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Discussion on: Tale of Terror - A Scary Web Dev Story

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tominekan profile image
Tomi Adenekan

Very interesting story.The blame lies on several people.

The Client
They did not have a solid, unchanging set of rules, instead the rules got stricter, changing the approach needed for the job. Very bad indeed.

The Tech Lead
From your story, it appears that the tech lead had no idea what they were doing, a tech lead is supposed to lead the team, not the other way around.

Your fault (kind of)
You didn't get away fast enough :)

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robotoptimist profile image
James MacIvor Author

I think I could have done a better job being honest with the client about my capabilities (or lack thereof). I was scared they'd come down on me though, and the consulting firm that employed me was not very helpful around that.

If I had it to do over again I would have been honest with the client and say:

"Hey, I don't know how to do what you need in a maintainable best-practice type way."

Rather than trying to invent my way out of it I should have given them the opportunity to address the problem and hopefully have been part of a better solution. That would have been better for everyone, especially me.

I think to do that I would have needed more confidence around what happens if I get fired. As a contractor at the time, I felt even more uncertain. Me admitting that I don't know what I'm doing doesn't just make me look bad, but also the consulting firm (who probably 'sold' me to the client by exaggerating my experience).

This is all in hindsight though, so it's easy to imagine doing the right thing. :D
Definitely leaving the consulting firm that created the situation was the right call though.

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tominekan profile image
Tomi Adenekan • Edited

I don't know about that. It seemed like the tech lead was just taking all of the requests and did not know when to say enough is enough. But case in point, I do believe that you could have told someone (at least the tech lead) that what they were asking of was unfeasible.

But, then, you learnt and did not do it again. (I hope) And that is the most important part :)