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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
_Maxxx_17-Mar-13 18:45
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
SeattleC++19-Mar-13 6:18
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Code Monkey-Man19-Mar-13 11:01
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Ashley van Gerven17-Mar-13 17:11
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Member 947588917-Mar-13 18:50
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
agolddog19-Mar-13 3:45
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
RCoate17-Mar-13 17:16
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Member 947588917-Mar-13 18:52
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Member 949925617-Mar-13 17:22
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Member 947588917-Mar-13 19:02
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
MT_17-Mar-13 19:29
memberMT_17-Mar-13 19:29 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Mycroft Holmes17-Mar-13 19:49
memberMycroft Holmes17-Mar-13 19:49 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
GuyThiebaut17-Mar-13 23:47
memberGuyThiebaut17-Mar-13 23:47 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Marc Clifton18-Mar-13 1:40
protectorMarc Clifton18-Mar-13 1:40 
I see this all the time. A few years ago I was contracted by a company to convert their Clarion application to .NET. The inhouse devs were all Clarion programmers with no knowledge of the .NET framework and no knowledge of any .NET language.

The database was non-normalized, and even worse, fields like (I'm making one up, but you get the idea) "sky_color" that obviously mean one thing had been hijacked to "season of the year" because "sky color" became obsolete and it was too nasty to go back into the Clarion code and fix it and the database, so instead of the label in app for "sky color" was changed to "season."

The business logic was smeared across Clarion client code and PL/SQL, and, for an app that was responsible for records management of local and state government services, none of the business logic that had evolved over the years was documented.

Oh, and I did mention that no one was using source control, so you could even see the evolution of the work?

And it was a huge application with hundreds of screens and tables. And that was one app, which "integrated" via the data it manipulated with other apps.

When I did an estimate (and a very optimistic one at that) of how long it would take to simply get a baseline document of "what and how" (gleaning the why was an impossible task) of the existing application, no new code, simply documenting what the current app did, I came up with a 3-5 man-year estimate. Actually, I didn't come up with the estimate, I led the senior management through the process. Quite simple actually:

Q: "So, how many forms do you have?" A: X
Q: (to devs): "So, how long do you think you need to document what this form is doing?" A: Oh, about a week for each form.
Conclusion: "So, you're telling me it will take X weeks to simply baseline this product?"

Result: Shocked looks by management. But the answers came from their own employees!!! And they never bothered to ask those questions until I came along.

Then of course, was the realization that they couldn't normalize the database because of the interdependencies with other apps. So the idea of a "data bridge" was proposed, which would shuffle data automatically between the legacy DB instance and a normalized DB instance. That concept didn't even manage to taxi onto the runway, let alone take off, before...

...the whole project was killed, the company bought an upstart competitor (including their dev team) for a couple million dollars. Who knows where they are now?

So, I hear your pain. As others have posted, my advice is be up front and honest. Explain the situation in non-technical terms, time and money is usually the best approach with management, suggest options, and let them decide how they want to proceed. And be prepared that the people in charge of the failed project will be defensive, confrontational, and unsupportive. In my situation, I was faced with the cronies who originally started the company, and like sheep, they flocked together in their denial. Ultimately, besides me, one of them was sacrificed to the wolf and no longer works there.

Marc

GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
H.Brydon18-Mar-13 15:41
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Gideon A Brits18-Mar-13 21:16
memberGideon A Brits18-Mar-13 21:16 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Fran Porretto19-Mar-13 1:03
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
3n1g19-Mar-13 1:06
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
DarioDiaz19-Mar-13 1:27
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Stephen Dycus19-Mar-13 2:35
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
DarioDiaz19-Mar-13 7:18
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
EinA19-Mar-13 1:59
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Stephen Dycus19-Mar-13 2:25
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
John McKay19-Mar-13 2:30
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Gary Huck19-Mar-13 2:34
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
eremitic1919-Mar-13 4:16
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Ed Aymami19-Mar-13 4:30
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
StatementTerminator19-Mar-13 4:43
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
RafagaX19-Mar-13 6:50
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AnswerRe: Solo developer rant Pin
A_WoodApple19-Mar-13 7:36
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GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Gerry Schmitz19-Mar-13 12:42
memberGerry Schmitz19-Mar-13 12:42 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
wallkao3bei419-Mar-13 13:12
memberwallkao3bei419-Mar-13 13:12 
GeneralConsider a tool to reach mutual agreement Pin
mhamilton19-Mar-13 13:36
membermhamilton19-Mar-13 13:36 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
Fabio Franco20-Mar-13 0:35
memberFabio Franco20-Mar-13 0:35 
GeneralRe: Solo developer rant Pin
nocturns220-Mar-13 4:38
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GeneralWas the destuction of the Deathstar an inside job? Pin
Dan Neely17-Mar-13 14:29
memberDan Neely17-Mar-13 14:29 
GeneralRe: Was the destuction of the Deathstar an inside job? Pin
PIEBALDconsult17-Mar-13 16:19
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GeneralRe: Was the destuction of the Deathstar an inside job? Pin
Keith Barrow18-Mar-13 1:08
mentorKeith Barrow18-Mar-13 1:08 
GeneralAnyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Goalie3517-Mar-13 10:56
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Ravi Bhavnani17-Mar-13 11:17
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Mycroft Holmes17-Mar-13 14:01
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Pranit Kothari17-Mar-13 21:36
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Steve Wellens17-Mar-13 15:47
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Marc Clifton18-Mar-13 1:51
protectorMarc Clifton18-Mar-13 1:51 
GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
pwasser18-Mar-13 2:52
memberpwasser18-Mar-13 2:52 
GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Gary Huck19-Mar-13 2:39
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GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Ed Aymami19-Mar-13 4:43
memberEd Aymami19-Mar-13 4:43 
GeneralRe: Anyone here own their own software consulting business? Pin
Gerry Schmitz19-Mar-13 13:01
memberGerry Schmitz19-Mar-13 13:01 
GeneralWYSIWYG - Literally Pin
Edo Tzumer17-Mar-13 2:40
memberEdo Tzumer17-Mar-13 2:40 
GeneralRe: WYSIWYG - Literally Pin
GuyThiebaut17-Mar-13 3:15
memberGuyThiebaut17-Mar-13 3:15 

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