Friday. Nonsense programmer 4.1

    Hi, Habr! I continue to spread my crazy thoughts. Thank you all for your support. Thank you for participating in the last vote. The story “About HR girl, life, death, and software quality” won. I apologize to those who voted differently. I hope you enjoy this post too. The story is called “City of Masters” .

    City of masters

    A small airplane of the local aeroclub started from a country aerodrome and began to climb. I sat on the bench and looked at the sportsmen, parachutists, trapped with me in one go. Directly opposite me sat a girl with blond curly hair to her shoulders.

    Nearby were two guys in identical red suits, a little further painted brunette with short hair, and at the very end a man of indeterminate age with a thick, gray-haired beard.

    I looked at the blonde sitting opposite. Why do these girls do skydiving? Probably, then, for what I am. They love altitude, free fall, quiet flight under the dome ... Although, if I were a blonde with such external data, I would probably do something more interesting. But I am not a blonde - I am a programmer in one of the computer companies, which are dozens in our regional center. And with my life everything was clear. She was going nowhere.

    The fact is that I owe a large amount of money. I will not tell how it happened. There are dozens of ways, and one of them I tried on myself. Now I, at least, five years to give a huge part of my not too big salary. I cut all my expenses to a minimum. The only thing I could not part with was the parachute jump, or rather one jump per month. That's all I could afford now. I was completely and completely unhappy. At times, I thought it would probably be better if the dome never opened ...

    * * *

    The bell rang and a flashlight flashed. It's time to get out. The group one by one began to be thrown out from the side hatch. After a pause, I jumped down. The air hit in the face, and I, having opened my arms, flew down. Freedom! You can tumble, soar, fly like a fighter, using your hands instead of wings. After a while I pulled the ring and the dome opened over me. I had my own parachute, white, with a bright red stripe in the middle. Before the jump, I folded it myself and carefully checked every fold. I was confident in him, as in myself, and was still quite alive.

    Short seconds of flight flew like an instant, and now I'm on the ground. On the third attempt I managed to extinguish the dome. Farewell to heaven for another month ... I suddenly became sad. Instead of folding the parachute, I sat on the grass, put my head on my knees and began to think about my unprofitable life ...

    * * *

    - Buddy, are you okay? - someone touched me on the shoulder. Looking back, I saw that man with a beard, the one who was sitting on the edge of the bench in the plane. He had already collected his parachute and approached me.
    - I see you do not move. Maybe broke what?
    “No, everything is fine with me ... although ... as it is fine, everything is bad for me ...
    Suddenly, I felt confidence in this man.” And besides, I needed someone to tell everything. And I told.

    * * *

    - So you are a programmer? - asked the bearded and carefully looked at me, - You know, and I can help you. We need a programmer.
    - You do not understand, I have a job. That's not the point ...
    - You don't understand that. I offer you WORK ... MONEY will pay you for it.
    Bearded called the amount from which my hair began to move under my helmet. It turned out that I could repay my debt in less than a year.
    - Do you ship something forbidden across the border? - I asked puzzled.
    - Not! What are you! - bearded laughed. We make equipment. Very expensive and very important, on which the lives of many people depend. And for this we are paid serious money. But you need to work very high quality. You understand, business is business!
    A little thought, I agreed to come for an interview.
    - Come on Wednesday. Here is the address. You will ask the company “City of Masters” on the watch, my name is Andrey - the guy shook my hand and went to the exit from the field.

    City of masters? I have not heard of such a company. Maybe, really, I will get out of my problems. The mood improved, and I began to collect a parachute.

    * * *

    The building indicated in the address, I found pretty quickly. A minute later I entered the spacious office. As soon as I entered, I immediately came across a bearded Andrew.
    - Yeah, come. I will introduce you to our personnel manager.

    We walked to the corner of the hall, and at the table I saw ... that same blonde who was sitting opposite me on the plane. I looked around and saw two guys who were also on the plane. Opposite them, a short-haired brunette sat at the computer, whom I also recognized. I looked puzzled at Andrei ...
    - Do you all go in for skydiving?
    Andrei scratched his beard,
    - M-yes. In general, this is how to say ... part of the corporate culture. The company pays.
    - True? Will I pay weekly jumps? - I did not expect this at all. Even without knowing all the other conditions, I already internally agreed to go to the company.
    - Yes, you will pay and jumps, and much more. Here is Anya, our personnel manager will explain everything to you in more detail. I apologize, I have affairs, - Andrey has left.

    The girl with blond curly hair smiled and said:
    - Hello, Kohl. Welcome to the City of Masters. Let's first fill in a short form ...

    * * *

    A week later I was working on a new job. I had to develop microprocessor controller drivers. I was given two months of probation, after which I will need to pass certification. I diligently studied everything that was of interest.

    I was helped by one of the guys I met on the plane. He was also a programmer. He showed me how to decorate the code, write comments, make scripts to build the final versions. I was very surprised that the code he wrote was extremely simple, understandable, and was tested almost without failures.

    The same applied to the hardware. Everything that was developed, was tested almost from the first time. It seems that they really managed to realize the principle of zero defects. How they managed to achieve this, it was a mystery, because I did not notice any quality service, technical control departments and other units that I thought were necessary.

    * * *

    On Saturdays we went to the airfield and jumped with a parachute. I was happy as a small child. I was alone with the sky ... and with Anya. Anya jumped in the same group with me. I liked her. If I liked her, it was a mystery to me. When she met, she smiled at me. When I was joking, she laughed. Several times I noticed how she looked at me, but whether that meant anything, I did not understand. A couple of times we accidentally came face to face in the corridors, I apologized in embarrassment, and she laughed and clapped me on the shoulder.

    I wanted to talk to her many times, but I could not decide. I was afraid that she would just laugh, slap me on the shoulder, and say that I should not bother myself with any nonsense.

    * * *

    It is time for certification. I came to my workplace. Everyone around me knew that I had an exam, politely greeted me and wished me luck. A bearded Andrey came up to me and gave me a task in an envelope.
    - Here, this needs to be done.
    - And when will I find out the results?
    “You will find out after you do ... proceed.”
    I sat down at the computer and opened the envelope. In the task there were many questions concerning the work, and at the end a practical task. I read the text intently. When I was ready to answer questions, I felt someone's presence. Without even turning around, I realized that it was Anya. He felt her hair on his shoulder and the delicate scent of perfume. She leaned toward my ear and said in a barely audible whisper:
    - Kolya, I wish you good luck. I want you to successfully pass the certification and ... work with me. I really want this. Be attentive. You will succeed.
    She left as imperceptibly as she appeared. In my head all messed up. “I will pass this certification, no matter what it costs me,” I said to myself and, trying to focus, went deeper into the assignment.

    * * *

    The certification was on Thursday, and on Saturday, as always, we went to the airport with our group. Waiting for takeoff, we settled on a small bench inside the hangar.

    Gathered exactly the same composition as the day I met with Andrew.
    - Andrey, what about certification, did I pass it or not?
    “You learn, and even faster than you think,” Andrei replied mysteriously. Something in his voice seemed to me not good, “Show me your parachute,” he suddenly said.
    I handed him my backpack.
    - M-yes, a good model. It’s a pity that today you don’t need it ...
    - It’s not necessary ..., - I looked at Andrei in perplexity, - I won’t jump today?
    “You will, but with this,” Andrei handed me a parachute pack. Paper was stuck on the side of the knapsack under the plastic wrap. It read: “City of Masters, certification, Nikolay Uvarov, 08.28.2018”. Below was the signature and seal.

    I felt that something was wrong. I looked at the guys from the group. They were silent, pretending that everything was in the order of things.
    - And who folded it?
    - Those who need it and folded .... Competent comrades ... - said Andrey, - if the certification is passed, the parachute will open, and if not, then ... anything can happen. But you did everything right? So why are you afraid?

    - People ... what are you doing this ... Are you serious? - I sat on the bench in absentmindedness.

    “Listen,” Anya joined in the conversation, “in the Middle Ages, if the master made mail, then to check it, they put it on the master himself and chopped him with swords. If the architect made a bridge, then he was placed under the bridge and loaded onto it loaded carts. If the craftsman made a rope, then he was hung on it over the abyss. Therefore, the chain mail kept a punch, the ropes were not torn, and some bridges still stand. And they will not stand for more than one hundred years ... We make equipment on which people’s lives depend, and you can only pay for life with life — there’s no other price.
    “But ...,” I tried to find arguments, my thoughts were confused.

    Andrey continued:
    - We all passed the certification, and now we are confident in each other. We need to be confident in you too. And then you will take a parachute in the same place as we.

    Only now I noticed something that I did not attach any importance to before. Everyone except me always took parachutes from the general heap. Parachutes did not differ from each other, and there were no marks on them. I began to guess and it became terrible for me ...
    - So it means ...
    - Yes. If due to the fault of our equipment a person dies, then one of the parachutes in this pile turns out to be a dummy. How this happens is unimportant. Individually, no one knows the meaning and goals of the whole process. And we, in turn, do not know whether there is a dummy among parachutes or not. Yes, we actually are not interested. We always work with full dedication and try not to make mistakes. This is all we can do. Here we have this ... quality system.

    - Decide. You can refuse, but then you will be fired, and most importantly - until the end of your days you will consider yourself not a master, but a cowardly amateur ...
    I looked at the guys with whom I worked for more than two months. How stupid I was. Jumping with a parachute, which folded itself, but they did not know whether they would live or not. And at the same time they could joke, laugh, work and live.

    I absently looked around. Glance focused on Anna. The worst thing is to see contempt in the eyes of someone you care about. I felt that if I refuse, then it is contempt that will appear in her eyes. I said nothing and hoisted the parachute with a tag. It seemed much harder to me.

    * * *

    The plane reached the ejection zone and the guys, one by one, disappeared into the open hatch. Only Anya and I remained. She went to the hatch:
    - Kolya! ..
    I went. Without another word, she kissed me so that I caught my breath.
    “Anya ... what are you doing?”
    - I'm a HR manager. So I work with the staff ... as I can. Do you think any of them would decide to pass certification ... After all, you men can't just exist. Give you a beautiful idea ... or a beautiful woman, in a pinch, - Anya grinned, - Okay, goodbye Kolya. Maybe see you again. At least I would really like that.

    Anya stood in front of the hatch. Streams of air ruffled her hair. Light strands beat in the mad gusts of wind. I almost shouted for her to hear:
    - You do not believe that I will pass certification? I did everything right. I am ready to subscribe to each line of my code. Are you not sure that I will survive?
    “I’m not sure that I’ll survive,” Anya said, nodding at her parachute, and jumped out of the plane.

    I angrily looked out. The wind was inflating the jumpsuit. “Well, okay, I'll show you your darn certification,” I thought, and abruptly jumped down. One after another, domes began to unfold beneath me. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that Ani's parachute opened. I took the ring, but still did not dare to pull it. Fear gripped me completely. My heart pounded like a hammer. From horror I screamed. Ears of excess adrenaline chirped ...

    * * *

    ... In a cold sweat, I jumped out of bed. An alarm clock squeaked on the table. Wow, this is a dream. I wandered to the bathroom, and from there to the kitchen. My mother was already in charge in the kitchen, and on the table was my usual omelette.
    - Mom, and I remember, after I graduated from school, I wanted to enroll in the parachute section ...
    - What are you, son, this is dangerous. I read a week ago in a newspaper, one crashed to death again, and yet he is the same as you, the programmer ... No, let's eat better as it should. You have already called from work. They said you were like a bayonet today. A lot of defects were discovered ... or, I do not know what you are doing there ...
    I got dressed, collected things and left the entrance. After that, from the balcony mom shouted to me:
    - Happily work ... Do not forget two important rules that I have taught you since childhood: do not take a lot of money in debt, and do not mess with beautiful girls.
    “Good, Mom,” I said, and went to the bus stop to wait.

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