Welcome back to practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.

Episode 2: Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand

This is a particularly special episode for me, as these problems are taking up so much of my time with non-sensical bullshit, that i'm delayed with everything else. Some badly require tooling or new products. Some are just unnecessary processes or annoyances that should not need to be handled by another human. So lets jump right in, in no particular order:

- Jira ... nuff said? not quite because somehow some blue moon, planets aligning, act of god style set of circumstances lined up to allow this team to somehow make Jira worse. On one hand we have a gigantic Jira project containing 7 separate sub teams, a million different labels / epics and 4.2 million possible assignees, all making sure the loading page takes as long as possible to open. But the new country we've added support for in the app gets a separate project. So we have product, backend, mobile, design, management etc on one, and mobile-country2 on another. This delightfully means a lot of duplication and copy pasting from one to the other, for literally no reason what so ever.

- Everything on Jira is found through a label. Every time something happens, a new one is created. So I need to check for "iOS", "Android", "iOS-country2", "Android-country2", "mobile-<feature>", "mobile-<feature>-issues", "mobile-<feature>-prod-issues", "mobile-<feature>-existing-issues" and "<project>-July31" ... why July31? Because some fucking moron decided to do a round of testing, and tag all the issues with the current date (despite the fact Jira does that anyway), which somehow still gets used from time to time because nobody pays attention to what they are doing. This means creating and modifying filters on a daily basis ... after spending time trying to figure out what its not in the first one.

- One of my favourite morning rituals I like to call "Jira dumpster diving". This involves me removing all the filters and reading all the tickets. Why would I do such a thing? oh remember the 9000 labels I mentioned earlier? right well its very likely that they actually won't use any of them ... or the wrong ones ... or assign to the wrong person, so I have to go find them and fix them. If I don't, i'll get yelled at, because clearly it's my fault.

- Moving on from Jira. As some of you might have seen in your companies, if you use things like TestFlight, HockeyApp, AppCenter, BuddyBuild etc. that when you release a new app version for testing, each version comes with an automated change-log, listing ticket numbers addressed ...... yeah we don't do that. No we use this shitty service, which is effectively an FTP server and a webpage, that only allows you to host the new versions. Sending out those emails is all manual ... distribution groups?? ... whats that?

- Moving back to Jira. Can't even automate the changelog with a script, because I can't even make sense of the tickets, in order to translate that to a script.

- Moving on from Jira. Me and one of the remote testers play this great game I like to call "tag team ticketing". It's so much fun. Right heres how to play, you'll need a QA and a PM.

*QA creates a ticket, and puts nothing of any use inside it, and assigns to the PM.
*PM fires it back asking for clarification.
*QA adds in what he feels is clarification (hes wrong) and assigns it back to the PM.
*PM sends detailed instructions, with examples as to what is needed and assigns it back.
*QA adds 1 of the 3 things required and assigns it back.
*PM assigns it back saying the one thing added is from the wrong day, and reminds him about the other 2 items.
*QA adds some random piece of unrelated info to the ticket instead, forgetting about the 3 things and assigns it back.

and you just continue doing this for the whole dev / release cycle hahaha. Oh you guys have no idea how much fun it is, seriously give it a go, you'll thank me later ... or kill yourselves, each to their own.

- Moving back to Jira. I decided to take an action of creating a new project for my team (the mobile team) and set it up the way we want and just ignore everything going on around us. Use proper automation, and a kanban board. Maybe only give product a slack bot interface that won't allow them to create a ticket without what we need etc. Spent 25 minutes looking for the "create new project" button before finding the link which says I need to open a ticket with support and wait ... 5 ... fucking ... long ... painful ... unnecessary ... business days.

... Heres hoping my head continues to not have a bullet hole in it by then.

Id love to talk more, but those filters ain't gonna fix themselves. So we'll have to leave it here for today. Tune in again for another episode soon.

And remember to always practiseSafeHex

  • 3
    Can't wait to read!
  • 12
    @CodePatronus the people who put all of this in place are assholes. This is not accidental, they can't be that stupid. This is on purpose, I just haven't figured out why yet
  • 6
    Beautiful rant! What a fucking mess!
    I can't wait to read more of your stories.
  • 6
    @Hubot-0x58 4.2 million, yes it's true.

    Also did you know that exaggerations have gone up this year by 1 Billion percent?
  • 5
    @practiseSafeHex you'd be surprised how little thinking people are capable of doing and still are breathing. Or, as you said, they're just assholes. Or, even worse, a combination of the two.
    Also: What a glorious rant! Please do continue in that style, I tremendously enjoy reading them!
  • 6
    I ++ed at "Jira dumpster diving"
  • 3
    I really love your stories. I would ++ so much. Your style of writing is awesome! Keep up the posts pls
  • 4
    Favorited. Read a third already and couldn't agree more. This reminds me so much of my last job and I'm so glad I don't have to deal with Jira anymore!

    Good luck in life as a manager! But don't forget where you came from. 😉
  • 1
    Great read/ride. Kafka would envy you,.. and my workplace feels unbelievable sane now. - It is not, it is IT, I have to remind me.
  • 2
    Dude, your writing style is fantastic!
  • 2
    Need! Moar! ++!
    This is brilliant brilliant brilliant! Genius I say!
  • 0
    I was waiting for a rantNov6 tag on your rant..
  • 0
    Wow, I need a follow button
  • 1
    @Joevanne good thing there is one ;)
    In user’s profile you can find it.
    For ios top right button and then subscribe to user’s rants or smth like that.
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