Bobby T. Johnson

Bobby learned to program at 23. It took him two days to code "Hello, World." He spends his day coding for work and his night coding for other people. He enjoys writing, walking his dog and the oxford comma.

Two Pizzas for ME

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Gloria was a senior developer at IniMirage, a company that makes custom visualizations for their clients. Over a few years, IniMirage had grown to more than 100 people, but was still very much in startup mode. Because of that, Gloria tried to keep her teams sized for two pizzas. Thomas, the product manager, on the other hand, felt that the company was ready to make big moves, and could scale up the teams: more people could move products faster. And Thomas was her manager, so he was "setting direction."

Gloria's elderly dog had spent the night at the emergency vet, and the company hadn't grown up to "giving sick days" yet, so she was nursing a headache from lack of sleep, when Thomas tried to initiate a Slack huddle. He had a habit of pushing the "Huddle" button any time the mood struct, without rhyme or reason.

Radical Pricing

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Genesis stepped off the bus, splashing through puddles in neon-yellow rain boots, towards the old, rusted bay door of the "Radical Radiators" building. Her actual employer was "Radiation Programmers", which was either related to the heating company or had purchased the building cheap when the radiators went out of business.

Key in hand, she unlocked the door, walked past the "No Smoking" sign, and settled in beneath the buzzing fluorescent lights. Laptop on wi-fi, NPR murmuring in her headphones, Genesis settled in for her day: writing software to handle payment processing for fan fiction sites.

Process Oriented

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Andre was finishing writing documentation before he clocked-out for a much needed, 2-week vacation. He had stocked up his fridge with beer, energy drinks, and cola. He planned on working on raids with his gaming guild. He hadn't been as active as he liked lately, and was really looking forward to the break.

Andre's phone buzzed. He looked and saw Bob was calling. Bob struggled with the most basic of tasks, but worked in a large enterprise. His department contracted out to Andre to help offset the problem of their sales department.

Counting on Common Sense

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Matt enjoyed teaching. He mentored junior devs and interns with no technological backgrounds, and helped them to be experienced programmers. He believed that employers should hire based on attitude and then train employees up on skills.

That was before he met Derrick.

Accounting for Changes

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Sara works as a product manager for a piece of accounting software for a large, international company. As a product manager, Sara interacts with their internal customers- the accounting team- and Bradley is the one she always bumps heads with.

Bradley's idea of a change request is to send a screenshot, with no context, and a short message, like "please fix", "please advise", or "this is wrong". It would take weeks of emails and, if they were lucky, a single phone call, for Sara's team to figure out what needs to be fixed, because Bradley is "too busy" to provide any more information.

Teleported Release

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Matt works at an accounting firm, as a data engineer. He makes reports for people who don’t read said reports. Accounting firms specialize in different areas of accountancy, and Matt’s firm is a general firm with mid-size clients.

The CEO of the firm is a legacy from the last century. The most advanced technology on his desk is a business calculator and a pencil sharpener. He still doesn’t use a cellphone. But he does have a son, who is “tech savvy”, which gives the CEO a horrible idea of how things work.

A Problem in the Backend

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Gary works at a medium company. Big enough that workers are specialized in their duty, but small enough to know people in other departments and to make turf wars a little more close and personal: danger close. Most of the departments see themselves as part of a team, but a few individuals see themselves as McCarthy, who will themselves alone save the company and defeat the enemies (who are all spies inside the company sent to destroy it from the inside).

One of these individuals is named Eric. Eric is close to a Kevin. Eric is the front-end developer, and neither likes nor cares about what happens on the backend. Whenever Eric has an issue, he blames the backend. CSS rendering glitch? Backend problem. Browser crash? That’s the backend problem. Slow UI, even when all the data is cached clientside? Definitely a backend problem. Gary used to get mad, but now knows that Eric is so dumb that he doesn’t even know how dumb he is.

How It's Made

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People like hot dogs until they see how it's made. Most people don't ask, because they don't want to know and keep eating hot dogs. In software, sometimes we have to ask. It's not just about solving problems, but because what scares some programmers is the knowledge that their car's software might be little more than the equivalent of driving duct-taped toothpicks down the highway at 70MPH. Our entire field is bad at what we do.

Brett worked as a system analyst for a medical research institution, MedStitute. MedStitute used proprietary software for data storage and analysis, called MedTech. Doctors and researchers like MedTech's results, but Brett his co-worker Tyree- know how it's made.