99
AlgoRythm
30d

One week, and it turned out to be worse than that.

I was put on a project for a COVID-19 program in America (The CARES Act). The financial team came to us on Monday morning and said they need to give away a couple thousand dollars.

No big deal. All they wanted was a single form that people could submit with some critical info. Didn't need a login/ registration flow or anything. You could have basically used Google Forms for this project.

The project landed in my lap just before lunch on Monday morning. I was a junior in a team with a senior and another junior on standby. It was going to go live the next Monday.

The scope of the project made it seem like the one week deadline wasn't too awful. We just had to send some high priority emails to get some prod servers and app keys and we were fine.

Now is the time where I pause the rant to express to you just how fine we were decidedly **not**: we were not fine.

Tuesday rolls around and what a bad Tuesday it was. It was the first of many requirement changes. There was going to need to be a review process. Instead of the team just reading submissions from the site, they needed accept and reject buttons. They needed a way to deny people for specific reasons. Meaning the employee dashboard just got a little more complicated.

Wednesday came around and yeah, we need a registration and login flow. Yikes.

Thursday came and the couple-thousand dollars turned into a tens of millions. The amount of users we expected just blew up.

Friday, and they needed a way for users to edit their submissions and re-submit if they were rejected. And we needed to send out emails for the status of their applications.

Every day, a new meeting. Every meeting, new requirements that were devastating given our timeframe.

We put in overtime. Came in on the weekend. And by Monday, we had a form that users could submit and a registration/ login flow. No reviewer dashboard. We figured we could take in user input on time and then finish the dashboard later.

Well, financial team has some qualms. They wanted a more complicated review process. They wanted roles; managers assign to assistants. Assistants review assigned items.

The deadline that we worked so hard on whizzed by without so much as a thought, much less the funeral it deserved.

Then, they wanted multiple people to review an application before it was final. Then, they needed different landing pages for a few more departments to be able to review different steps of the applications.

Ended up going live on Friday, close to a month after that faithful Monday which disrupted everything else I was working on, effective immediately.

I don't know why, but we always go live on a Friday for some reason. It must be some sort of conspiracy to force overtime out of our managers. I'm baffled.

But I worked support after the launch.

And there's a funny story about support too: we were asked to create a "submit an issue" form. Me and the other junior worked on it on a wednesday three weeks into the project. Finished it. And the next day it was scrapped and moved to another service we already had running. Poor management like that plagued the project and worked in tandem with the dynamic and ridiculous requirements to make this project hell.

Back to support.

Phone calls give me bad anxiety. But Friday, just before lunch, I was put on the support team. Sure, we have a department that makes calls and deal with users. But they can't be trained on this program: it didn't exist just a month ago, and three days ago it worked differently (the slippery requirements never stopped).

So all of Friday and then all of Saturday and all of Monday (...) I had extended panic attacks calling hundreds of people. And the team that was calling people was only two people. We had over 400 tickets in the first two days.

And fuck me, stupid me, for doing a good job. Because I was put on the call team for **another** COVID project afterwards. I knew nothing about this project. I have hated my job recently. But I'm a junior. What am I gonna say, no?

Comments
  • 13
    lol sounds like you've buildt a copy of
    https://zendesk.com/support-suite/ 😄
  • 2
    I cannot favourite this rant hard enough.
  • 3
    oh you need a login, alright want a crappy one for one week on top of the deadline or a good one for two weeks?
  • 7
    fucking hell dude you and I had to build the same application! @Stuxnet look! Algo had to do the same bs they had me do with the same shitty time constraints.

    I feel your pain man. I managed to complete the application on time, but when it landed on me I panicked because I already had my entire team working on different things. And I had to take care of the entire thing by myself. Was thrown at me on a Thursday and out of panic I stayed up the entire night just setting up the entire architecture of the app. By Tuesday I had it done complete with an admin interface for these fuckers and EVEN THEN they still continue to come to me to do shit for them instead of just doing it themselves.

    We owe each other a beer man, or whatever you like drinking!
  • 9
    This is a worth read rant for me, and it's my first rant to read.

    Anyways, the funny thing about development is that whenever we are done with the task there is always, ALWAYS new task followed. Sometimes in the middle of the development.

    I feel you bro :(

    PS: New here, need some ++ to create my avatar. CHEERS!
  • 1
    Sheesh... That sucks dude.

    Changing scope without changing timeline is really bad project management.

    Be careful out there, and don't let them take your soul!
  • 2
    Back in the days there was the waterfall model: define requirements, start building, deliver in the (far) future. Nowadays there's agile: improvise, adapt, overcome the continuous stream of requirement changes, dependencies and developments.

    But this... this rant tells the story of an agile waterfall 🤯

    'Here's all the requirements, delivered to you in just 5 days. Also, it must be finished on Monday.'

    Thanks for sharing your story/stories!
  • 0
    @eeee old people who don't understand newer technologies and paradigms and try to mix and match things without fully understanding what the fuck they are doing.
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