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Search - "subcontractor"
Haven’t been on here for ages, but I felt like I needed to post this:
This is long, and it might make you cry.
A couple of months back I worked for a completely clueless dude who had somehow landed a contract for a new website for a huge company. After a while he realised that he was incapable of completing the assignment. He then hired me as a subcontractor and I deleted literally everything he had done and started from scratch. He had over promised and under explained what needed to be done to me. It took many sleepless nights to get this finished with all the amendments and I had to double my pricing because he kept changing the brief.
Even after doubling my prices I still put in way too many hours of work. At one point I had enough and just ghosted the guy as I had done what he asked, and when he submitted it to them they wanted changes. He couldn’t make the changes, so I had to. He wouldn’t pay me extra though. I decided it wasn’t worth my time.
A couple of days ago I heard from him again. He had found another subcontractor to finish the changes. He still needed a few things though, so he promised me that I would get paid after fixing those things. I looked at the few things he had listed in our KANBAN and thought it was a few easy tasks.. until I opened the project..
I had my computer set up to sync with his server because he wanted everything done live and in production. So I naturally thought I would just “sync down” everything that the other subcontractor had done.
Here is where the magic started to happen.. I started the sync and went to grab a glass of water, and it was still running when I came back. I looked at the log and saw a bunch of “node_module” files syncing - around 900 folders. Funny thing is; neither the site nor server has anything to do with node..
I disregarded this and downloaded the files in a more manual fashion to a new folder. Interestingly I could see that my SCSS folders had not been touched since I stopped working on the project.. interesting, I thought to myself..
Turns out, the other subcontractor had taken my rendered and minimised CSS file, prettified it and worked from there. This meant that the around ~1500 lines of SCSS neatly organised in around 20 files was suddenly turned into a monster of a single CSS file of no less than 17300 lines.
I tried to explain to the guy that the other subcontractor had fucked up, but he said that I should be able to fix it since I was the one that made it initially. I haven’t replied. My life is too short for this.8
My first job out of college I worked in the professional services of a dotcom. My company was a subcontractor to a major consultancy, so we worked alongside their engineers. There was one guy that only ever named his variables three letter initials of family members. If you tried changing the code he reverted them back. If that's not weird I don't know what is.2
2 years into polytechnic I got my 1st big project as a subcontractor doing Symbian. No need to tell the company I presume.
Anyways, I was brought into the project just couple weeks before holiday season started. My Symbian programming experience was just the basics from school. 1st day I was crapping my pants out of anxiety. I pretty much didn't understand anything what my project manager or teammates were telling, so I just wrote EVERYTHING down on paper and recorded all the meetings to my laptop.
My job was to implement a very big end to end SDK feature. Basically from API through Symbian OS through HAL to other OS and into its subsystem. Nice job for a beginner :/
As the holidays were starting we had just drafted out the specification (I don't know how, because I didn't understand much of what was going on) and I got a clear mission from team lead. Make a working prototype of the feature during the time everybody else was on vacation.
"No problemos, I can do it" I BS'd myself and the team lead.
First 2 weeks I just read documentation, my notes and internal coding tutorials over and over again. I produced maybe couple of lines of usable code. I stayed at the office as late as I dared without seeming to obvious that I had no clue what I was doing. After the two weeks of staying late and seeing nightmares every night I had a sudden heureka moment. Code that I was reading started to make sense. Okay, still 2 weeks more until my teammates come back.
Next 2 weeks were furious coding and I got better every day. I even had time to refactor some of my earlier code so that quality was consistent.
Soooo, holidays are over and my team leader and collagues are very interested with my progress. "You did very well. Much better than expected. Prototype is working with main use case implemeted. You must have quite high competence to do this so well..."
"Well...I did have to refactor some stuff, so not 10/10"
I didn't say a word of my super late nights, anxiety and total n00biness.
Pretty much finished "like a boss". After that I was on the managers wanted list and they called me to ask if I had the time work on their projects.
Fake it, crap your pants, eat your crap and turn into diamonds and then you make it.
PS. After Symbian normal C++ and almost any other language has been a breeze to learn.2
It's about a guy that knows better.
I was working as a subcontractor on a bigger system. We (subs) were not allowed to deploy code, we had to wait for contractor to deploy.
One day I got an email that my code is bugged and that my feature is not working on production. I checked it on test env, everything was fine. Then I checked if the code I wrote was deployed. It was not.
I send an email explaining that if they deployed my code it would be working. Then I got a response. There was a bug in my code.
Another email. I asked how would they know? Do they have a test on their environment that failed?
No. There is one guy that READ my code and he said it should not work, so he will not deploy it. He was not a programmer, he was a business consultant responsible for the documentation.
His issue was that I used a function that was not in a class. So if the function is not declared it's obvious it will not work. I had to explain to him in another email, that you can use object of another class inside your class and then call a function, that is not in your class. It was the last time this guy blocked my deploy.
TL;DR, I had to explain a non-dev how object composition works in order to have my code deployed. Took four emails.4
Gotta love when you have something breaking because of an interface you have to maintain for a subcontractor for some shit that never should have been subcontracted in the first place and the problem is an obscure error caused by a Microsoft product that you're only using because the other Microsoft product you were using is no longer supported. So I guess what I am saying is fuck subcontractors, fuck Microsoft, and fuck tlb files
I don't want to sound ethnocentric but is anyone else annoyed by having to correct the spelling of variable, class, table name, and other code after it was built overseas? I'm in a third round of combing consecutively deeper into the code to ferret out these misspellings so they don't go into production. Is it too much to ask that the freelancer who says he speaks and writes native English not then turn that work over to a subcontractor who clearly does not?5
So. I was pretty sure I had fixed the problem we had with compiling in Windows 10. Thing is I did it in a stopgap non-permanent way because we have to be done with it by the second week of February to support our subcontractor.
Turns out I had an older version of the framework we build on installed on my box and the newer version decided to fix their windows 10 compilation issues the right way. So we can't use our stopgap solution. So basically I look like an idiot and more important people than me have to work on the problem because I am not allowed to install anything on my box myself, our SA is already overwhelmed, and only the higher ups have the newest framework version. Good thing it's a long weekend and I have plenty of of beer and whiskey.1
I fucking hating working as a subcontractor (hopefully the right term). The interesting things are always given to locals and we just do the fucking day-to-day bugfixing shit.
And due to the fact that we are not in the same city, we are suspected to cheat on the billing just because I made some presentations for the company I'm directly working for (and for which I have an internal budget)
Just go Fuck yourself. Maybe some Indians want do the boring shit (no offense to India)
The most hours I worked in a row - more or less, going by the definition of having no time to enjoy any personal activities aside from sleeping - were about ~17h.
I specifically remember this event because of the amount of hours of pointless work that generally went into that project and there was this one time when we - not only me as a technician, but also most of the engineers - had to build hundreds of complex devices in-house to meet an important customer's deadline because we had problems with a subcontractor at that time.
We did it in time, there was pizza afterwards as well as some questionable sense of achievement, so apart from a wasted weekend and sore muscles in my hands for the next days I didn't regret it all that much. So yay, I guess.
My employer is a subcontractor on a big and rather complex project, that already is way behind schedule and over budget (as these monsters tend to be). To get back some confidence from the client our principal moved an important milestone up two weeks. Which we protested against vehemently because the projected workload was already a very tight fit for the original timeline, without any reserve to speak of left. They wouldn't listen though...
The result? The whole team has to work the next weekends to have even the slightest chance of making the earlier timeline. Which is exactly what we told them would happen when they moved the milestone.
The worst? This isn't the first time this has happened while I worked on the project 😑5
Usually this is somehow fluent what is "the worst" advice, since it rather depends on context, and contexts changes.
There is, though, one thing that was bad idea from the start, on so many angles that even now I believe it is actually " the worst " idea you can have : imagine you have a team, you have work to do, and, as usual, there are people there, and people have their goals and opinions. The worst thing you can do there is to engage with politics, either team- or company-wide.
I was specialist from Poland in German automotive branch. Cars, trucks, AI, this kind of stuff. ( It just sounds interesting, trust me )
Small company working as subcontractor.
The first thing I though is something like, why this or that person is going to tell me what to do or why is he allowed to rat me out or talk behind my back... so this guy told me this is how it is around here and you either play it or suck for everyone. So I went with it, if they want to fuck with me, I will fuck with them.
So fast it went House Of Cards kind of way and in the bad way kind of way. Instead of getting progress we were busy doing political stuff, usually law related, like finding each other misconducts, and there were no end to it. As I had most experience I with systems and stuff we were doing, outcome was pretty good for me, but after some time it escalated to such size that atmosphere was unbearable and I was so stressed and tired of this shit I left. It's miracle that management tolerated this so far. People were as toxic as nuclear waste site (or dota/lol players)
So far the conclusion is to sometimes suck it up once in a while or just clear the atmosphere as fast as possible. Otherwise you will wade in shit up to your chin for very, very long and it is not really healthy on the long run...