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Mostly it's those who "learnt to code" and not how to design, how that magic box under their desk works and how to manage a project. Those are people that are scared ****less of change because they know they don't have neither the knowledge basis nor the ba**s to move on to something new and more appropriate.
Then there are the manglers, pardon, managers, who can't see farther than two inches after their noses and understand jack s**t about what they're managing (and Jack is out of town).
GCS d--(d+) s-/++ a C++++ U+++ P- L+@ E-- W++ N+ o+ K- w+++ O? M-- V? PS+ PE- Y+ PGP t+ 5? X R+++ tv-- b+(+++) DI+++ D++ G e++ h--- r+++ y+++* Weapons extension: ma- k++ F+2 X
It works like this (public and private sectors alike):
Long ago we spent an absolute fortune on something that was poorly conceived and planned. It went way over budget and never really did the job properly.
We had years of back and forth between development and UAT and thousands and thousands of hours were wasted.
Now, you're telling us that it could have been done much more simply and effectively without a life-time of associated technical debt. We'd like to believe you (and you may well be right!) but the pilchard who worked on the previous system told us exactly the same things back in the day and now we're never going to trust a developer again. Ever.
Sorry about that, now can you just add a little more string and sellotape to get the existing pile of garbage to do one extra little thing, please?
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain
I deal with the same thing although not at a Federal level, so I completely empathize with your situation. I've got a lot of thoughts on the subject but would rather not have them discovered by my current employer.
The good thing about it is that you are almost guaranteed that you will never be let go. We've got contractors who have been here 20+ years. From my point of view that isn't a contract, that is an employee.
Been there, done that. I worked for government contractors for 10 years and got tired of finally getting to develop something unique and fun just to have it shelved in the end due to politics. Finally, I landed a really good job with a commercial company. The development isn't cutting edge, but at least it will get used.
"When you are dead, you won't even know that you are dead. It's a pain only felt by others; same thing when you are stupid."
Ignorant - An individual without knowledge, but is willing to learn. Stupid - An individual without knowledge and is incapable of learning. Idiot - An individual without knowledge and allows social media to do the thinking for them.
seen the opposite, briefly worked with a company that regularly scored outsourced govt jobs, couple of projects I saw happen during my time (I was on neither but saw it coming)...
keeping it short: both times the company produced in highly technical terms: a complete and utter POS, everyone knew it.
(they got a steaming pile of broiled cat turds garnished with dog vomit... but because no project this 'govt' has initiated has ever failed the respective depts had no choice but to eat it and never stop smiling about it.)
For my first many years at my current employer, one of the owners who is quite bright had me produce a number of application. Also, the COO. And others.
They're so old I'm beginning to forget that they exist - but that's where they sit - unused and gathering dust (if that can be done inside a HDD).
Not to say I didn't learn anything. Each was an adventure.
The sad reality is that the same people sort of people are to be found everywhere. If some sort of environment could be found to attract them (in particular), it would be a worthwhile investment to set the place up and remove them from the actual work force.
It sounds like you may just have to do most of all the work yourself! Good luck!
My younger brother retired a few years ago from a civil service ANG desk job. After 25 years, he said he couldn't stand the boredom anymore, stating that an ordinary day required around 1-2 hours of work.
I've worked at a place like that.
The people there were programmers, but somehow not because they liked it.
We got a one hour presentation on .NET Core and Docker during work hours and one guy said "I'm not going, I really couldn't care less about, what, .NET Core? Docker? Whatever..."
It was in the same building, in his boss time (and so paid by the boss), but he simply didn't care enough to get off his ass
In my experience such workplaces are toxic.
Get out before you become like them
I worked at a place as a contractor and one of the full time programmers complained to our manager that why should I be paid half as much again as he was when I was only there for the same amount of time.
His reply was, "It's reasonable that he be paid more than you because he does five times as much work as you do in the same time period!" - which might not have been the best thing to say but he was a young, inexperienced manager - and it was true! In actuality, I was paid more than double what he was, but I wasn't going to mention that to him. It was easy to outperform him since he spent most of his day reading the newspaper (pre-internet days) and taking long "smoke-breaks". He did nothing to educate himself or learn new anything. I could never understand why he chose to be a programmer since he seemed to hate it.
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
I work now at a huge company. It's one of the biggest private companies in the nation. I fully expected a rather large and ponderous bunch of managers who rarely went out on a limb. The truth is quite the opposite. They embrace change when there is a strong likely of benefit from it. I talked them into a year+ long development project in a radically new direction and they eagerly jumped on it. They're sending me to a conference next month about it.
The curious thing is the company is very antiquated about some things on a philosophical basis. For example, all purchase orders must be submitted in paper. None of this new-fangled electronic stuff for POs. So a guy made a spreadsheet and submitting a PO now (for us) is e-mailing the spreadsheet to the appropriate person and printing it out for the piece of paper. The PO then has to be hand-entered into "the system" which is an old AS400 program with a console interface. They refuse to have a windows interface for it. That part isn't exactly philosophical - it's the result of an obstructionist curmudgeon who is the VP of IT. Neither of my bosses can stand him. Incidentally, that's how short the chain of command is - I have a direct boss, there is a division manager, and he answers to one of the company owners.
"They have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul! Damn you! Let the rabbits wear glasses! Save our brothers! Can I get an amen?"
Incidentally, that's how short the chain of command is - I have a direct boss, there is a division manager, and he answers to one of the company owners.
That's got a big something to do with how things are for you.
Government can give you nothing but what it takes from somebody else. A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you've got, including your freedom.-Ezra Taft Benson
You must accept 1 of 2 basic premises: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not alone. Either way, the implications are staggering!-Wernher von Braun
My experience has been similar, I worked at a large multinational company that wasn't afraid to pour money into research and try new ideas. I once proposed a research idea that would cost $1,000,000 and the manager that approved it said "Why not, it's got a chance oF working and it's less than 0.1% OF OUR BUDGET, SO LET'S TRY.I also worked for smaller companies that didn't have the resources to pour into much of anything, so they didn't try new things until they were commonplace in the industry.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software
If it works why fix whats not broken, you could maybe change the front end a bit and add some bootstrap...and freshen it and claim that it was lot of work rather than go and fix all the plumbing and discovery all the leaks !!!!
"Progress doesn't come from early risers – progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." Lazarus Long
It's not just government. I used to work for a multi-national US corporation. Every time (without exception) that I suggested improvements/changes/different approach etc., to people above or other departments, I received the standard "we'll take that under advisement" response. So, I stopped making suggestions. That corporation was later sold (and the buyer also later sold) and is now subsumed into another corporation. Most of the people I worked with were laid off not too long after me.
There are different ways of going about it - one of them known as the Mikado method where you make changes gradually without breaking the current codebase and as you will be adding unit tests too that's a sales pitch if ever there was one(a pretty pathetic one I admit).
It may be easier to sell that idea to management than a complete system rewrite.
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
As a former federal employee (not a contractor) and now in the private sector, I can assure you the same crap is well distributed to both locals.
At our DOE facility, some of us kept a nice skunk-works going - they even patented the concept and (and proof of concept, too). Others just collected their checks. It's no different where I am now - a couple of us like doing "great works" and making things before they're needed. Others wouldn't do their job until not doing it makes them look bad. For some reason I need to add 'they wouldn't give you the time of day unless you shoved a clock up their ass.".
Lambasting government employees is some kind of cultural norm - a generally accepted target and constant victims of political screwage.
Who you're with and how it works out? The luck of the draw. I had, log ago, coveted a job at Bell Labs - but here I am, instead.
The .NET Framework will be supported - and even receive some development - over the next 5-10 years, but the message is clear: It is at the end of the road. The requirement for backwards compatibility turned it into a beast where changes are too costly (basically the exact same problem making you want to rewrite your app).
All new development from Microsoft is focusing on .NET Core. While not as clean as I would hoped (ArrayList ported… really Microsoft?), there is a lot to like - so while it will be a somewhat painful migration for some of our legacy code, I can't say I would not have made the same move if it was me in control of the .NET landscape.
Core presents some additional iis concerns for us, and today, I consider it just half-baked. Besides that, we can't use anything newer than VS2015 until VS2017 is put on the approved software list. I started this journey with core, and had to back away.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
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