Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




How Many Hats Do You Wear?

Me: Developer, DBA, care and feeding of dev boxes and production web servers, writing documentation, testing / QA, end-user support, and, recently, SQL Reporting Services simian.

On one hand, the autonomy and exposure is cool.  On the other hand, I want to go home occasionally.

OffMyMeds
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Ooh, you got SQL Services Reporting!?  Man, that's the pits.  There's NOTHING that people want more, and are more willing to change, than their reports.  ESPECIALLY if they don't have to actually do it themselves.

On the one hand, you've got job security.  On the other hand, you never get to leave.  AND it's a thankless task, no matter how well you do.

AllanL5
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I don't wear any hats yet...but as soon as the hair starts to fall out, I'm sure I'll be looking...

anon-y-mous cow-ard
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Aren't they all the same hat?

I used to work tech support, sometimes I would be doing bookkeeping, sometimes I played receptionist other times I actually got to do the tech stuff. Those are 3 different hats.

DBs/developing/....all falls under the 'computer science' hat if you ask me.

Aussie Chick
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

My plumber friend says all those duties fall under the "office stuff" hat. ;-)

Edward
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Yeh, good point. Perspective does count.

Aussie Chick
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Systems Engineer. Team Leader. Developer. DBA.

but of course, when it comes down to it I'm just someone else's bitch for 8 hours a day.

treefrog
Thursday, September 02, 2004

"DBs/developing/....all falls under the 'computer science' hat if you ask me."

In theory or application? I agree with you for the most part, but once you get into it, many of these different areas can begin to diverge dramatically. Nevermind the fact that there are programmers out there that don't know UDP from TCP/IP or don't know the first thing about systems adminstration.

BDKR
Thursday, September 02, 2004

I work at a small place so I do all that stuff and more.  Sometimes developer , admin, help desk, manager, DBA, or whatever needs done.  One day I even unclogged a toliet, seriously.  I love the variety, it is much better than when I was  pigeon holed into being just an EJB developer in a cube farm.

Bill Rushmore
Thursday, September 02, 2004

mostly just coder.  its a tight hat, but comfy.

that's not to say i couldn't fit on other hats.  graphic designer, project manager, dba, sys admin, web admin, qa, etc., can all fit, but i just don't like how i look in them.

Kenny
Thursday, September 02, 2004

I wear a lot of hats as well.  To be frank, it isn't all the different jobs required that bug me so much as the constant context shifting.

I find that the things I need to hold in my head while programming are generally much different from those that I need when writing yet another report.

Maybe I'm slow, but I find it takes me a good 30 minutes to really get rolling, and usually by then someone else will be asking for something completely different.

Still, I do like the breadth of experience.

Steve Barbour
Thursday, September 02, 2004

OffMyMeds, I think we have the exact same job description.

Scott
Thursday, September 02, 2004

art, music, computers and gym.  I guess that makes 4.

devinmoore.com
Thursday, September 02, 2004

All of them.

Christopher Hawkins
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Well boy do I feel stupid.

I'm impressed that so far the consensus is that gosh yes one must do all those things.

Me, I play at a lot of roles as OP but I never pretend to think that I'm ever really a sysadmin or dba or project manager or business analyst.  I wonder if our receptionist opened up one of my application files and changed something, would she then be a developer? I guess so.

I happen to think that a sysadmin, dba, project manager, business analyst, qa people, etc. should be FULL time jobs.  I sure hope I don't see my kids pediatricain taking a scalpel to me when I go in for heart surgery.

That said, a lot of companies can't afford people in all those positions. There are some people (very, very few really) who can do all those jobs, most of us here probably could. But when you have to do all of them in 8 hours, some role will get short changed.  Also, even for those geniuses who can do all that, they cannot keep abreast of changes going on in each discipline.

So I'm just a developer. Yeah, I do sysadmin, I do QA and requirements and dba and whatever else (and this because we have people who can hardly do the one job they were hired for)  but I realize I'm just a developer and it would be better if we had people dedicated to those roles.

me
Thursday, September 02, 2004

What I do:
1) Buildmeister
2) All of QA (I'm a department of 1!)
3) Creating development tools

These are all fulltime jobs for sure. Then again, the company I work for is very small so this is to be expected.

Erik
Thursday, September 02, 2004

It's summer here and I don't wear any hats right now :)

product planner
proposal writer
spec writer
coder
release manager
help writer
bug tracker :)
project manager

now imagine the product i work on :)


Thursday, September 02, 2004

Me, you're exactly right, and that was the source of my frustration that spurred this topic.  We are a small company who can't afford a whole person for each of those full time jobs, and something always gets neglected.  See my post in the "Best Disasters" thread -- I was doing end-user support and writing and UPDATE statement against production data at the same time.  I probably don't need to tell anyone what happened.

I said I wear the hat of a DBA; I never said it was actually my hat ;-)

OffMyMeds
Thursday, September 02, 2004

++now imagine the product i work on :)

FogBUGZ?  (do i win a prize?)

Kenny
Thursday, September 02, 2004

No hats, but i do have a nice utility belt. ;)

um...  Q&A, IT, developer, Helpdesk, and DBA.

Andrew Burton
Thursday, September 02, 2004

I should clarify when I refer to frustration, I mean specifically the frustration that certain things get neglected, that I don't have the bandwidth to be a pro at all those things.  I love the fact that I get to do them all, and at the end of the day wouldn't have it any other way.  I would imagine that goes for most everybody here, and that's why we do what we do.

OffMyMeds
Thursday, September 02, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home