A few months ago, I wrote about saving my employer about half a million dollars by clicking a few buttons in Snowflake. In it, I expressed a lot of cynicism around the likelihood of my employer rewarding me. I had reached out to the most senior person in my organization outside of the executive heading our department to ask for more money, and received total silence in response for several weeks.
Well, I've promised to always be honest in my writing here, and the truth is that I was wrong on this one. I predicted $0 or $5K, and they did a lot better than that.
I won the 'Innovation' award at the annual meeting I deliberately skipped today, which comes with a $30 gift voucher.
Well, firstly, I obviously don't really need to blog anymore or keep my company running on the side - I mean, look, no offense to most of my readers, but I really don't have time to talk to people that aren't in the upper class with me. You understand. I suspect a few of you have won some equally prestigious trophies - maybe some sort of participation award from a primary school running event, or a box juice for being an extra good boy today - and we'll continue to share some delightful conversations, but the rest of you are just going to have to move on. Find someone closer to your level, financially, morally, sexually, and spiritually speaking.
Some quick napkin math reveals that I simply need to save about $2.2 billion dollars annually to maintain my current lifestyle, so really, I'm basically retired. All I've got to do is swing by every company on the planet running Snowflake and turn the compute timeout number from 10 minutes to 1 minute, and that'll cover me for all of 2024.
I haven't figured out what I'm doing 2025, because apparently Snowflake's annual revenue is only $2 billion, so they'll be broke by the time I'm done, but I can probably find some sort of other button to turn more computers off. Maybe some sort of nuclear launch code, I'm still think - sorry, I mean innovating.
Let it be known that I have not forgotten my friends. While I am obviously the swiftest, bravest, and dare I say more virile engineer in this hemisphere, it would be remiss of me not to thank the people that helped me get here.
Firstly, I would like to thank the absolute dipshit consultants that left the compute timeouts set to the wrong number. Without your continued and reliable incompetence, it would have been impossible for me to click the three buttons necessary to be deemed the most innovative man in a department that constantly talks about how innovative it is. Can you imagine how powerful I must be? How omnipotent? God, with this award I could obliterate the career of any fool that dared to contradict me - the merest expression of disapproval would leave anyone in tatters. Your hairdresser won't even talk to you for fear of incurring my wrath, and that concern would be justified. Even one of the Uninnovated (as I like to call them) understands that it would be the height of folly to tangle with a man that could pay for half of an expensive haircut without so much as blinking.
Secondly, I would like to thank the managers that allowed this to happen, and then covered it up shamelessly. If it weren't for your constantly falling asleep at the wheel and then trying to desperately save face at the last minute, I might have been given an actual raise instead of this beautiful, precious electronic congratulations letter. Of course, with more money I might have been able to purchase a house or take care of a loved one, but those aren't sufficiently aligned with the institution's partners that assist in the gamification of rewards, and because management has judged that I have the brain of a particularly stupid toddler and management is never wrong, I will act accordingly. Thank you all so, so much. I will be retiring to my crib shortly, jamming square blocks into round holes like the rest of you drooling imbeciles, preparing for elevation to perhaps... a $40 gift card? No, no, I should be grateful for what I have.
I'd like to thank the actually competent engineers on my team for nothing, you useless bastards. You absolute clowns. God, you make me sick. All those ETL failures that you painstakingly diagnosed and troubleshot before our stakeholders threw a fit and sent management to the data gulag? It's all dirt beneath my boot. You're all little ants to me, and that's why none of you got raises and you didn't get an Innovation award. In a way, I pity you.
Go back to "writing unit tests" and "diagnosing query performance issues". Christ, it's good that we work in such a low-functioning environment, because you're all so soy that any heat and pressure would straight up turn you into tofu. If you actually innovated - like me, by explicitly ignoring management's orders and providing unauthorized production system access to new hires - you'd be on my level, but you didn't, so you're not. I'd step on you on my way to the top, but you'd probably like it, you degenerate animals.
Don't talk to me. Don't even look at me, you losers. Ugh. Ugh.
III. To The Losers
Speaking of losers, at the risk of actually getting in trouble at work, I'd like to console the team that genuinely was competing for this award and lost. We have a data science department, the department that I left to become a data engineer because we weren't producing enough of value, and they almost won with their... let me check my notes.
Ah. That's very innovative and I'm sure that no one has done this before. This probably isn't the project that our actually competent lead data scientist said is garbage and they want nothing more to do with it, but the whole year was spent on it, is it? Oh, it is that one? That idea, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in engineering time, lost out to me turning the number '10' to '1'? The one that, and this is entirely true, crashed within a few minutes of launching because the I.T department you handed it to sent it to all 10,000 employees but didn't put up a load balancer?
Sucks to suck, nerds. Typing in
import openai was obviously an inferior solution to mine, as yours had more characters in it and is thus more tech debt, you stupid buffoons. Fuck, it's just so sad that you thought you could compete with me. But you aren't CTO material so you wouldn't know that, whereas I am, and my second innovation in this new era is going to be shooting your dead weight out of an airlock. Ejecting ballast is the mechanism that will propel this organization into the future, which we'll need to do in order to recoup the devastating $30 lost we've just incurred. That's just the price of retaining top talent, baby, and one day, assuming you survive the freezing vacuum of space, you too might experience the financial freedom of being able to buy three large microwave pizzas without thinking twice.
Come back in ten years, when you've trained hard enough to get as good as me - but again, you're going to be competing with my massive war chest, so I wouldn't get my hopes up if I was you. I could run the smallest tier of managed Postgres instance for slightly over a week without breaking a sweat, and at some point you just have to acknowledge that there is a level of resourcing that no one can reasonably compete with. Frankly, this isn't even a fraction of my power - in theory, I could stop up to three Snowflake warehouses from idling all day a minute, so I might actually be one of the most valuable people on the planet right now. I don't really want to spend time with Musk and Bezos, but I guess they're the only people who understand my financial position now.
It's lonely at the top.
IV. What's Next?
I'm thinking about getting into angel investing and philanthropy. Not to brag, but since I know I can generate infinite money basically on a whim, I'm willing to throw the entirety of my functionally limitless riches into a single venture of my choosing, and am open to reader ideas. The Ludic Fund is willing to invest in anything that is going to bring about sufficient social good that is within our considerable budget, such as a particularly big plate of pasta, assuming that you can demonstrate that the idea can scale (how many people could this pasta feed?) and that you've got the technical competence to execute flawlessly (are you smart enough to salt your pasta?).
This will never not be appropriate.