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What's the new management's response likely to be if they have no IT team left? Hire from scratch or get in a "consultancy" to manage things in the interim? If your systems are critical then the first option will take too long. If they take the second route and choose a large-ish consultancy, you have the possibility of being kicked out, then approaching replacement consultancy with your intimate knowledge of the system. You get re-hired by the consultancy at twice the rate and carry on doing what you always did, the system and company don't implode, and management learn a valuable lesson. To "add value" you can spend between now and d-day removing any comments from the code and deleting all documentation.
Have done similar (with a variation) in the past. Part of team laid off to off-shore system support; new consultancy totally incompetent and incapable; re-hired as freelancer by end-user company (under a different manager) to "rescue" support of the system. I then charged them a monthly retainer on top of the hours I worked.
Leave. Don't worry about your coworkers -- those who want to put up with that kind of pressure will stay, the rest are already planning their exit strategy.
If you stay, and the team misses the deadline, then they will fire you and you'll then have a black mark on your employment record. Don't wait around for them to do that to your career.
If the new management has a brain at all between the lot of them, once a few people leave, they'll figure out that they are hemorrhaging their best and brightest, and will tone down their stance to preserve the rest. If they don't, then by staying you'll end up working with the losers who can't, or are not smart enough, to get new jobs elsewhere. Is that really a team you want to be working with in the future? Especially give the poor management you'll be doing it under?
Yup, time to leave.
We can program with only 1's, but if all you've got are zeros, you've got nothing.
A critical component in this that the company's primary business is not software - they just use it.
I'm practical enough to know that I've no chance to be hire directly (not for development, at least). At my age, some look to work at Walmart.
In the sense, then, of hemorrhaging the best and brightest, although that might be true in terms of pure intellectual merit, it wouldn't have any effect on day-to-day operations until the systems begin to (inevitably) collapse. They've hired lousy outside contractors before - so they've experience at wasting money on people's who's primary interest is in keeping the money flowing.
If that's their management style, then I would invest no effort at all in meeting their deadlines, because things will only get worse, and you will never be thanked by people like that for breaking your back.
Good managers are worth making an effort for; bad managers are not.
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!
I'll do the work, as always - their deadline (if they every even got one) has no effect on me. I do what I do at the rate I do it. If it goes live it's because I'm as sure as I can be that it works.
My boss brought the whole IT department together, as a family, and build loyalty. And, on top of that, he's a really productive coder (he, too, loves doing it).
There's always a possibility that some of the corporate old guard will pull them aside and point out to them that their running towards a cliff.
Things only getting worse is somewhat where I started out: if the threat seems to work they'll try to do it again. Might as well save myself the trouble of worrying about it. If, for some reason, this deadline is met and they try to do it again - I'll explain to them that it doesn't work that way unless they plant to do the coding themselves. Possibly in a less KSS manner.
By considering the work environment -
Since it's already short-hand in development, if they do any cuts the workload will likely become oppressive. A person who use to work where my wife worked had an excellent response to management: Two Hand - Eight Hours - Which do you want done? This was clerical, but addressing your first paragraph, just because management makes a demand doesn't mean it can happen.
My recent lapse in response was replacing a solution I had yesterday with a much better one that's more dynamic, flexible, and will (best of all) be easier to work with. Which is being built for the use by another (the other) developer throughout a major application which is essential to the companies operations. At the very least, neither of us would make junk for the other. Lucky management!
The current plan, however, is to go gracefully into what will become quite a comfortable (albeit not luxurious) lifestyle. If I fret over anything, it's to make sure I keep my mind exercised thoroughly and consistently.
There's quite a lot to do - will it be enough? As long as work was fun, well, it was fun.
When it's not fun anymore - well, life is precious and amazingly short.
Resumes would be the answer if I were, say, 20 years younger. Since a replacement position is going to be difficult (or impossible), aside from self employment (back to the future) then I need to wait to be let go (and thus eligible for unemployment insurance).
And, of course, it's always possible that the old guard, who still hold the real power in the company, will call the new management in and read them the Riot Act.
Sadly, it sounds like you're in a similar situation to mine. I'm 55, and finding a new position would be difficult. Secondly, if I'm laid off, I'd receive a nice severance package under the current policy. My only hope is for a sale of the business to complete (promised Any Day Now for the last couple of months ).
Although I am a driver personality, I have to agree with you. Nobody should be driven like that.
Personally, I would have a closed door meeting, and explain where you are at, and what your thought process is, like you did here.
They will argue that they wont do this again, it is just this ONE last time, to save the queen.
They always do. And many believe it.
Meanwhile, keep your resume up to date, tighten the belt a little, and be prepared to be let go, or to walk.
It certainly is no longer a career, but a job, at this point.
The whole department, or at least the developers, have been given the bullying attempt.
Certainly, at least two of us (perhaps with the tightest grip on the short hairs) could turn around and fart in their general direction as we leave.
But - a calm and reasonable meeting - with discussion rather than demands - is the way a grown up would have handled it. Remember, though, we're talking about management. The merit system for that job is based on . . . well that is a good question, isn't it?
Belt tightening? Fortunately, Mrs. Wife and myself are minimalists. We can just relax. Doing something I like to do and getting paid for it keeps me working. But - I've been considering the resume thing: if I want to do some teaching I'll need to recast it.
Which is why I suggest a sit down with management as the first option.
The problem is that management is clueless about IT and what it takes.
But regardless. The deadline will come to pass. With or without software ready.
The earlier the conversation, the better for everyone.
But there are risks.
I would bring 1-2 people in the meeting with you, not the entire team. But make sure
you can speak for the team.
Ultimately, not my place - there's a IT department director. A bunch of others. My part in this opus-magnum is, in a certain way, support: I make tools/interfaces to facilitate the implementation and make sure everything work as close to "no matter what" as possible. One or two others will be working with data, using my stuff to insert/edit/delete/display/etc. Architecture for all of this is something we (developers) come to agree on, together.
The real problem, I think, is that they need to be made to understand how much was done in the last few years and how much the company depends upon it.
They have been burned by that route, before.
There's some semi-internal Indian contractors, now - and not anyone I know is happy with their work.
They've even out-sourced 'Locally' and have gotten screwed.
However, for some people, the concept of a steep learning curve amounts to jumping off a cliff.
So these New Kids have deadlines. That's ok. Those are their deadlines. You can explain that that's just not how development/programming works; that you will, as always, do the best you can, but in the end, it will take as long as it takes.
Leave the decision of continued employment in their court.
On the other hand there is a great amount of satisfaction to be had by quitting an unsatisfying job. Such a relief.
I had a reasonable amount of savings, too, and decided to resign from an 18-year job because of some 'differences of opinion.' My budget is fine, but tighter than anticipated because of the rise of health insurance premiums.
However, because they're new kids with new powers, the second part will fall on deaf ears.
They'll do what they do just to show everyone they are doing something.
My previous employer thought they could hire someone better who could do in one year what it took me two years to do. Four years later, at times, paying two developers instead of just me, they had their new product - a few added bells and whistles, but cosmetically still using my design and probably the same under the hood, as well. And, in the interim, they needed me to create data conversion code which cost them $700 for a few hours work.
Yes, they will need to puff up and posture. But the point is to not accept or decline their demand. Simply acknowledge it, and make your position known. Don't draw lines or make demands/ultimatums. There is a burden they must bear if they decide to terminate your employment. Don't give a them a reason.
As for replacing you... It takes a long time for a new person to come in, learn the business, read all the code, and understand all the ins, outs, and nuances.
10 months now since I left my previous employer: they're asking for help. I've said I may be interested, and welcomed them to send their contractor-employment-policies and an offer. If I decide to abide by their policies, then I'll help dig them out of their hole. You can imagine the size of hole created when an original member of small team leaves.
While I completely agree with those who suggest that you need to start earnestly networking, resume-submitting, and interview-practicing, that doesn't mean your work here is done.
If I were interviewing you for a job and you told me about your current situation, I would want to hear all about what you did to resolve this situation ammicably.
These new leaders sound like fresh and idealistic newbies, but that doesn't mean that they are completely unreasonable. It's time to get into their brain and find out what motivates them. You're all part of the same team and you all want to "win"; you simply have different strategies. You need to find a tactful way of helping them to learn that their current strategy has some flaws that they might not have considered. Your job right now (if you truly value your company and the mission it stands for), is to win their hearts and earn their trust and let them know that you want THEM to succeed. THEN you will be in a position to help steer their thinking away from the precipice that they are now rapidly approaching. (And bonus points to you if you convince them that the course-recalculation was THEIR idea in the first place.)
"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It amazes me how often this stanza is appropriate.
I've read through a majority of the responses. It's interesting how bold some people's opinions can be when it is someone else's issue and their livelihoods aren't at stake.
I was in this very situation you describe in the late 1980's - some things never change.
Long story short, the company bought a competitor, fired 95% of the engineering department I worked in (about 35 hardware and software engineers) and kept a small handful (including me) AND the engineers from the purchased company.
I hung on for a few years but the constant stress of wondering and waiting for the other shoe to drop (i.e., they fire the rest of us) took its toll on me and I found another job through one of my friends who was let go. I do remember wishing they would have just fired me at the time they let all my friends go.
Fast forward to today. I'm going to be 60 in August. I've worked for the same company since 2004 without a single raise, while the executives get raises and bonuses every year; it's a public company so I get to look at the annual reports.
I've got some things out of them, like working from home, benefits, and supplying a mobile phone. These save me money. But I pay for all my infrastructure; computers, internet, books, courses... etc. much like a contractor.
I've been quietly applying and getting some interviews, but I have only once gotten past the phone interview stage. I've thoroughly downsized my resume to focus on skills and cull dates. No one has hired me. Ageism? High probability. Fact-o-life. For my salary needs they'll get 2 grads fresh and eager out of university who, with no family yet, will work long hours.
But I don't worry about it any more. I don't wring my hands. What will be will be. Even though inflation has reduced my effective salary by about 25% over the years, I suit up and show up and will continue to do so until they finally pull the plug.
I think you already know what you intend to do and you just needed to fish for ideas you hadn't considered. Fair enough.
Life's too short to stress over all the bovine excrement - something you cannot change.
Change the one thing you can, you're attitude.
Have: "A heart for any fate." Think: "Today is a good day to die." (The Klingons stole that from indigenous North American warriors, btw!)
Fear always accompanies a transition. Courage isn't the absence of fear, it's acting in the presence of it.
Best of luck to you.
"I intend to live forever - so far, so good." Steven Wright
"I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met." Also Steven Wright
"I'm addicted to placebos. I could quit, but it wouldn't matter." Steven Wright yet again.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 22-Sep-17 15:40