On my flight to the East Coast today, I was reading an interesting post from a newish software engineer and I wondered what you would do (and what I would do) as a tech lead.
I'm going to turn this post in a post on Tech Lead Daily, but I feel like this is a good place to capture some unrefined thoughts and see what you all think!
- The original poster (Belle) volunteered for an organization and did an awesome job even though she's just now learning what she's doing
- Belle suggests a web app for a use case they have, but doesn't have the time to actually build it. However, she got the development environment set up to build the app and do all the right software engineering stuff and even spearheaded some of the work
- Manager of the organization brings in a friend to help out (Steve)
- Steve whacks everything Belle did and pops out a quick and dirty one page Wordpress site, and Belle thinks it's the wrong solution
- Manager is ecstatic, Belle is disappointed, and worse Manager says "Belle you could learn a lot from Steve"
- Belle wants a meeting to discuss the issues "to regain credibility" but can't get one for various reasons and it's stressing her out
Community Observations and Comments-
"You now have learned one of the most important lessons for your further career. It doesn't matter how great your backend is if you don't have a pretty frontend to show to business." I thought this was just kind of funny, but sadly too true.
"I think it's important to note that the problem here is not your technical skills. You are having a project management problem." Actually I think it's more of a people management problem, but... point taken.
"To my mind the problems you have here is that you seem to be developing on the production server." Really? Does the poster really believe that?
"What you need is a separate third level domain." Seriously?
A lot of the discussion descends, as it inevitably does, into discussions of the merits of Wordpress as a solution for, well, anything.
"For every problem there are three solutions: love it, change it, or leave it." I really liked this because it up levels the discussion from the technical stuff and hopefully makes Belle feel empowered again. I think, right now, she feels like all her hard work has been taken away and that she's been devalued by a Wordpress site and an intruder to her world.
Some of my thoughts:
I personally think it's kind of an easy problem to solve, but I've been around. I remember what it feels like to be in this spot. Even a few years ago there was a guy who used to refactor everything that everyone wrote and it made my feel like I was 22 again.
The comment "love it, change it, or leave it" was spot on. But it puts the onus on her to address the issue with the manager and Steve, which is a HARD spot for someone just starting out. But at least she's empowered to make the choice.
Post coming up.....!