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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Thursday April 05, 2007
12:07 PM

How to make your programmers hate you

[ #32917 ]

"We want strong code ownership here... we need you to take responsibility for the code."

"Great, so we're pushing back the relaese schedule to accomodate writing tests."

"No, the release schedules are your contract with the rest of the company and are obligations that must be met."

"I never would have agreed to deliver anything with things in this state."

Comments on my attitude ensue. Then, "We're giving all of the programmers cell phones, so if there's a problem with the code in the middle of the night, we can reach some one".

Programmers can't cheat (much). The code works or it doesn't. Business people can and do make circular arguments and argue with every falicy known to man.

Stupidity isn't motivational. Challenging a programmer's abilities doesn't make him less daunted by a large project. High expectations don't replace the toughtful strategy comes from understanding. Generalities replace specifics.

And the worst part is they hire good programmers and expect them to put up with this shit -- the motivational crap, the antagonizing, goading, minipulation, micromanaging.

I thought telecommute, contract would set me up for a nice situation for balancing work and life, but I'm clenching my teeth, my back is killing me from hunching my shoulders up, and I can't stop thinking about what to do about this massive pain in the ass.

The advantages going in where not having to justify every hour used, working with tech savvy people so I don't have to argue about doing things the correct way, income would be more stable.

But now every hour is supposedly accounted for (consulting shops generally don't do this until they're on the brink of collapse). Notions of the correct way of doing things (testing, refactoring) are distant memories. I can hardly bring myself to log on in the morning and I wind up logging off half way through the day in disguest quite often, so my income isn't exactly getting a boost.

I thought I could establish myself as working independantly and being highly motivated, but it wasn't enough, or it didn't happen...

And half the team quit (did I mention?). So what conclusion do they draw... that they have their heads up their asses, or that programmers are lazy? Guess.

So they've taken an extremely highly motivated programmer (staying up all night on my own since I was 9!) and turned him into a sniveling wreck.

-scott

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  • But now every hour is supposedly accounted for (consulting shops generally don't do this until they're on the brink of collapse).

    We just started doing this. And we are not a consulting shop. We're not even paid hourly.

    In January they told us there was a new system where we'd be required to log some, but not all, hours, for some, but not all, tasks. They took forever getting our tasks in, wasting a lot of time putting in dead, completed tasks from 2006 and 2005, believe it or not. I started logging for specified tasks as it became available. They specifically said "We're not going to be asking you to account for 100% of your

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • We do this at $work as well. I understand the need for it. You can capitalize expenses for taxes and certain types of work, etc.

      The problem I has is that of focus. If you want me to log all my hours fine. But when you change the priority and make me context switch what I'm doing 10 times a day, it's never going to happen.
    • I have to submit a report at the end of every period. It is still a PITA.
    • So long as you just work on one or max two projects during a day, I like it. It's not _that_ much of a bother to fire up a browser or Excel document at the end of the day before leaving (unless it's a totally crap application, which isn't all that uncommon when it comes to time reporting).

      At my old job I don't know how many extra hours I put in that were just "lost" for me because they were "flex" hours I could have taken by going home an hour or two later some other day but never did.

      Then we started to rep
  • I have recorded my hours for many years, I have had some breaks when things was running smoothly, but believe me, the days where long in periods and the longs days where not always as much fun as could be.

    Today I keep one sets of records, which can be divided into two parts. One is for my consulting business where the hours are recorded to be billed to the client. The other is hours spent on internal product development. This latter is quite interesting to us since we do this to see how we are doing compare