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Author Topic: Dealing with the managers/clients  (Read 3595 times)
jammaster82
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« on: February 26, 2010, 06:32:40 AM »

Ok.  So how do you keep your boss away from you so you can program.

Heres the scenario:

You ignore them, they fire you for not communicating.

-or-

You spend all day long on phone and replying to extra feature requests
and the project gets bigger with every email and you never finish.
And do three times as much work you dont get paid for.

Meanwhile the only thing they can say to you is:  "When will you be finished?"

And the truth is, a week ago if i had spent the last week programming and not
changing the color of the font on page 12 div c....

Tried emailing:  "Im working really hard on it as fast as I can ill email you as soon as im
done."

Then another email comes as if id never said that, "when will you be finished with the form?"
 The original form you requested? We scrapped it..  The second one i did and told you
was incorrect but you said do anyway? Finished it .... wrong one... The third one? Should
i spend today on phone and sending you emails or should i open up my code editor?

Is there any way to volley with this S.O.B.?  I mean really ive coded this form
three times now and each time im halfway done they ask for more shit but i
dont get paid any more WTF how do i keep them off of me long enough so i can
concentrate and finish ?!?!?!  I thought of
packing their zippo with thermite but ive calmed down since then.
Anyone have any tricks to distract them? I know that you have dealt with this because
every single manager or client ive ever had does this same thing.

Off on a rant here this morning... just spend night number three doing the same f@ckin form.

 Don't make me...
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 09:05:46 AM »

I feel for ya man, I know the sort of client, you don't do specs before taking the job on?

I do them religiously. Even if I spend more time on the specs than the actual coding, it is well worth it IMHO.
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perkiset
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 12:25:29 PM »

Ok.  So how do you keep your boss away from you so you can program.

 ROFLMAO I tell here there's a sale at her favorite clothing store.
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rcjordan
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 12:41:10 PM »

No kidding, this is absolutely, without-a-doubt, the best piece of people management advice I was ever given. It has saved me untold amounts of time and agony. Best of all, you come out being the good guy.

Paul Lynsky was the regional manager for Burroughs back when I sold computer mainframes door-to-door. He was the XXXXest, XXXXest, XXXXest, most XXXXATIVE son-of-a-XXXX that ever walked the face of the planet ...except for his bosses, who were his bosses precisely because they beat him at these fine management qualities.

I was doing great in sales (200% quota YTD) and Lynsky started mentoring me directly, rather than working through the local zone manager. He knew that I was getting bogged down in installations. Hell, things would be so much faster if I could just drop off the computer and wave goodbye. Paul, of course, just wanted me back out selling. But salesmen were responsible for the installation and training, even some of the coding. The problem wasn't so much the basic hardware and programs, mostly it was in all the custom reports that the client wanted/needed once we got it past the initial install and they could see what else the package needed. I was coding a crapload of extra reports to make the customer happy and it was sucking up my time.

So Lynsky calls me into his office:
"Just give them something to do FIRST, just a little something, anything. It doesn't have to be hard to do or beyond their capabilities. Then have them call you to do the next step once they've finished their task."

Since reports were what was killing me, I started asking for the client to just lay out the column headers. Nothing fancy, just take a scrap piece of greenbar and rule off some columns and pencil in a header. All of a sudden, the need for these reports which the client HAD-TO-HAVE RIGHT AWAY or he'd go out of business tomorrow dried up.
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perkiset
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 12:58:35 PM »

"Just give them something to do FIRST, just a little something, anything. It doesn't have to be hard to do or beyond their capabilities. Then have them call you to do the next step once they've finished their task."

Since reports were what was killing me, I started asking for the client to just lay out the column headers. Nothing fancy, just take a scrap piece of greenbar and rule off some columns and pencil in a header. All of a sudden, the need for these reports which the client HAD-TO-HAVE RIGHT AWAY or he'd go out of business tomorrow dried up.

Incredibly well said and spot on. SPOT on.
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rcjordan
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 01:27:45 PM »

Louise and I use this so often that it's become a verb  ...as in lynsky him.

I'll add that it is so effective that -after I overcame the initial shock of having it actually work- I started browbeating my clients for their work. I'd repeatedly remind them that I was ready to do that special coding but I still needed that work from them.  After a while, they'd start avoiding the topic entirely.
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 03:45:53 PM »

Applause RC.

The good news is if this advice doesn't work then you're actually dealing with someone who is willing to help you achieve your stated goals.  If, however, it does work, as it most always does (I can attest to this, though I've never had a name for it), then by all means it should work
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 08:35:48 PM »

I have taken two approaches.

first was RC's method which can work great if the boss is of the personality type to "fall for it". It also works on the "meeting happy boss". Other than that you can also try being a real douche or brutally honest. "i could do that, but I think you would rather me focus on ------thing that makes money or fixes a big problem----- first right?" (note: be a douche with caution... lol)
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 03:05:49 AM »

Lol. what is it about that behaviour from a social psychology standpoint...

is it that they are nervous and your program is gonna do their old job
and they just out of survival want to create this interface between
the programmer and the program?

"I talk to the engineers so the customers dont have to! IM A PEOPLE
PERSON! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!"

In my 14 years of limited programming experience professionally no
matter what language or platform it all comes back to their data and
the forms to alter it and the reports to look at it.... and the people
all going crackhead on you about gettng to the info...
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jammaster82
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2010, 05:13:04 AM »

They have mountains of excel charts to hand reconcile
in their inboxes this morning.... Now i can turn my phone
off and code..  Grin
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rcjordan
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2010, 03:05:23 PM »

high probability that you'll enjoy this thread currently running on reddit/programming

http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/b7tky/what_are_some_of_the_misconceptions_your_bosses/
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jammaster82
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2010, 03:14:04 PM »

Thanks... im gonna read that over..

Well everything went smooth, new site went live today. I got a panicky phone call that turned out was bunk, MY CODE ROCKS no errors Cheesy I walked him through it and pointed out that thats what the specs said it should do, no undocumented feature here.


---------------------------------------

Also, I disabled a feature.

Put a HUGE RED STAR beside it saying : * UNAVAILABLE TILL EXCEL FILES ARE SORTED
Sent them a word document describing that it wouldnt work (along with the excel files) and what i needed for it to
work.

Still i got an email like:

hey the (disabled feature) isnt working for kim.

Who is Kim?  Who is Kim?  The  Manager. 

what does she do?

EMAILS instead of reading or thinking.

HOW THE IDIOCRACY EVEN EXISTS AND RUNS CONTINUES TO BAFFLE ME.  PROVES they
arent even reading.  Even scarier these people have drivers licenses and arent required to
undergo testing before breeding.

i mean for the love of *FUCK* its in bright red right next to the button
that says 'this feature temporarily disabled' why would you expect it to work and send an email
about it not working?!?!?!


thirty for me..
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rcjordan
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2010, 03:20:45 PM »

>instead of reading or thinking

bright red right next

Make it a pop-up next time.  Managers understand & love pop-ups. (true. see reddit thread.)
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