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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
Honestly, I think this one is yet to come for me.
I've had a few bad experiences, but the worst ones are the ones where I couldn't find the time or brain to get some work done properly and therefore did bare minimum, so I basically was driven to shame because my teammates did almost everything.
Second to that, are times where I had to go through drama because teammates were absolutely incompetent or power hungry or inflexible.
Otherwise, it's "live and let die".
Note: I use "teammate" in general sense, equaling "coworker", "colleague", "the guy who's supposed to give me details or access" and "those in on the project" in this rant.3
Worst collab was in bootcamp. Group projects always suck because there’s always someone not pulling their weight. In my case it felt like everyone was terrible. My only regret was not putting a specific person on my “don’t want to collab” list when groups were being assigned. That probably would have saved me from so much stress.
One person in my group didn’t know how to start up the project…two weeks into us working on it. She even had the privilege of having an outside mentor. Mentor didn’t know how to work the project either—but let’s be real, that’s not the mentor’s responsibility. She forgot she needed to run npm install. We were six months into this bootcamp and she forgot one of the simplest commands.
Another person was just a follower and couldn’t think for himself. He was so faithful to another teammate’s choices and direction that I wondered if they were screwing each other. Other teammate could be absolutely (and destructively) wrong and he would defend her as “well she’s taking initiative and showing leadership.” It wasn’t leadership, it was bullying. They weren’t dating/screwing, but I did suspect he liked to be controlled/dominated by “strong”women.
The “strong” woman teammate is someone I suspect of being the spawn of Satan. You were only useful to her if you agreed with her or could help her. If you gave her any sort of pushback, she’d turn on you. I think she wanted me to be both her parent and her scapegoat for the sketchy things she wanted to do. She pulled a lot of bullshit and tried to blame everything on me. Seriously, she would invest a lot of time in stupid things like getting me to agree to use bitmoji for team pics; I just wanted to check with the bootcamp first because they might have an unwritten rule about using your real face for presentations so guests know who you are. I had to get the bootcamp staff to support me because she was out of control. She tried to say that I was sabotaging the group from day one. The staff explained to her how her story of me “sabotaging” the group doesn’t add up. She backed down a little but she’d still try to screw me over through the remainder of the project.
There was one dude who was alright. He was the keep your head down type. Spawn of Satan would be on his ass about being late to class and he’d just stare at her stoically. He was a husband and a dad so he was choosing how to expend his energy. I don’t like people being late either, but show some compassion and don’t snap at people.
If I saw these people again, I would not even pretend to be friends with most of them. Spawn of Satan especially: I’d take out my crucifix and send her back to hell.8
My entire bachelor's degree studies.
I did two senior projects solo because I couldn't tolerate the absolute mediocrity of my peers to be satisfied with a C+ or B "good enough!"4
During a work assignment, I had done my fair share of the assignment so I could enjoy my weekend at a party. Half way through, I find out my group hadn’t even started and didn’t know where to start so I basically spent my weekend on the booze and running to and from my laptop (in a shared room) trying to get this over the line.
So far it has been a collaboration with a shoemaker. I produced the most awful website I (never thinked I) could make… and not by my design, quite the contrary! This guy was there asking me to break rule after rule of design and would refuse suggestions and advices to follow their vision!
Pointless to say the site was down 6 months after being created.4
Year 2020 me and a group of devs decided to build our own platform for devs to talk and keep track of topics
We laid down design and how the platform was supposed to work
Then we had to decide who was working on what
I picked backend.... worked on it for 3 months and the whole 3 months i was working on it alone
Ended up doing back and front1