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Search - "company party"
Worst collaboration experience story?
I was not directly involved, it was a Delphi -> C# conversion of our customer returns application.
The dev manager was out to prove waterfall was the only development methodology that could make convert the monolith app to a lean, multi-tier, enterprise-worthy application.
Starting out with a team of 7 (3 devs, 2 dbas, team mgr, and the dev department mgr), they spent around 3 months designing, meetings, and more meetings. Armed with 50+ page specification Word document (not counting the countless Visio workflow diagrams and Microsoft Project timeline/ghantt charts), the team was ready to start coding.
The database design, workflow, and UI design (using Visio), was well done/thought out, but problems started on day one.
- Team mgr and Dev mgr split up the 3 devs, 1 dev wrote the database access library tier, 1 wrote the service tier, the other dev wrote the UI (I'll add this was the dev's first experience with WPF).
- Per the specification, all the layers wouldn't be integrated until all of them met the standards (unit tested, free from errors from VS's code analyzer, etc)
- By the time the devs where ready to code, the DBAs were already tasked with other projects, so the Returns app was prioritized to "when we get around to it"
Fast forward 6 months later, all the devs were 'done' coding, having very little/no communication with one another, then the integration. The service and database layers assumed different design patterns and different database relationships and the UI layer required functionality neither layers anticipated (ex. multi-users and the service maintaining some sort of state between them).
Those issues took about a month to work out, then the app began beta testing with real end users. App didn't make it 10 minutes before users gave up. Numerous UI logic errors, runtime errors, and overall app stability. Because the UI was so bad, the dev mgr brought in one of the web developers (she was pretty good at UI design). You might guess how useful someone is being dropped in on complex project , months after-the-fact and being told "Fix it!".
Couple of months of UI re-design and many other changes, the app was ready for beta testing.
In the mean time, the company hired a new customer service manager. When he saw the application, he rejected the app because he re-designed the entire returns process to be more efficient. The application UI was written to the exact step-by-step old returns process with little/no deviation.
With a tremendous amount of push-back (TL;DR), the dev mgr promised to change the app, but only after it was deployed into production (using "we can fix it later" excuse).
Still plagued with numerous bugs, the app was finally deployed. In attempts to save face, there was a company-wide party to celebrate the 'death' of the "old Delphi returns app" and the birth of the new. Cake, drinks, certificates of achievements for the devs, etc.
By the end of the project, the devs hated each other. Finger pointing, petty squabbles, out-right "FU!"s across the cube walls, etc. All the team members were re-assigned to other teams to separate them, leaving a single new hire to fix all the issues.5
Company: people are not taking holidays, let's have after work party midweek so they have to take a day off.
Employees: (next day after late night party) I'm calling in sick2
Join a company 18 months into lockdown
Get frustrated at the lack of internal discussion
Raise issue with management
Go to Christmas party
Talk to people that have been dealing with this all through lockdown
Suggest steps to improve
Get bombarded with comments from people that are way more frustrated than me, have been dealing with this way longer
Small chaotic startup that never grew up (15 years atm).
Hosts/maintains a number of apps/sites for various customers.
At some point, someone decides that a CMS would be usefull to maintain the content across all products. Forgoing all sense, reason and the very notion of "additional maintenance and dev" it is decided that one should be built in-house.
Fast forward a number of years.
Ops performs routine maintenance on prod-servers. A java-patch accidently knocks out one of the pillars a 3rd party lib the CMS uses for storing images. CMS basically burst in to flames causing a.... significant incident.
Enter yours truly to fix the mess.
Spend a few days replacing the affected 3rd party lib. Run tests on CMS in test and staging environments. Apply java-patch. All seems fine.
When speaking to frontenders and app-devs, a significant hurdle present itself:
All test/staging instances of all websites/apps/etc ALL USE PRODUCTION CMS. Hardcoded. No way around.
There is -no- way to properly test and verify the functionality of any changes made to the home-brewed CMS.
My patch did indeed work in the end.
But did the company learn anything? Did they listen to my reasoning, pleading or even anguished screams for sanity?
my brain feels like an AI. It just slices things it sees and layers them over and over again. It doesn’t even change things, leaving them pristine and intact, it doesn’t filter stuff out. I cite memes exactly, word by word, with the exact intonation, because I literally just lip syncing to that meme playing in my head as if I was watching a youtube video. Some days I’m not even conscious of my surroundings, I don’t realize where I am, what I do, I’m just caught in that process I can barely put in words. People ask me to do something for them, I do it, and they’re like “no! it’s not what I asked for, well, it is, but not in this sense!” If they asked me if I could make their company the most profitable one in their niche, my brain will probably decide to instead sink and destroy other companies there. All that unspoken, “common sense” knowledge, I don’t understand. I feel detached, as if everyone else was “in” on something, some common notion, meanwhile I’m alone with my perfect things. I feel like a perfect Haskell codebase trying to interact with biker bar gloryhole dirty equivalent of an API. I want things to be exact, I want things to be precise, I want words you say to have specific meaning that I can understand, and I’ll ask you even though it takes overcoming my anxiety and guilt for asking “stupid” questions. If you throw in some clue, my brain will generate a Vsauce video worth of elaboration on that, and I’ll just tell it to you. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t fit, I can’t have fun at party with other people, if there are more than five of them, I’ll probably cry for no apparent reason. My consciousness operates smoothly, and then it don’t, it overheats, crashes and burns, then comes the numbness and derealisation.
I’m not okay. Now more than ever, I sometimes want to just end it.5
Why do companies waste serious cash in office parties? I'm talking about those hundred-thousand-dollar extravaganzas that major tech companies seem to be addicted to.
Poll after poll finds that most employees would rather have the cash, so "kissing the collective asses of tech staff so that they won't leave" is not an explanation that holds up.
The "Roman Triumph" explanation also does not make any sense. If rich assholes want to flex their immeasurable riches, why would they invite mere mortals that do not put a lot of effort in being famous or pretty? Couldn't they invite the entire Victoria's Secret catalogue of models and the NE Patriots? Surely it would make for much more impressive photos of decadence.
The "Michael Scott" explanation also falls short. Companies spend serious cash on consultants and professional party planners, that are sure to know a lot of people. Money can and often does buy personality, so no rich asshole is ever a party dud.
Why else do they force most of their own staff into what they perceive as a "do not relax or you may get fired" loud and poorly lit meeting that takes hours to dress up for? What am I missing?5
Can someone, with senior experience in the whole software development process at a large scale company, come talk some sense into our development managers on how you properly run a development company??
The way we do things is wrong in so many ways, but I can't get trough to them, maybe someone with more authority will.
Like im talking about things like, no version control, being totally blindsighted to technical debt, no code review, telling me we shouldnt use 3rd party tools to track issues, tasks, etc.
Are there like intervention companies for this?8
update : we are at hr round baby!!!
part 1 : https://devrant.com/rants/5528056/...
part 2 (in comments) : https://devrant.com/rants/5550145/...
the tech market is crazy mann! it's one of the top indie fintech companies in our country and has a great valuation.
i totally felt that they i am crashing the interviews , and am seriously not trying to be humble. before the dsa round , i was trying to mug up how insertion sort works 🥲
now my dilemma is should i switch if i get the offer. in a summary:
- small valuation but profitable (haven't picked funding for last 3 years , so poast valuation is some double digit million $, but can easily be a unicorn company)
- very major b2b player in my country. almost all unicorns (including this fintech company) and some major MNCs are their client and they have recently acquired a few other companies of us and eu too, making them- a decent global player
- meh work : i love being a cutting edge performer in android but here we make sdks that need to support even legacy banking apps. so tech stack is a lot of verbose java and daily routine includes making very minor changes to actual code and more towards adding tests , maintaining wrapper sdks in react/cordova/unity etc, checking client side code etc.
- awesome work life balance : since work is shit and i am fast enough, i am usually working only 2-4 hours a day. i joined gym, got into shape , and have already vsited 5 places in last 6 months, and i am a guy who didn't used to have time even on sundays. here, we get mote paid leaves than what i would usually need.
- learning opportunities: not exactly from the company codebase, but they provide unlimited access to various course learning platforms like linkedin learning, udemy and others, so i joined some web dev baches and i now know decent frontend too. plus those hybrid sdks also give a light context to new things
new company :
- positives : multi billion valuation, one of the top players in fintech , have been mostly profitable ( except a few quarters)
- positive : b2c so its (hopefully) going to put me back into racing shoes with kotlin, jetpack and latest libraries.
- more $$$ for your boy :)
- negetive : they seem to be on hiring spree and am afraid to junp ship after seeing the recent coinbase layoffs. fintech is scary these days
- negetive : if they are hiring people like me, then then they are probably hiring people worse than me 😂. although thats not my concern what my main concer is how they interviewed. they have hired a 3rd party company that takes interviews of people FOR THEM! i find that extremely impolite, like they don't even wanna spare their devs to hire people they are gonna work with. i find this a toxic, robotic culture and if these are the people in there then i would have a terrible time finding some buddy engineer or some helpful senior.
- negetive : most probably a bad wlb : i worked for an year for a fast paced b2c edtech startup. no matter how old these are , b2c are always shipping new stuff and are therefore hectic. i don't like the boredom here but i would miss the free time to workout :(
so ... any thoughts about it?4