Things have been a little too quiet on my side here, so its time for an exciting new series:

practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.

Episode 1: Dealing with the new backend team

It's great to be back folks. Since our last series where we delved into the mind numbing idiocy of former colleagues, a lot has changed. I've moved to a new company and taken a step up as a Dev manager / Tech lead. Now I know what you are all thinking, sounds more dull and boring right? Well it wouldn't be a practiseSafeHex series if we weren't ...


Bingo! so lets jump right in and kick us off with a good one.

So for the past few months i've been on an on-boarding / fact finding / figuring out this shit-storm, mission to understand more about what it is i'm suppose to do and how to do it. Last week, as part of this, I had the esteemed pleasure of meeting face to face with the remote backend team i've been working with. Lets rattle off a few facts to catch us all up:

- 8 hour time difference to me
- No documentation other than a non-maintained swagger doc
- Swagger is reporting errors and several of the input models are just `Type: String`
- The one model that seems accurate, has every property listed as optional, including what must be the primary key
- Properties go missing and get removed at the drop of a hat and we are never told.
- First email I sent them took 27 days to reply, my response to that hasn't been answered so far 31 days later (new record! way to go team, I knew we could do it!!!)
- I deal directly with 2 of them, the manager and the tech lead. Based on how things have gone so far, i've nick named them:
1) Ass
2) Hole

So lets look at some example of their work:

- I was trying to test the new backend, I saw no data in QA. They said it wouldn't show up until mid day their time, which is middle of the night for us. I said we need data in our timezone and I was told: a) "You don't understand how big this system is" (which is their new catch phrase) b) "Your timezone is not my concern"

- The whole org started testing 2 days later. The next day a member from each team was on a call and I was asked to give an update of how the testing was going on the mobile side. I said I was completely blocked because I can't get test data. Backend were asked to respond. They acknowledged they were aware, but that mobile don't understand how big the system is, and that the mobile team need to come up with ideas for the backend team, as to how mobile can test it. I said we can't do anything without test data, they said ... can you guess what? ... correct "you don't understand how big the system is"

- We eventually got something going and I noticed that only 1 of the 5 API changes due on their side was done. Opened tickets. 2 days later asked them for progress and was told that "new findings" always go to the bottom of the backlog, and they are busy with other things. I said these were suppose to be done days ago. They said you can't give us 2 days notice and expect everything done. I said the original ticket was opened a month a go *sends link* ......... *long silence* ...... "ok, but you don't understand how big the system is, this is a lot of work"

- We were on a call. Product was asking the backend manager (aka "Ass") a question about a slight upgrade to the new feature. While trying to talk, the tech lead (aka "Hole") kept cutting everyone off by saying loudly "but thats not in scope". The question was "is this possible in the future" and "how long would it take", coming from management and product development. Hole just kept saying "its not in scope", until he was told to be quiet by several people.

- An API was sending down JSON with a string containing a message for the user with 2 bits of data inside it. We asked for one of those pieces to also come down as a property as the string can change and we needed it client side. We got that. A few days later we found an edge case and asked for the second piece of data to be a property too. Now keep in mind, they clearly already have access to them in order to make the string. We were told "If you keep requesting changes like this, you are going to delay the release of the backend by up to 2 weeks"

Yes folks, there you have it, the most minuscule JSON modifications, can delay your release by up to 2 weeks ........ maybe I should just tell product, that they don't understand how big the app is, and claim we can't build it on our side? Seems to work for them

Thats all the time we have for today,

Tune in for more, where we'll be looking into such topics as:

- If god himself was an iOS developer ... not
- Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand
- Its more time-efficient to just give everything a story point of 5
- Why waste time replying to emails ... when you can do nothing instead

See you all next week,

  • 12
    Quality rant right there! I'm offended by the Ass-Hole thing thought, I much prefer Dick-Butt 😬
  • 6
    Amazing rant.
  • 9
    Just fucking amazing! This is why I subscribed your rants! Thank you sir! I also feel sorry for you.
  • 4
    Congratulations on your new role! my advice for you to manage Ass and Hole is this book called "The Phoenix Project" :)
  • 3
    Ahhhaha! Well it sounds like you’ve got a classic case of “do the needful” on your hands! Cheerio ol chap, and welcome to the club. Hopefully your company will see the light and not offshore this bs anymore. Of course this will be after you get a mess of curry code back that’s too coupled to change and too convoluted to follow.
  • 3
    @pullervo you said it. I wholeheartedly agree with this entire comment.
  • 3
    Your last series was probably the reason I got hooked on devRant.
  • 0
    *Subscribed* Damn!
  • 0
    @practiseSafeHex I think you may have forgotten something
  • 1
  • 0
    @practiseSafeHex just waiting for episode 2 😏
  • 2
    @electrineer oh haha. Been insanely busy with a release. Haven’t even had time to moan!!!

    I’ll post the next one soon.
  • 0
    I would like to congrats you for this new role, but it's hard to say anything when you got a new job at HELL. lol
  • 0
    @practiseSafeHex you just don't understand how big the system.. err, how long your rant is. You need to cut it in pieces and release them more often, because I only can ++ one rant once, and this amazing stuff deserves so much more! :)
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