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I am being setup as the fall guy !

I had earlier posted my plight in this article.

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=111815

All those "Kind guys" joined in damning me. There were some screens i needed to manage. I was told to fix Problems A and Problems B. But it so happenned that Problem C also existed which i did not notice. Problem C had existed in that screen since 1-2 years.  No one noticed. I joined this company a few months back and i was blamed because i only fixed Problems A and B and did not notice C.They said i did not have common sense to notice the problems.

The user went to the supervisor. The supervisor came and told me that people were unhappy with me. The user went to my manager and they had "discussions".

I am being set up as the fall guy for their incompetency. It never occurred to them that the code is practically unusable and unworkable.

Unhappy soul
Friday, February 13, 2004

<<Grin>> I should have taken the advice you guys gave me and packed my bags. All of them need someone to blame for the mess. I spent 12 hours working for the past 1-1.5 weeks. I worked on weekends to ensure there were no problems.  I was given around 70-80 problems to fix. So it was not juse problems A and B. :-(. The 81st problem, i did not notice.

Unhappy soul
Friday, February 13, 2004

I feel for you

the artist formerly known as prince
Friday, February 13, 2004

Easy for me to say, but...

Keep a professional attitude and document all that you can. Present the issues rationally and calmly to your manager and the user, if your manager thinks it would be a good idea. If they want to use you as a sheep, then so be it, but go out without loosing your cool. People play games and when you are long gone in a professional environment, they will still be playing their games in the downward spiral.

Chin up!

m
Friday, February 13, 2004

As someone pointed out in your original post, the code came from a code generator.  You are living proof of why I suggested our company not purchase IEF from TI many years ago. Once the tool is gone, or sufficient change occurs outside the tool that you cannot use it, you are done. 

We heard from many telling us that you can always maintain the code.  Yep, and there you are.

On the other hand, your attitude in the original post did show more than a touch of ego. If that bled into your new workplace, the "I can do anything" was sent to "ha ha" island.    The person who maintained the code before you, probably did it for years, so the internal knowledge of field 14323 being "account number" left with them.

So where to go?
- Stay positive.  While others may be getting a few laughs at your expense, they probably don't want you leaving.  (It becomes their job then)
- Identify the problem.  Are you sure it is the code?  When a client/customer talks to your boss, it can fall into several issues, that can be corrected
  - They don't like you, as a personality
  - You don't deliver when promised
  - You don't deliver as well as the person you replaced
The first one, is hard.  If a customer has spoken with your boss, go find out what was said.  If you have to go to the customer, go with hat in hand as HUMBLE AS GANDHI.  They owe you nothing and "I hear you don't like me" is not going to improve it.  You want to understand. And don't explain anything. You are there to listen. Then thank them for their insight and spend the weekend thinking about how to improve it.

Not delivering is a real issue and the most common developer "issue" I have with customers. If you promised it Tuesday then found out that it was much more difficult than you thought, did you mention it before Monday?  Did your new date take the unknown into account or merely "I will get it done as soon as I can", or worse the slow bleed "Wednesday" then "Thursday" then "Friday" in wishful anticipation each day that a miracle would occur.

The last one your boss needs to fix.  You will not/cannot deliver as well as the person doing the job before you unless they fired them.  The person knew the system. Especially the areas that needed changing.  When they started it probably took as long or longer than you.  However, people forget that when Jack has been here 10 years.  Your boss should be explaining that during the learning curve it will be difficult on everyone. However, they hired you as the best person to limit the curve and be productive as soon as possible.

Good luck.

MSHack
Friday, February 13, 2004

"I am being set up as the fall guy for their incompetency. It never occurred to them that the code is practically unusable and unworkable."

OR maybe you are a whiner who only thinks:
"I was  among the smartest programmers in my old company.  I was the pride of my CEO's eye. "
So much a pride that he let you go?  Or a big fish in a small pond?

Wake up.  Is it possible the problem is not your ability to code but your ability to work with the end user or mere mortals?

The code is hard.  No different than the last programmer, so maybe the code is not the issue.  Instead of posting here, maybe you should be working with your boss to identify the issue and figure out how to fix it.  Your post comes off as immature and that is a problem.

anon
Friday, February 13, 2004

Anon,

I can understand your thoughts. But the entire code was written by some firm. The project was outsourced.  As i mentioned in my earlier post, i do have a touch of ego. But the reason i mentioned i was smart was to indicate that i used to be interested in coding. I have worked with 2 companies. 1 of them i left to pursue studies. Both of my bosses asked me to stay. The second company offerred me a pittance, which is why i left.

Unhappy soul
Friday, February 13, 2004

Did you really believe you were going to work on pristine code your entire career?

Hey, if you're too good to work on this code, then quit. It's easy to do.

If you can't, for whatever reason, then suck it up and act like a real programmer, not a prima donna keyboard cowboy.

anon
Friday, February 13, 2004

"Hey, if you're too good to work on this code, then quit. It's easy to do."

Where did he say that?  All I recall him saying is that he was being chewed out for not fixing a problem that they knew about before he got there, that he wasn't told about, and that he wasn't asked to fix.

Kyralessa
Friday, February 13, 2004

Unhappy soul, the reality of the world is that you won't be able to change all environments or make them better.

From the sounds of it, this is clearly one of those environments. Your options thus become centred on preserving your own standing and welfare, not theirs, since they won't even listen to you.

This is what you have to do.

1. Deliberately look for changes that are fast and simple and make them. Show them around and be enthusiastic. Tell the users they're terrific.

2. Look around and find lots of problems in the code and then continually go to your supervisor and tell him or her about them. Don't do this in the sense of bringing him a problem; do it in the sense of you're a smart guy to find so many problems, and you're a hard worker diligently trying to help the supervisor.

3. Add as many wierd features to the code as you can, and don't document anything, so that other people can't or don't want to make changes. Provided you keep your supervisor happy that you can fix problems that others find, they will then have to keep you on because no-one else will want to work on the code.

4. After six months, ask for a raise.

Relax. If they screw you, you screw them.

Must be a Manager
Friday, February 13, 2004

Keep a list of everything you've done, and everything you knew about doing (could be the same list)

If a manager calls you on missing 1 problem, show him the other 80 you found and solved.

S.Tanna
Friday, February 13, 2004

dude, what are you complaining about. I would love to be set up as Colt Seavers!

Lee Majors
Friday, February 13, 2004

Nah, you're not a fall guy. Don't let them get you down. Don't read too much into it. Communicate :-)

Anon
Monday, February 16, 2004

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