Buried at work

In early November, I was “offered” a new project at work (“your the only one who can fix this”). For those who know me a little, you may recall that I am a computer software developer and database administrator and have worked for the same employer, a well known outerwear (e.g. coats) manufacturer, for more than 14 years. This new project has taken absolutely all of my free time. Tonight is one of the few evenings that I have not had to work to the wee hours of the morning.

I am exhausted. I have wondered why I was tapped to take on this project and was told that it was because all the critical systems I have built and am responsible for, none of them require anyone to work after hours or overtime. I hope to get it stable by late spring.

The real problem was caused by an rogue employee who did what he wanted, did not document what he did, and did things in a non-standard manner. He has burned himself out because he took on too much responsibility. He is clearly exceptionally intelligent, but lacked formal training in the proper methods of programming. As a result, no one can figure out his programming code. As an example, myself and three other people, who have a combined experience of more than 110 years, have not been able to figure out what in the world he did and are surprised that it works (sort of) to begin with. Clearly the only solution is the rather expensive route of re-engineering the entire solution - from scratch.

Okay. I guess I have vented enough. Thank you for bearing with me.

(This is one of two reasons I have not posted much lately.)

I hate the “only you can fix this” tasks. Sometimes you just don’t win at all.

I am a QA person (actually I run the department) and am tapped occasionally with the “put a team together and fix this - tomorrow” tasks. They are thankless, for the large part, because no one can actually understand the real problem, so they don’t understand the enormity and complexity of the fix.

When you add the rogue who sometimes writes obtuse code just because he can, you are in deep trouble no matter how you look at it.

I feel for you. What an advent, huh? In the meantime, my VP is on vacation for the rest of the year, there’s at least half a foot of snow on the ground with a total of one to two feet of snow predicted and I’m responsible for all of the year end deliverables.

Merry Christmas!

Fellow developer here (though I do the “soft” html/css side of things!) Sending you my sympathy because I’ve been in that exact same position before. I learned that for me, re-developing it from scratch is almost always faster. Even if it does take you longer, it would be more rewarding to use your creativity and ingenuity to develop a faster/lighter/cleaner system to have in your portfolio than to put a band-aid on a shoddy one.

Us coders need our own patron saint to pray to, huh? :slight_smile:

It sounds like the management of your organization was negligent in allowing this “rouge developer” to continue for so long without reviewing the work that he was doing.

*Nice hearing from you on here, rpp. I hope you and your family have a joyous Christmas. Sorry you have been so buried in work lately… *

The story of my life.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.