Need your opinion



  • As you know, I work on Team-WTF in Department-WTF at WTF-Inc, which was swallowed whole by MegaCorp. WTF-Inc is now a cancer growing in the bowels of MegaCorp.

    After my discovery (during an audit of one of the systems within MegaCorp) of several items including this, some manager several levels up took notice, and decided that perhaps I could help them uncover more similar types of things. After all, they are (allegedly) fully SDLC compliant, complete with formal code reviews, etc, and things like that just shouldn't have slipped into their production environment. I'm impressed that someone in a corporation of this size actually cares. Anyway, I was invited to a sit-down to discuss it.

    For reference, I spend about half of my time sitting around while waiting for other folks to give me information as to what is needed so I can go build and test it.

    The long and the short of it is they want me to act as an independent consultant (which is precisely what I happen to be) and do ongoing deep dive reviews of their systems and report to him and his peer managers. I pointed out that a) I like my present boss, b) while I have some time, it's not enough to tackle an entire code base at that scale, and c) I wouldn't do something like that without full approval of the entire pecking order above me.

    My boss and above are included in the discussions, and they make the case that they have too much work for me to do (pity they don't know what most of it entails) and can't spare me. The other managers asked if I'd be willing to put in some extra hours that could be dedicated to their systems.

    Now don't get me wrong. I could download a source tree or two from their source control system onto my laptop and "work from home" in my spare time at work. It would increase my already stratospheric billing by more than 50%.

    It is NOT about the money (although I'd be lying if I said it wasn't enticing).

    However, I already exist in a living, breathing Pit-o-WTF <font size="-2">(TM)</font>, and the thought of spelunking through an even bigger, deeper Pit-o-WTF <font size="-2">(TM)</font> gives me pause. I admit, I have a maudlin curiosity as to what could be lurking in the depths of that place. However, I am equally fearful of it. From Jurassic Park (from memory): Their scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn't stop to think if they should. Now I'm certain there are no dinosaurs in there, but what I do find might be equally as scary, if not worse.

    OTOH, it would give me a second "job" within the company, which is sort of like job security. It would also give me something to do during all that down-time.

    I already post here quite a bit. The thought of opening up a Pandora's Box-o-WTF <font size="-2">(TM)</font> is both intriguing and intimidating.

    I am sitting on the fence. So is my wife.

    What would YOU do?



  • @snoofle said:

    What would YOU do?

     

    I would read your post.



  • You know my opinion.




  • Sounds like it's an opportunity to start change... or to have everyone hate you. If this can get you on the higher level manager's good side, I'd say it's worth the work as a long term investment in this company. Plus you get money too. But if you plan to leave any time soon, I wouldn't bother.

    Also self-servingly, it might give us double the snoofle posts, and that I would like to see. I would have thought there would be legal issues with working from home, given your company.



  • @snoofle said:

    OTOH, it would give me a second "job" within the company, which is sort of like job security.
    Third job will be the one TDWTF offers you for posting the stories.



  •  I lurk here quite a bit, but do read every sidebar every day, and yours are some of the most enjoyable reads. I say go for it, the more WTF's the merrier, and you'll be making positive change both in money and in your company.



  • I would decline it and tell them to offer that to the talented Sutherlands, knowing that he is fully capable and deserving of some extra money.

    But seriously... some things to consider... are you working at your normal billing rate?  How many hours do they want you to devote to it?  Do you have the option to put in less hours to that task if you're not feeling up to it?

    Some days when my brain is tired, the last thing I want to do is go home and dig through more code trying to figure out what the heck it's doing.  But I could easily put in 2 days on the weekend doing this type of stuff for a lot of extra money.

    Also, if that's what you would be doing in your down time, when would you post to TDWTF?



  • I bet there would be an unending stream of work to do, and no doubt it would be fascinating to see just how far down the WTF rabbit hole you can go, but this is not a healthy situation.

    In my opinion, no way.

    To me, it is a situation ripe for open ended exploitation of your time and energy. Moreover, the stress of trying to maintain working knowledge of all those systems straight while playing nice with all the managers vying for your attention would cancel out the joy associated with receiving any amount of extra cash.

    However, if you agree to the opportunity, and I am careful to call it that, I would not do so without lots of rules, limits to your time, and most importantly, the ability to 'bail out' from the extra work without penalty.



  • @OP:

    Typically, nobody listens to the guy that brings the bad news. Have you asked yourself why this manager wants you to "review" their code?



  • @snoofle said:

    I am sitting on the fence. So is my wife.

    What would YOU do?

     

    I would advise you to go ahead and put in the overtime. And then I would sit next to your wife.

     

     



  • @snoofle said:

    What would YOU do?
     

    If I was not required to actually cope with the WTFs I find, just to report them, I'd go for it. And ask Alex to create me a subdomain here. And maybe pay me royalties based on how many articles I post there.

    Then probably buy a luxury yacht after two or three months.



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    @snoofle said:
    What would YOU do?
     If I was not required to actually cope with the WTFs I find, just to report them, I'd go for it. And ask Alex to create me a subdomain here. And maybe pay me royalties based on how many articles I post there.Then probably buy a luxury yacht after two or three months.


    Agreed. Fixing their presumably huge and WTFy codebase would be death. If it's only finding the WTFs and doing code review on new code, i'd probably do it...

    On another note, you seem to be getting less careful with the details, watch out with that. I'd not like to see you fired for breach of confidentiality (or some such), we really need our almost-daily fix of WTFery from you ;)...



  • @snoofle said:

    "work from home" in my spare time at work

    Bad idea.



  • I would send you my resume, seems like you'll need some Java ninja-champion-scientist to tackle at this. As a bonus, I would forward you all the WTF's so you can post them here and win some dev-cred.



  • @snoofle said:

    As you know, I work on Team-WTF in Department-WTF at WTF-Inc, which was swallowed whole by MegaCorp. WTF-Inc is now a cancer growing in the bowels of MegaCorp.
     

    I'm going to read the whole post in a bit, but I just wanted to quote this gold.



  •  If The Snoofle cannot handle it... who can?



  • @ OhNoDevelopment said:

    Sounds like it's an opportunity to start change [and] have everyone hate you.
    @ OhNoDevelopment said:
    If this can get you on the higher level manager's good side, I'd say it's worth the work as a long term investment in this company. Plus you get money too.
    @Mark Bowytz said:
    [However]I would not do so without lots of rules, limits to your time, and most importantly, the ability to 'bail out' from the extra work without penalty. [Otherwise] there would be an unending stream of work to do [and it would be an] open ended exploitation of your time and energy.
    @swayde said:
    Fixing their presumably huge and WTFy codebase would be death.
    @SEMI-HYBRID code said:
    If I was not required to actually cope with the WTFs I find, just to report them, I'd go for it.
    @swayde said:
    On another note, you seem to be getting less careful with the details, watch out with that. I'd not like to see you fired for breach of confidentiality (or some such), we really need our almost-daily fix of WTFery from you ;)...



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    @snoofle said:

    I am sitting on the fence. So is my wife.

    What would YOU do?

     

    I would advise you to go ahead and put in the overtime. And then I would sit next to your wife.

    @snoofle: can you send me a picture of your wife? Currently I'm only imagining AndyCanfield sitting on a fence.



  • @snoofle said:

    they want me to act as an independent consultant (which is precisely what I happen to be) and do ongoing deep dive reviews of their systems and report to him and his peer managers.
     

    Have you asked to what end?

    Your story sounds like you're going to be searching for and identifying areas to address with a view to creating improvement opportunities. Others may see you simply as fault-attacking, and people often don't like their failings exposed.

    I think it's an interesting challenge and - given you've exposed many WTFs before - that puts you in a prime position to go searching for more. But:

    1. you'll have to ditch your existing workload to concentrate upon it - else you won't have the time
    2. you'll have to ditch your existing duties to focus upon it - else you won't be truly impartial
    3. you'll have to cope with a change in culture and perception of your role within the organisation - else you'll be viewed as a troublemaker.

    I suppose another question is: how long do they expect you to do this for? Is it a fixed-term contract just to create drivers for change? In which case, look at it as a short-term defect-detection task then draw a line under it. If it's ongoing, you'll either stay until:

    • all issues above a certain priority are discovered (and possibly fixed) - quality has dramatically improved and you are no longer required
    • someone decides they're sick of hearing bad news and shooting the messenger is a good way of achieving silence.
    I know answering a question with another isn't good practise, but maybe some wider considerations could sway your current perch upon said fence.



  • @snoofle said:

    Decided that perhaps I could help them uncover more similar types of things.
    When I read this I saw it as an opportunity for the creation of "Snoofle corp." to provide professional spelunking services to high value customers. They want your expertise but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to personally provide it. If you know people who have the same vision as you and you can trust their work then this could be a case of Opportunity knocking. However I do recognize that it takes a different mentality to run a company with employees than it is to be an independent contractor.


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