Wednesday June 14, 2006
After this, no more programming
Here's my daily routine. I get up about 8ish and wander out into the other room. Sometimes I make coffee and do dishes until the coffee is ready and then sit down at the computer, and other times I just sit down and brace myself for the flood of email I've gotten since yesterday evening and the morning. Don't these people ever sleep? Around noon, the flurry of replies -- many of them me signing off on having completed trivial tasks -- slows a bit and I can start to think about what I should be doing -- development. I am a developer. But I spend more time supporting windows... because I also do sysadmin work... and when people can't get their mail, I hear about it... in fact, they kind of have me by the neck. They'll yell at whoeever answers the phone, and they'll dump problems on whoever they can talk about behind his back and make look bad if he doesn't make their problems go away. Having completely forgotten about that major, really important, rush goal, they start talking to me about something else -- if I'm lucky. Otherwise I get an email after the fact that they're not using the custom rolled application they wanted so bad or what ever was set up in house and sign up with some third party that's selling access to poorly written, insecure, but pretty software, and then I have to integrate it. Easier than talking them out of those decisions is to cut them off at the pass and implement something in house or set up something half way passable. Of course, at no point is the decision delegated to me -- I'm lucky if I have input on it.
Okay, as long as I'm a "programmer", I'm not a subject matter export or even really a consulting in the sense that people consult me before making decisions. Non-technical users expect to be able to make any damn decision they want and have me make it work out flawless for them. I'm the safety net. So long as I'm dealing with fallout, nothing bad can ever happen -- or else *I* get it.
So, clearly, I need to not be a programmer. I need to be that consultant. After this project, I'm not writing any more fucking code. People pay me to make decisions for them. If they make bad decisions, oooh, too bad. Well, at least we saw that coming, right? Of course, the down side is that no one ever accomplishes any of their actual goals they set out to do -- because ultimately someone has to do the integration and customization and gluing.
So, basically, if you're either in the bleachers throwing peanuts and yelling or else you're trying to hit the damn ball... I'm sick of batting for fat, lazy, arrogant ingrates who are convinced they could do everything better themselves. It's time to start exploiting them.