Orphans must be killed

Posted on January 27th, 2010 6 great comments. Room for one more!

It’s done, dear reader!

I’ve signed on the dotted line and am now the proud new Senior Flash Developer at Henderson Bas, a downtown ad agency with a bunch of famous clients and awards coming out the wazoo. I normally wouldn’t mention their name but, being so out there, I don’t think they’re averse to being discussed. I’ll just have to refrain from talking too much smack.

The contract was a gargantuan tome, one of the largest volumes I’d ever encountered. A whole adult tree made up just the non-disclosure agreement alone, the rest had to be delivered by freight train. So it’s pretty thorough. I’m fairly certain I’ll have to relinquish my spleen upon termination, but that’s a pretty standard clause. Otherwise, I’ll be slapping stuff together for HB come Monday; incidentally also my birthday (I know, right?)

In the same way that I won’t talk smack about HB, I’m not going to go into the gruesome details of why I left my current position. Let’s just say that there were some … issues.

cubicles, office, desks, computers, toronto, city, life

That’s my former desk in the middle there, between the windows. I needed to lose major poundage just to be able to get into my seat. On the plus side, my ass has never been leaner. But the alarmingly cramped quarters, even when compared against the double-wide spaces all around, weren’t part of the issue. Neither was the scorching radiator at my back (intermittently overpowered by the winter wind coming in through the ancient windows). Even the fact that the only safe place in a fire would be outside the building didn’t really bother me.

The issues that I mentioned, I suppose, are ones you could encounter at any workplace. Just considerably more acute here. Nothing cute about them either. I think it’s best to leave it at that.

I haven’t seen my spot at HB yet, but if the parts of the office I saw during my interviews are any indication, I may be able to gain a few pounds back. And possibly even take Ollie with me on occasion (they seem quite pet-friendly there). Then again, tromping around downtown with a cat on a leash might not work out that well. Not for Ollie. Not for my heterosexuality.

Similar to the office above, HB is situated in an older brick building, but the decor has infinitely more personality. It’d be great if I could do a couple of posts from the inside, but maybe I’m just getting a bit ahead of myself. Guess I’m just happy. What an odd feeling.

The location shaves about half an hour off my walk and puts me just south of Chinatown, meaning my regained pounds may come from all manner of dim sum, greasy roast duck, and “special tea” (after-hours beer). It’s also close to a section of King Street West where a number of fancy restaurants live; ones that “I’ll totally eat at this summer” and know full well I won’t. But it’s nice to know the option’s there.

I won’t bore you with the techie details of what I’m going to be doing at HB; I’ve come to realize that broaching the subject causes instantaneous brain haemorrhages in anyone within earshot (or eyeshot, in this case). But luckily there’s a whole whack of programming lingo that sounds even more entertaining if you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about:

  • When a child throws something, the parent must catch it at some point. Otherwise the object that was thrown just gets tossed on the heap and is eventually discarded.
  • When a parent is destroyed, the children are often destroyed too. This is usually accomplished by making them null (or void).
  • One of the most dangerous things a developer can do is to create an orphaned child. This is a child with no parent, though it can still have siblings.
  • Once orphaned, a child can go rogue and start to consume all the resources. To prevent it from crashing, it must be killed. If that doesn’t work, we go after the process that spawned it.
  • It’s possible to create clones, but all the variables involved make it a complex procedure (“method” in modern terminology). It’s better to work from prototypes and simply inherit attributes.
  • A class typically has members; some public, some private. The members should follow strict naming rules and be cast as specific types. However, for things to run smoothly, classes should eventually be completely removed from memory.
  • Before a class can be created, it needs to have a package. It’s perfectly okay to use an empty package.
  • Clean instructions go a long way to preventing bugs. If bugs are found, however, they should be tracked.
  • Modern strings can be of any length, but all strings are terminated at some point.
  • Addresses are usually accessed with the help of operators. Sometimes pointers. Other times you need references.
  • The garbage collector plays a big role in keeping things tidy, but it does its own thing in its own time. It’s the garbage collector that’s most often implicated in orphaning children.

And these aren’t even taken out of context – they actually mean something. When you repeat them to a software developer, you should get a knowing nod in return. How you choose to explain that you have no idea what you’ve just said is entirely up to you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, dear reader, I’m going to get some shut-eye. It took me hours to rid the work PC of all the porn and I got home very late. However, I get a few of days before my “trial by fire” begins (HB’s words), so I’m going to try to put my noggin into neutral. Sleep should come easy tonight.

6 Comments on “ Orphans must be killed ”

  • Inge
    January 27th, 2010 10:45 pm

    "A class typically has members; some public, some private. The members should follow strict naming rules and be cast as specific types. However, for things to run smoothly, classes should eventually be completely removed from memory."

    Sounds like my high school chem class. That would be the class I completely removed from my memory.

    All kidding aside, congratulations on your new position and your more spacious digs.

    Happy early Birthday just in case I can't get online Monday!


    Read more from Inge at: http://dementiafor2.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    January 28th, 2010 11:41 pm

    Thank you very much Inge, I’m celebrating as I write this :)


  • stanya
    January 29th, 2010 3:22 pm

    Glad you finaly got solution for your situation and am happy for you. Don’t forget to take a look into your mailbox these days.


    Read more from stanya at:
  • Patrick
    January 29th, 2010 11:49 pm

    Sounds mysterious, Stanya!


  • Kato
    January 29th, 2010 5:12 pm

    Congrats on the new job! And happy birthday!

    Being happy is fun isn't it??!


    Read more from Kato at: http://www.pandorahsbox.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    January 29th, 2010 11:50 pm

    I haven't felt anything like it in quite some time, Kato. Strange. Very strange.

    And thanks very much :)


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