View Full Version : Embarrassed by Project Requests

3rd June 2005, 07:36
This one of the things I dislike about contracting.

Having been in IT teams and run teams, my present contract has be at the bottom of the hierachy but highest paid and most experienced.

I was hired with 'Tell us where we're going wrong'.

So I have.

Given the following options for reporting requests these tend to be the options

a) Fudge it in 4 hours, do it manually with a template, but next week you will have to spend 4 hours on it again

b) Take 8 hours with some automation but will take 2 hours next week to do some stuff manually.

c)Take 2 days - do it properly - only take 2 hours per month dealing with it

d)Take 10 days - provide a simple back end DW covering this and the other 50 requests. No time spent.

Any guesses for which one they keep taking against my suggestions????????

F-cking amateurs!!!!!!>:

3rd June 2005, 08:23
Yesterday I mentioned to my Team Leader that the hard disk on the PC I use for streaming video data to the baseband adapter was nearIy full.

He popped by my lab, handed me a new hard disk and said "There you go!".

FFS, I had to fit it myself!

3rd June 2005, 08:45
So that I go home today happy in the knowledge that I have learnt/learned something new and worthwhile, what does "DW" stand for?

Digital Washstand
Damaged Whistle
Dolly Walker
Deer Watcher
Dressed Wrestler

3rd June 2005, 08:47
Dirty Wankstain?

3rd June 2005, 09:29
Data Warehouse - not to be confused with the sort of warehouse Arkwright is more famous for - a rented lockup full of cheap tat from SE Asia

3rd June 2005, 10:19
Dodgy Wares!

Thanks Fiddle.

What's a Data Warehouse?

3rd June 2005, 10:52
"What's a Data Warehouse? "

Its a large building full of pasty faced androids from Star Trek.

3rd June 2005, 10:57
> Dodgy Wares!


Now why didn't I think of that :(

Lucifer Box
3rd June 2005, 11:26
a) Fudge it in 4 hours, do it manually with a template, but next week you will have to spend 4 hours on it again
Think contractor, man, not shopkeeper. Recommend option a) and make it clear that no one in the company has the skills and experience to carry out that weekly 4 hour job other than you. You will offer to do it remotely from home for a £2k a month retainer.


25th June 2005, 23:15
Believe it or not. 6 month extension. Little more say in what is going on and I reckon contracting at this place for years to come.

Kerching, kerching, ching, ching, toot toot!

25th June 2005, 23:42
Im in two minds about this....

Firstly - this is also the sort of thing that makes us vulnerable to outsourcing.

You may be making easy cash, but its noticed on the balance sheet by the accountants. They then say 'why dont you do what everyone else is doing and hire The Worlds Best Programmers in that country that produces tea and save us 30% - that way all us manager types (which derive from an amoeba base class) can get bonuses.

Secondly - Well, you did your best to tell them the professional way to operate - if they wont listen it simply makes you look like a 'problem' if you keep on about it.

Oftentimes it's a Catch 22 for contractors - do what the client asks and cost him more money, or demonstrate costs savings while then potentially getting involved in office politics.

I worked for a certain consultancy who I discovered was charging me out at £250 an hour. I then realised why British business is so uncompetitive. For £500 a day I could have developed the same solution and imparted some of my knowledge to the permanent staff, while also gaining valuable insight into the company and industry it operated in.

Knowledge share, cost savings, and pofit - a win for all.

But no.

'We cant trust YOU to tell us the truth because you dont have an expensive salesman costing us an additional £60k to sign the piece of paper. You also dont have the backing of a major company name that will cost us an additional £250k on the letterheads and involve lots of meetings to say how well you are doing. However, your skills are important to us, thankyou for your interest in Company X, however, we would like pay more to have you on site. Beep.'

26th June 2005, 00:17
We have all been there, armed with years of experience in some area, we turn up at a place and are appalled by the inefficiency. Usually there are some damn good people there, including among the hated permies, but the whole seems to be so much less than the sum of the parts.

But the big companies get called on to do these major projects time and time again despite the ridulous costs. Anyone who has worked at any of them, probably most of us on here, knows how pitifully low the productivity can be.

Why? I suppose because they actually have the organisation to put a big project together. They may be crap but are least they are known and assessible crap. Take your planned project timescale/budget, multiply by 2.497, and you know that you will get probably get something usable.

Maybe a hand picked bunch of contractors would do better. Probably, but not a lot I suspect. The whole is ALWAYS less than the sum of the parts. And if every project is staffed by the experienced and competent, how would the inexperienced and incompetent ever learn?

26th June 2005, 00:24
Its a big outsourcing client Im at. Loads and loads of Indians.

But everyone does everything project by project/client by client.

You would think after offering a vanilla solution to 100 clients they may have thought about a vanilla reporting/DW solution for the whole business, but no! They have over 100 people running reports and it takes me to turn up and shout from the rooftop "The emperor has no clothes!!!!" before loads of people say "We know!! But who we tell?"

Anyway I happen to be on the biggest client of the 100 and I tell everyone I find they should be embarassed by their approach. And! They all agree!!!!! :rolleyes

Bundaberg Bum
26th June 2005, 00:37
Its a big outsourcing client Im at. Loads and loads of Indians.

but where are the fecking Chiefs when you need them?

26th June 2005, 00:44
Its unfortunate that your contract undoubtedly has a exclusion clause to prevent you from working for the said largest client.

Ive been in similar situations where I would instinctively take the approach of writing a generic core system that could be extended to meet the needs of individuals - that is of course fundamental to OO / software engineering; the use of patterns etc.

What Ive tended to do over the last year or so that ive become comfortable enough with my label as a 'senior' .Net techie is write what the client wants, then write my generic version on my own time. Im not going to use it at my next client, but im either going to use it as a project to develop my skills, or go on to sell it / or more probably develop my own projects with it.