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Search - "agile done wrong"
Agile in practice.
I finished my story with 3 days left in our 2 week sprint.
Me: What story should I pull in next?
PM: Story <number> to add <new feature>
Me: ok, sounds good
PM: Will you finish it before our sprint ends?
Me: No, probably will take me 5-7 days.
PM: But it can't spill over, it will make our metrics look bad.
Me: I can't finish it in 3 days.
Me: Can't you just explain the spillover as us working ahead?
PM: It will look bad on our <automated-report>
Me: So don't want me to get started on <new feature>?
Me: <internally sighing> What do you want me to do?
PM: Maybe you can pair program with <Overpaid-Idiot-Programmer> to help finish their story
"when i die i want my group project members to lower me into my grave so they can let me down one last time"
Last year in College, I had two simultaneous projects. Both were semester long projects. One was for a database class an another was for a software engineering class.
As you can guess, the focus of the projects was very different. Databases we made some desktop networked chat application with a user login system and what not in Java. SE we made an app store with an approval system and admin panels and ratings and reviews and all that jazz in Meteor.js.
The DB project we had 4 total people and one of them was someone we'll call Frank. Frank was also in my SE project group. Frank disappeared for several weeks. Not in class, didn't contact us, and at one point the professors didn't know much either. As soon as we noticed it would be an issue, we talked to the professors. Just keeping them in the loop will save you a lot of trouble down the road. I'm assuming there was some medical or family emergency because the professors were very understanding with him once he started coming back to class and they had a chance to talk.
Lesson 1: If you have that guy that doesn't show up or communicate, don't be a jerk to them and communicate with your professor. Also, don't stop trying to contact the rogue partner. Maybe they'll come around sometime.
It sucked to lose 25% of our team for a project, but Frank appreciated that we didn't totally ignore him and throw him under the bus to the point that the last day of class he came up to me and said, "hey, open your book bag and bring it next to mine." He then threw a LARGE bottle of booze in there as a thank you.
Lesson 2: Treat humans as humans. Things go wrong and understanding that will get you a lot farther with people than trying to make them feel terrible about something that may have been out of their control.
Our DB project went really well. We got an A, we demoed, it worked, it was cool. The biggest problem is I was the only person that had taken a networking class so I ended up doing a large portion of the work. I wish I had taken other people's skills into account when we were deciding on a project. Especially because the only requirement was that it needed to have a minimum of 5 tables and we had to use some SQL language (aka, we couldn't use no-SQL).
The SE project had Frank and a music major who wanted to minor in CS (and then 3 other regular CS students aside from me). This assignment was make an app store using any technology you want. But, you had to use agile sprints. So we had weekly meetings with the "customer" (the TA), who would change requirements on us to keep us on our toes and tell us what they wanted done as a priority for the next meeting. Seriously, just like real life. It was so much fun trying to stay ahead of that.
So we met up and tried to decided what to use. One kid said Java because we all had it for school. The big issue is trying to make a Java web app is a pain in the ass. Seriously, there are so many better things to use. Other teams decided to use Django because they all wanted to learn Python. I suggested why not use something with a nice package system to minimize duplicating work that had already been done and tested by someone. Kid 1 didn't like that because he said in the real world you have to make your own software and not use packages. Little did he know that I had worked in SE for a few years already and knew damn well that every good project has code from somewhere else that has already solved a problem you're facing. We went with Java the first week. It failed miserably. Nobody could get the server set up on their computers. Using VCS with it required you to keep the repo outside of the where you wrote code and copy and paste changes in there. It was just a huge flop so everyone else voted to change.
Lesson 3: Be flexible. Be open to learning new things. Don't be afraid to try something new. It'll make you a better developer in the long run.
We sat down one day and worked for 4 straight hours. We finished the whole project in that time. While other teams were figuring out how to layout their homepage, we had a working user system and admin page and everything. Our TA was trying to throw us for loops by asking for crazy things and we still came through. We had tests that ran along side the application as you used it. It was friggin cool.
Lesson 4: If possible, pick the right tool for the job. Not the tool you know. Everything in CS has a purpose. If you use it for its purpose, you will save days off of a project.1
So a few days ago I shared about the conflict with my colleague on learning React. Today I was let go. Obviously I asked why they would do that and they said they feel the problem isn't even my React knowledge but the fact I don't grasp the fundamentals of OO programming.
Thing is in these 3 months there has not been a single code review. They are either going of what my lying colleague told them (they claimed he was excluded from giving feedback), or the consultants who were hired to help us. And yes, I got feedback I should improve but at the same time the assurance so long as I show improvement it'd be fine. And I was told they could see improvement. So I'm not sure what changed but suddenly there is no budget to keep me on. In any case it feels like shitty corporate bullshit.
But I can't say they are wrong. I struggle to explain simple concepts I know in words. I've worked a series of bad jobs where nobody cared how you did stuff as long as it got done. I feel I'm so behind now and so affected by bad knowledge it's even harder to fix than to learn the first time. So I'm wondering how to fix this.
I'm really gutted too because I loved this company. I was finally getting a fair wage instead of being underpaid. The people were excellent. I felt I could finally relax and feel safe at work. And now I feel betrayed. Which for someone with self esteem issues is very hard. Can't trust in myself and can't trust in others.
I'm gonna try and pick myself up in the morning, but today I feel totally shit. This wasn't how I'd expected things to go. I thought my manager had intended to talk conflicts over but instead I get the boot. And the advice to stop overselling myself. Real useful that. Like it is on me that they hired me despite my subpar interview because my CV looked good. It's a shitty excuse. In any case they're now stuck with a dev that walks out of work, throws false accusations about colleagues, and another person warned me about to not engage because nothing good ever came from it. He's gonna keep over engineering everything and make up for all the time he wastes outside of work creating a dysfunctional environment for everyone. But yeah, easier to fire the new person who does her best despite the odds. And who cautioned against over engineering because we kept missing deadlines. And who believes in refactoring when it is needed because that's how agile works. Yeah better keep someone who has no sense of work life balance and makes others miserable then claiming he's being driven out by your ignorance. And of course the consultants who throw your own people under the bus. Can't get rid of those now.7
I'm coming off a lengthy staff augmentation assignment awful enough that I feel like I need to be rehabilitated to convince myself that I even want to be a software developer.
They needed someone who does .NET. It turns out what they meant was someone to copy and paste massive amounts of code that their EA calls a "framework." Just copy and paste this entire repo, make a whole ton of tweaks that for whatever reason never make their way back into the "template," and then make a few edits for some specific functionality. And then repeat. And repeat. Over a dozen times.
The code is unbelievable. Everything is stacked into giant classes that inherit from each other. There's no dependency inversion. The classes have default constructors with a comment "for unit testing" and then the "real" code uses a different one.
It's full of projects, classes, and methods with weird names that don't do anything. The class and method names sound like they mean something but don't. So after a dozen times I tried to refactor, and the EA threw a hissy fit. Deleting dead code, reducing three levels of inheritance to a simple class, and renaming stuff to indicate what it does are all violations of "standards." I had to go back to the template and start over.
This guy actually recorded a video of himself giving developers instructions on how to copy and paste his awful code.
Then he randomly invents new "standards." A class that reads messages from a queue and processes them shouldn't process them anymore. It should read them and put them in another queue, and then we add more complication by reading from that queue. The reason? We might want to use the original queue for something else one day. I'm pretty sure rewriting working code to meet requirements no one has is as close as you can get to the opposite of Agile.
I fixed some major bugs during my refactor, and missed one the second time after I started over. So stuff actually broke in production because I took points off the board and "fixed" what worked to add back in dead code, variables that aren't used, etc.
In the process, I asked the EA how he wanted me to do this stuff, because I know that he makes up "standards" on the fly and whatever I do may or may not be what he was imagining. We had a tight deadline and I didn't really have time to guess, read his mind, get it wrong, and start over. So we scheduled an hour for him to show me what he wanted.
He said it would take fifteen minutes. He used the first fifteen insisting that he would not explain what he wanted, and besides he didn't remember how all of the code he wrote worked anyway so I would just have to spend more time studying his masterpiece and stepping through it in the debugger.
Being accountable to my team, I insisted that we needed to spend the scheduled hour on him actually explaining what he wanted. He started yelling and hung up. I had to explain to management that I could figure out how to make his "framework" work, but it would take longer and there was no guarantee that when it was done it would magically converge on whatever he was imagining. We totally blew that deadline.
When the .NET work was done, I got sucked into another part of the same project where they were writing massive 500 line SQL stored procedures that no one could understand. They would write a dozen before sending any to QA, then find out that there was a scenario or two not accounted for, and rewrite them all. And repeat. And repeat. Eventually it consisted of, one again, copying and pasting existing procedures into new ones.
At one point one dev asked me to help him test his procedure. I said sure, tell me the scenarios for which I needed to test. He didn't know. My question was the equivalent of asking, "Tell me what you think your code does," and he couldn't answer it. If the guy who wrote it doesn't know what it does right after he wrote it and you certainly can't tell by reading it, and there's dozens of these procedures, all the same but slightly different, how is anyone ever going to read them in a month or a year? What happens when someone needs to change them? What happens when someone finds another defect, and there are going to be a ton of them?
It's a nightmare. Why interview me with all sorts of questions about my dev skills if the plan is to have me copy and paste stuff and carefully avoid applying anything that I know?
The people are all nice except for their evil XEB (Xenophobe Expert Beginner) EA who has no business writing a line of code, ever, and certainly shouldn't be reviewing it.
I've tried to keep my sanity by answering stackoverflow questions once in a while and sometimes turning evil things I was forced to do into constructive blog posts to which I cannot link to preserve my anonymity. I feel like I've taken a six-month detour from software development to shovel crap. Never again. Lesson learned. Next time they're not interviewing me. I'm interviewing them. I'm a professional.9
Six people(4 engineers, 2 managers) in the room, it took fucking 45 mins for daily scrum/standup meeting. Seriously, why do you want talk about every line you wrote?
I excused myself after 35 mins.7
We use scrum in our company.
And with scrum I mean we don't have a scrum master, our senior developer is the project owner, we estimate in hours and the estimate is binding, so you are not allowed to work longer on a task than the estimate.
So yeah.. "scrum"4
Nope, definitely not going to work for that customer anymore. Fuck this shit. At least for this week.
My background: mid-30 years old, some kind of business & IT consultant / lead dev working for a mid sized CRM consulting company, with approx 15 years of experience in development and software architecture, most of the time "thinking" in C#, still learning new languages, being a cloud evangelist and team lead. We usually have customers with customers (B2B/B2C).
Personality type "campaigner" (ENFP-A).
Today the project lead of my client (a big corporation in the energy industry) told me that he still didn't order all the necessary resources for the cloud project. Just to be clear: He's on the client side. We (the architects, one internal and me) told him one month ago what we need for the beginning. Just a few things - an Azure subscription, a license for the CRM platform, and our dev tools.
And now let's guess when the project is planned to begin? Yeah, right: 1st of April. NO APRIL'S FOOL. And guess what? Next Tuesday we'll do the onboarding for the new (external) devs, and NOTHING will be ready. Yeah, just let us build stuff in our minds, and on the whiteboards, because it's an AGILE project, right? We don't need any systems and tools...
And now he sent me the questionnaires which need to be answered before any cloud service can be ordered by the corporate IT. And yes, he didn't answer a single thing, and just meant "Those are architecture questions" (they are not) and (of course) "please provide the answers until Monday morning, so we can FINALLY order the services."
Yeah, you fucktard. Of course it's MY FAULT now. Maybe I should write an email to your boss asking how we can speed things up a little bit...4
When your team wants to do daily scrum but there's only four of you and you work for different clients.1
Meeting with middle level managers.
Me - data scientist, saying data science stuff, like what accuracy we have and what problems with performance we managed to solved.
Manager 1: Ok, but is this scrum?
Manager 2: No they're using kanban.
Manager 3: That's no good. We should be using DevOps, can we make it DevOps?
So yea, another great meeting I guess..4
Please tell me something wrong with me, and whole world is working like that! It can't be right! Or could it, and I'm just one sad fuck who don't know shit?
So... We've got:
1. Jira reporting (agile style with cards and shit)
2. Task timers (via application integrated to Jira in order to count how much time we spent on a task)
3. End of the day email reporting with description of what we have done today (Jira is not enough?)
4. Daily morning meetings with a team leader to report what we're gonna do today
5. Git merge code reviews for each finished component (that lasts for hours)
6. Weekly status meetings
7. Working hours reporting with a fucking fingerprint
And on top of all of that, the developer is the one who just writes the code - team leader decides how this code is gonna look, what will be written first and what last, what libraries will be used and so on...8
Rant time of 'Derp & Co.'
Today I decided that I am going to find another job, I just can't keep with this shit.
They said that use Agile: FALSE.
• Daily (best scenario) take like 1 hour and a half.
• New task enter the sprint and "Fuck you, more task in the same time". This is something regular done.
• "Oh, dev, we need you to check this other project" I am in the middle of my sprint on this project. "But you have to fix this bug here". (3 fucking days the bloody bug) "You are late again with tasks".
• Meeting for fresh sprint: 6 BLOODY hours... nonstop
The workflow is garbage:
• SOMEONE should did all the devops shit on the first sprint, guess what? They did nothing!, guess now who is being blamed for it (not only me, but a few coworkers).
• Nothing is well designed/defined:
~ task are explained like shit
~ times measured wrongly
~ We are in the last fucking SPRINT and still doing de ER of the DataBase cause Oh, apparently no one has work before with SQL (damn you MongoDB! (Not really)) so I am doing my best, but "jezz dev, this is so hard... maybe we can do it WRONG and easy".
~ No one is capable of take responsability of their mess, they just try to push down the problems. (Remember the devops situatuion? Why is.my fault? I came at the 3 or 4 sprint and I am doing backend tasks, I know nothing about devops).
But the big prize, the last one:
• Apparently you can't send whatever you want to the boss, it has to pass a filter previously of coordinators and managers, hell yeah!
And I am an idiot too!
because I see that we can't reach our schedule and do hours on my spare time!
This is because there are a few good coworkers who probably ended with my unfinished tasks... and they are equaly fucked as me...
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am not a pro, I am not a full stack developer and still need to learn a lot, but this is just not normal, eight months like this...4
How bad it feels when it work in a place where Agile and DevOps are mostly abused buzzwords.
Forced doing "scrum" with:
- half of the team providing endless daily reports instead of focusing on the 3 questions
- a scrum master that is barely reachable
- a product owner that would not even make a decision
- a sponsor that pushes us to go faster regardless of current technical debt (it's important to look good to other sponsors!)
- doing all possible scrum ceremonies with no value added
- not even estimating stories
- not even having accurate description in stories. Most of the time not even a description.
- half of the team not understanding agile and DevOps at all
Feels so good (not). Am I the one in that boat?? ⁉️
What's the point of doing scrum if implemented that badly?? 😠7
I'm starting to feel super frustrated with my job.
Sometimes I feel like people who work for large tech companies must have it easy. My company is trying to do this digital transformation thing. Modern development practices Scrum, agile, CI/CD etc. So I was put on a team to work on a project with this new methodology. The idea was we would build the front end and interface with the core systems via service calls. Of course it didn't work out that simple and we had to add our own server side stuff but whatever. It's really hard without a point of reference for any of this stuff. We don't have established coding standards, the data we are working with is a mess, incompetent vendors, the infrastructure team supporting the environments can be such arrogant fucks when we need their help to get shit done. The team also doesn't have any members who really know the core systems well. I am the only developer on the team who is an employee of the company the rest are contractors who are in and out. Last week it was literally just me. This is my first job out of school btw I've been here a year now. I guess I just feel frustrated that I have to figure out so much on my own I don't really have many senior devs at the company I can look to. And on the team I've sorta ended up in an unofficial leadership position. Feels like a lot on my shoulders. I feel like if i could have worked for a bigger company I could learn to do a lot of things better. I feel like there's too much on me for the amount of experience I have or am I wrong ?5
My boss thinks we're "Agile" because we spend 30 minutes every day talking about what we did, what we're doing and discussing every single imaginable outcome of life.1
Reminder, include legal language in next project that says if we're using JIRA then we're using JIRA and not a thousand emails with requirements embedded in spreadsheets and PowerPoints.
Dev: [does some weird code to make test pass]
Me: this won't work. Literally the documentation says what you did won't work once we move towards our end goal architecture.
Dev: [shows middle finger and requests merge and somehow managed to get code merged]
.... One Sprint later nothing works...
Dev: [does some weird code to make test pass]
Me: no. You need to solve underlying problem.
Dev: [shows middle finger and requests merge and somehow managed to get code merged]
.... One Sprint later nothing works...
Me: please stahp
Dev: [shows middle finger and requests merge and somehow managed to get code merged]
Me: WTF man do your fucking job
Scrum Master: stahp lowering our velocity
Me: wut? 😒2
I suppose to be on leave after few hours... The team leader added five task to my sprint tasks... No wonder...
Why the hell do some teams use story points on bugs? I mean, there's a reason why they're called STORY points 😯
Sometimes a poorly planned project makes coding a lot harder especially if features and UI/UX always changes 😭
I hate surprises.
I join office after a short leave and the other guy is out with a completely new product I have no clue of. (surprise 1)
Next, he's on leave and now I'm asked to fix bugs.(surprise 2)
Just for the curious, I ended up successfully fixing them and adding 2 features.
How the fuck do I handle self-called senior developers who do not want to do testing (writing unit tests and manually testing) in an agile environment where there is dedicated tester anymore?
They behave like fresh programmers out of college only wanting to write their code and nothing more. We had a dedicated tester role but that guy left the project.
I know your code is great and that you learned about scrum a month ago. But I didn't know the scrum training had to say you don't assign yourself tasks, mark them as done and be surprised when other team members haven't done them, two minutes to five the day before a national holiday (yesterday).
Is there anyone out there who uses absolutely everything JIRA has to offer? I've worked with it since starting my career and I still find it a massive fucking overkill.
Need some advise from all you clever devs out there.
When I finished uni I worked for a year at a good company but ultimately I was bored by the topic.
I got a new job at a place that was run by a Hitler wannabee that didn't want to do anything properly including writing tests and any time I improved an area or wrote a test would take me aside to have a go so I quit after 3 months.
Getti g a new job was not that hard but being at companies for short stints was a big issue.
My new job I've been here 3 months again but the code base is a shit hole, no standardisation, no one knows anything about industry standards, no tests again, pull requests that are in name only as clearly broken areas that you comment on get ignored so you might as well not bother, fake agile where all user stories are not user stories and we just lie every sprint about what we finished, no estimates and so forth, and a code base that is such a piece of shit that to add a new feature you have to hack every time. The project only started a few months back.
For instance we were implementing permissions and roles. My team lead does the table design. I spent 4 hours trying to convince him it was not fit for purpose and now we have spent a month on this area and we can't even enforce the permissions on the backend so basically they don't exist. This is the tip of the iceberg as this shit happens constantly and the worst thing is even though I say there is a problem we just ignore it so the app will always be insecure.
None of the team knows angular or wants to learn but all our apps use angular..
These are just examples, there is a lot more problems right from agile being run by people that don't understand agile to sending database entities instead of view models to client apps, but not all as some use view models so we just duplicate all the api controllers.
Our angular apps are a huge mess now because I have to keep hacking them since the backend is wrong.
We have a huge architectural problem that will set us back 1 month as we won't be able to actually access functionality and we need to release in 3 months, their solution even understanding my point fully is to ignore it. Legit.
The worst thing is that although my team is not dumb, if you try to explain this stuff to them they either just don't understand what you are saying or don't care.
With all that said I don't think they are even aware of these issues somehow so I dont think it's on purpose, and I do like the people and company, but I have reached the point that I don't give a shit anymore if something is wrong as its just so much easier to stay silent and makes no difference anyway.
I get paid very well, it's close to home and I actually learn a lot since their skill level is so low I have to pick up the slack and do all kinds of things I've never done much of like release management or database optimisation and I like that.
Would you leave and get a new job?2