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should i just leave job or offer to go part-time?

I've been in my current job for 7 months. For 5 months I did some custom programming work for a client of the company. This was pretty much a standard database application. The work went fine. At the moment this project has been put on hold while the client looks at it and decides what extra work they want done.

So since then I've been put on an internal project. The aims of this project are practically impossible given its 2 month time frame. Even if it didn't have a 2 month time frame it would still be a crazy project with silly aims.

I am really am not happy with it. My job is full-time and permanent. The money is quiet good.

I want to say that I have no intention of working again on this internal project and would like to leave the company. However when the client for the other external programming work does require more work done I will be happy to join the company again. Basically I want to propose I no longer work full-time and only work when the client requires extensions to my first project.

What do you think? Can an employee say he doesn't want to do internal work and will only do work on a bespoke certain project for a client?

Distressed
Friday, May 07, 2004

Suck it up man! Do the boring/annoying work for two months or until a new paying project comes along.

MilesArcher
Friday, May 07, 2004

The thing is this work isn't boring or annoying. It is just impossible. I haven't a clue how to do it. Neither does the project proposer, not really.

This project isn't simply going to get done. It's simply is screwed up badly. It has grand aims but no indication on how they are to be done.

Distressed
Friday, May 07, 2004

You already know what to do, don't you?

.NET Developer
Friday, May 07, 2004

Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. But when someone post something like this it is clear that a decision has already been made: and that decision is going to your boss and tell him that you simply don't want to work on this project. You are willing to stop receiving your checks untill something else comes.

If he says no, you come and post again to see what to do next =)

.NET Developer
Friday, May 07, 2004

So is it impossible because of the timeframe, or is it impossible because you don't know how to do it?

Because if it's the latter, what about reading books and articles and doing deep thinking to figure out how to do it?  At worst, the project will still fail but you'll have gained knowledge and experience for the future.

Kyralessa
Friday, May 07, 2004

This might be your chance for Project Management 201.

Surprise the heck out of your boss by telling him you need to have a serious chat, and then explain why the tasks are hopelessly wrong.

Hopefully have some well thought out alternative that you can actually deliver.

.
Friday, May 07, 2004

I think the project is pretty impossible full-stop, regardless of time frame or my current knowledge.

I've though further about this and come to the following conclusions.

1) I don't work in a software company. Software development is a very small proportion of work done (only 2 out of 35 plus employees work in software). I don't think I can get across the point what is and isn't viable. I base this on the crazy ideas I hear that are out of step of the reality of the long ream of projects that have gone nowhere with past employees and problems.

2) I can't leave a job after 7 months. You have to stay in a job for about 1 year plus otherwise it is a blot on your resume (CV).

3) I can't pick and choose projects. I'm an employee, not an equal. I wouldn't be allowed this. It was set a bad precedent.


The best I can do is hint that the project is very difficult and try to get small bits of it working one bit at a time, perhaps ignoring the fact it would take a long time, perhaps an infinite amount of time!, to get the work actually finished.

Distressed
Friday, May 07, 2004

Then it's time for a talk about the project with your boss.

Peter Monsson
Saturday, May 08, 2004

Can you give us a hint of what this project is?

Joe Patterson
Saturday, May 08, 2004

No I can't say what the project is as it could be construed as giving companies with competing products ideas. Note that the company I'm currently working for has a product but as far as I can find out nobody has added any new real functionality to it for at least 5 years, quite possibly even something under 10 years!

What I can say the aims of the new functionality are something akin to asking a computer program why

y = sin x + cos y + tan y * 10 + 2 * e^22 - (6*2) / 2 + 2

gives a different numerical result to

y = 2 + 3 * r + 3 *t / s

This really is something that a company that produces something like Maple or Matlab should be doing, not a little company with only 2 software developers that has never done anything like this before.

Distressed
Saturday, May 08, 2004

> This really is something that a company that produces something like Maple or Matlab ...

Perhaps you could implement it using Maple or Matlab (or Octave) ... or Mathcad.

> I can't leave a job after 7 months. You have to stay in a job for about 1 year plus otherwise it is a blot on your resume (CV).

Not necessarily. In your next job interview they'll ask you why you left your previous job, no matter how long you stayed. I think there is more likely to be a 'blot' if you have many short-term contracts ... but, employers might understand that not every other employer is worth staying for ("anyone can make a mistake once").

> I can't pick and choose projects.

Perhaps your manager can pick and choose projects for you, based on your feedback (about the project, as well as about your personal preferences).

> Can an employee say he doesn't want to do internal work and will only do work on a bespoke certain project for a client?

Yes, but we don't (and probably can't) have enough data to predict what the reply will be.

Christopher Wells
Saturday, May 08, 2004

If you have a chat to your boss, impress on him that while you're developing this internal product, you're not generating any income for the company - whereas if you're being contracted out you are.

I really have the opposite problem at my company, interesting internal products, but always the need to generate revenue.

If there is only one client project to work on, then you may be a bit screwed...

Furious George
Monday, May 10, 2004

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