As a software developer, how often do you leave a backdoor in your code?

As a software developer, how often do you leave a backdoor in your code? by Anonymous

Answer by Anonymous:

I once left a backdoor on an Android app since I was working with a client that couldn’t be trusted whether they would pay me or not. Heard from another developer that they let him develop and ran away with the software and never paid him.

It was like this, whenever the app starts it proceeds as usual but on the background it sends a request to one of my servers, if the request reaches the server and the response is code 200, then its ok, am still waiting for the payment the app can proceed as usual, if 201 then I wasn’t paid, so crash the app, clean all preferences and change url that was saved in preferences makes the app completely unusable for good. If 203 then I have been paid in full, proceed never send any request to my server again.

And my guess was right,I made the app, haven’t send the code to the client yet (they didn’t need the code though, it was a full running app), they started using the app, told me some stuffs, I fixed them, everything is set, they love the app, it was even more than they expected, I even made them an admin dashboard with a bunch of analytics to monitor all their data for free as a way to make them like me to work with them in the future, in my price I even included free up to 3 months bugs fixing if any were to occur, they were so happy with the results.

Then they immediately disappeared, waited for their reply for two weeks, nothing, not even a reply to tell me to wait, its like they all died from a hurricane or something, they even changed the pass to their server so I couldn’t get in and kill it, that was proof enough that they clearly ran away with my software. So I sent the 201 status code from my server and the whole app froze, all clients they connected couldn’t use the app anymore, immediately the following day they tried to contact me, I tripled the price after seeing they wanted to scam me. They paid me in full the same day through western union, I sent a fully working app with no backdoor, and all the source code. And that was it, I’ll never work with these guys again.

I will put a backdoor if you are a bad client, if you are a good one or pay in advance I’m not putting any, or if we are in the same country because I know I could sue you. I hate backdoors anyway because they are too risky no matter how much I try to secure them, the fact that they exist is a problem.

As a software developer, how often do you leave a backdoor in your code?

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am an impulsive procrastinator of the hig…

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am… by Stephen Guise

Answer by Stephen Guise:

Be careful about advice—which includes the currently-top-rated answer—telling you "you have to want it." Desire and motivation are NOT your problem, nor were they mine when I was in the same boat. Your issue is your subconscious mind and current habits. You need new habits.

Motivational advice makes you feel good, but it's not consistent.

To Shana, who asked you "how much do you want it?", I would ask you both if you've ever not wanted to pursue your goals. In my years, I've always wanted to be in good shape— 24/7/365. That desire has never changed. What has happened is my motivation to pursue that goal and do the work in particular moments has always been volatile. And because motivation is based on how you feel about an activity in any given moment, it's unreliable. The "get motivated" strategy is all about trying to get into that motivated mindset, where taking action is easy, but it incorrectly assumes that when you're unmotivated, that you'll even want to "get motivated." It's a strategy full of holes, yet spewed out by all the self-help parrots.

The other lever of action is willpower—doing things even when you don't feel like doing them (i.e. are not motivated). Because your subconscious is used to doing things a certain way, anytime you intentionally veer off that path, you lose willpower energy. Studies have found that willpower is limited, and generally speaking, typical goals will burn you out and put you on the couch to watch TV (or waste time in however you're accustomed to doing it). It's too much change.

So anyway, long story short, I changed my life by doing the following:

  • At least 1 push-up a day = best shape of my life
  • Write 50 words a day = write 4x as much
  • Read 2 pages in a book a day = read 10x more books

I call the strategy "Mini Habits," and the book I wrote on it has sold 20k+ copies and is rated 4.7 stars (the highest of any habit book)—the simple reason being that it works. It doesn't require motivation to do one push-up, it requires a TINY amount of willpower. And once you start, the dynamic changes, your motivation increases, etc. And by doing it consistently, you'll gradually change your brain's neural pathways so that your subconscious prefers the same things as your conscious mind.

Can Shana's advice work? Kind of. That's how I made mediocre progress for 10 years. Aiming for increased motivation is better than nothing and it works sometimes. She says she's the same person, and that's what you'll get with the short-term nature of motivational techniques. Though, from the sound of it, I think she's begun to develop better habits too, which is great.

I'm a different person because my brain has changed: I like exercise; Writing is easy; Reading is bearable too, which is an upgrade.

Consistency matters more than quantity, because consistency can permanently change your brain. Mini habits are habitual behaviors so small that you won't fail to do them every single day, and the results tend to blow people's minds (including mine, when I had to admit that doing one push-up a day changed my life).

Don't believe me? Read the reviews of Mini Habits (They're all unsolicited, honest reviews): Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results eBook: Stephen Guise: Kindle Store

I recommend that whatever it is you're aiming for, shrink your target into something you can do every day without fail. If you can do it on your worst day, what can stop you? Nothing!

As for the meaningfulness of doing one push-up a day, etc. There are two reasons:

  1. It allows for remarkable consistency to change the brain
  2. Bonus reps (you can always do more)

I am ambitious, talented and intelligent, but I lack willpower, discipline, and organization. I am an impulsive procrastinator of the hig…

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget? by Corey Herbert

Answer by Corey Herbert:

Yes. It’s 1986, I’m 9 years old and I come downstairs to get ready for school. My dad is reading the paper and he says, “Hey Corey, what do you know about comets?”

I immediately spout off everything a space-addicted 9 year old kid can/should know about comets. My dad beams at me and tells me bedtime will be postponed.

Night falls and my dad comes home early. We get into his Ford Escort and drive to K-Bee toys where he buys me a pair of GI Joe binoculars just as it is closing.

I can still remember what they looked like in the packaging.

We drive to a subdivision that is under construction and park on a mound of dirt that is now someone’s home.

We both lay on the hood of that car and look at the stars. We talk about space. We talk about life. He tells me that the next time this comet passes by Earth he will be long gone, but he hopes I will watch it and remember what it is like to be a child staring at the night sky with his dad.

We never saw Haley’s comet that night. Our binoculars were too cheap, the light pollution was too strong, the comet was too far away. To be honest, I think I prefer it that way.

Because what I want to remember about that day has nothing at all to do with a comet.

There’s a great many things I wanted for my life. Some of them have come to pass, others never will. But above all I hope that, one day, I will sit on a mound of dirt as an old man. I will sit with the great love of my life and our children and our children’s children.

And we, all of us, will look at the stars. And maybe we’ll see a comet and maybe we won’t.

But we’ll look regardless and we will think of the ones we have loved.

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore?

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore? by Aman Goel

Answer by Aman Goel:

They don’t.

  1. The Facebook package you’ve heard of includes 4 years of stocks that are ‘one time’
  2. The base packages are low. In the range of 60–90 lakhs per annum
  3. The purchasing power parity is way different in India. If you are saving all of the money and sending back to India, then the story is different. However, this isn’t generally the case. For instance, a pizza in the US costs around $20. That’d be about Rs. 1,350. With Rs. 500 or so, you will get the best pizza in India. The $20 pizza in US will be just okayish. Typically, the real value of $1 is Rs 30. So, the $20 pizza above will cost Rs. 600 in India.
  4. Tax rates are high. In the US for instance, you need to pay 35% on your salary in California. If you are in San Francisco city, then you got to pay 5% additional city tax.

Some edits based on feedback from comments:

  • 60–90 lakhs IS low. 60–90 lakhs is NOT 60–90 lakhs. It is $100k – $120k. Don’t convert the money to INR when you won’t be spending it in INR.
  • Some have talked about the ‘real’ value of $1 in INR. I have used a value of Rs. 30 for $1. Some have suggested that the value is actually Rs. 15. That in fact makes matters worse because that means, Rs. 500 pizza will not cost $20, but will cost $30+. That’s expensive man!
  • There is a big opportunity cost of staying away from family. This holds particularly for Indians because we Indians tend to have a collectivistic society. This certainly won’t count in the ‘package’, but it does count overall.
  • Definitely the work life and the amount of cutting edge research going on is more in the US. But that won’t mean that nothing is going on in India.

Overall, there are pros and there are cons. An advantage factor for someone might be a disadvantage factor for someone else. Make your own call 🙂

Finally, if it adds credibility to the answer, then I would like to mention that it isn’t the case that grapes are sour for me and that is why I am writing this answer. I am one of those who has a 1+ crore package in my hand. I am writing this just to enlighten people who are obsessed with ‘1 cr’.

How do IITians get a package of almost 1 crore?