||[Aug. 17th, 2007|05:23 pm]
last updated 48 weeks ago. maybe i should wait for a full year to pass. nah, i'm feeling a little ranty.|
i'm working on a new(ish to me) project at work. we are implementing a sharing database thingy for local law enforcement agencies who want to big brother a little harder and catch the crooks. the idea is basically to exchange data nationwide using the federal government as a facilitator. its fun an interesting work and i know i building up skills that i can use in the future.
of course, i can always find something to bitch about.
one thing that bothers me: why are all these people putting in 60 hour weeks? i mean, don't get me wrong, i like the work and its interesting, but i don't have any desire to burn the midnight oil for someone else's profit margin. actually, this is part of a larger problem i have with the entire way that most software projects i have been involved with have operated: bitches don't (maybe can't?) plan well.
my company has a strict policy: "no more than 80 hours per two week period are reportable on your timecard." this means, if you are a lowly schmuck working 60 hours per week, it will never be known by the muckity-mucks in the head office because you can't report it. they aren't watching your back, seeing how well your silly ass martyrs itself for the bottom line, they are at home watching their tivos. sure, your extra back breaking effort may help get the project in on time and on budget, but get this: if you work all that extra time for no pay and finish your work on time, they will never realize that the planning effort was horribly underestimated. all the higher ups will see is a project that they planned came in on time. they are only charging the contract for your 80 hours per two weeks, and the cycle continues. the estimation process gradually becomes more and more skewed because people are working for no money.
if you are a real mover and shaker within the company *maybe* (MAYBE) i can understand putting in all this extra time: you might get a big promotion and a corner office if you are a real "team play". but in all honesty, these people just seem to be letting themselves get abused for the sake of the company, not because they are particularly ambitious. i often feel that i am the most ambitious among them (and i'm NOT very ambitious) and i will be damned if i sacrifice my life for the sake of a poorly planned development effort just to see the smile on my bosses' faces that might signal a few more dollars in the future.
this has bothered me continuously for the past couple months. a woman i work with has said that her husband is making snide remarks about how unavailable she is and i am sure her kids are wondering why their mother is acting like a nutcase.
and another thing, why are people who are working back breaking hours not interested in improving their efficiency. this is another thing that just doesn't make sense to me. as i watched this same poor woman mouse up to the menu bar, click edit and select copy all i could think was "who doesnt use control-c? wtf?". i mention this to her and she replies that her kids tell her the same thing but "i have been doing this for so many years and i'm not going to change now"
LADY, YOU ARE A FUCKING SOFTWARE DEVELOPER. YOUR WHOLE JOB IS TO MAKE THE WORLD MORE EFFICIENT THROUGH COMPUTERS. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO KEEP A CURRENT SKILL SET TO MAINTAIN COMPETITIVENESS. IF YOU ARE TOO SET IN YOUR WAYS TO LEARN TO FUCKING CUT-AND-PASTE WITH KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS, HANG IT UP NOW.
she is a nice woman. i really like her. she is funny and kind and sweet. i feel sorry for what she puts herself through for the sake of this project. but DEAR GOD LRN2KEYBOARD!!
this ultimately means that i will most likely be looking into becoming a contractor at some point in the not-too-terribly distant future. maybe i should make a goal....goals are for ambitious types and, as i said earlier, i'm not very ambitious.