Mobile development sucks – The cast

I think that the people involved in my story can be divided into the following four parties:
  • My Boss, a GM
  • Me and my colleague, (junior) consultants by title, we are actually more like software testers in this project 
  • Our programmers for the various mobile phone platforms
  • Our client, a mobile network operator in a foreign country

Do you realise what’s wrong with this cast? I think I DO.

Where the hell is the project manager, the person who is supposed keep everybody in check? When I say “everybody,” I make no exception to the GM because the GM does not always remember that the underlings are all up to their necks with work. A project manager would be the person who makes a scene with the GM to refresh the GM’s memory. Underlings like me are too busy hacking away already, you know; they don’t have time to defend themselves against the waves of order from the GM.

And why is there no software architect? Who is supposed to guide the design and specification of our product? Who is supposed to keep all the different platform versions from careless differentiation? It doesn’t take a genius to understand that I can’t act as the software architect: I have neither the knowledge nor the experience related to mobile development.

Oh, did I mention that there is no infrastructure support? The developers didn’t even have a version control server that they can commit their work into because there is nobody to set up such an environment and the developers certainly have neither the permission nor the time for such.

  • Eric

    Hey man, don’t be discouraged. You should step back and look at the situation. Since there are so many things missing, it is actually a very good opportunity for you to show your boss what you can do.

    Setting up a source depot server might take lots of time, but once it is done, the ROI will be exponentially higher than the time/effort you invest in it. If you see something wrong with the process, you should give feedback to your boss on how he could improve. Believe me, I am sure he will thank you once he sees the positive impact it has on the project.

    If everything is perfect already, how in the world will you be able to shine among the others. If everything is perfect, you will just be another programmer on the team. Instead of being frustrated, make a change. Make it the way you want it to be. Take the opportunity and do something great with it. Don’t lose hope. You have more than what it takes to succeed man. Just believe in yourself.

  • Kal

    I have taken steps. I have set up a Subversion repository now but I still think it’s a little too late. We have even bought an SSL certificate recently and I am hoping to secure all servers with it so that I can safely open up the repository for remote access by our outsource developers.

    General employee morale is at a new low though. I’m not the only one who is depressed. It’s hard to get enthusiastic when your boss likes to frown whenever you tell him about a problem.