If this really is a former Tesla I.T. guy posting the ugly truth, Elon's bad week just got worse

Including the secret transmitter component of the latter.

Wait… you’re telling me that a business’s inner workings are more chaotic and ad-hoc than it looks from the outside?

/falls off stool in totally genuine shock


Haha thanks! Gotta love the BB community. Diverse, Talented, helpful.


Weird, I don’t think I can ever think of an NDA I’ve signed with a time limit.

I’ve signed NDAs where if either party violates the agreement it’s void. (Think the various NDAs Trump had w/ his victims).

It would be very interesting if Tesla signed a mutal non-disparagement as part of some sort of severance, violated it, leading to an employee who can keep your money AND blast you on Something Awful.


As a non coder, This is like reading dutch to me, what are the take home messages?


Tesla’s software processes are about as chaotic and screwed up as everyone else’s. Better than some, worse than others. (IME, fr’ex, I’d say better than Hollywood studios and WAY better than most movie production companies, but a bit worse than bankers. The ones I’ve known, anyway. YMMV.)

Why is this headline news? Because Elon Musk, I guess. :man_shrugging:

That’s all I’ve got.


Because they make cars which drive themselves on public streets.

Not that I expect any other car companies to have better software processes…


Sounds like a case of:


Quite a lot of detail here. Either someone dedicated a lot of time concocting an elaborate hoax, or it’s true.

Yep, sounds just like the big tech company I used to work for. But we had a prominent disclaimer that our systems were not to be used for anything where people will get hurt or killed if our tech fails. I doubt very many real engineers are going to be first in line for self driving cars.

The technology of using controlled gas explosions to propel a car also sounded pretty insanely dangerous in the early days of the ICE, and even a couple of decades ago it was pretty common for cars to spontaneously burst into flames or just stop working randomly. Probably trillions of dollars have been spent over a century or so to get ICE engines to the today’s level of reliability; I can now go 5-10 years between engine repairs. I hope to feel safe riding in a self driving car in my lifetime, but it may be decades later before they reach practical viability.

The only thing that sounds fishy is the time limit on the NDA; have never heard of that.


As not a software engineer, I concur. The details are meaningless to me, but the tone and tenor and specificity of gripes is hard to fake. It’s precisely the sort of thing I’d write if I were venting about the crazy bullshit we did at a bad job in my own industry.

Everyone has met this guy at a bar or a party. “So what do you do?” “I work in _____.” “Oh, cool, ______ is so interesting.” “HA! OH MAN LEMME TELL YA…” And he does! So yeah, I buy it.

Now, maybe Tesla isn’t noticeably terrible vs. the rest of the fancy e-car industry. But I wouldn’t assume so.

I’m another computer science guy who can confirm that… yes. This is how most things work. Not because they have to. Not because we don’t know how to make good code. It’s just that making truly good code would take ten times the money and maybe five times the time it takes to make something that sort of works. And no manager is ever going to approve that. So it gets made the best it can under the circumstances.

Personally, whenever something works I am amazed.


I’m an infosec guy who can also confirm that yes, you are correct. And as a society we want to have these insecurely coded vehicles with balls of spaghetti code driving us around autonomously? Have we thought this one through properly?


where i should have been fixing critical issues in the system i was pulled off to do shit like add farting unicorns

That is so relatable.

I’m happy that where I am now, if we see something seriously critical we can take the initiative to just do it and push it through the process. It still has to get reviewed, tested, and approved, (so at least 4 people have looked at it before it gets deployed), but they trust us to know when to bypass the (potentially weeks or months of) planning, assignment, and prioritization steps for security issues or system-crashers.

Normal critical issues though - those may still have to wait until after the unicorn farts. But that’s just business. People are paying for the unicorn farts they can see, not for the underlying functionality that they don’t see (until later) to actually work properly.

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