Building a tech startup with duct tapes and bare hands

Original posted date: 25 January 2015

Or 20 observations from my double life


  • 1. Numbered heading: the situation
  • Bold text: Big scary corporate
  • Italic text: Little startup hero

0. Contracts

  • Oh dear, all the words...
  • #fml

1. Some tests are broken

  • Fine, I'll find someone to blame
  • Wait, it's just me.

2. Something is broken in the production environment

  • Let's report this to the manager, then find someone to blame
  • Sorry, sleep is forbidden until that crap is fixed

3. Hmm, this script doesn't look right...

  • Application Support to the rescue!
  • "Shit, I AM appsupport"

4. Database behaviour is a bit funny

  • DB Admins to the rescue!
  • "Shit, I AM the DBA"

5. File permissions are messed up

  • Unix Admins to the rescue!
  • "Shit, I AM the Unix Admin"

6. We probably need another CPU core

  • "Just one core? Have 3 more! I tell you what, here's some more RAM just in case"
  • "NO. YOU CAN'T BUY MORE HOSTING SPACE WITH OUR GRANT. You can buy second-hand servers though, which is also totally awesome, right?"

7. Payday

  • Where's the money? What's a payday? Can I trade this Raspberry Pi for an actual pie because I am really hungry?

8. Work hours

  • 9am-5pm
  • return KEEP_GOING if brain.is_not_dead() else DO_A_BIT_MORE

9. I wonder what this big red button do. It also says "DON'T PRESS" on it!

  • Added to Santa's naughty list

10. Shiny new tech

  • That would surely break a gazzillion of things. If it ain't broke...
  • That would surely break a gazzillion of things. But what the heck!

11. Lunch with the CEO

  • Woot, free pizza in the boardroom!
  • Wut? It's already my turn to pay?

12. Visas

  • Ugh, visas!
  • Ugh, visas!

13. Code review

  • "Need to sound really proper on this one to show 'em who's the boss"

14. Professional licences for development tools

  • "See this awesome tool? My company has a licence server for it!"
  • "See this awesome tool? I got it for free from my younger brother's university account!"

15. New office

  • We have a new office, they named all of the meeting rooms with the programming languages. How awesome is that?
  • So where was that hip café we went to last time again? That had pretty good WiFi signal

16. "Do we need to support Internet Explorer?"

  • "Yes, because our business users still use it. Simplez."
  • "Hahahahhhhh!"

17. Facebook at work

  • [Taking out phone discreetly]
  • "I'm just testing the app."

18. Holiday

  • "I've already used 15 days? Really?"
  • "I'm just testing the app."

19. Number Zero

In the end, wherever I work or whatever I do, I am still a software engineer and (sort of) computer scientist at heart, so...

  • ...I counted from zero
  • ...I counted from zero