from almost every activity, I had a lot of time for thinking. When I look at 2012, I see the young guy who knows everything he needs and he wants to only the paper to confirm it. Now, in 2018, I’m equipped with knowledge, a completely new point of view and goals in life. But it wasn’t so obvious even during my education.
Some people asked me what studies gives me at all. Was it worth to spend almost every weekend for the last 6 years at the university? Do I feel the difference? There are no simple answers to these questions because they depend on the approach. And it changed over time. But let me sum up.
I joined to the project that was developed by one guy. He was an amazing developer with plenty of ideas and skills. He had also the best knowledge about the system – its domain, architecture, used solutions, hidden tricks, and workarounds. In every single task, I needed his support because I didn’t understand how things worked. My main goal was to retrieve as much knowledge as possible from his head. The reason was simple – his contract is ending in a month. I wish I didn’t know about it before.
The project had the long to-do list of features. Some of them were partially implemented. Some other functionalities had specified time–frame because of the seasonal nature of the project. Everything was important from the business point of view.
There were no tests, no code’s style guide, no documentation (besides a few out of date README.md files across repository). I didn’t want to touch anything because the code was unstable and cause a lot of side–effects. After one month of torment, I thought – “f*ck it, let’s make it works“.
It may sound obvious or even weird for people who programming in statically typed or compiled languages. In my work, I use PHP which is a dynamically typed language with optional strict typing introduced in version 7. At the beginning of my journey with PHP, I didn’t care so much about typing. I had a trivial cause — they didn’t exist yet.
I used to write a code without thinking about types. It was convenient and fast. Furthermore, it allowed writing proxy functions which recognize parameters type and it runs the proper function. Yes, overriding doesn’t exist in PHP.
But things changed when I discovered polymorphism. The magic keyword
Interface that allows us to define the mandatory set of features in the object. The picture of writing a code without worrying about missing methods was incredible. I still didn’t understand one thing yet. How interfaces help me since I can pass everything on the function call?
This question lied a long time in my head until I discovered I can define the required type of passed object. Since that time, I changed completely the way how I write the code.
Whenever people say about New Year’s changes they, mainly think about resolutions, plans and set up goals. But this is also a great time to small retrospective both your personal and digital life.
Let’s talk about the digital once.
Do you realize how many registrations have you performed over the last year? Or over the last 5 years? Who did you give your email, personal data, photos, documents or other files to? Too often, it’s too much to know about all this.
Think about each website, application or service which you used and you didn’t use it for a long long time. Social profiles, cloud storage, dedicated tools and the other software. In each of them, you probably left some data. Maybe it’s not relevant and doesn’t have any value for you, but this information is about you.
What if one day, someone will get access to all of these data you left on the Internet?