Author Topic: What is your workload like?  (Read 1004 times)

ober

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What is your workload like?
« on: September 07, 2016, 01:26:09 PM »
I'm curious what the rest of you guys that program for a living deal with on a regular basis.  I manage a team of developers and I personally spend about 50-60% of my time coding and I'm curious what everyone else's workloads and timelines are like because I'm getting fairly pissed at how things are going here and when I talk to another dev friend of mine he rarely has enough to keep him busy.

Yet my team is small (7 devs besides myself) and my team is always getting shit on because at least half the team doesn't meet our timelines for one reason or another.  We develop one single huge SaaS platform and we've taken on some pretty major updates over the past few years.  Every time my team provides a timeline it gets cut down.  We asked for 8 weeks, they cut it to 7.  We said it's going to take X they say get it done in Y.  We already don't do basic shit like unit test writing or TDD because the timelines are too tight.  And then we get into testing and have a fair amount of bugs because GUESS FUCKING WHAT... THE TIMELINES FORCE EVERYONE TO PUT IN SHIT CODE!

I'm not even sure what I'm trying to get out of this.  I mean I get that everything has timelines and you're supposed to work towards that but it feels like my team is ALWAYS under a gun and under pressure.  Is this normal?

charlie

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Re: What is your workload like?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 01:49:23 PM »
Things are different now that a new company has taken over and we have a completely different system, but before that...

When we said it will take 8 weeks, nobody ever said do it in 7. Or if they did, we said, ok, we can do it in 7 if we take out this feature. Whether that's normal or not I don't know, but it sure helped things. After a while as manager/team leader, you should have a sense of how long these will take and when timelines aren't realistic. So at some point maybe you have to stick your guns? Or explain, ok, if we shorten the timeline, this and that will happen (like more bugs will require more support costing the company more in the long run, or whatever).

I got to the point where I almost never coded unless people were running behind schedule (which happened regularly but our dev cycles were more like 6 months long). We were behind schedule fairly often, too, because there were always external factors. So we regularly felt under the gun and under pressure. But again, if we weren't going to make a date we simply removed functionality. This was obviously easier when you had a 6 month release with six major features that include dozens of pieces that could be skipped if necessary.

I don't know that you could do that. But it's certainly worth considering being more forceful about your timelines and pointing out from the beginning which functionality could be skipped in order to meet an unrealistic date forced upon you. If you get that functionality done anyway then you look like heroes, and if you don't you look prescient.

micah

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Re: What is your workload like?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 03:10:04 PM »
As an agency, we have different clients with different ongoing projects of various complexity.  There are 7 developers, each having quasi ownership of certain clients/projects.  So sometimes we're all slammed and spending 100% of our time programming and working long hours to meet client/PM dictated deadlines.  Other times, some people are busy and some people are bored looking for something to do but lacking knowledge and/or skill set to help out those who are busy.  Its a weird balance. 

More to your question, our primary job duty (in my department of 7) is programming.  So there are occasional meetings to take delivery of specs or get clarification from designers, but the billable time for our jobs is almost all programming.  Everyone once in a while the account team or client have a technical question and we'll get called in to help out and sometimes the PM's will ask our options on timelines (ha!) or RFP questions, but I'd say that accounts for less than 10% of our time.
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