Saturday, March 04, 2006

One Week In

Now that I've had one week in the new job, I must say I am a bit disheartened. There are a number of things that I'm dubious about, and other things that I'm downright outraged about.
The way the project is working is traditional waterfall model (oh no!), and the closest they've heard of agile methodologies is RUP (which, I didn't think, was an agile methodology).
What this means is that there's a business analyst (ba), who's creating use cases, which are then passed onto a project manager (pm), who then creates a project plan. Each use case has a time period associated with it (usually 5 day), which has been decided in association with the programmers.
When a use case is scheduled to start, there's ONE person who's creating the basis for it (more on this later). Then the programmer comes along and does the rest. In the programmer's schedule (well, included in the programmer's allotted days) is consultation with the users about the prototype. Any issues that arise that can't be fitted into the timeframe are written down and go back to the pm.
So far, so good?
Well, no. What this means in practice is that the ba creates a very vague description of what the system needs to do. The programmers have a pie-in-the-sky guess at how long this is going to take, and this gets written into the schedule. Then, once the programmer comes to start work on the specific functionality, they still have analysis to do, and this, inevitably, comes up with more work, that can't be fitted into the schedule, as the schedule is due to finish in Q3 2006. The programmer does their best to facilitate and changes in their allotted time schedule, which inevitably means they run over, which means the schedule is now behind.
At the moment, on the schedule, there's about 4 weeks for 'integration testing' and bug-fix, along the way. (I think this should be a continuous thing, but oh well). What this means, exactly, is anyone's guess, but they're now talking about using this time to work on the functionality that they've not got time on anywhere else. (ARGH).
On top of this, because of the dependencies in the project, when one use case runs over, it means that some others start late. In reality, this means overtime (which, frankly, I'm not prepared to do. Most of the programmers already work 20 minutes extra a day, which adds up over a week).
As well as this, there's only 1 programmer working on the old systems, which seem to need someone on them full time. He's got work scheduled in for the project, and because he's the junior programmer, and knows little, if anything, about the old systems, needs a lot of support, which uses up other programmers' time too. (I can see this being a real problem, especially as he's meant to be working with me on my items).

On top of the project side of things, they've asked me to take out my earring, because it's in an usual place, whilst other people (both men + women) are allowed to have more traditional lobe piercings.
Working hours is another issue. The contract they sent me states 37.5hrs a week, to be worked between 0800-1800 Monday to Friday. I, foolishly, took this to mean flexi-time. No fucking chance. The team manager (who's not the pm, so I can already see a conflict in interest coming on), stipulates that all the programmers work the same hours, which are 0900-1730, with an hour for lunch (which, frankly, I struggle to fill). This is extra annoying for me, as the trains mean I usually arrive at work at 0840, and leave work about 1745. That's an extra 35 minutes of work a day. I can't take the car at the moment, as it's busted, but I'm loathed to drive into work anyway (most of the other programmers drive 60 miles a day for work). I suppose I could cycle, but, at the moment, there's snow on the ground, (my least favourite cycling condition).
Oh well, at least, given my last job-search experience, it shouldn't be to hard to find something else if I decide this really isn't for me. (I shouldn't be saying that after only one week).

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