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Did I say anything wrong ?

Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Hi.
Last week, I had an interview with a major telecommunication company as a Java developer (server side).
The interviewer was so cool and the interview progressed nicely.
At the of the interview he told me they will inform week within a week.
Well, they didn't.
Here is a snippet from the interview (not literally):
Interviewer :
Suppose we asked you to develope a large part of the project and at the end, we found out your system is wrong, what you do ?
Me: first, I don't think I will work alone, they is a team I have work with, there is a manager I deal with.
And I supposed to ask them for feedback about my design, coding ....
Interviewer: Good, but suppose we all told you : you are doing fine, keep going and at the end we asked you to re-develope, what you do ?
Me: well, I will re-develope, this is common in our industry .
Interviewer: Ok, thanks and we will call you within a week.
Yes, I understand they may found a better guy than me but did I say anything wrong ?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Many places are slow responding, or don't respond at all. I would follow up with an email or phone call and ask for a status update.

--Mark
siva kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 120
Hi John,

When did this all start up.... I have also been through this...

I think we are reading too much into attitude stuff...

I don't know when programmers become lawyers or politicians ,

One wrong word we are out of the game.

we were never taught in data structure and algorithms class the art of diplomacy and negotiations.

This is crazy, the fellow who was interviewing should be a crack-pot, you should have asked him back :-

What will happen if there is third world war and we are back into the stone age no computers no marketing no HR stuff ( No ranches either )

what the heck is he going to do???.... In fact he can do nothing, likewise

if the project is way off the mark what can you do.....at-most you can start all over again

I wonder what those guys are looking for are they looking for java programmers or word jugglers.

In fact most companies lose good guys because of poor interviewing skills most interviewers attempt to use interview sessions for showing how smart they can ask questions; for which there are no correct or wrong answers.
[ March 27, 2007: Message edited by: sivaram vishnukumar ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
The interviewer's questions seemed perfectly reasonable.

--Mark
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

Call them or mail them. Some firms take as long as 3 to 4 weeks to reply. The questions seem fine to me. I would have said the same.


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siva kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 120
Hi Mark,

Sorry I didn't really mean calling the interviewer crack-pot;

But still I couldn't find any reason to ask the question's in a interview :-

(Suppose we asked you to develope a large part of the project and at the end, we found out your system is wrong, what you do ?)

What is a point of asking the question to a developer???

1.)It is the work of the business-analyst and domain expert to get the requirement correct likewise job of solution architect is to analysis and synthesis a HLD and with correct design for functional and non-functional requirements so as the test cases.

2.)Mostly what happens is that the large projects will be done phased manner and client will be required to sign-off the requirement analysis and High level design documents.

3.) What can a developer do when Requirements go wrong, test-cases go wrong,
HLD goes wrong it is beyond his scope.


(Interviewer: Good, but suppose we all told you : you are doing fine, keep going and at the end we asked you to re-develope, what you do ?)

1.)Well thats what I am paid for?

2.)Of-course if I feel bored and feel I am doing a pretty pointless exercise I will request a project change or will find a new company
But I am not supposed to say it in an Interview because it applies to everyone including the CEO.
In fact it is implied for all jobs.
Rahul Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
I do not know about west , but its a common practice in India.If the person who is taking the interview says that he will get back soon.It means that you are rejected.

Many times firms try to interview a lot of people for some position , so that they can get the best in the lot.So that is another reason that they keep the candidates in queue , without intimating there status.

In your case one fine day , you may get a call from them.


Rahul Bhattacharjee
LinkedIn - Blog
Ricky Clarkson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2006
Posts: 131
That kind of question is probably designed to find out what you do in times of stress. Of course, by not actually making you stressed, it's not very accurate. Instead, they could give you an impossible problem to solve, or a really small timeframe to solve it in. That way you'll have to ask for help, or deal with the fact that you're not infinitely capable.

My answer would have been to find out why the rework was ordered, and the reason for the timing, so that I can avoid future similar cases.

If you write reusable code, then you'll probably find that you can stick a lot of the old code into the new project anyway.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by siva kumar:

(Suppose we asked you to develope a large part of the project and at the end, we found out your system is wrong, what you do ?)

What is a point of asking the question to a developer???

1.)It is the work of the business-analyst and domain expert to get the requirement correct likewise job of solution architect is to analysis and synthesis a HLD and with correct design for functional and non-functional requirements so as the test cases.

2.)Mostly what happens is that the large projects will be done phased manner and client will be required to sign-off the requirement analysis and High level design documents.

3.) What can a developer do when Requirements go wrong, test-cases go wrong,
HLD goes wrong it is beyond his scope.


Answers 1 and 3 would strongly discourage me from hiring you. In those answers you squarely place the blame on other people. In fact, if it your responsibility along with others. Yes, if they said "build X" and then later realized they needed Y, you might not have known. But most times, it's not so obvious. Rather, they say "build me something like this" and you build something like that, but not exactly what they have in mind. Often specification are incomplete, or inconsistent. or imprecise, or even incorrect. Good developers learn to look out for such issues.

My answer: I would come to understand how it is wrong and determine, along with my managers options for fixing it: including fixing my code, altering other code, and rewriting my code from scratch. I would then go on to understand how this issue was not caught earlier so we can avoid repeating the mistake.


Originally posted by siva kumar:
(Interviewer: Good, but suppose we all told you : you are doing fine, keep going and at the end we asked you to re-develope, what you do ?)

1.)Well thats what I am paid for?

2.)Of-course if I feel bored and feel I am doing a pretty pointless exercise I will request a project change or will find a new company
But I am not supposed to say it in an Interview because it applies to everyone including the CEO.
In fact it is implied for all jobs.


These answers that suggest that you think like a drone who just wants to be told what to do. Those developers will never amount to being more than said drone.

My answer: I would ask to understand why we want to redevelop it. It sounds like there was a communications breakdown given the earlier indications that I was "doing fine." We probably need to revisit our oversight system so that in the future we can catch these problems earlier.


--Mark
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
Mark,

Ideally, your answers are perfect. But not always in the real scenario it works out that way. The manager will say to do it his way, no matter how many times you tell him its not possible. Then ultimately if the developers do it and get it wrong, then the blame comes back to the developers, saying they are performing badly.

I am not saying all managers are like that, but I have seen some of them like that. Also with the position comes the responsibilities. Higher the position, more the responsibilities. So the manager must be more responsible for this than the developer. Ofcourse the developer has also to talk and communicate, but I would say its more of a managers responsibility to get the requirements correctly. If its not clear, he has to take the initiative and talk with the clients and get it cleared. Ofcourse the developer has a prt to say the requirements are not clear.

May be you may not agree with me, but its just my opinion.
Thanks.
william gates
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2007
Posts: 112
Many times people don't know what they want and have no clue what IT is capable of, regardless if it's an analyst, end user, client, or management.

And many times those same things they did want become something they don't want down the line. I've worked on plenty of projects where the management didn't back up anybody and it was the management who specifically requested certain features that they deemed as requirements and needs but by the time the end user saw a prototype or beta version, the end user and/or clients looked at that as useless and sometimes a flaw. But it wasn't the management who took the blame or the fall, it was the analysts, engineers, architects, developers and so on.

It really depends on the project, company, and team, but in todays world, there are far more corrupt, incompetnent, or clueless managers who take the credit and never the blame while letting IT or whoever else in whatever field take the fall.

It's not something that happens every day, but it is something that happens all the time.

Some projects a developer might be reprimanded if something isn't added or used, even if it's not something anybody will use in the long run.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18876
    
  40

Ideally, your answers are perfect. But not always in the real scenario it works out that way. The manager will say to do it his way, no matter how many times you tell him its not possible. Then ultimately if the developers do it and get it wrong, then the blame comes back to the developers, saying they are performing badly.


Many years ago, I had an interview that went like that. This person needed an answer for a particular problem, and didn't really like any answer that didn't match what he had in mind, nor wanted to address any peripheral issues. (The interview went more like a test than a brainstorming session)

I would love to say that I proved him wrong, but I'll admit that I wasn't in one of my more tolerant moods...


Anyway, while I agree that most interviews are not ideal, you should go for the ideal. You skills isn't just your ability to churn out code. It includes your ability to understand and anticipate the needs of your clients, to understand the big picture, and to work together to solve it.

And if the interviewer is just looking for a drone, then fine, the interview may go bad. But seriously, do you really want to be a drone?

Henry
[ March 28, 2007: Message edited by: Henry Wong ]

Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Luke Kolin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by vjy chin:
Ideally, your answers are perfect. But not always in the real scenario it works out that way. The manager will say to do it his way, no matter how many times you tell him its not possible. Then ultimately if the developers do it and get it wrong, then the blame comes back to the developers, saying they are performing badly.


But clearly you would not want to work for someone like that. I would be much happier if this could be decided at the interview, rather than getting the job and discovering this only later.

Interviews are two-way streets; they are as much for the employee as the employer. Good candidates are vetting and rejecting employers based on what they see at the interview - if poor employers aren't aware of this and show their true colors at the interview, all the better.

Cheers!

Luke
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by vjy chin:
Ideally, your answers are perfect. But not always in the real scenario it works out that way. The manager will say to do it his way, no matter how many times you tell him its not possible. Then ultimately if the developers do it and get it wrong, then the blame comes back to the developers, saying they are performing badly.


Your comments above are not relevant. The interviewer didn't ask, "Suppose we asked you to develop a large part of the project, and your manager is stupid and refuses to listen to you, and at the end, we found out your system is wrong?" If he had, the candidate would have to address the issue as described. As it was, no comentary was made about poor management.

That said, I do agree that management as you describe it is not uncommon. But that's a whole diferent situation (one you should exit as soon as possible). Generally suggesting that management is incompetent during an interview isn't a great way to land a job.

I also agree that managers bear more responsibility. But again, the question was not about the manager's responsibility, it's about what the developer should do. The best people in the company are the one's who say "success is the responsibility of everyone, including myself" as opposed to "that's not my problem / that's more his problem than mine."

--Mark
siva kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 120
Hi Mark,

I certainly agree with you, basically an employee has to be dynamic,
Pro-active and contribute as much as he can to the company.

The idea is win-win situation where you grow along with company, that�s a great idea.
I have worked in a small company in the dot-com era it was a venture capital company run by some professors and scientist�s with size around 10 people.

Where you happen to have ample time to digest the project; where you happen to call for a brain-storming sessions and some time the sessions goes for 4-5 hours daily and you find your limits are expanded both vertically and horizontally.

But if you happen to work for those services companies with ISO, CMMI & six sigma tags to which much of the projects are out-sourced.

The situation is very different; I have seen places where a developer has to change projects every three months and even work on multiple projects (there are exceptions I certainly agree).

The developer is simply an experienced resource to be shown to the client for billing; mostly you are expected to do what you are told to do, and leave the thinking to those guys onsite and your offshore project manager will always be busy with process and documentation he won�t be much interested in actual work going on ground. (You won't be in much of the Audio-meeting between on-site and off-shore)

Even if you have pretty smart idea (at-least you think you have one); there is no one around to listen ( Shouting from roof top is a good idea but requires lot of guts) and the big guys think that is not necessary for you to see the big picture as your time in the project is limited.

Of course there is always a scope for you to provide beyond what is expected of you but practically it is tough ask.

I think there is a lot of gap between how a work is done in west and India. (Could be the reason why some time western client is unhappy)

And god no I don't want to be a drone (I hate to have wings that make too much noise), at-least I am not planning to become one �willfully.

Summing up
I think we are discussing based on our own perception - which is created by our experience - which varies from person to person.

The scope, roles and responsibilities of a developer is not static and varies from place to place.

[ March 29, 2007: Message edited by: siva kumar ]
[ March 29, 2007: Message edited by: siva kumar ]
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
I agree with all your discussions, but still as a developer, your role is limited. The requirements you know is o nly what is told by your manager, and you cannot directly interact with the clients(This is with my and some of my friends experience. This might differ).

So most of the time you had to listen to your manager even if you think he's way off the mark. Also if you think something has to be changed, do you really think many of the higher guys accept what you(developers) are saying.

Ofcourse, everyone should think success and failure of the project, company as one's own, but still the developers cannot be really responsible for all the things that are wrong. Most of the time, the developer doesnt know the requirements or design at all, so if something goes worong, how can he be responsible for that?

Also changing jobs might not be easy all the time, it depends on many factors.

This is my opinion - the developers get less praisings, but more bashings.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by vjy chin:
So most of the time you had to listen to your manager even if you think he's way off the mark.


This is absolutely bullshit. In fact, you have an ethical obligation to tell your manager if something is wrong. You need to read Unwritten Laws of Engineering.



Originally posted by vjy chin:
Also if you think something has to be changed, do you really think many of the higher guys accept what you(developers) are saying.


I think good developers know to work in environments where people above them will listen to their concerns.


Originally posted by vjy chin:
Most of the time, the developer doesnt know the requirements or design at all, so if something goes worong, how can he be responsible for that?


That's like saying "I didn't know the gun was loaded." You might not know everything about a gun (maybe the site is 2 degrees off and no one told you), but when someone hands you a gun you sure as hell better know whether or not it's loaded. Likewise you may not know everything about a project--these days they're so big that often no one can--but you better know the requirements and design. If you don't



Originally posted by vjy chin:

Also changing jobs might not be easy all the time, it depends on many factors.


I haven't heard anyone in this forum ever say it was easy. But hey, if you're prefer to work in the environments you describe above to making the effort to find a better job, that's totally your call.


--Mark
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
Mark,

This is absolutely bullshit. In fact, you have an ethical obligation to tell your manager if something is wrong. You need to read Unwritten Laws of Engineering.


You see this as bullshit, but its NOT the way it is. May be you only worked in good places, may be your managers were great and things like that, but really do you thing the manager will accept if he is wrong. Mostly, not all though would not accept it. So even if you tell him, the manager would continue to do in the same way. This comes from personal experience and I had some friends talk about the same thing. May be I worked for a crap company.

I think good developers know to work in environments where people above them will listen to their concerns.


Ok, how many times the higher people will listen to the developers. They will also assume the managers know more, they are always correct. They will think the developers are less experienced, so they cannot foresee all problems and so on. So unless you know the management personally, there is very minimal chance to talk to the management.
but you better know the requirements and design


Yes, ofcourse, we need to know the requirements and design, but they come from the manager. So we have to assume that is the right one. Also even if the developers say that we cannot do this requirement in this much time or the design may be done better, they say the time is short, we need to stick with deadlines and all other things, but no effort to make things happen in right way. (Also most of the time the developers dont get to see the requirement's documents. They just do what the manager told to do. This is because of the time shortage as they say.)
I haven't heard anyone in this forum ever say it was easy. But hey, if you're prefer to work in the environments you describe above to making the effort to find a better job, that's totally your call.


No one wants to work in such an environment. What I am saying is that sometimes you are forced into that situation and then you have to look for a new job.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

This is absolutely bullshit


Easy tiger
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
vjy chin,

Please don't take this personally, but I feel very sorry for you and people like you who think this is the way it has to be. You seem to have condemed yourself to be a worker bee imprisoned by an unyielding management. I hope one day that you find what i describe is real, and not simply some fantasy or only for the very lucky.

--Mark
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
Mark,

I didnt take it personally, afterall every one has their own experiences & ideas. But in my short career (around 4 yrs) i found what I said to be true. Even if you want to contribute to the development of the project, you cannot do so. Either the manager is incompetent, or the layer between the manager and the developer is idiot and the manager just listens to them (I had both of these situtations). But I also talked with many friends who say the same thing - Even if they want to do anything good, they usually have to buckle down to accept their managers.

Since you are a good manager who listens to developers or in the management, you might not really understand the developers problems(I am also not saying everytime developer is right). You can say that developer should know this and that and so on, but being in the real situation differs a lot. We can only get information that the manager gives to us, since hes is the ultimate authority.

Anyways hope everyone realizes their roles and do their part well. That would be moer than enough for a successful project.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I do believe that there are bad managers out there, but you need to learn to identify them as well as to seek out the good managers and work for them. otherwise your doomed to the corporate nightmare you described. You clearly know and understand the difference, now do something about it.

--Mark
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18876
    
  40

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Please don't take this personally, but I feel very sorry for you and people like you who think this is the way it has to be. You seem to have condemed yourself to be a worker bee imprisoned by an unyielding management. I hope one day that you find what i describe is real, and not simply some fantasy or only for the very lucky.


Mark, while I agree with your point, I also have a large amount of empathy the "worker bee" mentality.

When I was fresh out of college, I had no fear in learning something new -- I enjoyed jumping to new technologies with each project. Combined with the fact that I didn't have any mortgage, loans, or family to support, I had no fear to speak my mind. Today, while I have a mortgage and family, I also have a nest egg and a professional network that can get me, at least an interview, in relatively short amount of time.

Now... If I was fresh out of school, have huge debts, have a family that depends on me, struggling in learning the technology, and having a bad boss, I don't see "rocking the boat" as being high on my priority.

Henry
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Henry Wong:

Mark, while I agree with your point, I also have a large amount of empathy the "worker bee" mentality.


I had an ex-gf who was 15 year old, pregnant, and living on the street. A few years later, she managed to get into a stable marriage, was raising kids, and had a roof over her head. But she said that's not enough, so while working and raising kids she put herself through college and later went on to have a career millions of people can only dream of.

I recognize that some people have larger burdens than others, such as ailing parents, or large college debt. I also realize a single 23yo is more mobile and has more flexibility than a 40yo (even a single one) who has roots. But at the end of the day, you cannot achieve your dreams by settling. I am sympathetic, but that is not an excuse not to try. With perhaps a few exceptions, every successful person has done so by saying "I can do more" and choosing to overcome the limitations of their situation.

Changing jobs may not be easy, but no one said a good job would easily land in your lap. I make choices like living in major cities to keep my job options open (as it is I've made a personal choice to live in NYC which is not as good for me career wise as Boston or SF). I also make choices so that should I have to deal with "unexpected" constraints (e.g. ailing parents, children needing college tuition) I'll have the resources to handle it without excessive sacrifice, personal or professional.

I have sympathy for people burdened by constraints. I have a different sympathy, more of a pity, for people who feel defeated.

Now Vjy has stated only that it is not easy for some people to change jobs; from his other posts I've gotten the sense that he feels as though he is in such a situation. I hope he is trying nonetheless, and not simply resigning himself to his corporate purgatory.


--Mark
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Thank you all guys ...
I just came from the second interview with the HR, the last interview will be with the architect to test my Java knowledge (scary, isn't) ?
Wish me good luck.
Snehal Joshi
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Good Luck .. and keep Patience..
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
Mark,
I do believe that there are bad managers out there, but you need to learn to identify them as well as to seek out the good managers and work for them. otherwise your doomed to the corporate nightmare you described. You clearly know and understand the difference, now do something about it.


I know there are always 2 sides. As you said I got another offer and will be joining shortly. But I have worked in 2 companies till now, and I had the same experience both the times. First company was my first job, and I had to stick for some time, and the second was in a new place.

But in all companies, the manager, HR talk sugar coated words, but the reality shows only when we start working. I would also like to add this is just not my experience, there are many others who have this. Only a handful escape this.
william gates
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2007
Posts: 112
Realistically there are tons of different kinds of managers. Yeah you could go find another job, but the fact is, you really don't know anything about the new enivronemnt until you've actually worked there.

What might look and sound great may turn out to be a nightmare. A manager that is great might soon also be a manager moving up, out and/or a new manager comes in and might not be so great.

I've had the luxury of being a contractor for most of my 10 year career. So I've had the chance to work with many managers who see things their way or the highway and there is nothing you can do about it.

I worked on one project where there was a right way to do something and then the managers way. These thoughts were expressed at various times by myself, employees of that company and others. And in the end, the manager basically told the team that he didn't care what we thought was right or wrong, he only cared what he wanted done.

You could be a rebel and do what you think is right then leave the job, but in the real world, if you keep doing this, word spreads that you are not somebody anybody wants to work with, even if you are right half the time.

On the above mentioned project, we wound up doing as the manager said because the fact was, his higher levels informed us that we need to listen to him and for me, my contracting firm didn't want anybody to rock the boat and lose future contracts with this compnay. The biggest reason this guy had a lot of pul was because he was not just some run of the mill mid level manager. He was highly respected and was bright and on the move up. Everybody seemed to know this. He might have been an a-hole, but nonetheless, his word meant alot to those managers above him and to those people around him or working for him. It didn't matter to me because after a few months, my contract was done, and I'd be on my way.

So I did what was needed, even though it wasn't the best solution, and got everything to work and moved on to another contract. And the Manager was a good reference in the future. Long story short, this manager went on to become a CEO of a company a few years later. He might not be the norm, but there are plenty of managers out there that have that my way or the highway attitude. Plenty of managers who are all about moving up the ladder. And no matter what you say or tell them, it's not the way things get done. And if you don't do it his or her way, you probably are the one to suffer, not him.

Engineers and developers are never looked at in highest regard by most non-IT people. They sure aren't looked at in good eyes if your manager is one of those moving up the ladder and thinks you are trying to rock the boat and mock them.

People who give advice about "go find a new job" are really useless in my opinion. It's the easy answer. It's the whole notion that the grass is greener on the other side. Telling somebody to find another job without knowing anything about them is really pointless. It's easy when it's not you. Some people have no problem jumping from job to job. Like I've said, I've been a contractor most of my career so I always sort of jump from project to project and job to job.

But some people like stability. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe the manager is bad, but maybe their co-workers are friendly and relationships have been built.

Your next job might seem perfect. But you really don't know this until you've been there for a few months. Somebody who seems cool, might turn out to be a complete incompetent a-hole or somebody who seemed like an a-hole turns out to be great. You can't tell these things over a few interviews and questions.

Yeah an easy answer is to say go find another job. But in reality, that isn't an easy answer at all. It's the stupid answer from somebody who really has nothing good to say.

No, you shouldn't stay at a job that makes you miserable. But in the real world, there really is no such thing as a perfect job. There are jobs with good managers but a lousy work environment. Jobs with poor managers but great co-workers and projects. The list goes on. Just jumping from job to job really isn't helping you in the long run.

It's basically the sign of somebody who can't deal with anything as soon as things get a little rough. Yes, sometimes there are just some jobs you need to get out of. But most of the time, it's one or two people who make the job environment lousy. It's never just as easy as go find another job.

Because in a few months, maybe that job becomes stressful or not something you like. In the end, you might be somebody jumping from one job to the next every six months. Great when your in your twenties, but as you get older and you keep doing this, it usually means you never got anything done.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

The other aspect of the question that I don't think has been mentioned yet is the cultural aspect. As I understand it, it's quite common for people in India to be micro-managed and even to welcome that way of working. Given that, everything that vjy chin was saying makes complete sense. Whereas the other model, where programmers are independent actors and can make important decisions, is quite common in Europe and North America. This is where Mark Herschberg was coming from with his comments.

Now, you'll find the "code factory" model in the western world as well, I'm sure. And if you're working in that environment, the way you behave should be very different from the way you would behave in the less structured western model.
vjy chin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2005
Posts: 279
Paul,

The culture may be different, but just to let you know, my first company was in India, but the second was in US, and I am moving to another company in US.

Also the manager who I started working with was really nice, but he left about 5 months back, and since then I am with a new one. The problem is he is not technically sound, and he relies on his favourites to listen and decide. This is where the problem is.
william gates
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2007
Posts: 112
I think this becomes where the problems occur often, regardless if you are in the US, Europe, or India. There are those who can play politics better than others. Maybe those same people aren't the best techies, but if they play the game of politics well enough, they are usually the ones heard the loudest. It's the way the corporate worlds work. Many people are just about moving up the ladder, even if they never move up that far. Many of these same people are nothing more than paper pushers, but regardless, they are the "teachers pets" of the real world.

Sometimes the savy political a** kissers and managers are indeed nice and great people, but your design and software might not be the exact solution that would save the company money or impress anybody. And in the end, even if it'll save the company money in the long run, it doesn't mean much for somebody looking to move up the ladder in the short run. So what might be the best solution for the long haul isn't always seen as the best solution for now.

There are many times where you are a "new" guy with under 2 years at this company and while you might do good work and have a great new idea, the fact is if they spent millions on new software 5 years ago that you are now planning to change, it isn't something easy many upper managers will completely understand.

There are many high level managers who would rather buy some cheap software off the shelf and use it. It saves them money and gets rid of people. But realistically nothing ever works right off the shelf, not when you need special fixes, changes and so on. It is all about politics.

If you haven't dealt with it, your lucky. Most software and work related to software supports businesses. Whether manufacturing, banking, wall street, aerospace, government, automobiles, healthcare, finance, military, and so on. You normally have to deal with many people who care less about IT.. All they know and need to know is how the business operates, runs, and makes money. They don't care if changing one variable will make the software run 10 times faster or change something.... If it doesn't save them or make them money, your are pointless to them... It is the way the world works.

Yeah if you work for a company that is a software house, maybe there are a lot more technical people who understand what IT is and what it can do for you. But then again, if you work for a software firm that consults on projects, in the end, it is about making money and finishing whatever contract they won.

Regardless of where you go, no job is perfect and very few are just hell. Sometimes there are a few months of hell but a few months of excitement and joy. If you would rather jump from job to job as the water gets rough, then become a contractor. Yeah times can get rough, but you know in a few months or less you'll probably be on a new contract anyway. And it's accepted.. It's what my career has been about. What many people do.

But if you jump from perm job to job every six months, people start to think either you dont know what your doing or you can't work with people. That is never a good thing. The grass isn't always greener on the other side and anybody that tells you to go find a new job as soon as you start to not like something, isn't really giving you great advice. You will not know how good or bad a job is after a couple of interviews.

Yeah if your job is making your life a living hell and it's been going on like this for quite some time, it's probably time to find a new job. But for most people, it's always somewhere in the middle. It's not perfect and it's not hell. Some people are ok, some not. Some managers ok, some not. It's life.
 
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