At the start of the summer of 05/06 I successfully won a programming job as a sole contractor to develop a website for a guy who posted on my University IT's message group looking for programmers. As I had literally implemented bradism.com v1 a few months earlier I felt confident I had the experience with which to deliver a complete content management system with payment gateway integration and dynamic language selection among other features in eight weeks. This was not the first time a combination of ego, ignorance and she'llberight got me into trouble, and what I eventually delivered as "95% complete" (and therefore 5% underpaid) would undoubtedly be some of the worst PHP code that was every put into a live environment and exposed to the internet.
Over the years I sometimes thought about that site, which searches on Ask Jeeves confirmed did not seem to exist for very long. However, the experience was foundational in quickly teaching me a few critical lessons about using things like supported libraries and unit tests and source code management and a multitude of other IT concepts that are now part of my life as an IT Professional.
When I was signing the contract for my new job last month I did notice that the group which owns the company I was joining bore the same name as the guy who'd hired me seventeen years ago. I poked around quickly online to see if there was a connection, but it seemed like I was clear. Then today in the kitchenette I bumped into a seventeen years older version of that guy who definitely did remember me. He told me that the site was up for less than a month before high data bills triggered him to check the status of it and he found it had been completely hacked and was now serving copious amounts of pornography at his expense. Thus, it died. I would guess either an image upload exploit or maybe some SQL injection was its downfall.
So apparently he has, at least indirectly, hired me again. Maybe this is fate, or perhaps it is just Adelaide things. Perhaps the seeds of those lessons from 2006 will be the fruit that repays him in 2022. That would make me feel better about the fact that my adult life features a goddamn seventeen year story arc.
And yes, the original version of bradism.com also got completely hacked in 2006 and now utilises supported libraries and frameworks.
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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?