Mr Garnett Just wants to love his job!
ChrisLAS Mar 2nd, 2018 63 Never
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- Chris and Mike:
- How do I find a software development job that won't make me wish that I wasn't a developer?
- It's been one year and a few months since I started my first job as a software developer. My time is mostly spent on web development. Being able to bounce between several projects has helped me to keep my sanity. The hours are predictable and I always get the weekends off. I don't get bombarded with emails or phone calls. If there are useless and time-consuming meetings, I'm not aware of them. Nearly all of my time is spent on development, and from what I've heard, this is a rare luxury.
- Communication is awful. Devs like myself don't communicate directly with clients. My manager serves as an intermediary, and if the clients can't figure out the most confusing way to express the problems they're having, my manager will. I've spent many hours just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to accomplish.
- The vast majority of my time is spent wrestling with spaghetti code. Countless hours of fixing bugs that never needed to exist, bolting on awkward new features, and compensating for bad design has been exhausting. I learn very little by doing this day in and day out, and I feel that the shortcuts I take in order to make steady visible progress to appease our clients is, in some ways, causing me to become a worse developer than I was in college.
- Workflow is miserable for some projects. I often have to share a machine with other devs, which we all connect to via RDP or SSH and try not to get in each other's way. I've had to bend company policy on more than one occasion just so that I could use a debugger. There's no technological reason for any of this; someone just decided that this is how we're supposed to get our work done. The open floor plan of the office makes for a noisy work environment where I sometimes struggle to hear myself think. In spite of the nonsense, I'm expected to provide a brief daily report on accomplishments, complications, and what's coming next.
- Testing is minimal at best, and there's little or no consideration given to the security of an application (although the network infrastructure around it is probably OK). Bugs lay dormant for months or years, and it's extremely disappointing when they're revealed. Our clients spend tens of thousands of dollars on garbage. I can't be the only one who sees this, right?
- This job takes all of the enjoyment out of something I love to do, and personal projects have come to a halt because the last thing I want to do at home is more development. Nothing prevents me from leaving for another job, but I'm afraid that I'll end up in the same situation at a different company. Are there companies out there that don't make life so unnecessarily miserable? If so, how do I find one?
- Chris Garnett
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