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I Quit My Software Project To Get Healthy!

jaymeedwards profile image Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» ・Updated on ・1 min read

Have you ever had to quit a good software project...because you figured out you weren't going to be successful in your role?

I had the opportunity to help two consulting companies try and rescue a troubled software project for a client.

Though I was originally brought in to help figure out how much work was left to do, I found myself in the position of being "the expert" once again.

Because of politics, deadlines, and challenges with the maturity of the companies understanding agile - I found myself overwhelmed.

Though I continually tried to reset expectations and get help, I decided eventually that it was better to move on.

Have you ever been on a good project, with good people, only to find when you really think about it you're not effective in your current role?

Did you have a hard time getting support from management to make the changes necessary?

How did you deal with it?

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briang123 profile image
Brian Gaines

Yep. Been there myself. Worked full-time at a company where we started doing heavy front-end development in the past few years. My roll was also to be "the expert" and teach other devs the new architecture we were following for our systems and how we can get all the pieces to work together. Basically, I was designated as the technical advisor on these newer projects.

Additionally, we had and heavily used a custom built legacy component that had many internal rules, and was built off "old tech" and not flexible with new front-end dev ways. IMO, this caused issues with what the team wanted to do with the project. The problem was, this component was essentially a "standard" way of doing things and widely used across many server apps, but didn't play nice with how we were designing newer systems. I knew this because I designed and coded the early stages of this component and used it in several apps, and was actually one of THE expert with this component. Given my expert in-depth knowledge of this component and understanding the requirements of the project at-hand, using this component didn't make much sense, so I worked with the project team (devs, lead, and manager) and presented 4 options of how we could change our attack. They were all on board with presenting these options to the Director of App Dev. I was told that literally 3 seconds into that meeting after presenting the options, they were silenced and the Director demanded that the old component HAD to be used. We were dumbfounded by this.

Not a healthy situation to be in. Those who knew better, the developers, were forced to use bad practices because Management likes to micromanage and control how we code. The Director didn't want to listen to anything or anyone and had her own agenda. She took the "Do as I say" approach and didn't let those who probably know better help with decisions. We all felt pretty stuck!

Safe to say, I'm no longer working there, under my own decision. Looking back at such an environment, I can't believe I lasted as long as I did. Lessons learned and onto better environments.

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks for sharing Brian! I’ve had to make many compromises on projects, and it’s always tough for me to know when enough is enough. You did your due diligence. It sounds like you were committed. You just hit brick walls. Hang in there!!

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briang123 profile image
Brian Gaines

Thanks! Definitely greener on the other side! Btw, what a great honest video, just watched it (and subscribed).

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jaymeedwards profile image
Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks for your support! Got some more great content coming!

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vsilaev profile image
Valery Silaev

Have you ever been on a good project, with good people, only to find when you really think about it you're not effective in your current role?

Yep. I was being in this situation several times, mostly when I was used as a DevOp guy instead of doing software architecture / development or when I were assigned in the middle of a large project, running on some undocumented proprietary framework. Though, in later case, I can't assure that people was "good enough", while I got near to zero support from their side.

The best thing to do in this situation is to escalate the issue eagerly. You are stressed, when you're stressed - you're not productive, when your are not productive, at least up to clients / management expectations, - complains from clients will follow shortly. So escalate the issue yourself. And as soon as possible. What all management hates is the situation when things turn bad and they are unaware about it. If management is warned in advance from you - it's a pretty normal situation. Normal, because it's controllable.

When I was much more younger and much less polite, I told to my manager once: "You are hitting nails with the microscope. And the microscope is me". )) It worked, regardless of the wording I used, because it was said at the right time.

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

This is really interesting and insightful. Thanks for sharing your story!

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papaponmx profile image
Jaime Rios

Glad to see you are back

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks! It’s hard to do these with a family when things get crazy at work. Not giving up though. If I can help anyone face the issues I have without getting unhealthy it’s worth it. πŸ‘

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

P.S. I tried uploading directly here 3x last night and was getting errors. I’ll try and get to the bottom of it but I just put the link in this time.

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Kasey Speakman

I could tell that the video was difficult to share, so I appreciate that you did all the more. Best wishes!

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Thanks Kasey. Even if I struggle sometimes I’d rather have others know it’s normal and they aren’t alone! πŸ™

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Jayme Edwards πŸƒπŸ’» Author

Sorry to hear that. I'm glad you were able to make the right decision for yourself even though you were doing great work. It's a tough call!!