Work Three Months On – Unenthused

We’re coming up to the three-month mark since I started the new job, so I thought I’d do a bit of a brain-dump about it. Bear in mind, I’m still being fairly careful about not saying what area the job/company work in, as it’s a pretty limited range of companies that do the same work in the Norfolk area…

It’s probably going to be a long-ish and grumpy post, so if you don’t want to know more, don’t click on the “More” link below…

Anyway, having been here three months now, I can honestly say that I’m already bored out of my tiny mind with it, and getting seriously pissed off with a lot of the internal politics and people. Some of them are endemic to the type of organisation that the company is, but it’s just depressingly dire in some circumstances. For example, I still don’t have access to some of the databases that I’m actually supposed to be working with, and developing stuff that connects to them – and that’s despite repeated requests for the access to be sorted out.

In addition, there’s lots of silliness about security currently. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with setting things up securely, or working in a secure set-up. That’s just common sense. What bugs me is when there’s stuff done “for security purposes” that can neither be explained nor justified past that explanation. And again, in some cases those ‘security purposes’ are directly hindering and slowing down the work I do. One example of this is that none of the web-servers allow error reporting. There’s a good reason for that in the live public-facing environment, but on a development box, it’s downright hindersome when I can’t see what error has been thrown, and the browser just displays a blank white page. That on its own is enough to drive me mental on a bad day.

There’s also the not-so-minor problem of a workload that (for me at least) is distinctly low-rent. In three months I’ve completed three projects – and one of those was more of an “I’m bored, so I’ll knock together Version One while I’ve got some spare time”. One of those three has been launched and used, (successfully, allbeit with some issues that need fixing for the next version) one’s still waiting for people to get their fingers out, and one’s just a demo thing that works, but isn’t being used. And at the moment there’s really nothing else on the agenda for at least the next month. Sure, I can start working on v2 of the completed project (and that’s what I’m likely to do) but that’ll cause friction at a later date, I’m sure.

Why friction? Because there’s a rigid structure here, and certain people get extremely snitty if you’ve done work before it’s been assigned to you. Again, I’d understand this more if there were a development team, but there’s precisely one web developer in the company. Me. So if there’s stuff coming up that needs web development, it’s going to be done by me, simple as that. But this rigid “Only do work when you’ve been told to” is still in place – and particularly with the project manager who used to do my job. (I’ll refer to him as Mr E, for no good reason except my own sense of humour) There seems to be a definite clash on that score – I’ve got four project managers who can fling work my way, but if I do work that’s not been approved by Mr E then complaints get made by Mr E to my line manager. Even when Mr E has nothing to do with it. *sigh*

All told, after three months I’m really not all that happy here. The talk/plan:work ratio is horrifically skewed in favour of the former, and that always drives me mental. If I’m working on a system, I plan it while I’m writing it – I may have a fairly firm idea already of how the entire thing comes together, but it’s an organic development rather than a rigid structured one.

I know it’ll stuff them utterly as and when I do move on – that’s the downside of having a one-man development “team” – but that’s not really my problem. I need to stay here ’til we’ve sorted out the new mortgage deal, but I really can’t see myself staying here for very long at all once that’s in place.

There’s still a month or so to go before that happens. So it’s quite likely that I’m going to start looking before very long at all, to see what else is around.

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