What do you mean it's all "in your head"?



  • I just found out the biggest WTF about this job that I have.  It tops the shit code, the relational database system with no relationships, the buggy network that doesn't have all the computers set up on the same domain (because they changed server names once or twice).  No, the biggest WTF of them all is that there are no business processes at all.  None.  It's all in my boss's head, and he changes it on a whim in order to stay competitive.  No documentation, and the percentage we add this week to our prices might be totally different than the one we add next month.

    I had such high hopes when I was hired as "IT Manager" - to automate processes, improve the way we run things, and increase profit.  And instead, most of my day consists of running Excel reports because he'll give me a list of 5,000 items and want to see their cost/number sold/etc so he can change the pricing on it.  This is what most of my day consists of - I'm an "IT Manager" who pretty much just runs reports.

    I was also supposed to get a raise after my 90-days, because they offered me a few thousand dollars less than what I was asking; of cours I havent' heard anything about it, only more talk of them wanting to "cut spending".  And yet, for some odd reason I feel a little bad about putting my resume back online.

    I guess I'm just stupid.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I just found out the biggest WTF about this job that I have.  It tops the shit code, the relational database system with no relationships, the buggy network that doesn't have all the computers set up on the same domain (because they changed server names once or twice).  No, the biggest WTF of them all is that there are no business processes at all.  None.  It's all in my boss's head, and he changes it on a whim in order to stay competitive.  No documentation, and the percentage we add this week to our prices might be totally different than the one we add next month.

    I had such high hopes when I was hired as "IT Manager" - to automate processes, improve the way we run things, and increase profit.  And instead, most of my day consists of running Excel reports because he'll give me a list of 5,000 items and want to see their cost/number sold/etc so he can change the pricing on it.  This is what most of my day consists of - I'm an "IT Manager" who pretty much just runs reports.

    I was also supposed to get a raise after my 90-days, because they offered me a few thousand dollars less than what I was asking; of cours I havent' heard anything about it, only more talk of them wanting to "cut spending".  And yet, for some odd reason I feel a little bad about putting my resume back online.

    I guess I'm just stupid.

     

     

    Well, IT people are really just glorified accountants - they just do math all day. 



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I was also supposed to get a raise after my 90-days

    Be honest with yourself. Have you exceeded the requirement of the position? Have you pissed anyone off? Have you slacked off? In other words, have you, as a new employee, lived up to their reasonable expectations? If so and they reneg, then you owe them NOTHING and should expedite getting out.

    Without more context it's hard to know, but if what you said is indicative, your new boss sounds like someone who knows his own little corner of the world very well (everything in his head), but little else, and that should be a foreboding warning of things to come. Run!



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I guess I'm just stupid.

     

    I wouldn't say that, I would say that you are slightly out of touch with todays reality.  If you were hired as a manager in name only and you arent' happy, and they are not fulfilling promises they made, then by all means go back out and look for something else.  If, after this realization, you fail to act, only then will I say you are being stupid.

     

    <rant>See, I can reply without quoting the entire original post!</rant>

     



  •  Ah, the ol' "we'll hire you at $X rate by promise to give you a raise soon!" trick.

    Seriously, though, if you're not happy with what you're doing, then quit.  If the job description didn't say anything like "you will run 100 reports a day," then they basically lied to you and you shouldn't feel bad about leaving.  You could work with the crazy boss, and you could probably get by on your current salary, but if you hate running reports all day then I say quit!  Assuming, of course, he accepts your resignation. 



  • @Outlaw Programmer said:

     Ah, the ol' "we'll hire you at $X rate by promise to give you a raise soon!" trick.

     

     

    Exactly.  Don't ever take a job where they promise to bring you up to average unless you have some kind of personal gain from the company.  Unless you really need to take the job RIGHT NOW, then keep looking.  It's pretty cool to start with a good start-up company though. If you think it'll be successful, then you're in a good place.



  • @snoofle said:

    Be honest with yourself. Have you exceeded the requirement of the position? Have you pissed anyone off? Have you slacked off? In other words, have you, as a new employee, lived up to their reasonable expectations? If so and they reneg, then you owe them NOTHING and should expedite getting out.

     

    Honestly?  Yes.  They always tell me how I'm doing much better than the guy they had as a "permanent consultant" for several years.  Hell, my third day there was a production issue (products database had become corrupt and was showing wrong descriptions), and I fixed it in about two hour.  Everyone applauded (no kidding!) and they were like "[Old Guy] would have taken three weeks to fix that."  

    I wasn't really expecting a raise (Truth be told, I upped my asking price; they're paying me what my previous job was, which while a little bit low is certainly enough to live on), but I did not expect the job to be like this.  I don't hate it, but really, I'm stagnating my current skillset by doing little more than maintenance and reports.  My boss spends most of the day on a new business idea that he's doing (it sounds like a scam to me, but what do I know?) and ignoring the current business (which, as I've said in previous posts on the subject, is REALLY bad and losing money).  He gets pissed at me sometimes because the data reports are bad, and I'm like (to myself, of course) "What the fuck do you expect?  This data is GARBAGE, and you don't want to fix it!"



  • If it's a startup or small business, this kind of thing isn't uncommon at all.  Actually, it's how most businesses get started.

    If you truly consider yourself a manager (and I assume you do, since you accepted a position with that title), then part of your job is to be assertive and explain things clearly.  It's your job to make the company executives understand what's required on the technology side in order to make the business scale, and it's your job to make them understand what you need from them in order to implement it for them.  In most companies, that includes a repeatable, documented business process.  Or several processes as the case may be, but that is once again up to you to analyze.

    If you conduct your business by walking in and saying "OK, what've you got for me today?" then you aren't managing anything, you're being (and I mean no offense by this) a grunt.  You have to be self-motivated and an advisor.  You TELL them what you want to do, and what you need in order to do it.

    And you might have your decisions "overridden" by the management, on the basis of time or cost or whatever.  That happens all the time too.  Repetition and persistence are also standard managerial duties, and if you still can't get your message across, then maybe you need to review your job description, and if your true-to-life duties don't match what's on paper, then maybe you need to find work elsewhere.  If you were hired as a manager and haven't been given anything to manage, then the company misrepresented the position to you.  But if you haven't made an honest attempt to, well, manage, and you're just waiting for a sign from above, then it was you who misrepresented yourself.

    As for the promised raise, is it written directly into your contract?  If you didn't get it in writing, then it's hard to say whether or not they were serious about it.  You can take it up with the owners or HR or whoever signed the contract, but they technically aren't obligated to do anything.



  •  OK.  Here's the solution.  Seems like all of your boss's information comes from the reports you generate, right?  And he hates when the reports have red numbers all over the place?  It's time for you to cook the books.  Gradually ramp up the profits until the numbers are through the roof.  This will stop his complaining AND make him think you guys are taking in a lot of money, some of which I'm sure he'll pass on to you.  Of course, he'll probably only give you 1% of the profit so you'll have to adjust the reports to show very large numbers.  I suggest trillions of dollars.



  • I should mention that there really is no standard process at all.  Basically, he'll send me an Excel sheet with a list of products (usually n the thousands) and ask for something like our cost, or how many of them we sell.  Then he goes off and does a lot of random calculations to see how low we can charge and still make money (selling products to the government is the worst fucking thing ever - so many idiotic rules).  I'd love to automate it, but I don't even think they HAVE a method to it that I could translate to code.

    However, I agree that I need to start being more assertive and acting like a "manager".  Ironically, my boss tells me to be assertive, but it's not in my nature because I personally get annoyed when I'm bothered repeatedly about something.  I had to bother a third-party vendor the other day because (according to management) he's taking too long with a vast amount of data we sent him, and I felt really bad because I'm sure the guy is doing his job, and they keep having me add more onto it, which fucks up what he's doing because every time I send him an update, he has to start over again with it. 

    I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting much of a "manager" job out of it (very small company, and I'm the only IT person).  But it's very hard to deal with because, as I've said before, the existing system is really shitty and has been built up for several years, and the database has no relations whatsoever.  I can't find the time to sit down and actually work out what the fuck it needs to do, because they are always dropping some nonsense onto my lap like having to go and upload/download Excel spreadsheets to lookup data, because there's no other way to get the information.  While I don't utterly despise the job, I also didn't expect it to be mostly running reports and shit, and slogging through a cesspit of code that was literally thrown together without rhyme or reason, and barely works only at all. 



  • @Lysis said:

    @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I just found out the biggest WTF about this job that I have.  It tops the shit code, the relational database system with no relationships, the buggy network that doesn't have all the computers set up on the same domain (because they changed server names once or twice).  No, the biggest WTF of them all is that there are no business processes at all.  None.  It's all in my boss's head, and he changes it on a whim in order to stay competitive.  No documentation, and the percentage we add this week to our prices might be totally different than the one we add next month.

    I had such high hopes when I was hired as "IT Manager" - to automate processes, improve the way we run things, and increase profit.  And instead, most of my day consists of running Excel reports because he'll give me a list of 5,000 items and want to see their cost/number sold/etc so he can change the pricing on it.  This is what most of my day consists of - I'm an "IT Manager" who pretty much just runs reports.

    I was also supposed to get a raise after my 90-days, because they offered me a few thousand dollars less than what I was asking; of cours I havent' heard anything about it, only more talk of them wanting to "cut spending".  And yet, for some odd reason I feel a little bad about putting my resume back online.

    I guess I'm just stupid.

     

     

    Well, IT people are really just glorified accountants - they just do math all day. 

     But the OP already... Oh, never mind.



  • Do your job, and get a damn ERP system. 



  • @sootzoo said:

    Do your job, and get a damn ERP system. 

     

    We have an ERP system, and its half the problem because it doesn't exactly work, and the code is a swamp (not of the Spectate variety - but I think even HE could write better code than this shit) of VBScript and inline SQL.  One page in particular (of course, it has to be the most buggy one) has hundreds of lines of javascript (inline, of course) to do all kinds of funky, wannabe Ajax (but not really) effects.  I looked at the code one day and nearly fainted - it's THAT bad.  It was also a custom job, I don't know of any commercial ones that suit what we need, and even if I could find one, they wouldn't shell out the $$$ for it.

    The main issue is that I don't have the TIME to sit down and evaluate things, because they're always in a hurry to do a load of data, or work on a bid or something so that I never can request a meeting to hash out just what the fuck our systems need to do, so I can start work on it.  The ERP system right now has several thousand files, so it's nearly impossible even to refactor (yes, folks, I've been trying to take your advice and refactor instead of rewrite).  Even if I were to be able to write a new one from scratch, I'd need to first normalize the database, and honestly to do THAT I'd need to first stabilize the network infrastructure.  So I don't ever have the time during the day to sit back and take evaluation of what we need.  They always tell me we'll do it later, but we all know that "later" never comes.

    I'm trying, honest to God, to act like a real "IT Director" (or VP of IT as they sometimes call me to stoke my ego) and try to automate processes and improve them (I want so badly to implement a BI solution with reporting and whatnot), but it's damn hard when nobody wants to listen when I point out just why the existing thing is bad, and even if they listened they wouldn't spend the money to fix it.  We don't have hot water in the office, for Christ's sake, because "it costs money to have hot water" (quoth my boss when I asked) 



  • When I was at my last job, I think I was in a similar position.  It was a smallish company of about 100 people.  The top executives were actually nice guys (to your face anyway) but were definitely way over their heads.  I started having all the same feelings as you.  I didn't hate the place but felt like I was always putting out fires and doing bitch work.  I stopped learning new things and just kind of fell into a pattern of "another day, another dollar."  I talked with some of my friends over there and told them I was thinking of quitting, and everyone told me I was crazy.  "There's dysfunction everywhere," they said, "And the devil you know..."

    Anyway I got fed up with it eventually and started looking for a new job.  Let me tell you that there definitely ARE better places than where you are at right now.  Yes, every company has problems, but not every company is a complete train wreck.  There's nothing worse than having to work at a place that you hate.  If it's your first job (doubtful) or you feel some kind of professional obligation, you might try sticking it out until you've been there for a year.  Otherwise, business is business; they'll understand if you leave.



  • It's not my first job, but I've only been here for 3 months so far.  I was out of work for about 5, and the job before this let me go just before 3 months, claiming I wasn't producing results fast enough (this despite confirming every time I asked that I was progressing nicely). So I might stick it out because I need the work, but I'll polish up the resume regardless (and embellish the position, obviously)



  • @Outlaw Programmer said:

    Assuming, of course, he accepts your resignation. 
     

    Indeed. Can this become a new meme, please? I'm bored with Brillant and FILENOTFOUND. :P



  • @Lysis said:

     

    Well, IT people are really just glorified accountants - they just do math all day. 

    What the hell is wrong with you Lysis?  You're just trolling.  But I bit on it so ...

    double-troll:  quoting the original post in its entirety (after you've been told that it's impolite) AND insulting an entire industry.  I assure you that I (and my entire team) do much more than math.  



  • The funniest thing is, that when I pretty much say "Hey, there needs to be a process for adding new items - you can't just hand me a spreadsheet with some items and expect it to be added 1-2-3" then I get looked at like I'm the problem.  The previous guy didn't care a lick for processes, so it meshed well with the "by the seat of your pants" style of running the company.  Then I come along, and I want to have order out of chaos, and strict ways to do things to make it easier to document and automate

    Ironically, I believe  that at one point they had someone in my position, who was responsible for maintaining the network (with the "consultant" being the developer, since he was here at the time).  I don't know if  they let him go over it, but I did hear once that the owner of a company that deals with "outsourced network support" told this company (both on local chamber of commerce) that "You're paying this guy a salary to maintain your systems - we can arrange for a contract for less than that" and that company took over network support (although I haven't seen or dealt with them - from what I understand, we have a "standing contract" with them if the need arises).  Naturally, I just found this out recently, although my job's not in jeopardy, it does ring some alarm bells (i.e. cheapskates).  Same with the fact we have no hot water, because "that costs money!"

    The biggest let-down of all, though, is that they are unwilling to REALIZE how bad the situation is.  No matter how much I try to explain that the database is half corrupt, and makes no logical sense at all, and should be redone (along with everything else), or hell even just sit down and discuss business processes so I know what needs to be accomplished, it gets put off with a "After this quarter" or "After we do this bid" or some other excuse.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    The biggest let-down of all, though, is that they are unwilling to REALIZE how bad the situation is.


    But you do. How long do you think the company will be around? Don't wait until it folds, and you have that on your CV.



  • @magetoo said:

    @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    The biggest let-down of all, though, is that they are unwilling to REALIZE how bad the situation is.


    But you do. How long do you think the company will be around? Don't wait until it folds, and you have that on your CV.
     

    The irony is that the companies who run on shit technology always seem to continue kicking around somehow, when they should have folded several times over.  They've been in business for 6 years, and don't seem to be going anywhere (in the good and bad sense).   But no, I see what you're saying.  Maybe it's time to polish up the resume.  Anyone have any good suggestions to make the most out of an "IT Director" position that barely falls into it?  I mean... doesn't it make me look bad and incompetent if my last position was "IT Director", but I'm back to looking for programming/network admin/whatever type jobs?  Facing reality, I really don't have the experience for any real IT manager-level job except in a similar company environment (small, family-owned, cheap, etc).

    Am open to suggestions on how to pick up the pieces ;-) 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Lysis said:

     

    Well, IT people are really just glorified accountants - they just do math all day. 

    What the hell is wrong with you Lysis?  You're just trolling.  But I bit on it so ...

    double-troll:  quoting the original post in its entirety (after you've been told that it's impolite) AND insulting an entire industry.  I assure you that I (and my entire team) do much more than math.  

     

     

    Really? More than math?  I know that IT people like to think they're the smartest people alive and everyone else is dumb, but you take orders from some end-user and you reproduce their needs in mathematical terms.  It's not really even hard work.  It's just regular math expressions that show colors on a screen.  If it's network admin work, I think the hardest thing you do is count memory usage. 

    The hardest thing any IT person deals with is purely personality.  IT people are anti-social nerds and they have to deal with complaining users all day just like any other customer service rep.  Is that really intellectual? No, of course not.  It grinds on your nerves, it's stressful at a certain level, but it's not hard work.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    The biggest let-down of all, though, is that they are unwilling to REALIZE how bad the situation is.  No matter how much I try to explain that the database is half corrupt, and makes no logical sense at all, and should be redone (along with everything else), or hell even just sit down and discuss business processes so I know what needs to be accomplished, it gets put off with a "After this quarter" or "After we do this bid" or some other excuse.

    It's tough sometimes to make management "feel the pain."  I suggest 1337 h4x0ring the system.  That's pretty painful.  Even more painful if you subsequently send management an email in 1337 sp34k explaining that he's been h4x0r3ed.  



  • @Lysis said:

     

    Really? More than math?  I know that IT people like to think they're the smartest people alive and everyone else is dumb, but you take orders from some end-user and you reproduce their needs in mathematical terms.  It's not really even hard work.  It's just regular math expressions that show colors on a screen.  If it's network admin work, I think the hardest thing you do is count memory usage. 

    The hardest thing any IT person deals with is purely personality.  IT
    people are anti-social nerds and they have to deal with complaining
    users all day just like any other customer service rep.  Is that really
    intellectual? No, of course not.  It grinds on your nerves, it's
    stressful at a certain level, but it's not hard work.

    If you really think that, then you don't know anything.  period.  

    If you don't really think that, then you're just a troll and need to go away.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Lysis said:

     

    Really? More than math?  I know that IT people like to think they're the smartest people alive and everyone else is dumb, but you take orders from some end-user and you reproduce their needs in mathematical terms.  It's not really even hard work.  It's just regular math expressions that show colors on a screen.  If it's network admin work, I think the hardest thing you do is count memory usage. 

    The hardest thing any IT person deals with is purely personality.  IT
    people are anti-social nerds and they have to deal with complaining
    users all day just like any other customer service rep.  Is that really
    intellectual? No, of course not.  It grinds on your nerves, it's
    stressful at a certain level, but it's not hard work.

    If you really think that, then you don't know anything.  period.  

    If you don't really think that, then you're just a troll and need to go away.

     

     

    You're just falling into the trap of inflated egos that IT people acquire progressively through their career.  I don't blame you; I blame an industry where you're expected to be "smart" but really all you do is listen to people bitch about what they want, what you need to do for them, and how you've failed at your objectives. 



  • @Lysis said:

    You're just falling into the trap of inflated egos that IT people acquire progressively through their career.  I don't blame you; I blame an industry where you're expected to be "smart" but really all you do is listen to people bitch about what they want, what you need to do for them, and how you've failed at your objectives.

    Good IT requires more knowledge of actual business than you think.  If you've ever seen a good PM at work, you'd see what I mean.

    What, pray tell, do you do that is so important?  High school guidance counselor?



  •  Can we kill the troll so it doesn't derail my thread?  Looking for semi-useful advice, here ;-)



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    Can we kill the troll so it doesn't derail my thread?  Looking for semi-useful advice, here ;-)

     

    Sorry for feeding the troll.

    My advice is to leave for the same reasons as have been stated.  Mostly, it's not in your job description to run reports all day.  I know it's not in your job description because if it were, then you wouldn't have come in here.  You'd be saying to yourself "Shit, I knew it was going to be like this, now what do I do?"



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Lysis said:

    You're just falling into the trap of inflated egos that IT people acquire progressively through their career.  I don't blame you; I blame an industry where you're expected to be "smart" but really all you do is listen to people bitch about what they want, what you need to do for them, and how you've failed at your objectives.

    Good IT requires more knowledge of actual business than you think.  If you've ever seen a good PM at work, you'd see what I mean.

    What, pray tell, do you do that is so important?  High school guidance counselor?

     

     

    Ummm, you think PMs are good IT people?  PMs are old guys who programmed in cobol in the 1980s with good people skills to talk to end-users and enough amusing pseudo-knowledge to bullshit with a programmer who thinks he's an idiot. 



  • @Lysis said:

    Ummm, you think PMs are good IT people?  PMs are old guys who programmed in cobol in the 1980s with good people skills to talk to end-users and enough amusing pseudo-knowledge to bullshit with a programmer who thinks he's an idiot. 

     

    Don't know why I'm biting at the bit, but:  He didnt say all PMs are good IT people, he said that if you saw a good PM, you'd know that there's more to IT than being a "glorified accountant" or whatever nonsense you spouted out at first.  Good PMs know more about business than you think, but not all PMs are good.



  • "The funniest thing is, that when I pretty much say "Hey, there needs to be a process for adding new items - you can't just hand me a spreadsheet with some items and expect it to be added 1-2-3" then I get looked at like I'm the problem. The previous guy didn't "



    The problem is that you're not using managementspeak. You're being negative which is always a bad thing. Of course in techiespeak, you're being factual and trying to solve the problem. But they don't read your complaint that way because of the communication barrier. Try to find a positive way to explain things. For example, say "If you reformat the spreadsheet in such-and-such a way, I'll get your results 25% faster." "If you convert the spreadsheet to an Access database, <same result>"



    It can be hard to find positive language when a problem is so absolutely atrocious, but getting what you want - which is fixing the WTF - is worth it. And of course, you might have to break the problem down into baby steps. Managers are all about baby steps. It will make you look positive, supportive, and like a team player and a go-getter.



    Having said all that, the fact that they won't even buy frickin hot water.... gimmee a break. Get the heck outta there.



    Editted: P.S. the quoting system SUCKS!



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Editted: P.S. the quoting system SUCKS!
     

    How do you propose that it could be any easier than:

    1) Select text.

    2) Hit quote button.

     (Skip step 1 to quote all)



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    Editted: P.S. the quoting system SUCKS!
     

    How do you propose that it could be any easier than:

    1) Select text.

    2) Hit quote button.

     (Skip step 1 to quote all)

    I agree -- the older system was a bit wierd, because most of the time I'd hit "reply" and then have to go back and hit "quote" instead. Most of the forums I use don't work that way.   This way is much easier, it just took a minute or two to figure out how it changed the first time.

    Although one problem I have since the change is that the text editor/formatting bar doesn't always load right away, I sometimes need to hit the quote button a few times to see it.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    [quote user="jetcitywoman"]Editted: P.S. the quoting system SUCKS!

     

    How do you propose that it could be any easier than:

    1) Select text.

    2) Hit quote button.

     (Skip step 1 to quote all)

    [/quote]

    I think you meant to say:
    1. Hit "Reply"
    2. Hit "Quote" button
    3. Wonder why it doesn't work
    4. Enable Javascript
    5. Reload page
    6. Figure out how to get rid of the horrible editor
    7. Finally use "Quote" button

    And the answer is: Change the URL so that it says "Quote=True" at the end.

    I'll have to figure out how to do this with a piece of userscript, one of these days...



  • @shadowman said:

    most of the time I'd hit "reply" and then have to go back and hit "quote" instead. Most of the forums I use don't work that way.   This way is much easier, it just took a minute or two to figure out how it changed the first time.
     

    Same here. Plus, splitting quotes is wayyyyy easier.

    @shadowman said:

    Although one problem I have since the change is that the text editor/formatting bar doesn't always load right away, I sometimes need to hit the quote button a few times to see it.

    Same issue here. Patience is a virtue I suppose.

     



  • @magetoo said:

    4. Enable Javascript
     

    So you have crippled your browser, but it is the forum's fault?

    Good job.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    So you have crippled your browser, but it is the forum's fault?

    The forum doesn't degrade gracefully, even though all the pieces are there, and it's my fault?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @magetoo said:

    4. Enable Javascript
     

    So you have crippled your browser, but it is the forum's fault?

    Good job.

     

     

    Exactly.  Javascript is very versatile. I don't know why anyone would disable it unless you're one of those paranoid noobs who believe the 45th link down in google searches for "javascript hacking." 



  • @magetoo said:

    The forum doesn't degrade gracefully, even though all the pieces are there, and it's my fault?
     

    Yes.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Yes.

    Well, I guess we know where we stand then, and there's no point in wasting more time on this.



  • @Lysis said:

    Exactly.  Javascript is very versatile. I don't know why anyone would disable it unless you're one of those paranoid noobs who believe the 45th link down in google searches for "javascript hacking."
    I use noscript; It is by far the most versatile popup blocker available, I use it for that purpose, it has the nice side-effect of also disabling those noisy ads some sites have. If I visit a site frequently enough I usually will enable JS, unless doing so gives me cause to disable it again.



    PS: Just realized it sounds like I speak in fragmented sentences, are all my posts like this?



  • @Lingerance said:

    @Lysis said:
    Exactly.  Javascript is very versatile. I don't know why anyone would disable it unless you're one of those paranoid noobs who believe the 45th link down in google searches for "javascript hacking."
    I use noscript; It is by far the most versatile popup blocker available, I use it for that purpose, it has the nice side-effect of also disabling those noisy ads some sites have. If I visit a site frequently enough I usually will enable JS, unless doing so gives me cause to disable it again.



    PS: Just realized it sounds like I speak in fragmented sentences, are all my posts like this?
     

     

    FoxFire eliminates popups without eliminating Javascript. 



  • @Lysis said:

     

    FoxFire eliminates popups without eliminating Javascript. 

    No it doesn't.  I still get them, though they are rare. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Lysis said:

     

    FoxFire eliminates popups without eliminating Javascript. 

    No it doesn't.  I still get them, though they are rare. 

     

     

    Stop visiting porn and warez/serialz sites? 



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    Looking for semi-useful advice, here

    That's rather optimistic of you.

    Violence is about the only thing I can come up with. But I think you're probably screwed. Have you considered a change of career?



  •  @asuffield said:

    That's rather optimistic of you.

    Violence is about the only thing I can come up with. But I think you're probably screwed. Have you considered a change of career?

    If I had any useful skill other than IT related stuff (network admin, development, etc.) then I'd probably consider that. 



  • It's easy enough for us to give advice and for you to read it, but you have to interpret it in your own context and execute it in a form that makes sense for you.  That's the hard part.

    Having said that, I'll do what I can here...

    I understand that the company does not have a set process.  Most small businesses don't.  It scares me that they have an ERP without a documented process.  You have to press the issue that a repeatable process with a reasonable number of decision points is necessary in order to develop an IT infrastructure that will last more than a couple of months without a major overhaul.

    Try to understand it yourself in economic terms, not technical terms.  If you don't understand the economics yourself, you'll have a hard time making the case to a non-technical exec.  Talk about scalability - the need to hire more employees as the business grows, which can be greatly reduced by productivity-enhancing technology and software.  Talk about validation - the ability to catch obvious errors before they hit a customer and potentially end up costing huge amounts in lost business or legal liability.  Talk about security, and what the potential cost to the company would be if the wrong information ended up in the wrong person's hands.  Talk about maintainability, or "technical debt" - the more shortcuts are taken, the more the interest starts to add up in terms of servicing the system, and one day you might be expending all of your resources just on maintaining what's in place now, without any free resources to make improvements.  Maybe you're already at that stage.  If you're too deep in debt to keep the payments under control, then it's time to declare bankruptcy and start over.

    Talk about staff turnover.  What happens if somebody leaves the company?  Does all of their accumulated knowledge leave with them?  A good IT system can survive any amount of turnover.  The more business intelligence is in the system, the less of a concern there would be if employees quit or the company falls on hard times.

    You need to help with the process development.  Don't wait for your manager to give it to you.  Watch the way people work, and come up with a proposal.  Do it after normal business hours if you have to.  Keep it simple, a flow chart or a block diagram with no more than 10 elements.  Perhaps there are some elements that are vague or indicate a complex decision.  Maybe you could get some clarification on these.  As an engineer (or programmer...) you are the expert on this, and should only require the occasional clarification from execs.

    Try to come up with reasonable estimates.  How long will it take to come up with a "first cut"?  How much time will it save your manager(s)?  Try not to make complaints, as in "you can't do this".  What you want to be saying is, "instead of taking 1 hour to create this spreadsheet and waiting 3 hours for me to make the changes you've asked for, I could develop a system that would allow you to make the changes directly in 30 minutes or less, and it would only take me one week.  Plus, you'd have much more detailed reporting available afterwards."

    This is more or less how I've worked in the past.  For this stint, I wasn't even originally hired as a software engineer, I was just going to help set up some external vendor's devices.  I shadowed people for 2 or 3 days, watched how it worked.  I said, "I can't believe you have to wait 20 minutes for this report when you only have 500 customers - what are you going to do when you have 5000 or 50,000 customers?  Give me 3 weeks and I can build something that will get this information for you in 30 seconds or less, AND do [various other post-processing that people did manually]."  And I did.  It was a simple tool at the time, and we outgrew it, but the new version wasn't a "hard sell"; they asked for it.

    When managers are used to crap internal software that just barely solves their immediate needs, they are understandably skeptical about the prospect of extensive long-term design and development.  If you can introduce them to real quality, something that not only solves the problem but enables them to do much more interesting things that they didn't even realize were possible, then the sales pitch is over, and the requests start to come in for software that can read their minds and predict the future (maybe this isn't entirely a good thing, but it means that they're on your side, even if not on exactly the same wavelength).

    You don't have to do any of this.  It's a lot of work, and it takes a lot of persistence, and to put it bluntly, you need a spine.  You WILL get bullied and you have to stand up to that and restate your case assertively (without being a total prick about it - although we all have those days).  This is generally what it's like to work for a small non-software shop.  Software isn't their core business, it's not even a significant factor in their core business (yet), so they're not that interested.  But there is a big payoff if you do well and people come to depend on the fruits of your labours; that's something you won't get at a big conglomerate or a software house.

    I don't know what other semi-useful advice there can be.  Small business is different from big business, it has its own trials and tribulations, and its own risks and rewards. And you might just be at a shit company with a shit manager and shit owners who don't know shit and can't learn shit.  But give them some credit and don't be so quick to assume the worst; if they've kept the business running for this long then they must be reasonably smart in their field.  They're just not experts in technology and don't automatically understand the inherent tradeoffs in doing it fast vs. doing it right - that's why they hired you.  So help them, and if they make it absolutely crystal clear that they don't want your help or your expertise, then leave.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

     Can we kill the troll so it doesn't derail my thread?  Looking for semi-useful advice, here ;-)

    Dude, you are really making this out to be much more complicated than it is.

    Do you like the job or not?  I'm guessing not otherwise you wouldn't have started this post.  Find Something Else. Quit. Move On. In that order.

    If you like the job then stop bitching and make the most of it. 

    Good luck,

     



  • @Aaron said:

    It's easy enough for us to give advice and for you to read it, but you have to interpret it in your own context and execute it in a form that makes sense for you.  That's the hard part.

    Having said that, I'll do what I can here...

    He's a "manager", remember?  Managers are too busy to handle anything other than small words, short sentences, and nothing larger than a single paragraph...  Otherwise it just gets binned.

    ;)

     

    BTW, I'm not taking a swipe at the OP, just that large bit of flotsam.



  • <ManagerVoice> Shouldn't you code monkeys be churning out code that we can sell to our customers, and not reading a forum?</ManagerVoice>

     ;-)

     I'll be the first to admit I need to grow a spine.  I've always had it drilled in to just "shut up and do whatever [the bosses] tell you to do".  


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