×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Do You Like Your Job?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the employee-satisfaction dept.

The Almighty Buck 1174

G-shock asks: "I've worked for the government (NASA), large public companies, and small startups as a software engineer. They all have something in common. It seems like management at this company is just winging it. I find myself putting all my energy, both mental and emotional, into a project only to be disappointed by decisions made by management. I really feel like management at my current employer is disconnected from what is actually going on. They manage a project, but not the people. They also seem to lack any real vision. Direction is constantly changing and proper time is not given to engineer these changes correctly. This leads to mandated quick and dirty solutions that end up being maintained with great pain for long periods of time. All this leads to me feeling cynical about the work I'm doing. What I want to know is, how can I feel good about the work I'm doing if I don't have confidence in my management? How many of you are happy with your management? Why? Why not? What can I do about this? Thanks in advance for your insight." Considering that this seems to be a common problem in technology companies, and seeing as we have been producing software for basically half a century, do you think that managing software projects is a different beast than the management of anything else? How many of you have had this problem in your career and what did you do to adjust?

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

1174 comments

heh (5, Insightful)

r00tarded (553054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3041997)

i just got fired monday. they wanted a mission critical piece of an application. it was a protocol gateway, and one of the protocols was totally undocumented. i told them six weeks at best. they told me three i said no, they said you're fired.
so, yes, somtimes they are crazy, and *you* need to decide if you want to be absorbed into the madness or retain your sanity. and the outcome aint always pretty. you got to decide what its worth.

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042067)

which protocol?

Re:heh (1)

r00tarded (553054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042121)

totally unique. its a legacy app using fixed width files to comunicate to networked applications. it has (had) to be reverse engineered. it was speaking to another unique protocol that had yet to be used in production. like i said, six weeks was tight.

Re:heh (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042081)

Yeah.... No one understands that proprietary protocols really really suck. Currently I'm trying to get apache to pick up the NTLM username from IE during times when our PDC is down, since users change computers frequently and we have no roaming profiles, I cant set a cookie to pick it up if the PDC is down. End result. When the PDC goes down so does apache.

I gotta be honest... (5, Funny)

EvilJohn (17821) | more than 12 years ago | (#3041998)

... at this point, I wish I had a job.

Re:I gotta be honest...|How long and where? (2)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042020)

1 year jobless San Jose.

Has anyone else noticed how Pro GWB the jerry springer show has become? Guess the only one's with jobs are strippers and trailer park trash.

Re:I gotta be honest... (0, Troll)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042042)

Hey man... keep up the work. I know its rough, and after almost one year I was able to find something.

sure I do! (2, Funny)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042002)

You ask me if I like my job? I absolutely love it! Being a garbageman is the best profession in the world! You wouldn't believe all the wonderful things have discarded, and I get them all, _for free_!! Plus, I get to see cute little racoons and bacteria and greet them every day at work. It is really fun when I find a discarded banana, then I get an extra special snack.

Plus, being a garbageman gives me lots of time to think about the universe and discuss it with clients like Dilbert!

Re:sure I do! (0, Troll)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042082)

I'm sorry but the thought of a garbage man reading /., although not impossible is a comical paradox.

In other words, its funny moderators and on topic.

--toq

Yes. No. Yes. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042004)

I don't have a job, so yes I like it. But if I did, I probably wouldn't, since they all tend to suck. Then again, you can't buy hardware with good looks, which I have suprisingly little of. (That goes for both good looks and hardware)

Please hire me. Unemployment is running out.

Love it! (2)

zpengo (99887) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042008)

I'm a technical writer for a relatively stable software company. I work with computers *and* get paid. In this economy, that's a rare and wonderful thing.

almost fp! (1)

Jaeger- (63372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042009)

wow first time i've ever seen a thread on Slashdot home page WITHOUT the "88 of 103 comments" next to it...

i'm happy with my immediate management... its the morons above them that don't have ANY idea how to run a company and are running us into the ground...

Sad News - Goatse.cx guy DEAD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042011)

I just heard the sad news on BBC radio. Web entreprenuer/pioneer goatse.cx guy was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never admired his work [slashdot.org] , you can appreciate what he did for the 'last frontier' of the internet.

Reports are that he died from complications resulting from \"Ask Slashdot: Do You Like Your Job?\". Truly a internet icon. He will be missed :(

This troll was reposted from the Troll Library without permission of the original author. If you object to this post, or if you wish to add your troll to the Troll Library, please reply to this message.

This is f*ckin' LIFE (3, Insightful)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042012)

Look around, the phone system is a piece of crap, cell-phones are anything but perfect, and our goverment is an ever-changing fix for a bad idea ;p

Actually, I just started a new job, and a co-worker, upon *my* realization of this sort of craziness, summed it up by saying "If it was any better, we all wouldn't have jobs."

Ex-programmers make the best managers (5, Interesting)

Tigris666 (197729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042016)

because they understand what is needed.

When I started at my current job, I was not sure what to expect, being under the assumption that management knows nothing. But later finding out that most of the management here has done some programming before. In fact one of the main managers was the only programmer here when the business started up.

I believe this makes for the best workplace as a programmer because everyone above you knows how you are feeling. What to expect from you. What is hard/easy etc.

Atleast that's my view on it anyways.

Re:Ex-programmers make the best managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042091)

You are right that they are good managers in the technical sense, in other words... working for THEM is great. But, as a mid-to-upper lever manager, to have an ex-programmer working FOR YOU as a manager. Really sucks. Take it from me. I know.

Re:Ex-programmers make the best managers (3, Informative)

Choron (88276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042131)

Although I'd like to agree with you, I'm not totally conviced a good developer makes a good manager, although they are complementary the skills required are somewhat different, that's why most of the project leaders I've seen so far don't have a clue about technical details.

They have to lead a project team, that's why companies rather choose them by their ability to manage a team rather than by their ability to understand the internals of CORBA or of whatever technology you use.

I would love to have managers understand development issues (more than the "manager level") though, that would be the beginning of the "managers" vs "techies" war...

Re:Ex-programmers make the best managers (4, Funny)

catsidhe (454589) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042133)

There are two problem with having a boss who does/ used to do what you are doing now:

1: They are under the impression that if they think something is easy, then it is easy. This is even worse when they are brilliant, and you are merely adequate, and

2: They know what you should be doing. It is a lot harder to fool your boss with 'Just stress-testing the network' (with Quake Deathmatch), when he used to do it too!

But then, sometimes he joins in!

Why only tech companies? (4, Insightful)

Drakula (222725) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042018)

Why does this apply to only tech companies?

During my short history on this planet, every single place I have worked seems to have this problem. Not just tech companies.

It seems to be human nature to not want to deal with the messy social part of management and handle only the relatively easy business part.

Just my 2 cents I guess.

Re:Why only tech companies? Mod parent up!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042101)

A-freakin-men

Those that can, do.
Those that can't, teach.
Those that can't teach, manage.

Second post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042021)

not happy with my immediate manager :-(

I just got a job (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042022)

Been looking on and off for 6 months and finnaly found a jr unix sysadmin job during the day and a level 2 tech support job graveyard shift. All this happened in 4 days, interview, one drug test, and signing the offer letters :) I can't wait to pay back the money my parent's lent me after my savings and 401k ran dry ;(

Has anyone else just got a job lately after looking for a long time or still struggling to find one, reply here.

Good managers are nice people (4, Insightful)

jkakar (259880) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042023)

In the end I've been fortunate to have good managers... what have they had in common? They've become my friends outside of work. That isn't to say managers and employees must or should spend time away from work but working with people you LIKE really helps. In practice manager's I've liked have worked hard, valued by input and been able to contructively criticize me in a way that has helped me grow.

Software development may be 50 years old... lots of things have changed and one could argue that the pace of change is only getting faster. What doesn't change is that development of any kind is a whole bunch of people individually developing themselves- the end result is (or isn't) some kind of product. Manager's that are technically-minded work best with software developers because developers are technically minded.

Seems obvious but has not been the norm as far as I can tell.

Re:Good managers are nice people (1)

BlueRain (90236) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042052)

I agree. Good managers will go to the mat for people they manage. In return, you hit your deadlines, which keeps their managers happy. And so on.

Do you have an interesting job? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042024)

So fucking what!

Well, I've been to Hastings and I've been to Brighton, I've been to Eastbourne too.
So what, so what.
And I've been here, I've been there,I've been every fucking where.
So what, so what.
So what, so what, you boring little cunt.

Well, who cares, who cares what you do.
Yeah, who cares, who cares about you, you, you, you, you.

Well, I fucked a queen, I fucked fuck,
I've even sucked an old man's cock.
So what, so what.
And I fucked a sheep, I fucked a goat,
I rammed my cock right down its throat.
So what, so what.
So what, so what, you boring little fuck.

Well, who cares, who cares what you do.
And, who cares, who cares about you, you, you, you, you.

And I've drunk that, I've drunk this,
I've spewed up on a pint of piss.
So what, so what.
I've had scank, I've had speed,
I've jacked up until I bleed.
So what, so what.
So what, so what, you boring little cunt.

Well, who cares, who cares what you do.
Yeah, who cares, who cares about you, you, you, you, you, you.

I've had crabs, I've had lice,
I've had the clap and that ain't nice.
So what, so what.
I fucked this, I fucked that,
I've even fucked a school girl's twat.
So what, so what.
So what, so what, you boring little fuck.

Well, who cares, who cares what you do.
And, who cares, who cares about you, you, you, you, you, you.

So fucking what! Yeah!

Work for a Good Cause (tm) (5, Insightful)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042027)

I worked at .Bombs .Coms and .Profitable Motor Companies and a lot of other places as everything from Technical contractor to a "Scientist" to Director of New Business... I now work at a non profit and I have to say I never felt better. I hate the tedium of some of the stuff I do but everyone seems to care here. As soon as you take good old fashion $$$$ from the equation (I still get paid, just not at market rate), everything seems to work better. Human Service organizations are just great to work at mainly because getting a project done has something very visual and positive in its outcome... just my few cents (literally)

I love my job. (3, Insightful)

citroidSD (517889) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042030)

I'm a teacher. No middle management to deal with at all! Independent work environment, and I am helping develop our future!

Re:I love my job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042146)

> I'm a teacher. No middle management to deal
> with at all! Independent work environment,
> and I am helping develop our future!

We have middle managers in education. They're called "administrators". As far as I can tell, their only functions are to:

* Go to education conferences so they can talk with other administrators about teaching methods that they don't use (because they don't teach).

* Change class lengths and schedules every other year to wreak havoc with lesson plans.

* Plan meetings. The only function of these meetings is to ... plan the next meeting.

Re:I love my job. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042173)

Yeah, but your students despise you. Trust me on this one.

If you can't beat 'em... (4, Insightful)

Q*bert (2134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042032)

Maybe you should consider going into management yourself. If you're in touch with the technology, you're ahead of many managers already. If you can also bring to bear your sympathy for the plight of beleagured coders, well, you could do great good in the world. :)

Beacause they are greedy, lazy assholes.. (0, Flamebait)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042037)

..And alll hard working engineers actually got some meaninful education.. not just "business" BS.. and work their ass off, while these "networked" and "connected" bastards grab all the money between themselves, and do not give a flying fuck about you.

Always wonder why I am making half the money of my dumb bosses. Just beacause they got connections and friends to get hired for their BS positions.

Re:Beacause they are greedy, lazy assholes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042079)

As opposed to you, with your stunning wit and intellect, and your unsurpassed ability to write flowery prose.

Sure.

No, really, The Man is keeping you down.

Re:Because they are greedy, lazy assholes.. (-1, Offtopic)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042105)

And you are are dumb fucking moron as well. Happy?

A manager you will like (1)

doctorjohn (528164) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042039)

The only way to have a manager you like is to be your own manager, then at least the odds are better you will like management...

management sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042040)

Unless they have been promoted through the ranks and understand the position of the peons, they suck. New management fresh out of school is the worst!!!
I think, thoughm that now with the economic trend, we'll see more experienced and effective management as new hires. Certainly the existing clueless wonders should be shaping up or getting ready for the axe.

If you don't like your job - start a company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042041)

Stop complaining about why everyone else's management sucks and start your own company and put your views to the test.

Re:If you don't like your job - start a company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042060)

No, they won't do that, because it would require finance, accouting, marketing, legal, and other knowledge. It is much easier to proclaim your superiority over all these other people who "just don't get it" than to deal with the way things are.

Re:If you don't like your job - start a company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042087)

Or, in other words, it would simply take some guts and confidence in your abilities.

Re:If you don't like your job - start a company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042111)

Yeah, and a desire to learn things you don't currently know. Here [slashdot.org] is an example of what I was talking about.

Management (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042043)

This sounds like the beginning of a dilbert cartoon. Dilbert is too close to reality to be funny.

happine$$ (4, Insightful)

graveytrain (218936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042048)

Know what pisses me off most? It isn't my boss or my coworkers or the clients... it's the perception of the industry in general. Mod this as offtopic if you must, but what's killing me are those damn MCSE commercials that make people think that anyone can better their life by going to school for 6 months to learn MS products. Talk about scams... they promise outragiously high salaries and give the impression that if YOU possess the urge and desire to better your life, then YES, ANYONE can learn this stuff... just another make-money-quick scheme.

Re:happine$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042080)

Anyone can learn this stuff, dude. Just like any other field, anyone with average or better intelligence, a decent work ethic, and a willingness to learn will do fine. IT is no different than any other field in that.

Re:happine$$ (2, Interesting)

graveytrain (218936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042149)

I (lightly) disagree; not everyone has the capacity to understand basic sysadmin skills, especially the lower-income group that these commercials are targetting. Forget the willingness to learn... given an individual that has been playing around with boxen on their free time since they first discovered them, vs. a person that wants to get out of their $5.75/hr. full time job, I'll take the competitent guy. The one that has a mind for troubleshooting any problem that can (and will) pop-up, because it mentally turns him on... not the guy that wants to 'better his life'.

Re:happine$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042170)

Well sure, I won't disagree with that. Experience always wins. I was just taking issue with the last part of your post, where I thought you were implying that not anyone can learn this.

I like it, but it don't like me (1)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042050)


There is a problem with a program that has little to do with me. However, they are looking for a scapegoat and the general concensus that if it hits my area, then I am the sacrificial lamb.

The thing that sucks is that I am the most technically proficient and the best with dealing with the modern technical issues in my area.

I suppose this gives me reason to move on to bigger and better things now.

--
.sig seperator
--

Normal (2)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042051)

Everywhere I've ever been has been like this except for one, and that's the company that went belly-up this past May. I don't know if there's a connection there or not, but it does seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

The important thing to remember is that management personnel -- like everyone else -- do not get promoted because they do a good job. They get promoted because they managed to convince their superiors that it's to their advantage. Actually doing a good job is one way to do that, but so is ass-kissing, lying, intimidation, submission, being related to the boss, having good internal connections, making coffee and giving head. If you want to go far, you need to ignore the management propaganda that Arbeit macht frei and actually look around to see who gets promoted and why. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up your devotion to quality, but it does mean that you have to come to grips with the fact that you may be the only person concerned with the quality of your work and you need to figure out what your superiors are concerned with.

allow me the honors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042055)

hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha

This is hilarious.

Do I like my job? (1, Insightful)

jchawk (127686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042058)

Do I like my job? Well let's take a look. Do I like the phone the rings no stop? Do I like the customers on the other end? Do I like the bullshit policies I have to follow? Do I like working the off the wall hours every week? Do I like my co-worker who smells and is greasy using my work station? Do I like the vending machine that refuses to dispense my candy bar? Do I like my inept managers?

No, but that's life and that's what pays the bills. Boo Hoo You don't like your job at NASA... Suck it up and deal with it, or move on, because there sure as hell is someone else out there that will do your job, and probably for lesser money.

I don't mean to sound angry, but if you don't like your job quit. Do something else. Otherwise suck it up and do your best and be happy with your paycheck. Find outside interests, take pride in what you do outside work. Get a girlfriend, fuck your wife, whatever. Just don't complain to 1/2 a million people about it. ;)

I'll bash you in the face.

Re:Do I like my job? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042174)

Dude, you need to take a break and chill out. Go fuck your wife or something!

Golf (2, Insightful)

Mattygfunk (517948) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042059)

This just sounds like "I'm smarter than my boss syndrome". Your management has other tasks to take care of than just what you are doing everyday. He is looking at the bigger picture and taking into account more than just what will be easiest for you.

Work your way up to management and you too can spend your days on the golf course.

Managers are morons (3, Funny)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042061)

Though it would be unwise to tell my opinion of my managers, let's just say that most of them are morons^H^H^H^H^H^Hreally nice guys who pay me for doing nothing^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hworking extremely hard all day.

God I hate them^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbless them.

Work on an Open Source Project (5, Insightful)

GreyMatter (74748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042062)

I've worked for quite a few different companies as well, and found much the same problems. The really competent managers (from a business point of view) make life dull (take no risks), and the ones that let you try interesting stuff can drive the business bankrupt.

That seems to be why many professional programmers work on open source projects. You get to spread your technical wings without managers.

You want an honest answer? (4, Informative)

tacocat (527354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042064)

I work for a company that practices draconian software at it's finest. I have to fight for weeks, nay months, to get some improvement on the tools available. And the list goes on.

Many hours are spent on something that is casually swept aside by some new marketing spin

What do I do about it? I don't care that much really. Call me apathetic, call me brilliant. But I do the work, learn some stuff and get paid for it. I am not interested in running the company and the company is not interested in what I see as important or useful. We co-exist in a symbiotic relationship with both sides agreeing not to have too many conversations. Management and Code do not easily mix. Especially in the typical management environment

I recent left a job however, that had one good manager that knew how to balance these projects out. The one's that he saw as important where prioritized, and the one's that had hype where given a somewhat longer schedule. That way, then the ship had to do an about turn, there wasn't as much mass to move.

I think it's a matter of following the important projects with more zeal than the hyped projects and leaving at all behind you, no matter what, when you walk out the door. I get paid so that I can run my own server at home and play PlayStation. I enjoy both -- but to think that my work is all that important that it won't get cast aside in a moment is folly.

Management is difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042066)

Well, it's difficult to manage software development. There are so many invisibles. The world is changing during the project, so the goalposts are moving. You, and the business, and the competition, and everyone else is learning all the time, and as you learn your goals change.

Depends on the boss (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042070)

Some bosses are alpha males. You try to get them to understand something and they get defensive. They will not back down an inch and even if you prove them wrong, they will make your life suck. I happen to have such a boss and I can tell you the only thing that works. THINK ABOUT YOUR PAY CHECK! Some people don't have jobs today. Be happy that you have one.

To like your job, you'd have to get a new job or find a way to get rid of your boss. You're not going to change and neither is your boss.

For the advice part:

Do exactly what your boss is telling you to do. If he asks for advice, give it. If he still tells you to do something else, he has no respect for you. Make a note of this, since you're the designated expert who will actually do the work. It will bear credence. Make sure that he orders you to do whatever you need to do, because then he is liable. He might try to turn it around on you, but just stand firm. Record all the incidents where your advice has been neglected and the result has been poor due to management decisions. Then take it above your boss. He'll at least be reprimanded, but most likely fired.

Sounds Like IRG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042071)

It sounds like Innovative Resource Group in Pittsburgh, PA.

that nothing... (1)

twoslice (457793) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042075)

My company seems to think that Dilbert is the ultimate authority on management style! I swear I saw Ratbert today in the coffee room (wait... actually I think that might have been a real rat...) Anyway, it sure is fun to work here and laugh at all of the incompetence.

Unemployed (0)

daveboy2099 (197255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042076)

Having been unemployed for a while, any job at this point would be nice. I understand not enjoying your job, but you gotta be happy that you have one. At least I was aware that I was going to lose my job long before it happened, I just couldn't find what I wanted at the time. Now, I'd be happing flipping burgers.

Peace!!

Sometimes you're blessed... (1)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042078)

...and end up with a geek who got stuck in a management position. My boss was sitting in the lab today cussing out a stubborn dual-proc Sparc, up to his elbows in eviscerated parts.

That's when you _know_ the guy upstairs is watching out for you :)

Re:Sometimes you're blessed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042128)

Yeah, and that the people above him see him as just another techie and ignore everything he has to say.

Coder management. (2, Insightful)

topside420 (530370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042084)

I think coders know best.

Managers should provide the idea and what they want the produce to do. The can specify what the GUI should like like and how other UI parts may work. They should also manage the development team members and get what positions are needed (security, UI, scalability, general programming, etc). They can check up on the coders and make sure their progress is decent and try to get the dev team to work together in the best possible way.

Coders should manage how the code is structured and how things are implemented.

File formats, etc could be determined by either. Sometimes management wants their own proprietary format, while coders may have better suggestions which are easier to impliment and/or more efficient.

I find I work best when the pressure is low and management isn't trying to make all my decisions for me.

Re:Coder management. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042162)

Coders should shut the fuck up and listen to someone who is experienced and knows what they're doing. You're there to crank out source code, and if you think obsessive knowledge about some language or operating system is going to help when it comes to the Big Picture, you're out of your fucking mind, mate. It is these coders who think they know everything that are the death knell to projects that would otherwise have been fine.

I've managed several software projects that have gone tits up thanks to short-sighted, arrogant coders.

MMMmmmmm yeaaaaa... (The problem with management) (4, Funny)

pOs*x (254850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042086)

I'm going to come along and ask you shift yourself into positive mode, mmmkay?

If you could plow through those TPS reports, that'd be great... Yeah, okay, and I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday, mmmkay, greaaaaat...

Welcome to the real world (4, Interesting)

tf23 (27474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042094)

Unfortunately, the longer I've worked, the more I've come to realize that *many* (too many) companies are run exactly like this.

Infact, I've not yet worked for one, or contracted for one, that wasn't.

It's frustrating to work for these places. Sometimes degrading, but most of all back breaking. Nothing's ever finished 100%, there's no time for proper design, nor implementation. And sometimes you just have to wonder what the fuck goes on behind the door in those management meetings!!

I think I'm slowly giving up. I'd always hoped that I'd find that "one place" where things were done *right*. Each job I take, I get a little closer. But I'm not there yet.

Luckily I'm approaching that middle-management-age, so at the right place, I may be able to change things for the better (for the developers). That'd be a huge accomplishment, because at most places all the other department's (publications, marketing) are hindered with similar management/policy/timeframe problems. Except they sometimes get a sense of finality - when a print publication is printed and sent - they can sigh in relief. Ours - well, there's always something that needs to be changed on one of the websites, the code, the network, security policy, servers, hardware... just add it to the to-do list. It's the neverending beast.

I like my job! :) (1)

linuxonceleron (87032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042095)

I really enjoy my work at Xoxide Modifications [xoxide.com] . While I'm doing more technical stuff for them, the guys in managment and guys doing the physical work are all highly competent. I especially enjoy being able to help find better ways of doing things in all areas of the company, not just technical stuff since my input is always appreciated. Plus we have some kick ass modded cases =)

Not all companies have bad managers... (4, Interesting)

forehead (1874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042096)

I've found that if you are in an engineering field, competent former engineers make the best managers. They have first hand experience about what it takes to do a job and do it correctly. Of course, not all engineers make good managers, but most good managers were at one point a good engineer. This applies equally well to other diciplines, of course.

The reason for this is because they have good working knowledge from both sides of the fence. They are aware of the buisiness concerns (time schedules, money, the competition) and engineering concerns. For instance, they can take the long view and recognize that putting a little more design and documentation work up front usually results in a better, more maintainable project. It also keeps the engineers happy (and by extention more productive) which is better for the company.

However, there are occasions where it does make better business sense to kill or rush a project. Former engineers are much more capable of conveying this to the workforce in a manner that they can accept.

I sort of like my job .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042098)

.. but I don't like my life. I broke up with my long term girlfriend a couple of weeks ago 'cos I found out she's been cheating on me for the past couple of months while I've been away working.

I can't concentrate very easily at the moment and my boss, while happy to give me some leeway to begin with, is starting to get pissy as his boss demands that things get done!

Also I blame the job for what happened - if I hadn't have been away for so long, she probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to be unfaithful.

So, I sort of like my job, but the rest of my life is screwing it up. bah.

Management=Trial&Error (3, Insightful)

woodix (167920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042099)

I've been out of college less than a year and I'm on my second Tech Job. Both have been professionally satisfying, but like many others will probably say, management seems to be constantly 10 or more steps behind. I'm too inexperienced to speculate why, but it seems to me that rather than let the specialists take 5 minutes to plan and prepare to tackle whatever the critical error of the moment is, management wants results NOW NOW NOW.

It's like I overheard the other day: do something now and apologize for it later. Even if it was a joke (which it was), I feel it's a rather good way to describe the situation--not only where I work but all over the place in IT. It seems everyone's just a bit crazy to me, but hey, they pay us to play with computers. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Management=Trial&Error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042117)

Yeah I find that too. Always look at the moment, not at the future. So at my company we end up with a load of buggy shite programs keeping us going because the pressure is on and there just isn't time to design and write them 'properly'!

'Tis most aggrevating. In the long run it seems to take longer anyway and we keep having to maintain and fix things that weren't done properly in the first place.

It is just like that old saying..... (1)

Berserker76 (555385) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042100)

...those who can't play, teach.... ...those who can't work (efficiently), manage.... ..I can understand his frustration. I have yet to work for any type of management team that I felt was even close to being competent. Maybe it is because they spend too much looking at the big picture and forget about everything else. All I know now is that the way the management at my current company treats its employee's, there is no loyalty for this company. Once the economy gets back on its feet, a lot of people are going to leave and they will only have themselves to blame. The only real upside is that I have a job and I feel for you guys that don't. I was unemployed for 5 months until I found this one. I wish you guys who are unemployed the best of luck finding a job.

Re:It is just like that old saying..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042152)

Obviously, you aren't even close to competant if you were out of work for five months. Seriously, that is pathetic. Even in the Great Depression, the unemployment rate was twenty percent. So, if you were out of work then, that meant that you were less qualified that eighty percent of the population.

Now, how does that make you feel, skippy?

Leaders Wanted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042114)

The problem often is that an orginization doesn't need more managers - they need leaders.

The only jobs that are good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042116)

are ones where 1) you're the boss so since it's your livelihood on the line you can decide what's important 2) You make no freaking money but all your coworkers are excellent or 3) the Venture Capital is funding your job but your boss (in spite of warnings) doesn't notice he's on the Titanic.

Every good job I've had has been underpaid or short term. Every excellent paying job I've had to deal with morons at every turn. You learn to deal with it or put your money where your mouth is and start your own company.

poor management (2)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042123)

Poor management plagues nearly every industry. Ever pay attention to Dilbert cartoons? Through some fluke of nature, the incompetent and less knowledgeable human beings somehow end up being in management.

The computer industry is exceptionally vulnerable to poor management. The industry moves quickly. A company is likely to go nowhere when under the leadership of incompetent individuals. In my case, I work at software company lead by old gray haired men that literally think DOS is the future. Think my career is going anywhere? And thats just the point. Its not just the company that suffers, but the careers of the individuals at the company that also suffer.

Wherever you go... (3, Insightful)

c_dog (219987) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042124)

Unfortunately, your comment on the commonality of "missed-management" is not limited to your experiences. This phenomenon is sadly common.

I used to know a retired Army Airborne Lt. Col. The words he used to describe both the problem and the solution were, "Managers manage things. Leaders lead people".

This inspired me, a Sr. Network Admin, to pursue my MBA just so I could speak the language of business. Luckily I was able to skip the class where they performed the labotomies, so I think I managed to hold on to my grip on reality (relatively speaking, of course).

In short (too late), my degree has given me some credibility to implement change. The old saying, "Wherever you go, there you are", doesn't exactly apply...you aren't the problem. You will, unfortunately, find the problem wherever you go...unless you take strides to make change where you can and learn to live with the areas where you can't.

Probably not very helpful, huh? Is it at least practical?

In answer to your original question: Yes, I love my job...but only since I started speaking my mind, nicely, of course (and in my MBA voice), and helping decision makers identify the bobbles.

Regards...

Bigger Picture (4, Insightful)

paulywog (114255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042130)

Did you ever stop to consider that maybe, just maybe, the reason that you disagree with the decisions managers make is because you simply don't have the same perspective on the issues surrounding the project and its context within the entire corporation?

That being said, you're probably right that most managers are just winging it. I often have the same kind of feelings about management where I've worked, but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt that they're not as dumb as I think. Maybe they are.

managing software (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042136)

Yes, Managing software development is different then managing anything else. Why? Because all software is are words on a page, and we all know how easy it is to write words!!

I do software QA and Process (No, I'm not a test weeny, been doing this a long time and used to write code myself). I have found that very few people (including programers) understand how to engineer things. And upper management often thinks it's the same as building tractors and it's not.

Because there is no 'physical' product with code, nothing you can 'hold in your hand' they just don't understand how hard it is. And because there are NO practices in the Programming field like there are in Hardware, they don't realize that so much has to be written from scratch each and every time.

Of course part of this is due to the fact that the computer programmers are in the science department and not the engineering department and views differ greatly between the two. IF people would stop coming up with new langauges constantly (for no good reason) and work with only a handful, then maybe we'd see more code reuse, and faster development times with less bugs. (Remember, you always spend more fixing bugs after it goes out the door, then you did developing it.)

Everyone has to have their say (1)

slam smith (61863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042137)

In my opinion the major reason behind this is the tendency for large groups of people, all who believe that they need to put thier fingerprint on the project. Before long you have a lot of people making decisions, that really have no business even influencing the process. If the project is kept to a minimum number of needed people for each stage, I find that the projects are much more likely to be on time. The worst thing you can do for a design meeting is have more people than are needed. I find more than about four leads to a lot of wasted time.

I remember one project where I had to get a large group of people to agree to the design of the project and then when we would get it done(eventually), I would take it to management who would seem to make really abitrary changes merely to show that they had influenced the project. The really cool part was when one manager would totally contradict another.

No different view from the other side (2)

bokmann (323771) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042140)

If it always seems like management is out of touch with you, perhaps its you that are out of touch with management. I think that a lot of tech people are out of touch with management, and just think that Dilbet==Reality. In some cases, maybe it just SEEMS like Dilbert to you.

I don't mean that in a 'bad way'... I'm just saying that there are pressures on management that can be more varied and complex than the stuff you deal with... I mean, have you ever really considered WHERE those dollars in your paycheck come from? Really... I mean, WHERE do they COME FROM?

But, I have worked for the same company for over 6 years... a lifetime in this industry. I work with some people who have been here 15 years, even though my company is just 15 years old... We have a turnover rate of less than 6%, and EVERYONE loves working here. I am a software engineer (actually, I consider myself a craftsman), but management does not insulate us... they educate us.

My name is Cliff, brother of Joe... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042142)

I got me some crack, I want me some hoes!!!

Sigh. If only I'd known then. (5, Insightful)

dinotrac (18304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042144)

Lately, I've been on a soapbox about company politics to every young techie I can find.

It's not the rant you think.

When I was young, I looked down on politics, figured I didn't need to deal with it, etc.

By the time I finally started to understand it, most of my working life was gone.

The thing to know is that politics is more than a game: it is the essence of working with and through other people to get things done. You don't have to become Machiavelli and you don't have to stab backs. Learning what people -- even managers -- cherish, and understanding the real power subordinates have over their bosses will lead to a lot more "wins" and a lot more sensible decisions than doing the typical "I don't care about politics" schtick.

What's sad is that we don't have to be as good at it as the managers are, though some of us do have tremendous potential.

We just have to be smart enough to listen and get listened to.

Techies will never win them all, or even all of the ones we should. Nice to win some, though.

Me a manger ? (1)

Kynde (324134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042153)

The whole blip is about management and how do the editors summarize that to the subject ... "Do you like your _job_?"

The editors must think quite a percentage of the /. readers are managers?
(either that or illiterate)
((which is something I wouldn't mind being when browsing some of the stuff posted here, like this message for example))

My Job... (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042155)

Actually, I like my boss. He has no clue what I do and doesn't care either. He just asks me if I can get something done and how long it might take. No demands for getting it done in 3 days...yet.

And for this, I do what I feel is a good job at it. But it's my best guess.

No job will be perfect, unless maybe if you work for yourself, --but I wouldn't know. I've tried the huge money management stuff before and it sucked canal water like nobodies business. I got fired from that job and was grateful for it.

You have to like your job for what it is and for what you put into it. Not what comes out of it or the decisions others make. Everywhere is the same BS. My wife works in a special needs school and she has a dozen kids with severe mental handicaps every day. She has days where they literally fling turds around the room and in walks the principal... And she wouldn't miss a day of that job for the world! She puts into it exactly what she gets out of it. And if she can do that -- then I can certainly struggle through converting some vague management vision into something tangible. And so can you!

I like my job (1)

2000 Britneys (549923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042158)

For the last 4 years I have been working as an accountant and sys admin at a small public acct. firm. I love being accountant. It is all I always expected it to be.

Sys admin side of my job I kinda dred but it has to be done and someone has to do it - and the best part of it is they pay me for doing it.

When looking for a job the money should not be an objective at least not the primary one. After all who would want to spend 8 10 or 12 hours working in a job he or she hates. I know I wouldn't

Hope for the good times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042160)

I absolutely agree with the fact that management makes horrible decisions most of the time. The only thing that keeps me going is the occasional time that I get to something new to me and to management. These are usually short projects that have to be done yesterday, but at least I get to learn something new, or at least do something old in a new way. It helps, but then again I don't work on many long term projects (> 6 months). -R

So start your own company.... (1)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042161)

I've been doing the same basic thing for about 12 years now - writing software to administer retirement plans. Sounds boring, but it is my system and I ultimately have the say about what it does and how it works. If I choose poorly, then we lose clients (so I try not to choose poorly). For the first six years, the work was somewhat freelance, but in 1996 my father and I started a company [nqadmin.com] around the using the software to serve as a backoffice for others. We now have about 15 people and service the entire country - all from a small town in Louisiana. I work with great people and look forward every day to going to work. It does take a lot of sweat equity to get things going, but the end result is entirely worth it. I would recommend trying to borrow as little as possible because it is better to grow slowly than to have a bunch of investors to answer to. Also the general rule of thumb is three years before you will make any sort of profit (if you are doing well).

From my experience... (1)

wessto (469499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042163)

I can totally relate to this description of management being detached. After trying to deal with this myself I came to an important personal conclusion. How detached am I from management? Am I asking the right questions at the right time? Am i spending too much time working on things that I'm not reasonably sure will be part of a final product? The point is that the communication channel must be 2 way. You can expect to have problems if you're not accepting feedback from management along the way.

Think of it as finishing a loop of code when you could break halfway through. The processing time is wasted in needless clock cycles because you're not checking to see if you should continue what you're doing. Maybe that's a bad analogy, but hopefully my you get my point.

Yes, there are times when I hate my job, but it's probably mostly due to the fact that I make things harder than they really are. Communicate, Respond accordingly as the project unfolds, and be happy because you're not doing monotonous work!

Shop for management (5, Insightful)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042165)

There's a skill you must have to enjoy investing yourself in a complicated, demanding, intellectual job - and I wish I had advice for developing this skill, but I don't - you have to be able to tell who's a competent, visionary administrator (yes, such people do exist, god bless them) and who is, to be frank, an idiot (lots of those, as I'm sure you've all noticed.)

So, before you take a job, go and meet the management. Even if it means taking a pay cut, my advice is to work for smart people, and enjoy your work.

If you don't have the luxury (I'm a computational biologist, so I do) of choosing your employer / PI (that's what a scientist's boss is called) / project manager / what have you, then, well, you can't expect to be happy at your job. Most people are in the position of taking whatever job they can get, and they're unhappy with what they end up with. So, if you're one of the few people with the luxury of choosing where to work, get your priorities straight and at least consider the competence (to say nothing of worthiness) of the prospective co-workers, in addition to the economics.

I'm happy at my job, by the way.

What I've discovered... (0)

cybergeak (318482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042167)

... is that when my boss comes to me with some dulusion of grandure of a project i will sit there, maybe even take notes and nod and smile. Once he thinks he is done, he will go over stuff again, and add more stuff in the process. After it has become my job to complete it, i put my notes away, and go back to the actual problem i was working on before hand. Eventualy he realizes he was reinventing the wheel and tells me i dont have to do it anymore.

At one point i used to take his projects seriously, but after 5 or 6 of this huge undertakings, i stoped caring. The thing that i never understood was, I am a part time worker as i'm still in school and i was always given these huge projects and a deadline that even a full time worker couldn't meet.

So my advice would be to nod, smile, and get back to the real work you were doing beforehand.

Old Job :: New Job (4, Interesting)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042175)

A month and a week ago, I was laid off from here [divine.com] . I've been at my new job now for three weeks; I've had a little bit of time to get my bearings and I can already see striking differences.

At my old job, management (not my boss, but management) was abysmal. We were constantly being handed something that needed to be done yesterday, being told to get it done ASAP and drop everything else we were doing to come up with a solution given inadequate resources. We were always short on machines, manpower, time, budget, and respect. In the midst of the latest Hot Project, management would walk in and tell us there was something else we should be doing instead, and why the hell weren't we doing that?

At my new job, there are a few levels of management. I'm only really directly affected by the level directly above me. This is similar to my old job, but with one important difference: so far, my boss has sheltered us from most of the crap raining down from above (the raining of crap is to be expected anywhere, really.)

We actually have money to get our tasks done. We have the time to get them done in (more or less). We also aren't reassigned all over the fucking place because management fucked something up.

I like it so far. Plus I got free money from my old job, w00t!

- A.P.

Maybe you should BE the manager.. (2)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3042178)

That's what I did. Like most people here, I've been playing with computers most of my life. I knew I wanted to get into computer SOMETHING, and I did.

I spent almost 5 years at an ok job, with crappy management, just like you're describing. BUT, the reason I stayed, was to learn as much on the job as possible (Just because they SAY they'll provide training, don't expect it).

What experience did I get?
Netware
General Networking
Cisco/CSU's/bridges
MORE OS/2 than I had previously (oh and REXX)
TCP/IP (only IPX when I started, migrated everyone)
C
Foxpro
PERL
PHP
Fujitsu PBX
wiring
Hell.. I've got a whole slew of stuff on my resume on my website - www.havokmon.com . No, I'm not an expert on all of them, I don't need to be. Just enough to be dangerous, as they say. The trick is being competant enough that you don't have to revisit what you've done to fix it :)

I bided my time. What did I get? I'm an "IT Manager" now, but I'M the ONLY IT person, at a smaller company. Suits me just fine. I STILL do everything from programming (much more Foxpro now) to Networking, and I've added EDI, and a Norstar (yuk!) PBX to my list. PLUS, I MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS. If I don't get something I want, I only have myself to blame. I only need to convince the VP of Finance.

Suggestion: Find out what you like to do, andq what you don't like, and just be patient. The job will come to you.

Best Advice? Become a manager. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3042179)

You know the tech side you have seen all the bad and the good managers out there.
If you feel the way you do then you are ready..
Join them and teach them how it should be done.

Honest, what do you have to loose.
At the very least you'll see their side of the story if there is any and appreciate it or kick A** and trail blaze away.
Try it. You'll not be disappointed.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...