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netikras
236d

TL;DR; do your best all you like, strive to be the #1 if you want to, but do not expect to be appreciated for walking an extra mile of excellence. You can get burned for that.

They say verbalising it makes it less painful. So I guess I'll try to do just that. Because it still hurts, even though it happened many years ago.

I was about to finish college. As usual, the last year we have to prepare a project and demonstrate it at the end of the year. I worked. I worked hard. Many sleepless nights, many nerves burned. I was making an android app - StudentBuddy. It was supposed to alleviate students' organizational problems: finding the right building (city plans, maps, bus schedules and options/suggestions), the right auditorium (I used pictures of building evac plans with classes indexed on them; drawing the red line as the path to go to find the right room), having the schedule in-app, notifications, push-notifications (e.g. teacher posts "will be 15 minutes late" or "15:30 moved to aud. 326"), homework, etc. Looots of info, loooots of features. Definitely lots of time spent and heaps of new info learned along the way.

The architecture was simple. It was a server-side REST webapp and an Android app as a client. Plenty of entities, as the system had to cover a broad spectrum of features. Consequently, I had to spin up a large number of webmethods, implement them, write clients for them and keep them in-sync. Eventually, I decided to build an annotation processor that generates webmethods and clients automatically - I just had to write a template and define what I want generated. That worked PERFECTLY.

In the end, I spun up and implemented hundreds of webmethods. Most of them were used in the Android app (client) - to access and upsert entities, transition states, etc. Some of them I left as TBD for the future - for when the app gets the ADMIN module created. I still used those webmethods to populate the DB.

The day came when I had to demonstrate my creation. As always, there was a commission: some high-level folks from the college, some guests from businesses.

My turn to speak. Everything went great, as reversed. I present the problem, demonstrate the app, demonstrate the notifications, plans, etc. Then I describe at high level what the implementation is like and future development plans. They ask me questions - I answer them all.

I was sure I was going to get a 10 - the highest score. This was by far the most advanced project of all presented that day!

Other people do their demos. I wait to the end patiently to hear the results. Commission leaves the room. 10 minutes later someone comes in and calls my name. She walks me to the room where the judgement is made. Uh-oh, what could've possibly gone wrong...?

The leader is reading through my project's docs and I don't like the look on his face. He opens the last 7 pages where all the webmethods are listed, points them to me and asks:
LEAD: What is this??? Are all of these implemented? Are they all being used in the app?
ME: Yes, I have implemented all of them. Most of them are used in the app, others are there for future development - for when the ADMIN module is created
LEAD: But why are there so many of them? You can't possibly need them all!
ME: The scope of the application is huge. There are lots of entities, and more than half of the methods are but extended CRUD calls
LEAD: But there are so many of them! And you say you are not using them in your app
ME: Yes, I was using them manually to perform admin tasks, like creating all the entities with all the relations in order to populate the DB (FTR: it was perfectly OK to not have the app completed 100%. We were encouraged to build an MVP and have plans for future development)
LEAD: <shakes his head in disapproval>
LEAD: Okay, That will be all. you can return to the auditorium

In the end, I was not given the highest score, while some other, less advanced projects, were. I was so upset and confused I could not force myself to ask WHY.

I still carry this sore with me and it still hurts to remember. Also, I have learned a painful life lesson: do your best all you like, strive to be the #1 if you want to, but do not expect to be appreciated for walking an extra mile of excellence. You can get burned for that.

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