Sunday, August 27, 2006

My Last Week @ InsureWorx?

posted by John Blanco @ 9:21 PM


And so, in less than 12 hours, begin what may be my last week at InsureWorx. Here's the situation...

I am currently working on a project I will simply refer to as RFC-11. The work needs to be complete by Thursday, August 31st. The terms "drop dead date" and "finish then or not at all" have come up in regards to it. The reasoning, from what I hear, is that management is afraid that our client will bail if it's not ready by that time.

Pushy client, eh?

Anyway...there is one tiny problem. It won't be done. Not only will it not be done, it is entirely possible that it wouldn't be done by mid-September either. There are many reasons for this:

  • I was sidetracked for over 2 weeks taking over work for the second-to-last Flash developer after he quit.

  • Whilst I was finishing up that developer's work, my Java partner (Flash and Java guys work together on projects at my company) was finishing up his end of the work. When I returned to RFC-11, he was PULLED off as he was done with his work. I cannot go to him with questions now.

  • The person who has replaced this Java developer, as my contact for technical issues, has no experience with this very complicated part of the system.

  • The Java developer for RFC-11 had a week to do analysus before coming up with a design and timetable. I had 4 hours to come up with a timetable, and no time for design. This is completely due to the fact that there are no other Flash developers and I cannot be given that kind of time to do no coding. :-( (We have since re-hired Daniel as a part-time contractor.)

  • The RFC-11 kickoff, a meeting between developers and BA's, was scheduled whilst I was still working on RFC-36 and had yet to even look at the RFC-11 requirements.

  • Email to the BA takes over a week to get answered. One email took 4 weeks to be answered.

  • The area of the code that this RFC deals with is extremely complex.

  • Any and all Flash developers who have experience with this code and who could be available as a resource for me to get help -- have long since quit. There is no backup. There is no one to turn to.

  • I have never received any training on how this area of the system works. As a result, many aspects of the code reveal features that I didn't know existed previously.

  • They have just announced we are un-branching the code...before integration is complete. Any software developers out there -- can someone tell me the *point* of a branch? Isn't it to get a new featureset working BEFORE merging back? Jesus Christ.

A real sob story, eh? So, what if this code is not done by Thursday -- which it won't be? I don't know. The threats are there, but I have no idea.

To add more pressure to the situation, they have...and I'm not joking here...they have scheduled a CELEBRATION PARTY for 3 PM on Thursday. No, I'm not joking. This despite my honest appraisals that this won't be done in time.


Even if I coded at light speed the rest of the week, the turnaround time on server issues -- which would have to be repaired by someone unfamiliar with how the system works -- would take up over a week by themselves.


So, I'm preparing for the shit to hit the fan. I don't know if it will, but someone will be mad (*cough* the CEO...) and someone will have to pay.

Have I sent out resumes? Yes. Do I have contingincies? You bet your ass.

As for my future. I don't know. I'm getting thrown under a bus and this is what happens when you disregard an entire department. The Flash team never sees replacements to those who leave. The UI Design Staff (OK, one woman.) was dumped years ago, leaving us to it.

Developers no longer participate in requirements meetings. The so-called "Base Team" seldomly works on anything remotely "Base"-y. When we do, you can bet your ass it's not anything in Flash. I've done nothing but client work in the last year and a half for the team.

So we'll see where I stand in a week.


In other news, did some volunteer work for Bill Winter today. Vincen and I had a blast delivering yard signs. I played navigator while he drove and was in charge of putting signs in rocks.

Since everyone on the list is a Winter supporter, the response was generally good. The only bad, but funny as hell, experience was when we brought a sign to one supporter...

We asked her if any of her neighbors might be interested. Definitely a smart thing to do, because the more signs in an area, the more impact they have on a swing voter. She says her next door neighbor, Stewart, is a Democrat and would want one, so we grab a sign and walk over.

A woman answers the door. "Is Stewart around?" I ask. (I'm paraphrasing.) "He's eating lunch now," she replies, and then I see Stewart in the kitchen behind her and he says something inaudibly.

"Oh, that's fine. Your neighbor, Karen, said you might be interested in a Bill Winter yard sign and we were wondering if you wanted one," I say.

"I'm sorry, I don't know who that is," she replies hastily as she's slamming the door on our collective faces. :-/

Well, excuuuuuuse me. In discussing what happened later, I pointed out that I should have interrupted her before she closed the door by explaining that he is the Democratic candidate for Congress running *against* Tom Tancredo. That may have perked her interest.

Except one detail. Vincen and I were both wearing our now-defunct Jeffco Young Dem T-shirts that exclaim, in BOLD red letters, "DEMOCRAT". So, she had to have known.


Anyway, a fun day. But, it won't be a fun week. So, here's to paying bills!


Blogger cellothug said...

Your blog is finally working. Sorry about the job fiasco...keep me updated!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Marshall Collins said...

I was thinking about the lady that didn't now Bill Winter and I think the most important thing is that she doesn't come away with a bad impression of Bill Winter supporters. At some point she will know about Bill Winter and remember us and think of how that interaction went.

10:35 AM  

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