My largest project might be going to another company.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by deusexaethera, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I've bitched about it before, about the project manager and his totally back-asswards way of running the project (literally like driving by looking in the rearview mirror and trying to guess where the road is going), about not having enough (or any) design control over the product, about the fact that everybody including the customer is pissed off at the PM not just about the project but also about the way he interacts with people in general. So there's no need to go through all that again.

    Well, this morning I got an email from my boss (also the PM's boss), forwarded from the customer, mentioning a "transition" of some sort and asking for information about how we do what we do, because another company is interested to know, and it will make things much easier if our processes are compatible with theirs. This will not end well. :(

    At least I can say I did everything I knew how to do, and learned a few things I didn't know how to do, and everything I worked on came out exactly the way the customer wanted it to, at least until other people working on the project got their hands on it. And to think I got my ass busted repeatedly by my old boss for not getting along with the PM, and for taking the attitude that I make the product for the customer, not for him.

    Turns out I might've been right all along.
     
  2. glamdering

    glamdering New Member

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    what kind of work do you do?
     
  3. Limp_Brisket

    Limp_Brisket New Member

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    your boss was right
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I'm a software engineer. The company I work for does a bunch of different defense contracting stuff, but my section does mainly Google-Earth-type stuff. (pardon the idiot explanation, I didn't feel like doing a long spiel about geospatial information systems when everyone already knows what Google Earth is.)
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Which is why he doesn't work for the company anymore, and the PM he hired to run the project is loathed by all of his employees AND the customer, the PM has stumbled backwards into implementing about half of the project-tracking infrastructure that I told him up-front we were going to need over a year ago, and now we might well be losing the project.

    On the other hand, I have dozens of emails direct from the customer himself expressing his satisfaction with the work I did for him. Why does that matter? Because I knew the customer was the one paying for all this shit, and back when I was allowed to communicate with him directly I could give him exactly what he wanted and he was happy with the result. Happy customers are paying customers.

    A good boss is one who knows his job is to help his employees do what the customer wants done, not one who likes to pretend he's king of all the land. I don't care how many decisions you make, I care if you make good decisions (or at least not obviously-bad decisions) and if you don't get in my way just to prove that you can.
     
  6. glamdering

    glamdering New Member

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    you good with any OS programming? like MP3 player OS?
     
  7. Vysion

    Vysion New Member

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    More PM's should listen to the developers... or get them more involved at least.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    UPDATE: I talked to my boss and we are definitely losing the project. So, I asked about another contract his boys in the rocket-launching department are working on, and whether that's going well, and he said I had nothing to worry about because he's already figured out what I'll be working on next. He went on to say that of all the people on the project (I'm not making this up), I have the least reason to worry about being out of work because of this. That made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

    I haven't really touched embedded systems since I finished college. I keep thinking I'll buy a BASIC stamp and try to make something useful with it...but then there's that Civ 4 CD sitting in my disc drive...

    Exactly; your employees are your eyes, ears, and hands; you should at least acknowledge what they say instead of dismissing it out-of-hand like this fruit-fucker did. I don't want to kiss my own ass too much, but since my degree is in planning shit out before it gets done, you'd think he'd have listened to me twice as often as the coders -- though technically speaking, two times zero is zero, so he did follow that logic at least.
     
  9. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    wtf does that even mean? lol :greddy:

    Most MP3 players do not use an operating system... I can't think of any except maybe the archos jukeboxes that run linux. Most use proprietary firmware written for embedded DSP's... which is what I do, except for professional fiber optic testing and measurement equipment, not MP3 players.
     
  10. glamdering

    glamdering New Member

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    well if you get good with it let me know...looking into making a special device similar to that for my company
     
  11. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Get a better job. We all have to do it sometimes. You don't grow personally, or professionally, through apathy and sitting on your ass at a shit job. Quite the opposite.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I've considered it before, and I was considering it again until the recent financial mess really got going. I think I've mentioned before that I applied for other jobs this past summer, and when I talked to my boss about it, he gave me a 20% raise and my choice of projects on the spot -- as luck would have it, the project I picked got rolled into the one that's now getting canceled, but I got some good work in before this project's PM got his claws on it. More shit to show off when I do make the leap to another job, that's how I see it.

    The fact is, the job I have is actually pretty good -- it's just this one project that's been getting under my skin, but now that I know what's going to become of it, it doesn't bother me anymore. Like I said, I know the parts I did came out well.
     
  13. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    'The parts I did came out well' is not a good job. 'I worked on a great team and we accomplished amazing things' is a good job.

    You seem really complacent about things... wasn't that cool boss fired?
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The VP's position was eliminated, and him along with it. My previous boss then got to do most of the VP's work along with his own, and after a few months he quit. He made arrangements beforehand to reassign everyone under his supervision, and I was reassigned to the guy I work for now, who would be a VP but he supposedly doesn't want the title. He oversees a ton of projects all across the company, and he gives a shit about his employees too -- one of the things I've been wondering is how likely I'd be to end up working for a decent person at another company, not that I think this company is anything special, I just don't know what the odds are.

    The guy's done a lot of stuff in his career, including helping to develop satellite telecom protocols. Given the lectures he's given me about how they work, I believe him too.

    Yeah, I'm complacent about things right now. Now's not a good time to be the "new guy" at a company. And besides, as some people have pointed out, I did well what was mine to do -- not being the PM, I have no ability to control the outcome of the project overall. And because of this, I'm going to keep my job and the PM isn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  15. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    i do agree that now isn't the best time to be looking for a new job, but i also remember that you work for peanuts. i think i was making more money when i had like 3 years of experience under my belt.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    What do you consider "peanuts" at 3 years, in a post-tech-bubble world?
     
  17. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    wait... you only have 3 years experience? i keep forgetting that. i keep thinking you have been around longer than that. i was making $75k with benefits and vacation with 3 years experience in 2000. didn't you say you're making around $40k?
     
  18. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Newsflash: there's another bubble inflating RIGHT NOW. Has been for more than a year. Its just not in IT maintenance or desktop apps, its in web applications development. Your systems work should get you a job working at a web products company.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    $60k, pre-tax. About $45k, post-tax.
     
  20. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    ah, that's not bad. it's more than i was making after 4 years of experience... stupid $20k pay cut after 9/11.
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    They cut your pay because we got bombed by terrorists?
     
  22. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    nah, i moved back to NJ shortly before 9/11 and didn't rush to get a job. i started looking for a job at the end of august and when 9/11 came around this area pretty much went into hiring freeze. the only thing i was able to find was in a small company with a huge pay cut.
     
  23. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Heh...I was in college when 9/11 happened. I knew it shook things up pretty badly, but I didn't realize it had that much of an impact on the job market; I would've thought the companies that had been damaged but not destroyed would've been scrambling to hire new employees to get their operations back up to speed. I guess not.

    In retrospect, it might've been a good thing you didn't rush to find a job. You might well have ended up working in one of those towers.
     
  24. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    The point is that you don't sound like you are challenged at work at all. Which is a problem. You need to be stretched to your limits, learning new things daily.

    If at the end of each day or week you can't say, "I am now better able to handle bigger/better/more complex problems and projects," then you are dead in the water.

    At your age work should be kicking your ass, so you can make a ton of money later. Nothing you've ever said about your job indicates that it is kicking your ass.
     
  25. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I don't want to write websites. I don't want to write any kind of code, for that matter. I don't care if there's a new website tech bubble growing right now because that's not what I spent years learning how to do. I certainly don't want to get my ass kicked by some Type-A asshole who's competing against other managers to see who gets to pick the nicest prize out of the company catalog this year, and who views my time and skills as a resource to be exploited to that end. I want to talk to the customer, find out what they need, and put it down on paper in as much detail as possible. That is what I already kicked my own ass to learn how to do (a concept that the millions of coders with associate degrees don't seem capable of grasping), and if I'm as likely to do it somewhere else as here (i.e. not gonna happen), then I might as well stay here because I'm getting paid well and I already get along with the people I see every day. I want to work on projects where everyone including the manager shuts up and listens when I have something useful to contribute, and I am more than happy to do likewise.

    It took me nine months to find this job, because it was the only one I was wanted to accept. I actually stood up and walked out of an interview with SAIC because the guy kept saying "well, I think we could use your programming skills on this and that projects." No, motherfucker, you're not listening. I'm not a programmer, I'm an engineer. I figure out what needs to get done and what obstacles need to be avoided along the way, I design a consistent user interface, I write shit down and check to make sure the code is getting implemented the same way, or if the design is flawed, I talk to the programmers to find out why and fix the design so it works better.

    Do people expect architects to weld shit? No? Same concept here. I know how to write code, I know what it takes to write code, I've taken all the same classes as the programmers, but I don't write code -- not for a living anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008

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