Have I been stitched up or is it time to hang up the keyboard?
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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue Plymouth View Post

    I can only guess it was one of three things;

    1) The permie stitched me up
    2) Face didn't fit
    3) They got me in as a consultant for a couple of days to get what they wanted out of me & then let me go.
    There is a possible fourth thing.

    Often in my contracting career I have found myself in situations where you are brought it because there is a problem. After few days you can see the whole pattern and congratulate yourself on your immense experience, perspective, knowledge, training and sheer analytical fire power.

    Then you start to tentatively share this. And surprise, surprise: it is no surprise.

    My mate is contracting with the Number One logistics organisation and he has been fire fighting for a week because of utterly incompetent system designs - for key business operational processes! When he started to point this out he was rapidly closed down by the Project Manager.

    Sometimes clients genuinely want you to solve their problems. However other times they know - in their heart of hearts - that there is a lot that needs to be addressed. But they haven't done it (because they haven't got the time or budget or priority). What they want from you is not a reminder of their predicament. They want a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand.

    Tons and tons of contractors are lying everyday about courses of action that they know won't work. But they say what the client wants to hear. And shove in their timesheets every Friday.

    You told the truth. I support you, but that's always a risk in the modern dysfunctional world.
    "The only thing standing between me and greatness is ... me "

  2. #12

    Should post faster


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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue Plymouth View Post
    ...and it's getting embarassing now.

    No laptop so I sat with the guy I'm working with & he has comms issues with a number of Web API Services. It took a while to get there but there were erroneous and missing host entries on various machines so none of it could have ever worked in those environments. Then I get called in to see the dev manager at the end of the day & he asks me what I've seen that needs attention; I mentioned a host of things - No DI (in fact no awareness of SOLID principles in the design), business logic in controllers, nothing being done asynchronously (they said they wanted asychronous). So he gets out a piece of paper & starts asking for a breakdown of what needs to be done & how long it will take.
    I told him roughly what sort of things needed to be done - e.g. probably having to get shot of the LinqToSql stuff & use EF if they want everything to be truly asychnronous as EF gives it to you out the box. As for timescales, what can you say after 1 day other than each task is going to be in the order of weeks of effort rather than days. Then he asks me what I can do about a problem they have where their Web APIs become unresponsive after periods of inactivity. I told him I could put a windows service together to call an API method to wake up all the stuff that needs waking up & it'd probably take a day.

    So, I come in today, I've got a machine & I build the service & it's ready after lunch. Still no TFS access so I put it all on a network location for them after which I'm pulled into the office & told that they're letting me go because they don't think I'm up to the job. I'm supposed to be "driving" the permie next to me apparently. Nobody gave me this brief - I was just brought in as a resource to do Web API stuff. The permie wasn't happy about some contractor being there to basically rewrite half the stuff he'd done & he told me there had been another contractor there at some point who told them there was nothing wrong with his stuff. Anyway, reading between the lines I think he fedback to them in a not particularly positive way.

    I really don't believe I'm that useless so I can only guess it was one of three things;
    From this you certainly sound competent. Certainly a lot more competent than most developers out there. There are many devs out there who haven't even heard of SOLID principles, and most don't understand them or know how to apply them. I'm still walking into project without DI and the other day I recently picked up a relatively recent project that was also using LinkToSql. This is a technology that was dropped years ago after only a few years of active use.

    Either you upset someone (possibly the permie) or the boss just scribbled down 'EF, asynchronous, SOLID, windows service' on a bit of paper and is now trying to implement it with the existing team.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    So you came across as a bossy arrogant British male and he felt threatened.

    I think you need to spend more time with children who aren't yours then you know how to deal with such fragile souls.
    hmmm, I might have the same thing, just took the eldest to Beavers last night for the first time. I could have thumped half of the little brats!!!

    To the OP, as Cirrus says you've spotted a black hole that those responsible have decided to place some carpet over and agreed not to talk about ever again.

    Where I am, I've just found out that a contractor is being let go (not not renewed, actually served notice) for pointing out a few of home truths. The immediate managers will stay where they are.

    Lesson learned, don't upset the apple cart (by not pointing out the lack of man. oversight) and keep invoicing.

    There is a long term effect of this general trend of management being fed BS and not seeing through it (apart from delays in the programme further down the line) will be a general increase in the cost of delivering anything in the UK. Depressing

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antman View Post
    hmmm, I might have the same thing, just took the eldest to Beavers last night for the first time. I could have thumped half of the little brats!!!

    To the OP, as Cirrus says you've spotted a black hole that those responsible have decided to place some carpet over and agreed not to talk about ever again.

    Where I am, I've just found out that a contractor is being let go (not not renewed, actually served notice) for pointing out a few of home truths. The immediate managers will stay where they are.

    Lesson learned, don't upset the apple cart (by not pointing out the lack of man. oversight) and keep invoicing.

    There is a long term effect of this general trend of management being fed BS and not seeing through it (apart from delays in the programme further down the line) will be a general increase in the cost of delivering anything in the UK. Depressing
    Depends where you are, you might have to "tailor" your approach carefully, if subcontracting via a consultancy for example.

    If I'm there on a B2B direct contract my approach may be more hard line and honest.
    Where I am currently is complete political soup, however a lot have commented they appreciate my honest approach, even if it can bite them at certain points.

    Anyway commiserations to the OP and I hope you have better luck with the next one.

  5. #15

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    maybe they just don't like some twunt who's right and rubs their noses in it.

    I've always found that you need to be a bit humble. Not so much you're incompetent though. Just enough so that you're only a bit better than them, or so they only need you for a short period, and that's the only reason they're paying you so much.
    You're always clearly paid too much money though so accept that.

    Never, ever try and suggest you're worth it because you have immediately lost the humility. You've just been a bit lucky for someone who's only just good enough to work with such wonderful people.

    Twice in a row, for similar reasons? Don't make it three or it looks like a pattern.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    maybe they just don't like a twunt.
    FTFY
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    maybe they just don't like some twunt who's right and rubs their noses in it.

    I've always found that you need to be a bit humble. Not so much you're incompetent though. Just enough so that you're only a bit better than them, or so they only need you for a short period, and that's the only reason they're paying you so much.
    You're always clearly paid too much money though so accept that.

    Never, ever try and suggest you're worth it because you have immediately lost the humility. You've just been a bit lucky for someone who's only just good enough to work with such wonderful people.

    Twice in a row, for similar reasons? Don't make it three or it looks like a pattern.
    Not for similar reasons really. In the first one they were treating me like a permie and micromanaging the f**k out of me. Basically I pointed out I'm not used to working that way, they didn't like it so off I went. And I was glad to be out.

    This one was completely different and seems to be based on them not liking the answers I gave to their questions. They asked what needed to be done to make their APIs "industry standard" and I told them as I explained in my OP. In all other respects I kept my head down - in at 8:30, 1 hour lunch & out at 5:30 just like the other permies.

    So, completely different scenarios. Admittedly the common theme is the contractor at the centre of it all but I'm just hoping this is a run of very bad luck whose timing couldn't be worse what with a house move & bigger mortgage looming.

    I've been contracting for 12 years & have never had any issues like this before. I don't know if expectations of what a contractor does & behaves has changed over this period but from my perspective that certainly seems to be the case. Also, I'm a lot older and the people I work for are a lot younger and I sometimes sense a disconnect between 2 different mindsets.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    FTFY
    Thanks a bunch

  9. #19

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    Mate, you've had a bad couple of weeks.

    Only you can tell whether you're any good at what do, irrespective of what the clients says. Sometimes maintaining confidence in your own abilities is a hard thing to do as a contractor because you never have anyone supporting you.

    Agree with everyone else that you need to manage comms with clients, they don't like being told the truth. I'm surprised at how many contractors struggle with their comms and approach with clients. I've worked in consultancies and had to learn how to sell a tulip sandwich.

    TBH by the sound of it, they've basically got you in to tell them what they've done wrong so that they can do it themselves.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue Plymouth View Post

    So, completely different scenarios. Admittedly the common theme is the contractor at the centre of it all but I'm just hoping this is a run of very bad luck whose timing couldn't be worse what with a house move & bigger mortgage looming.

    I hope so too.
    I was just pointing out a possibility. Personalities clash and being a contractor you're a target for people to clash with.
    Good luck with the hunt for the next opportunity.

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