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Thread: what to do

  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard xyuri's Avatar
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    what to do

    Sorry if this is too specific for the General Chat forum, but I do not see where else it fits.

    I have just started my first programming job and have stepped into a seriously messy situation. I work for a manager who has no previous management skills, has unrealistic demands, and who has no idea where we are headed. The project is huge, its a web application which consists of five seperate projects. My manager started it off himself and has created a serious mess of it. Basic building blocks (in html) such as <h1> and <p> have been overwritten like such ...

    Code:
    
    body, div, p, h1, h2, h3, h4, table
    {
    margin:0;
    padding:0;
    border:none;
    }
    
    I asked him "why did he do this" ... his response .... "why not?"

    For simple hyperlinks that are never going to change, he has put asp.net hyperlinks, which are linked to a skin file, which are linked to a style. This is serious overkill.

    The list of perversions goes on forever ...

    My question to the community is should I stick it out and get some experience from this, or jump out right now?

    Oh did I mention the project has absolutely no spec? I have already spent two weeks working on a feature which (apparently) the client now wants done completely differently.

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    If the money is good, you might want to try your best to add some magic to the project, and let them know what you feel is needed get started on the right path.

    Often what I find in situations like this is the person who should be doing specs is not putting enough energy and focus into the job. One of the best remedies for this is putting them to work by asking a lot of question that you make sure get a clear answer. If they can't do this, then you can be more assured the job will not be a success.

  3. #3
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    What can I tell yuh?

    That's for you to decide on your own.



    A couple years ago I worked for someone very similar to who you described here.

    Middle-aged guy, real old-school, screw handcoding it takes too long, screw Dreamweaver it's too expensive - use Microsoft Frontpage, screw Firefox most people use IE, screw Mac-users most people own PC's, screw CSS (he called it "CS") it takes too much time, screw designing I bought tonnes of templates to re-sell.

    Not a fun place for a Web 2.0 developer like myself, but here's the thing... he'd go on to make hordes of money doing things that way and still has more than a handful of uber cash-cow corporate clients.

    The way he had of working worked for him. He produced websites very very fast, "quick and dirty" was his favourite phrase, and added to that this man could sell ice to an Eskimo.

    I believe this is true of your manager too. Whatever weird ways he has of doing things works in his system. There's a reason for most of it, I'm sure. A method to the madness if you will.



    What's the lesson here?

    No lession.

    Just telling you what happened to me.

    You'd have to decide for yourself if you want to stick around and learn things from a unique perspective, or if you want to quit and work for more "modern" people. Maybe the unique perspective will help you. Maybe it won't.

    Me? I quit, eventually going on to work for a company that makes casino websites. And guess what?... I'm eager to leave again!

    Life goes on no matter which way you choose. Maybe you'd go on to find a dream-job. Maybe you'd leave the frying-pan for the fire. You really have no way of knowing, so I suggest you screw logic and go with whatever feels right.

    Life's too long to be un-happy.




    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

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    SitePoint Wizard xyuri's Avatar
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    It feels good to know that other people have been in a similar situation.

    To set the image of my situation ... my boss is one of four owners (partners?) of this company ... his father is one of the big guys here ... so he basically gets away with murder, doesnt do ANY work when he is here, just likes to pull the strings. Oh and the project isnt even for the company, its one of my boss's little pet projects which (for some reason) the company is funding. I'm going to find somewhere more sane and use this place for experience for the time being

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    Someday when you will start your own business, you may have to work with clients of similar nature or if you change your job, there is no guarantee that your new manager will be any better. So, I recommend that you stick around for a while.

    The whole idea is that you should help your manager see your point of view without patronizing him. Get some experience from this and try not to sound too irritated when you talk to this guy.
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  6. #6
    Into another Dimension liam_uk7's Avatar
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    The chances are, with something like this. If something goes wrong, you will get the blame.

    If you can handle that knowing that it probably wasn't your fault, but eventually end up just agreeing it was your fault just to shut them up then stick at it, especially if the money is good.

    But the truth is you're doing them a HUGE favour which you don't need to do or put up with. I know as a designer/developer we all have a certain responsibility to put people like this straight, and try to do your best. But there really is no telling some people. It sounds to me that they are not willing to listen, which only means you will end up having a lot of pressure piled on you, especially if there is a deadline.

    I think time is important in this case, do you feel you have been given enough time to do the project?

    Overall though it's whether you think you can handle some added pressure and grief for the moment. Good luck!
    Function - Great Design Meets Great Functionality

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xyuri View Post
    Basic building blocks (in html) such as <h1> and <p> have been overwritten like such ...
    While your situation as a whole would be quite troubling, I'm not sure I agree with not 'resetting' the basic page elements' styles. I find that I can achieve much better consistency across browsers and versions when I explicitly reset the styles and define them myself. Different browsers apply different defaults...padding, font-size, etc to different elements. Resetting them first allows you to begin with the most consistent canvas to begin your design.

    Should you split or stick it out? Well, there are definitely arguments for following either path. If you are aware that the current management style is lacking and can remain conscious of that, the lessons learned can be tremendous and long lasting. Some of the best teachings are learning what NOT to do.

    That's my $0.02 (for what it's worth)...

    Carl

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    SitePoint Wizard xyuri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotNetStuff View Post
    While your situation as a whole would be quite troubling, I'm not sure I agree with not 'resetting' the basic page elements' styles. I find that I can achieve much better consistency across browsers and versions when I explicitly reset the styles and define them myself. Different browsers apply different defaults...padding, font-size, etc to different elements. Resetting them first allows you to begin with the most consistent canvas to begin your design.

    Should you split or stick it out? Well, there are definitely arguments for following either path. If you are aware that the current management style is lacking and can remain conscious of that, the lessons learned can be tremendous and long lasting. Some of the best teachings are learning what NOT to do.

    That's my $0.02 (for what it's worth)...

    Carl
    Most valuble advice so far. Thank you.

    I would also like to share one of his many sayings: "and this is the tricky bit...". Basically it means that what we are doing is completely illogical and stupid, but we (me) are doing it anyways. He basically says that the whole thing is a mess, but we are going to strugle through it. Anyways ...

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot raymo's Avatar
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    Sounds like he's a bit of a hack, and has little or no interest in doing things right.

    It's difficult, but I would try to enlighten him.

    If he doesn't come 'round, I'd thank him for the opportunity and respectfully say goodbye. You don't want someone's bad habits rubbing off on you or holding you back.
    ride it like it's stolen


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