Thread: Deadlines

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    3

    Deadlines

    Ok, this is my first post, and it may seem like a bit of a vent, but I could use some ideas.

    I've been programming for 6 years now. I work for a software company and for obvious reasons I don't want to say who.

    Here is my issue. In my projects, I am given a deadline to work within. On paper, there are few issues that I've ever had in making my deadlines.

    The problem has been, and I'm sure you all have experience with this, dynamic project changes or additions. I'm told something that needs to be changed that can take hours if I am lucky, and am still expected to get it within the deadline.

    Normally, it's only a couple of hours, but the most recent project put me two days past deadline and my manager threw me under the bus for it.

    How do you guys handle these situations? I was up for a raise, but now feel like asking for it while this is still fresh would be suicide in action and don't want it to happen again.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3,445
    The simplest answer is that there really isn't a way to handle this type of situation - not in a way that will mitigate the outcome. Your managers don't care if added work means more time required. They will still want it done by the deadline. Always explain, at the beginning of the project, that any changes made after you start working will require the deadline to be pushed back. Remind them of this when they ask to make changes. Remind them of this when the deadline gets close. It still won't help.
    Last edited by Elkvis; 09-08-2016 at 11:19 AM.
    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

  3. #3
    Registered User MutantJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,665
    Deadlines suck but you can only get done what you can get done and I don't think there's ever been any software that was better written when under intense stress and pressure. If you can't get it done, that sucks but at the same time, it's better to release fewer features that actually work vs a lot of features that really don't work. But I'm not a manager making promises to customers or investors so my perspective is horribly skewed. If there's anything I could ever say about software it's, "prepare for some disappointment." XD

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    8,446
    Quote Originally Posted by pathrunner View Post
    I work for a software company and for obvious reasons I don't want to say who.
    It is a criminal organization.
    It is a super-secret government agency.
    You trying to protect your privacy.
    You are ashamed of the company you work for.
    [...]

    No, it's not obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by pathrunner View Post
    I am given a deadline to work within. [...]
    I'm told something that needs to be changed that can take hours if I am lucky, and am still expected to get it within the deadline.
    The most recent project put me two days past deadline and my manager threw me under the bus for it.
    Your manager is an ignorant half-wit idiot (pleonasm intended) and should be fired on sight with a recommendation letter that makes sure he never finds a job again on this field. Don't worry, he will be ok. He can still find management jobs on supermarkets, hotels, as a pimp or on 3rd country sweatshops; All areas where his specific set of management skills are in demand.

    If that is how your company is managing their projects, then you don't want to work for long there and should start preparing your resume. Start looking for other places to put your hard-earned skills to good use, and in a working environment that better represents all that was promised to you a career in programming would be like.

    If your company can't understand the need to readjust a project schedule to changes in requirements, then you can never expect to work on a well designed project. They don't know what project management is or how to correctly do it. Very likely they don't even have a project manager within the team. And after one or two years you will learn all the vices and bad habits of poor design and de-organization. Your career will be ruined because you'll just become one more mere Programmer that was never given the chance to become a Software Developer in a market that is ever more demanding on the professionals' skills set. Don't think I'm exaggerating; more than what you are ready to give, it's the jobs you work at that will determine what you become and how your career will progress.

    So, do yourself a favor and get rid of them. These people don't understand what software development is in the current market and the extreme danger they are putting their customers in with their rushed schedules and thoughtless decision-making process.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    and the hat of int overfl Salem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The edge of the known universe
    Posts
    38,114
    +1 for Mario
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.

  6. #6
    Make Fortran great again
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,413
    +1 to getting a new job. If your manager isn't understanding about legitimate reasons for being late, then it's not a good place to work at.

  7. #7
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,687
    I fully second all statements made by everyone here. I'll just chime in with my two cents.

    Deadlines have and always will be a pain in the ..........e. I know where your coming from too
    as I myself work for a software house with others who are under pressure to get projects
    done on time. One thing to do is stick it to the man and tell him where to go -
    the other (perhaps more logical) suggestion is to request projects are segregated.

    A year or so ago, we were working on parts of an Engine for a larger firm (the project
    had been out-sourced to our company). A few days in people were showing large signs
    of fatigue and stress. It was then suggested that each part of the project be placed into
    set "teams" and everyone did a little part then pulled it all together at the end.

    Now, this sounds good and all, but for some companies that just isn't possible due to
    size of teams and expense. You need to sit down with your team leader or project
    manager and work out a viable solution that can work both ways. Health and Safety does
    cover mental fatigue - which is what most companies seriously overlook.

    Good luck and I really hope you find a working solution.

    Ada x
    Double Helix STL

  8. #8
    Make Fortran great again
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,413
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It is a criminal organization.
    It is a super-secret government agency.
    You trying to protect your privacy.
    You are ashamed of the company you work for.
    [...]

    No, it's not obvious.
    Not sure if this was sarcasm or not, but I'll be captain obvious and say he/she doesn't want to get in trouble for saying something bad about the company he/she works for.

  9. #9
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    8,446
    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    Not sure if this was sarcasm or not, but I'll be captain obvious and say he/she doesn't want to get in trouble for saying something bad about the company he/she works for.
    It was actually a sort of an inside joke, based on a book I read recently. I did plan to edit it and make the though more clear, but got lost on the rest of the reply and never bothered again. Essentially it stipulates that nothing is obvious until at least it is made evident. And even then...
    Considering something obvious should be like a bet you take only after you know the result. Because often the right answer is not obvious, other times there are more than one obvious answer, and perhaps more often, what is obvious to some isn't to others.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-09-2016 at 02:06 PM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #10
    Make Fortran great again
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,413
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    It was actually a sort of an inside joke, based on a book I read recently. I did plan to edit it and make the though more clear, but got lost on the rest of the reply and never bothered again. Essentially it stipulates that nothing is obvious until at least it is made evident. And even then...
    Considering something obvious should be like a bet you take only after you know the result. Because often the right answer is not obvious, other times there are more than one obvious answer, and perhaps more often, what is obvious to some isn't to others.
    Fair enough, you know what they say about assuming.

  11. #11
    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    2,273
    you have already received some excellent advice in this thread from some excellent
    advice givers (pleonasm not necessarily not unintended).

    i guess this question is to everybody, and not just to the original poster. as someone
    that hides from real accountability in academia, i have limited experience with project
    managers who define deadlines, but i have a lot of experience of people that ask a lot
    of you with short notice. a personal peeve of mine is the continual delayer - the kind
    of person that says it'll be done by x, then by x + t1, then x + t2, then eventually it
    is delivered at x + tn (t1 < t2 < ... < tn), so i vow never to be one. in a situation where
    the delivery date will be difficult, i will say so quite directly. then at least something
    can be done to help (getting more people in, discuss adjusted deliverables like swgh
    said). so my question is this: in the real world, how do PM's react to early projections
    of late delivery? of course it depends on so many conditions, but in general, do they
    prefer "I will need need an extra month or an extra guy" at the start of a project or
    a "I will be a week late" at the end?

  12. #12
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,687
    how do PM's react to early projections
    of late delivery?
    Depends whole-heart on the person and their personality. Some PM's have been known
    to go right off at the deep end and DEMAND the project is completed within the time
    frame, or else... (else could be lay offs in the most extreme circumstances).

    Other PM's have and do sometimes get in contact with the first party (if there is one) and
    suggest a different time frame, working with the development team in-house and catering to
    their own needs as well as the project at hand.
    Double Helix STL

  13. #13
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    8,446
    Quote Originally Posted by twomers View Post
    in the real world, how do PM's react to early projections
    of late delivery? of course it depends on so many conditions, but in general, do they
    prefer "I will need need an extra month or an extra guy" at the start of a project or
    a "I will be a week late" at the end?
    Adding new members to the team isn't always possible. Unfortunately many companies only start a serious project analysis after the contract is signed. Before that, top management usually sits with project managers only (they almost never ask senior developers or team leaders to those meetings) and grind the project manager brain into a pulp, until he commits to a poorly analyzed schedule and cost estimate he had to do in a rush because management wanted an answer in 3 days.

    Then the proposal goes to the customer, he accepts and a contract is signed. From then, as far as top management is concerned, costs have been written on stone. It's only after the contract is signed that finally many companies start proper project analysis. At this stage, if the PM finds himself in need of more personnel (more costs) or more time (minor breach of contract), management will never accept that they virtually pointed a gun at his head to come up with hasty numbers; "You were the one that told us! We only asked you to tell us how much and when. Heck, we even asked you if you were sure!"

    This is the main reason behind many of your x + tn project managers. And, believe it or not, it happens constantly even among companies whose top management are software engineers and that should know better. It's particularly bad on companies with internal career advancement plans, or with bonuses strategies or internal competition environments. These apparently healthy corporate practices, are however more likely to distort reality and result too often on dishonest claims (conscious or not) during decision-making meetings.

    Usually it's the deadline that suffers. Moving developers from other projects is rarely possible and hiring new developers is particularly avoided. Human resources are the biggest slice of a software development firm. They usually amount to 90% of the entire operational costs of a company of this nature. This is particularly the case on countries with strict employment laws, where the costs of hiring a new employee go well beyond his salary and must contemplate other benefits. It is usually easier with outsourced projects operating with cheaper labour and on countries with friendlier (to the companies) hiring rules. In those circumstances you may indeed see top management more open to the possibility of temp hiring.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 09-11-2016 at 05:23 PM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  14. #14
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,687
    Very interesting points Mario,

    Can I ask you something...

    Along those lines about "out-sourcing" large parts of a project, what is your personal theory behind
    Rocksteady Games out-sourcing the PC port of Batman Arkham Knight? The PS4 and Xbox One versions
    were developed in-house, and were more or less flawless. The PC port of the game, was given to a
    western developer who really didn't have the knowledge or time to produce a decent port for the
    platform, even though Rocksteady had given them the Engine to work with.

    What I am saying is, why do large well-known software houses out-source important pieces of software
    development when a company of their size could well handle all three platforms? Is it time, manpower or
    something else?

    I'm interested in your (or anyone else's theories.)
    Double Helix STL

  15. #15
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    8,446
    No idea. I dislike and I fail to understand the gaming industry. And it is a far shot from the business software industry that I am accustomed to. Besides, been over an year since I last played a triple-A game. In fact I don't even follow games anymore. Lost most interest in modern games and have been only playing old emulated games and text-based rogue-likes.. when I actually think of playing something.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. deadlines....
    By goran in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-21-2001, 07:07 PM

Tags for this Thread