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  1. #1
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    Share your horror story

    I was curious to see if anyone here has any horror stories to share. I submited my story to the thedailywtf.com and I'm waiting for it to be posted. I thought I'd submit it here and see what people say.

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    Brian found a new web developer position in state government. It was a web developer position that would be utilizing ASP.net 2.0, MOSS 2007, and SQL server 2005. Brian realized he could move on in a few years and make some really good money. Unfortunately, his plan didn’t happen.

    Brian didn’t realize he would waste the next 10 months of his career on the project from hell. The project was to upgrade a web site that was used by students and teachers. It was going to be upgraded to MOSS. The web site was contracted out to a local web development firm. Brian would be maintaining the site, once the vendor was done.

    Brian’s boss wanted to switch to the new site, half way through the school year. This bad decision was made before Brian was hired. What made the decision even worse, is this site wouldn’t have half of the features of the new site. The rest of the features were scheduled to come out in 3 months. As you can imagine, students and teachers were not happy coming back after the Christmas break to find a completely reorganized site that didn’t have half the features of the hold site.

    The 3 months to completing the site never happened. The deadline was really unrealistic. The web development firm took this job in hope that it would get other projects from the state. The firm was in such a rush to get the project, that they never completed function requirements. There were quite a bit of debates as to whether items were in or out of scope. Brian’s boss would also bring up changes and request additional features and this lead to a lot of scope creep. The site still wasn’t completed after 6 months past the deadline.

    Brian’s job was pretty much playing PM. When he wasn’t playing PM he would spend time studying up on his technical skills for when the site was done. He also helped out adding/updating content on the site, pulling web stats, and helping out at conventions. This wasn’t very challenging and Brian kept holding out hope that he would get the chance to do technical stuff once the firm was done with the site.

    Besides the problem with project and not being challenged, Brian had problems with some of his coworkers.

    Brian had issues with the head of Information Technology within the organization. Brian wanted to create a test environment of the web site. In every basic web development book, it suggests developing in a test environment and then moving the code on the production machine. The head of IT mention he could give him some old laptops to create a test environment. The machines that Brian was offered would not be adequate for MOSS. Brian wanted to buy 2 computers. It would have been around $2,000 for both machines. The head of IT never purchased these machines. Brian realized he wouldn’t buy them because the head IT guy didn’t want to be bothered by purchasing them or helping set them up.

    Brian also had issues with his supervisor. His supervisor had no experience in managing projects. This would lead to her setting unrealistic deadlines on projects including non IT projects. It was annoying, but Brian didn’t kill himself to meet her unrealistic deadlines. His projects got done when it got done.

    Brian also had issues with his boss. His boss complained that content on the web site wasn’t up-to-date and wasn’t changing enough. Even though the job listing was for a technical position and Brian’s skill set was technical, according to her he was suppose to manage the content. Even though in the real world, most organizations usually have a person with a communications/media background maintain content on the site.
    Brian’s boss was also best friends with a marketing consultant. This marketing consultant only had one other customer besides Brian’s boss. The consultant would offer up advice like making the main site into a wiki. Yup the main site, this would mean any kid could change the content on our site about the organization.

    After 10 months, Brian realized if he stayed any longer he would not grow professionally and he decided to leave. In the first month at his new job, he did more technical work than he did in 10 months and the previous job.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru alecrust's Avatar
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    23 "Brian"s in that post, pretty impressive!
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Mitochondrion's Avatar
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    A design firm who was interviewing me for a web design position (a respectable firm) told me their compensation was just 10-12 dollars per hour but it also included stock options. The guy said the stocks would make me rich...eventually. That was at the height of the dotcom stock bubble in 1999 when a lot of dotcoms were issuing stock. It was a well-known design firm in Chicago; if I could remember their name I'd tell you. They had a beautiful facility. Those guys later went out of business. Lame company with lame promises of stock wealth...not really a horror story but a story of a lame company. A lot of people fell for that in the 1990s. When I later accepted a position it was because I thought the company was sincere with me-as opposed to the clown who tried to woo me with promises to make me wealthy with his stocks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by alecrust View Post
    23 "Brian"s in that post, pretty impressive!

    Well that is why I'm a programmer and not a writer.

    I also wrote my story in 3rd person because that is how I submitted it to the thedailywtf.com.


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