199
deviloper
111d

I'm really down.
I spent 10 years building on an application worth 800K$ revenue per year.

I tried to build a technical team. All left, because of fights with stupid account managers, CEO, business managers.

I was left alone for almost one year alone, working like 60-70 hours per week to keep the things going and adapt to more customers.

And looking for potential partners to outsource things.

Now out of the blue, 3 weeks before my summer holiday, investors introduce me to a "partner" that will rent to us a "developer" for 2 months. from tomorrow.
What the fuck I'm gonna do with him in 2 weeks I don't know.
Actually I understand that this "partner" will take over the whole project.

They used the word "to help me", but actually during the meeting they said to fix things that are not working, and to develop new features because the project is blocked.

Of course there are bugs, I have no developers with me and hundred of features and integrations to maintain. And of course everything is blocked because I have to think hard about priorities.

I feel humiliated in the worst way.
I don't know what will be my future position.
I wasted time contacting potential partners and the answer was always "there are no money".

The business strategist, entered one year ago and said "no more IT investment".

Basically as cofounder and cto (of myself), they will not fire me, if I stay silent. If I accept to be a puppet. And eat, eat eat a lot of shit. I'll grow fat from the shit I'll eat.
I feel I've lost all my hard work, and I'm alone.

Comments
  • 66
    This shit is the essence of devRant. To you I award every feel I have at this moment. Good luck, my friend.
  • 27
    Fuck that org. Don't be a puppet. Move out and keep doing what you are good at (coding, architecting, I believe)

    And don't hesitate if your next job role is senior developer or Architect, unless you can co-find something else or you are lucky enough to have a friend who will let you be a CTO or something
  • 46
    Get them to buy you out.
  • 8
    beinng a puppet might work, you might get a chance to flip the tables in ur favor again in the future.
  • 59
    I hate to be THAT guy, but I think you've brought it on you by yourself. You should have stood your ground all this time.

    Mgmt and investors will always, ALWAYS look for cuts, for cheaper solutions, for less expenses. And as long as the show stays on tge road, they are happy with the cut, as they have made the right decision. Developers had left? Oh well, let's see how we are doing with the remaining one. Does he handle all the load well? Are all systems up? Hooray! We can survive on a single dev, effectively saving on hundreds on manhours per week [by not hiring replacements for those who have left]!

    How are you handling all the workload is not their problem. If you do overtimes - that's up to you. If you work weekends - that's up to you. They do not care as long as the project is doing well.

    What you have missed that was right in front of you all those years that you were the only dev. You were irreplaceable. You had the full power to dictate your terms. Free food, hooters, free drinks, entertainments,.. A coleague.. You had the power to demand all this. If you needed more people in the team and could justify that requirement, you should have stood your ground on it. No overtimes, no extra work, no nothing. You do your 8 hours and go home. If the project starts going south - hooray for you, as it is the red flag for mgmt that the current team configuration is not working out. That they need more people, just like you said. Only then would they consider those expenses - to keep the project, their money maker, alive.

    Keep this in mind in your next job. Oh, and if you feel that this newbie is to be your replacement, update your resume, teach him all you can and leave. Or wait for them to let go of you [if you are eligible to some compensations if they fire you]. Or maybe get some rest before going to a new place... Get your nuts and bolts back in order so you wouldn't go crazy/burn out :)

    stand your ground mate. You are the specialist. Not them you know better.
  • 5
    @magicMirror I'd love to do it, but from 1st world country where I'm to 2nd world country company probably outsourcing to 3rd world country software house, it will be a huge loss of salary
  • 0
    You cry like a little girl
  • 4
    I recommend ending it. It just doesn't sound like it's worth it anymore.
    Fire you?! Quit! No notice, just go. Have a nice vacation, a good think on things, and then move on.
    Playing a zero sum game is never worth it.
    Also, it kind of sounds to me that after you share your knowledge with your new "helper" he is poised to be your replacement. Be very carefull what and how much you share.
    Good luck!
  • 8
    @netikras how can you be so sure that he brought it against himself?

    i mean, maybe that's a valid comment for someone.

    but we barely know the guy and the circumstances he worked in, or his personality.

    reality is complex.

    also, saying "you brought it against yourself" considering the tone of op is like beating a man when he's down.
  • 6
    Sometimes to make money we have to do unpleasant things.

    Afterwards, just remember how much it cost you, and look after your nest egg.

    Try to get the best deal for yourself that you can, and if things come to an end, it is just another chapter in your life.

    Perhaps the next one will be better.

    Or just more of the same. :-)

    Maybe you have collected some wisdom you can use to do things differently next time, or perhaps not different, just you worry less and enjoy the ride more without worrying so much.

    It isn't easy for sure.

    But keep a level head, and you can come out of it with something.
  • 4
    make them dependent on you (by making the code unmaintainable for everyone but you)
    ask for a raise every now and then.
  • 11
    @jesustricks I'm not beating anyone.

    Op has mentioned he was working extra hours to keep the project alive. Read my reasoning again - that should answer your question.

    Personality issues or not, it does not change the facts.

    I am appologise if my comment came out insulting or "beating". I am a straightforward person and I won't do any tip-toeing around.

    Mistakes lead to undesired outcomes. I can only hope op is willing to learn from his mistakes. @deviloper, your drum is still beating. Keep going. Learn, adapt, grow. I know it sounds stupid at first, but I'm beginning to believe that all the bad things happening to us bring new experiences and new oppurtunities. Ditching your comfort zone is a good thing. It's a progress.

    Feel free to downvote my comments/posts if you feel fit.

    P.S. I've seen people do the very same mistake far too many times. Families fall apart, people burn out, as a result these poor souls get fired bcz they are no longer effective. All that because they could not maintain a healthy work-life balance, they were saving mgmt's $$ by working harder/longer, they were masking all the project mgmt problems to make mgmt happy, to look like everything's fine while making new tech debts daily. If you do this, your project is doomed to fail. If you do this, you have no respect to yourself nor to your coleagues. Think about it before commenting further.
  • 6
    @netikras don't be sorry, honesty is a good things, it's the thing I asked and sorely missed from my colleagues all these years. I almost knew all what you say myself.

    The sense of responsibility and ownership for something a created myself was too strong to let me set conditions and let the company go astray. Also loyalty to people I brought in and trained myself. I always felt I couldn't fail them, and there lies the trap.

    That emotional attachment it's the biggest mistake in the end, and so in that sense, yes, I brought it to myself.

    You also have no idea (or do you?) of how many sharks hang around CEO, CFO, investors & Co.. My conditions, my job, my position were and are constantly put under scrutiny and not for the right reasons.
    I have all the responsibility but no authority whatsoever.

    So, yes, standing the ground for me is the most difficult but more valuable skill in this moment.
    Thanks for your time in answering.
  • 5
    @jesustricks yes reality is complex. yes the tone is is like beating a man when he's down. But intellectual honesty it's something so valuable for me. And probably I dare to say for many developers.
    I appreciate @netikras comment as well as yours more empathic contribution.

    Both kind of attitudes are valuable.
    Thanks
  • 3
    @kleopi I actually found that the new microservices trend, throwing in the mix a lot of different technologies, it's exactly the best strategy. Like divide and conquer.

    They will need to hire a whole company to understand the mess I created.

    I will dedicate myself to create new problems for them to solve.
  • 2
    @netikras I commented further without reading this your new comment first. I couldn't agree more
  • 3
    Try to get a job somewhere else without telling them. This is FUCKED UP. this is a developer's worst dream.
  • 2
    In your case I read once an approach that might work without preaching for insane growth.

    Periodic focused growth:
    - Periodic, as repeating time periods, in a more or less dynamic, in length, loop
    - Focused, as most of the business resources are dedicated to a certain growth metric(development/maintenance/marketing/discovery/R&D/HR/etc.) in a proportional way(ex. 66% to main metric, 33% to other metrics)

    By this way you don't have to multitask as much and you can follow a path that's more bearable when, from what I got, the people around("coworkers/investors") you aren't that much helpful.

    Tell me I'm saying rubbish.

    Out of curiosity, what's your ideal partnening goal?
  • 1
    @h4xx3r wow. that's a very professional why of saying things. That's very good communication.

    It sounds also a very good idea. I can relate to them, maybe I even implemented it. sort of.

    Most of time frustration is such because can't be expressed. I'm so much focused on tech problems that communication and management training and skills suffer.
  • 1
    @h4xx3r My partnering goal?
    The board is not interested in technology at all nor in developing inside knowledge. Just marketing and consulting. Even if we boast a very technical product.
    Then I would outsource everything to a company with real Agile methodology. TDD. Short dev cycle, total transparence toward us. Dedicated, accountable team, managed remotely. Shared responsibility. Priorities above all, above vanity development, and above competitors envy.

    I do believe in Agile methodologies even if there is much buzzword and a kind of "religion" feeling and a lot of (too) good intentions.

    I want to be involved with the partner from the technical point of view. Not ruling the partner, just involved as part of an (external) team.

    Maybe I don't have much skills with that. I mostly had bad experience with outsourcing. Maybe there is another way of saying it.

    Maybe I'm facing the transition from pure technical guy to Management role.
  • 3
    @deviloper
    Dont feel about this... is something that life just throw at u at some point of time..

    Its just amazing what u have built and that u maintained it all alone for all this time.

    I think its simple : TELL THEM what u think and u feel inside ur heart.. and just dont look back anymore.

    Remember that they need u always and they dont want to lose their money too !
  • 2
    @deviloper (1st reply)
    Heh the irony 😅, here I'm a consultant titled junior meanwhile working at an office of a group bank(client) building office systems mostly alone(with outside collaboration mostly for infrastructure syncronization and analysis of business requirements)

    Up to you to adapt ideas to your needs, I'm happy being helpful.

    That's the first thing to overcome, repression of frustration is toxic, even at the biologic side. But your way is understandable, you care and do react in this way repressive way to keep the care(or enough of it)(maybe), here I can only suggest to detach care from freedom of expression, put your courage out and tell your ideas without thinking so much about others feelings, because honesty comes at a price many times.
  • 0
    @deviloper Sounds like your share should be worth enough to live like a king in a 3rd world country.
    Maybe start a new venture with investors that are more to your taste?
  • 0
    @magicMirror gosh. I just need courage for that. take the risk. some days cant' think anything else than that...
  • 4
    @deviloper 10 years is a long time. Take some time off, and get ready for the next thing.
  • 0
    @deviloper (part 1 reply 2)
    By what you want I agree that from your 2nd-wc(world country) targeting a 3rd-wc for growth isn't meaningful if you care to continue to succede the way you've been doing up to now, so sticking with 2nd-wc or 1st-wc for growth makes more sense.
    From this perspective I can suggest to create a cheap advertisement campaign, principally made of:
    1) Well curated/detailed/looking 1 webpage explaining all that you're looking-for for partnening.
    2) Research and respectfully(by this I mean to study a little bit the potential partnening business and approach them by recognizing why you think they might fit for partnening to the *link to (1)*) promote your endeavour.
    3) Mind the sharks, even if you find some compelling partner, keep the eyes open and healthy sharp critique mind, because you reached them from their self description.
  • 1
    @deviloper (part 2 reply 2)
    I do like Agile too, but be aware that most of the businesses advertising that they follow the Agile principles should be judged with a grain of salt, because many times it's their interpretation of Agile and not what you would expect(and this applies to any wc).
    So be careful.

    Why transition? Evolution with both things as background is more likely. As long as you're enjoying/find-interesting your management endeavour u_u
  • 1
    @h4xx3r and how would you feel when, after doing something like that, presenting a list of candidates, reasons why, setting up appointments etc, and you did that because they told you that was part of your job, the board just bring in their partner without even caring about you, they will even grant for free money for two months to pay that partner.

    I fighted 6 months to launch a 2K $ miniproject. I was told we didn't have any money.

    Maybe I misunderstood my role in the company.
    I'm just a cofounder, and cto with shares on a paper that I can use to clean my ass clean. No, wait, clean other people asses.

    And I don't want to be biased about their candidate. They all look good. Company slides, powerpoint, portfolio etc.
    I'll be able to set conditions on this company? I believe not.
    And the worst thing is that my brain instinct is to be friendly with them. I can learn. They can help.
    My heart instinct want to start something new with them.
    But my gut instinct it's like...shitting.
  • 1
    Whatever's going to happen, I'm with you man.
  • 3
    @deviloper

    > the board just bring in their partner without

    > even caring about you

    Sadly I hear this a lot.

    Is one of the reasons to avoid investors who get a stake in your company, because it is common place for them to push you out and eventually gain control.

    From what I understand it is generally because they want to make short term money and cash out in 5 years kind of thing.

    A friend of mine makes a living from doing that all the time, but at least he is upfront about being a complete bastard !
  • 2
    @deviloper
    If they(board members) outnumber you(>2) then just give them a deadline upon which you'll present you judgement about their choice|s.

    By being a board member you should always have the ability to demand a fixed amount of time to answer their propositions concretely.

    And in this time frame what you normally do is to actually investigate||judge (both the board reasons||assumptions and their proposition||s) and if they are making a mistake(by what you say, on some front they're already doing(like the free money ðŸĪŠ argument)), write down concise and strong reasons(also, if possible, with statistics||prospects||defects(such as old||current unsatisfied clients of this proposed partners)).

    It can be a dirty job and your voice should be reassuring about your findings, otherwise it's hard to make your voice matter.

    Stop with the instincts(3 times), they may be helpful but not all the time, if of any alternative you could start with your will and cold, detached reasoning. ;)
  • 4
    As an acting CTO in multiple startups this is my nightmare.

    What I do differently is sometimes I just say no-go for things I know will spiral out of control.

    As a CXO, you're required to push back against the management from making stupid mistakes with technology. Sometimes that means eating shit and protecting your developers from idiotic business owners
  • 3
    @deviloper you could threaten to resign you know. If the business has only you and assuming they depend on tech, they'll atleast be forced to give you a huge raise.
  • 3
    I was in this position a few weeks back. I ended up quitting. Years of investment on my part down the drain.
  • 1
    I wish I was CTO maybe I would at least gotten paid better but yes I work at a big back and my last team felt similar.

    Cleaned up a lot of shit and basically owned these production apps that I took over from like a team of 4 devs but then manager sort of tossed me away. (Probably why they left but I don't know that when I joined).

    So I sorta quit... Used the health card to basically initiate a mandatory internal transfer cuz I couldn't find a job elsewhere...

    And I think now I have a reputation of bring those guys that can do anything... Including cleaning up other ppls fuckups in production..... :(
  • 1
    @kleopi No don't be that guy please. @deviloper
  • 2
    Hey, really sorry that after half a lifetime of disappointment and under-appreciation, they decided to 'help' this way.

    I can't speak to their intent, but you know who you are, don't allow yourself to feel dismissed or invalidated by your perception of events. Even if they colluded to bring in a Rodeo Clown to code for a few months.

    Ultimately you have thrown thousands of hours at this beast, and have hard-won, intimate knowledge of all the shortcomings, antipatterns, shitty hotfixes business forced you to push, etc.

    This could be an amazing opportunity. As co-founder and CTO, I would assume you're invited to planning and the other non-technical buzzword-laden meetings they hold where these things are tabled.

    On-board the new talent, focus on the bigger picture, smoke a spliff and be the damn CTO. Nobody knows the in's and out's like you do. Nobody knows better what needs to change. It could be a great opportunity for new challenges.

    Or not, but I trust you'll know.

    Take Care :)
  • 0
    @justinlavelle "Rodeo Clown" ahahahahah.
    It will be great for "cowboy coding".
    I really need to have a good laugh.
    Thanks.

    great motivational speech by the way.
  • 1
    @deviloper Anytime buddy :)
  • 2
    The first company is a bitch!! Before learning how to play I got fucked a couple of times.

    But, if you have shares what rights/obligations do they have.

    You can probably do a cash-out. And if you are unhappy, do a cash-out!! No job is worth a depression man!!!

    Then learn from it. I always see before at creation of a company how much will they need to pay me to get out and on what kind of board decisions I have veto rights. They don't like it: go search for someone else!
  • 0
    So yesterday we had a big meeting because the designer had it’s doubt about the approach of the developers. We ended that meeting with the conclusion we don’t have enough knowledge and need investigation to reach a conclusion about the new approach tuesday.

    Today in the daily standup we decided to go and create tickets and stories. Wtf we havent even decided on the approache yet????
  • 1
    It seems like they want you out of the way and see you as the block, offer to resign in return for a large amount of money and have a holiday and dream up your next big project.
  • 2
    Bomb the repository, quit the company and take the project with you 😂 (how I wish that was possible sometime...)
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