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Patronage in software development

Ok, this will probably come across as a rant but there you are. At the moment the company I work in seems to be run like the  Royal Navy of the 18th C (minus the flogging and the buggery, as far as I know :). Each time a new CEO appears it turns out that he (and it is always a he) happens to know some people from where he last worked that would be perfect for this or that job. We end up with a reshuffle at the VP and above level plus additional people is various "soft" positions such as consulting and sales. Us on the lower deck have taken to just laughing at this and refering to the new intake as Friend of X. So we've had FOB (for Bob) and various others. Some of these people are right for the job (I mean, they can't be totally useless :) but how would you cope with an environment where the chance of internal promotion seems to be based on whether you knew the CEO in a previous life :) It also appears that once to get "in" with one of these CEOs you're set for life, you just follow them from job to job.

p.s. Don't get me started on VCs :)

AC
Thursday, May 30, 2002

Hohmygosh...  You got Bob?  We had Bob.  We got rid of Bob, and FOB Tim, and FOB Peter, and Bob's whore Hillary too (WOB or HOB?).

At least our VC's realized the mistake about a year after they made it.  Slow to move, but better late than never.

But yuck - you got Bob.  The thing about Bob, is that he comes with "friends", "hangers on", minions so to speak.

Fuck Bob.  If you do, you'll get a really sweet severence package...

Loreanna Bobbitt
Thursday, May 30, 2002

I work on TV.  So we get to watch TV.  Right now, watching Cramer ranting on Dynegy's payoff of $30m to its outgoing CEO.  30 million for resigning.  Pretty sweet.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 30, 2002

In my experience, this is typical of most companies, software or not. There's an invisible ceiling at about the VP level. If you're below it, you'll stay below it. If you're above it, you'll just get another VP/President/CEO job somewhere else.

The only way to fix this is to start your own company. :-)

Chris Tavares
Friday, May 31, 2002

Same thing happened to me - a new IT Director mysteriously "disappeared" the old IT Manager, in favour of hiring a load of her friends as consultants.

We were told he was on holiday. When he didn't come back after 2 months, we asked her when he was coming back, and she made a strange noise "euhh" and walked away.

BH
Friday, May 31, 2002

Well AC and others:

You have discovered why Open Source is a popoular venue for developers.

joe
Sunday, June 02, 2002

"There's an invisible ceiling at about the VP level. If you're below it, you'll stay below it. If you're above it, you'll just get another VP/President/CEO job somewhere else."

Seen this one in action. My theory is that you don't get your first VP job at the company you were a lower rung minion at. They can't think of you that way.  You get to just under the VP slot, and then you have to get a VP job elsewhere.

Anyone have experience to the contrary?

Bob Crosley
Monday, June 03, 2002

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