Starting Over



  • I originally read this in the dead tree version and finally got around to looking it up online:

    So...they had a product that had tons of technical debt and they needed to rewrite to go forward. Eventually, they set up a totally different company, without letting the outside world know, and implemented their new product. It launched as normal, and when it became mature enough, they connected the dots and it's their 2.0 product, allowing legacy clients to continue (at least for now) using the old software.

    A pretty slick solution, I think.



  • @boomzilla I don't get why they needed a totally new company (presumably with a totally new HR department, office space, etc) instead of just a totally new development team? Yeah I guess I could read the article...

    EDIT: the answer is they didn't make a new company, they just made a new brand and made it non-obvious that both sites were created by the same people.



  • @blakeyrat said in Starting Over:

    Yeah I guess I could read the article...

    Mmm hmmm.



  • @boomzilla Well you wrote the summary.

    Brand != company.



  • @blakeyrat said in Starting Over:

    Brand != company.

    Well...
    (page 3/4)

    They settled on a name, BillSpring, and set up a website. Determined to prevent anyone outside FreshBooks from figuring out the connection between the two businesses, they incorporated in Delaware, using a dormant company that had been set up for another project.



  • A strategy like this would have been helpful in a previous life, where the company was supporting hundreds of "customized" reports that were basically copies of each other with only minor differences in layout and code. The database couldn't change without breaking every one of them for this reason as well as ten years of quick hacks piled up instead of doing things the right way.

    Meanwhile, one of the staff jumped ship to a competitor and told them all about our secret sauce, giving them a huge head start as they had no legacy costs to address in their day-to-day operations.



  • @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Meanwhile, one of the staff jumped ship to a competitor and told them all about our secret sauce, giving them a huge head start as they had no legacy costs to address in their day-to-day operations.

    Isn't that illegal? Or did the legal dept fuck up employment termination terms?



  • @Gąska said in Starting Over:

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Meanwhile, one of the staff jumped ship to a competitor and told them all about our secret sauce, giving them a huge head start as they had no legacy costs to address in their day-to-day operations.

    Isn't that illegal? Or did the legal dept fuck up employment termination terms?

    It probably had more to do with the company being unwilling to address technical debt than some corporate secret.

    Sounds like the secret was more of a "what not to do".


  • :belt_onion:

    damn, i had hoped this topic was in reference to the chosen forum software.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @darkmatter said in Starting Over:

    damn, i had hoped this topic was in reference to the chosen forum software.

    At first I thought he was going colt turkey on something.



  • @Gąska said in Starting Over:

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Meanwhile, one of the staff jumped ship to a competitor and told them all about our secret sauce, giving them a huge head start as they had no legacy costs to address in their day-to-day operations.

    Isn't that illegal? Or did the legal dept fuck up employment termination terms?

    Many people slid by without signing a non-compete. Mine sat in my desk drawer for three years, for example. Non-competes also have to be very specific to be enforceable. Either way, what he did was extremely unethical, but probably not illegal.



  • @xaade said in Starting Over:

    @Gąska said in Starting Over:

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Meanwhile, one of the staff jumped ship to a competitor and told them all about our secret sauce, giving them a huge head start as they had no legacy costs to address in their day-to-day operations.

    Isn't that illegal? Or did the legal dept fuck up employment termination terms?

    It probably had more to do with the company being unwilling to address technical debt than some corporate secret.

    Sounds like the secret was more of a "what not to do".

    Probably a bit of both. A couple of my coworkers got to the company about four years before I did, and they remarked that even then, the flagship app needed to be rewritten (or at least given a major overhaul). Management said no. About a year after I joined was when the guy jumped ship to the competitor.

    It got to the point where we would do demos and customers would say, "Wow, your system seems very similar to Initrode's system," which was quite frustrating as our company had been in business for a decade and now had to deal with a much younger competitor who had all our experience and none of our legacy costs.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Many people slid by without signing a non-compete.

    I don't know about the legal situation where you live, but here, "stealing" company secrets from a competitor is always illegal (as an unfair business practice), regardless of whether the employee was bound by a valid non-compete clause. The old company could have sued the new one if they had any proof their competitor actually used those secrets. (Admittedly, that's hard to prove, but still…)



  • @asdf said in Starting Over:

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    Many people slid by without signing a non-compete.

    I don't know about the legal situation where you live, but here, "stealing" company secrets from a competitor is always illegal (as an unfair business practice), regardless of whether the employee was bound by a valid non-compete clause. The old company could have sued the new one if they had any proof their competitor actually used those secrets. (Admittedly, that's hard to prove, but still…)

    IANAL, but that may also be possible in this jurisdiction.

    Even so, the important question is: would a company that ignores its technical debt and is paying its developers 50-75% of market rates be ready to jump into a long and expensive legal battle which would probably take years to resolve?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Groaner said in Starting Over:

    would a company that ignores its technical debt and is paying its developers 50-75% of market rates be ready to jump into a long and expensive legal battle which would probably take years to resolve?

    If they thought they had any chance, definitely. Especially if they're near bankruptcy and see a potentially huge source of money. Just look at what SCO did in its final years...



  • @darkmatter said in Starting Over:

    damn, i had hoped this topic was in reference to the chosen forum software.

    Yes, we still haven't switched forum software this year, have we?

    What's the latest fashion?


  • kills Dumbledore

    @Zecc said in Starting Over:

    What's the latest fashion?

    I hear there's a fancy new forum software for the next ten years. It's called diss curse or something


  • SockDev

    You could always do something truly insane.

    The Sockdevs are taking an open source PHP toxic hellstew forum software, revamping it to be less terrible under the hood, adding in a ton of RPG stuff like sub-accounts as a core feature and then using it.

    Nothing stopping people using it here once it's out of being alpha muahahahhaha

    (Just think, there would only need to be one account, for Boomzilla, and then have everyone else be characters attached to it. It's like alts, but without any of the logging-out/logging-in effort, as it's just two clicks to switch alts.)


  • :belt_onion:

    @Arantor but then the forum would only have 7 root users.



  • @asdf But how can you ever switch jobs to another company without taking any knowledge and/or experience with you? It cannot be reasonable to expect that.


  • SockDev

    @Grunnen It's one thing to take knowledge and experience with you, quite another to spill trade secrets to a competitor.



  • @RaceProUK said in Starting Over:

    @Grunnen It's one thing to take knowledge and experience with you, quite another to spill trade secrets to a competitor.

    But business domain knowledge is super valuable and not necessarily a trade secret. Without more details it's impossible to say which it was in Groaner's case.



  • @Jaloopa said in Starting Over:

    I hear there's a fancy new forum software for the next ten years. It's called diss curse or something

    OK, we'll look at it in 2027 then.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Grunnen said in Starting Over:

    @asdf But how can you ever switch jobs to another company without taking any knowledge and/or experience with you? It cannot be reasonable to expect that.

    In the end, it'll always be up to a judge (or, in the US, jury) to decide whether trade secrets have been knowingly stolen or not. The laws on that are deliberately open to interpretation, because you cannot possibly develop a universal set of criteria there.

    At my current job, I had to take one of those stupid video courses on exactly this topic and sign a form that I've taken said training. In this training, the fact that you have to keep company secrets from your former job to yourself is explicitly mentioned. I guess this is my company's attempt at defending itself against such lawsuits. I say attempt, because I doubt they could actually shift the blame on me if that ever happened; but it doesn't hurt to try.



  • @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    It's like alts, but without any of the logging-out/logging-in effort, as it's just two clicks to switch alts.

    🙂


  • SockDev

    @darkmatter said in Starting Over:

    @Arantor but then the forum would only have 7 root users.

    No, it would have ONE. Boomzilla, and everyone else is an alt. Though the switch-alts menu would look hideous.



  • @RaceProUK said in Starting Over:

    @Grunnen It's one thing to take knowledge and experience with you, quite another to spill trade secrets to a competitor.

    If our legal system could be trusted to determine which is which, we wouldn't have patent trolls.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    Though the switch-alts menu would look hideous.

    So, you're using the Discourse UI for the switch-alts menu? 🍹



  • @izzion said in Starting Over:

    @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    Though the switch-alts menu would look hideous.

    So, you're using the Discourse UI for the switch-alts menu? 🍹

    0_1496275544267_ddf4d0c7-0c3e-499c-84c3-861d1f8a555a-image.png


  • SockDev

    @izzion said in Starting Over:

    @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    Though the switch-alts menu would look hideous.

    So, you're using the Discourse UI for the switch-alts menu? 🍹

    Nah, just a menu with a couple of hundred entries would suck.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    Nah, just a menu with a couple of hundred entries would suck.

    Because there's one AJAX request per entry, and each one downloads 2MB? That would be the Discourse way…


  • SockDev

    @asdf Nah, the popup is populated by an AJAX request only if you actually click it. Unlike some developers, the 'not nice' part of this was merely fugly design of having a super-long popup on the screen, not that it was implemented badly.

    Except it is in PHP 😱



  • @Arantor said in Starting Over:

    Except it is in PHP 😱

    So there's SQL injection? 👨🚀


  • SockDev

    @boomzilla Ironically, not as far as I know 😛



  • @Arantor That's what they all say.




  • SockDev

    @hungrier we don't have that many emoji, and right now the system craps out if you try to define more than about 1500 for raisins. (It's not exactly 1500, it's a much more undefined limit)

    But sort of like this:

    0_1496339301816_28818c38-0cf0-4ba2-ab5d-a2b858066f78-image.png


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