Issue 103

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Feb 23, 2022 · 9 mins read
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DRD103: We're suckers for The Hudsucker Proxy.

From the 1994 Coen Brothers film The Hudsucker Proxy where the character Norville Barnes (played by Tim Robbins) tries to make sense of, and get ahead in a large, faceless company. (image: Roger A. Deakins)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

More on That First Job after Graduation

Continuing from the previous edition of DragonRuby Dispatch, today I have more lessons learned working for a large company. I worked at <large oil company> for almost eight years and I learned a few more useful things while I was there.

First up, I learned how to work with people that I just didn’t like. This is a necessary skill and something that I did not learn gladly, but it has served me well throughout my career. The fact is you can’t always pick who you work with or who you work for so developing some diplomatic skills are important. Especially when the boss picks the one person who really drives you nuts 🤦 as your partner on an important project.

Another lesson I learned was: don’t cross the senior execs. I worked for a while for my boss’s boss. She previously had been my direct supervisor and then was promoted one step up the chain. I continued to manage a project management system for her, which on one level required timesheet entry by all the staff, and on another level required reports to be generated and submitted to her (my task). This was simple when she was my direct supervisor, because I was just dealing with my own group of coworkers.

But when she was promoted, the work expanded across all the people who worked for her including other supervisors. At one point I got exasperated by these people (ahem…supervisors) who would not get their timesheets completed on time for me to produce the reports, and I let one of them know about it. This was a mistake. One does not take that tone (in an email) with someone who is senior to you whether they are in your direct line of management or not. I got slapped down and slapped down hard. It was another lesson I did not learn gladly, but it did teach me to stop and think before hitting the send button on a flaming 🔥 email.

And the final lesson that I learned was this: when my goals and the companies goals no longer matched it was time to move on. I was offered an opportunity for a new job, a promotion as it were. And in this new job I was going to do exactly the same things that I had been doing for the past couple of years, but it was going to be in a larger group, with a larger user base, and way more pressure. I did not think that taking this job was in my best interests and so I turned it down. This became a serious point of contention with my manager and eventually I was shuffled off to another position where I was able to learn some new things, but it was pretty much a dead-end. And that is where I parted company with <large oil company>.

I say this not because I regret that choice, because I don’t. I did not want to go into management, but I also needed to keep learning new things to be happy and motivated at work, and I was not going to be able to do that in the position and promotion that was offered to me. When the next round of layoffs was announced (there’d been two others before that, but that’s a whole different story), I volunteered 🙋 to be included and I left on my own terms with a nice big payout to add to my retirement fund and help with the downpayment on my first home purchase.

‘Til next issue, be careful out there.

APP — All Things App

One thing which is relatively easy to forget is the wide variety of platforms with which your app might be used. For instance, hands up all those who spend any time at all thinking about your app running under tvOS*. Ah, yes, we thought so. For that reason, it was nice to get this tip from Bas Broek on using primaryActionTriggered instead of touchUpInside. According to Bas primaryActionTriggered “is semantic and makes more sense for other platforms like tvOS”.

*That is, other than those developing apps specifically for tvOS, in which case you should be thinking about it all the time, of course.

SPOT — Spotlight On…

There was a time when there was a debate about whether people would watch full-length TV shows on a phone. Seriously, there were ‘experts’ who said that would never happen. Suffice to say that a lot of money has been made by a lot of people for completely ignoring these so-called ‘experts’. But game development on a mobile device? Not game play…but actual development—is that a bridge too far? Amir Rajan doesn’t seem to think so.

Also, ever notice that in olde worlde animation (long, long before Pixar and the like) that there were major parts of the animated scene which were just static images over which a few animated elements were projected? That’s because it was prohibitively expensive to do anything other than that. Animation was a completely analogue process consisting of painted cels each of which was lovingly created by a real human being. Turns out that while we’re not likely to return to painted cels any time soon (sadly?) the idea of statically projecting portions of an animated scene for efficiency’s sake is an old idea that’s new again. To wit Static Outputs as described by Justin Collins.

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TALK — Talk of the Tech

There’s really no such thing as too much documentation (so long as it actually gets read, of course) so we were pleased to see that the official DRGTK documentation has been beefed up by “an unofficial companion to the DragonRuby documentation” which was recently mentioned on the Discord. We think the name is pretty cool, too: Ruby for Dragons, and you should really check it out.

Also on the Discord comes word from Amir that DRGTK 3.6 has been released. The announcement comes complete with individual release notes on Pro, Indie and Standard licenses. Nice touch, Amir, that’s a real timesaver.

Over on the Motioneers Slack—the other great place for DragonRuby- and RubyMotion-related chat—there is word that the annoying CoreData warning with RubyMotion has been solved. Maybe.

GAME — All Things Gaming

For our bi-weekly dose of ‘why the heck did we not think of that!’ we turn to the good folks at VR Optician who are now selling an Oculus Quest 2 Prescription Lens Adapter. Interested in all that sweet DRGTK VR action, but have vision issues with VR headsets? This could be the answer for the roughly 65% of the population who requires some sort of vision correction.

Speaking of bi-weekly doses, here’s another: those for who we are in awe of their patience and persistence putting together something we may just need some day. The great example to which we refer is Ian Hanschen’s collection of bitmap fonts that he “pulled from various demoscene archives over the years”. The collection he has put together is really quite staggering. Of course, we are totally sidestepping any sort of copyright issues that may arise from their use (you’re on your own, there) but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look, right…purely for, ahem, ‘inspiration’.

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TWIL — This Week I Learned…

When you want to brag to (or maybe commiserate with?) your friends about who has the best home fibre setup, did you know there’s a networkQuality utility built right into macOS Monterey which enables such comparisons on a strictly apples-to-apples (ugh) basis. Thanks to Jacek Schæ for this great tip.

Also, just when we thought there was nothing new under the sun when it comes to share links, somebody comes along and proves us wrong. How about using one to share a tmux session.

HAHA — And They All Laughed

That’s a Wrap!

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“You punch in at 8:30 every morning, except you punch in at 7:30 following a business holiday, unless it’s a Monday, then you punch in at 8 o’clock. Punch in late and they dock you. Incoming articles get a voucher, outgoing articles provide a voucher. Move any article without a voucher and they dock you. Letter size a green voucher, oversize a yellow voucher, parcel size a maroon voucher. Wrong color voucher and they dock you! 6787049A/6. That is your employee number. It will not be repeated! Without your employee number you cannot get your paycheck. Inter-office mail is code 37, intra-office mail 37-3, outside mail is 3-37. Code it wrong and they dock you! This has been your orientation. Is there anything you do not understand, is there anything you understand only partially? If you have not been fully oriented, you must file a complaint with personnel. File a faulty complaint and they dock you!” — Mailroom Orienter in The Hudsucker Proxy