Home Closet “Software Beyond Morality.” A Tearful Tale, Chapter One, Part One

“Software Beyond Morality.” A Tearful Tale, Chapter One, Part One

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My story will take more than one chapter, I have nowhere to hurry (and I’m used to never hurrying anywhere in this life), plus I graphomaniac so I’ll start my story with a long introduction, which will later help us discuss philosophical sides of such a delicate question as writing underground-soft (for the sake of atmosphere and romance I also like to call it crimeware).
Hypothetical Vasya was born and raised in a poor Siberian family, attended a simple school and, like millions of his peers, went to study after ninth grade in the place where he poked his finger in the applicant’s handbook.
The beautiful word "aviation" in the name of the educational institution beckoned and enticed, but in fact it turned out that the future profession consists in the adjustment of dirty, oily CNC machines, which have long gone over thirty, in the deserted shops, most of which are inhabited by old, sometimes drunken and lost faith in themselves, people.
Vasya didn’t have a computer until he finished college, but he had an irrepressible thirst for the study of beauty, so he spent his breaks in the halls squatting and furiously reading a book called HTML4.
When the computer finally showed up, it was much easier to learn html.
After graduating, after two months of wandering around the snow-covered and empty Siberian city, whose employers would rather prefer a bear with a balalaika than the likes of Vasya, he went to work in his field at a factory.
I didn’t care that it was on the other side of town. I didn’t care that there were two transfers and the total travel time was about an hour and a half one way. But he had a salary of four thousand, a lacquered table in the dusty technical bureau and an interesting piece of Su-34 in the shop, on which the workers were climbing for the fifth year, unable to finish its assembly. Model 66.01.06 was the sixth machine of the first series. Vasya would have told more, but for disclosing state secrets they can… They can’t do anything, but that’s not the point.
While working at the factory, Vasya, following the example of his comrades-in-arms, "enrolled" in the institute as a "programmer", having paid for the first semester of study and having listened to two and a half lectures. Thus began a correspondence course at one of the largest universities in Siberia.
As he continued to work and began to learn, standing by the shelves in the store "Book World", Vasya made an agonizing choice between php and javascript, after which he bought a book on php4 for 56 rubles and began to study it fiercely.
After six months the size of the shit-code reached a critical mass, and having quit his job after a year and a half of working for the government with a salary of five thousand rubles, of which two or three went to his travel and food, Vasya went to work as a Negro webmaster at a company located in relative proximity to his home.
Things went uphill.
The salary rose to thirteen thousand, the workplace gained a computer and unlimited internet – which until now was not at home, unless you count the internal modem with a pc-speaker taped with plasticine, the workday stretched to 12 hours.
Vasya was up all day long fixing shitty websites, learning flash, coldfusion, layout – all for work needs, and secretly continuing to learn php for himself.
Craving for beauty displaced the interests of PM from Vasya’s field of work after half a year, so his own projects and endeavors were given a full-time job. Also, Vasya had an interview at another company, already as a pcp-coder, and soon he was safely transferred to a new position.
Salary increased by 1 thousand.
The workday is now more moderate.
Gone from the realm of flash, crazy coldfusion, layout, photoshop – only php is left.
However, my happiness was short-lived – all my work consisted of fixing bugs on old shitty company websites, interspersed with total lack of work when I had nothing to do.
Vasya drank tea, ate free lemons and sugar, and continued to study php and javascript.
Six months passed without any new projects.
His head was only enriched with the knowledge that Vasya himself had put into it by conducting his near-scientific research.
The editing of the production code caused only yawning, and the boring corporate parties, where the director shouted like Santa Claus at the New Year tree, saying what a friendly team they had in the company – nausea. By the way, this "friendly" team was completely renewed almost every six months. It was a company thing.
To top it all off, Vasya was expelled from the university, having been told about the Russian debt he had found in his first year and expelled the very next day after the notification. No comment is needed here.
After six months and Vasya made his first conclusions about the work as a programmer in this company and the prospects for its further development.
He read some job ads, wrote a few letters, and soon had an interview at another web-development company.
These entrepreneurs, though located in the basement, promised wages of up to thirty thousand, though the payment was based on piecework. In other words, it was based on results. If you did the work, you got the money; if you didn’t do the work, you weren’t on the payroll. Of course, I was entitled to five thousand minimum wages.
– He who does not take risks does not drink champagne! – Vasya said to himself, quit his job and moved on to a new job, buying a used car on credit.
It was a rash move, but it was motivated by the fact that Vasya had had his Category B license for three months and the experience of driving a rotten seven had vanished without a trace.
And after all Vasya had been getting his license for six months, thanks to the enterprising director of the driving school!!!
But about that in another life.
In the meantime, autumn was coming.
The room he found himself in on his first day at work was drastically different from the one in which the interview was conducted.
You could hardly call it an office, rather a wallpapered basement, musty and dark. However, Vasya never reached for luxury, never expected anything from anyone, so he decided not to make any sudden moves and try his luck in the new team.
This time, after some adaptation, he got lucky with a brand new project – the CEOs from the neighboring building decided to bang out their ukoz, with blackjack and related accessories. On Drupal.
Vasya spent day and night sawing Drupal 6, gluing modules to it. He studied the intricate workings of a huge software complex without a single mention of the class keyword. Wrote my own system of virtual currency and dynamic creation of third level subdomains.
It’s been six months in this motion.
In parallel, Vasya made the acquaintance with one SEO from Moscow, for whom he had a chance to make a shitty site as a freelancer. He received the first payouts in the shady money-laundering company on the territory of some motor depot, the first three thousands were much desired and smelled like the future.
And there were two SEOs. Vasya mentally divided them passive and active.
The active one talked a lot, the passive one was silent a lot.
And Vasya laughed, showing them the debug output saying that opening the main page of the new portal – which, of course, had all the buttons and features they wanted – made 10, 000 queries to the database. You can talk about it long and colorfully, you can blame Vasya for being clumsy and inexperienced, but believe me, it wasn’t the most important role here – even without the extras the drupal amazed them with its "productivity".
After six months, Vasya quit.
The crisis tightened everyone’s belts, the boss’s bank account sagged and he resolutely "dumped the ballast."
Vasya and his faithful loan, which was obligatory to pay ten thousand per month for two years, were out on the street. With a four-wheel drive the nissan sannyi. With a front-wheel drive that had ripped out of its grenade in the Siberian cold. With the first cute girl who lives far away and has only recently appeared.
In the crisp March snow under the blindingly bright spring sunshine.
Two weeks passed in a vain search for a new job.
They didn’t take the old one, having concluded for themselves that Vasya wasn’t the kind of work oxen who sculpted three shitty websites a day and slept without sleep at night. He was too good for some, and some didn’t need people with foreheads less than thirty centimeters tall.
One credit didn’t leave Vasya, periodically reminding him of himself by absentee text messages.
And so Vasya went into debt.
The debt had grown to fifty thousand, on top of the loan itself, which at the time was about one hundred and eighty, when the black streak was replaced by a white one. But, in light of the experiences that followed, it would be appropriate to call that streak a brown streak.
Vasya got a job at Art Cinemas Distribution, a movie theater chain that also had its own shitty website.
Work was again on the other side of town, moreover, in a narrow room behind the wall of the movie theater, which made the walls periodically wheeze and shake, letting the bass of the stereo system through, sometimes roaring with the voice of Taras Bulba.
He had two java coders working with him, the admins, and everything around him was littered with old hardware.
Vasya worked hard for a month.
Wages were promised one more month late, so there was still a long way to go before the next payout.
Vasya had significantly improved the code of a shitty website, of course on his local version, he periodically reported by ICQ to his "employer" whom he had not seen in person since then, and believed that life was slowly getting better.
However, Vasya was curious.
And one day he looked into a room called the personnel department, where a fat, unpleasant woman was sitting.
After listening to a stream of hysterical yelling, in response to the request to get his employment record book, in order to make sure – whether he really already employed – Vasya was a little taken aback. However, he continued the conversation and finally received the book, which was literally thrown to him.
Naturally, there was no record of employment in it.
Vasya could not swear, so after talking on the phone with his "boss", who promised to "find out everything", he packed the sources of his work into a password-protected archive and left the office. He never showed up there again.
After contacting the proper authority, he wrote a letter to someone there and began a new job search.
Getting ahead of myself, I should say that the letter traveled around the country for over a year. Vasya regularly received the same "Forwarded on, notify sender. Stupid Russian baton between useless and empty instances.
A year later, Vasya finally received the final answer, which literally sounded like this: "To establish the fact of labor relations with your employer, you have the right to go to court. However, great! It was only by receiving this letter that he finally learned that he was entitled to it. Bravo.
The next office turned out to be a decent company, which paid its salary well and had a large staff.
The only "but" – the sites were made on Bitrix, which is still quite meaningless online certification, as a result of which you get yourself an email literacy, which can then be printed out and hung on the wall in the toilet.
They gave Vasya a computer, put him in a broken chair, and put him in charge of getting the scrawl.
It’s been two weeks.
– Vasya, you’re no match for us. You were not too zealous in getting the literacy. Say hello to your credit and debts, I hope we don’t meet again.
And Vasya could not work like that! He could not, in spite of any debts, turn into a worthless plant with great potential for further development. So, gritting his teeth and, what the hell, crying, Vasya went on, wandering around the dull and gray city in search of happiness.
To be continued…

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