Practical Devs for Practical Change πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏽πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏿
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I once got a new job where they talked about their grand v2 rewrite project they were staffing up, which I was going to help lead due to my experience with React. A month in, they revised the project from a total rewrite to a new feature in a separate codebase. Two months in, they revised down to kludging the new codebase into the old app. Three months in, they called it good and required that I start doing database admin and Rails ticketsβ€”neither of which I had ever done before, and my title was "senior frontend developer."

Four months in, I realized that I was more stressed than at any other point in my life. I had physical stress reactions in the morning before going into work. I was being micromanaged, I felt out of my depth with no time to learn, and I was getting such intensely negative feedback during 1:1s that I was beginning to doubt my abilities.

I gave notice before my fifth month at the company. After telling them that I was leaving in 2 weeks, I was told to go home and not come back. My access to email and Slack was cut off before I had a chance to say goodbye to my remote teammates.

One of the most gratifying moments in my career was when one of my coworkers there reached out 6 months later to tell me, "you were smart to get out when you did."

 

This really scares me. I'm 3 weeks into my frontend job and yeah, this shit ain't frontend :(

 

This was by far the worst experience I've had in 7 years and 8 companies. I've had some other bad ones, but this was way beyond the others. If you're not doing what you want to be doing, though, I don't think there's any shame in trying to change that. Can either keep your ear to the ground for other opportunities or talk with your coworkers to try and change the structure where you are.

 
 

Second day, I hardly speak, somehow gathered courage and politely went asked a senior designer if she was aware of this image requirement that she was supposed to do, Shouted at me in front of everyone because I came directly to her instead of sending a formal email. Even gathered some other employees and was telling loudly how unprofessional I was.

Though this was not that big of a issue, I figured this isn't a right place to work.

 

Wow that's super unprofessional of them! Not that you should publicly shame coworkers anyway, but on the second day, for a minor preference violation! Can't blame you for reading it as a bad sign.

 

Here is your computer -- it was about 6 - 7 years old, it was at the minimum spec for some software I needed to run, which meant I could hardly have anything else running. Company had been big back in the days, but was on life support when they brought me on for a 3 month project, which couldn't finish fast enough. I had to practice my patience with the computer.

 

I worked for two companies now where the CEOs would shout and swear at people publicly to the point of tears. One even made it to a national newspaper with an article written about its toxic work environment. But those weren't even the worse. I start at this company and I have to work alongside some egomaniac developer who is incredibly insulting. He was pretty good, definitely in the top quarter of devs I worked with in terms of programming ability, but nowhere near as good as he thought he was. He would be so mean to me. Like, he took some piece of advice out of context that he saw on twitter and said I wasn't allowed to use a certain function that I knew was necessary. I wrote tests and examples to prove I needed the function but he didn't even read them, he just accused me of being arrogant because "how could you possibly be as good as the master programmer on twitter who's advice I read." A week later, he was telling me publicly in the chat how I couldn't possibly understand the code anywhere near as well as him due to working on it for less months. When I disagreed he called me disrespectful and started ranting in a very disrespectful way in front of the team (oh the irony). The next working day, he was let go. Then it got worse. They kept trying to replace him, but kept hiring people who were so incompetent it was shocking. One dude kept saying that he didn't have anything to do, despite the fact that the same two GitHub issues with outstanding code review comments had been assigned to him for weeks. After firing two incompetent people, by the third they assumed I had to be the problem and told me they weren't going to renew my contract, even though I had no intention to renew anyway. Now, not renewing a contract is totally normal, but they kept on apologising for it and acting as if I had suffered a great loss by not being renewed. They set up weekly meetings with the head of engineering during my last few weeks where he'd constantly try to goad me into breaking down. "Are you sure you're okay?" and "Is there anything you want to say to me... are you sure?" he'd keep saying in each of these meeting, many times. I didn't give him the satisfaction, but it was annoying to have to keep telling me I was fine. He seemed to delight in trying make me feel small. A few weeks later I saw on LinkedIn that incompetent developer number three was also gone, which wasn't surprising given he'd written about 300 lines of code in several months. I felt some small amount of schadenfreude. So many bad egos there, including a junior developer who kept obstinately refusing all advice anyone gave him whilst claiming everything was far too complicated in a very rude manner. They'd also implemented some version of agile that involved wasting about 30% of each sprint in meetings. Despite never reaching a single target they would still keep assigning the same number of story points sprint after sprint. The further we got from the targets the more meetings they would schedule creating a viscous cycle. Every sprint review would involve the project manager moaning at everyone for failing yet again, even though it was their implementation of agile that was failing the team, not the other way around. Soon after I was let go, their new scrum master also left. She couldn't stand it either. I made a bunch of money from them but I ended up super miserable. Two weeks after I left my cat died of cancer, 2 years and one day after my previous cat died of cancer. Sometimes life really punches you in the face.

Classic DEV Post from Oct 1

Daily Hacktoberfest Miscellaneous discussion (October 1st)