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Chris Weldon

A savvy software engineer and agilist, Chris slings code in C#, but has also been known for commanding fleets of systems. He's currently a Tech Lead at Wolters Kluwer.

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Lately many individuals have been asking me whether I’m depressed or down. I don’t know where they’ve been getting that impression, but from what I can tell, most people think I’m exhibiting these factors.

I suppose maybe I am. Lemme explain what’s been going on in my life:

1) My business is failing. Sure, we got another client to “agree” to sign on with us recently, but there’s been no contracts signed as of yet and the workload for this website will be huge. Past that, the business doesn’t have any income, and Tom and I haven’t been able to pay ourselves this month or last month because we have no money in our corporate account. All bills for the company have been going on our credit card. This debt is racking up quick, and it is admittedly depressing me.

The sheer amount of time and effort that I’ve put into this business, only to see it not pay off as well as I thought it was going to, has effectively made me feel really down. I guess the big thing that ended up pulling me down this far was the fact that one of the potential half a million (yes $500K) clients has not come through yet - and it’s already 1.5 months after when we were told the deal would have been signed and we’d be working on it. The next meeting for it is on February 28th - a hell of a long time from now. The business world moves too slowly, and it’s really aggravating me.

2) My job @ CIS sucks. My boss doesn’t do any work to help our project progress - she’s been doing other “administrative” things, which will effectively add more for us to do in the future. Job Security: No problem here - there’s more than enough work cut out for us (or should I say me)? The problem that I have with her doing the things she’s been doing is that we’re a two-person team. A reasonable expectation for this would be that she would have her boss handle the administrative tasks (such as dealing with big businesses and the issues with their contracts), dealing with other departments, etc. This would allow both of us to work on the project together. We’d get a hell of a lot more accomplished this way than the manner we are currently taking.

Additionally, I’m only an IT Associate - literally the lowest of the low on the chain. I make shit wages, no where near what I should be paid in the field. In fact, all the work I’m doing should be earning me $45-55K a year, but I’m stuck at a measly $32K. The fact that I’m doing nearly 100% of the work to keep us on track (which a timeline really doesn’t exist in our group) really makes me want to tell my boss they should be paying me more.

Additionally, I feel my efforts would be more worth my time if I were able to exercise the things I’m fricking trained for. I’ve been to 2 conferences this past year (1 this and 1 last fiscal year) to learn about new and emerging technologies in PHP and the development world. I’ve learned a LOT from there. Here’s a list of things that I want to do (and feel SHOULD be done) because our applications are all left in the dark ages:

  • AJAX
  • Image Stylization
  • PHP5 OOP
  • PDO
  • Web Services
  • Much much more

My boss absolutely refuses to allow me to add things such as the above. The reason? There is none. Generally she just tells me that’s a bad idea or “most people don’t like that”. The issue I’m starting to have more of that is the simple fact that most people in the department actually “don’t mind that”. JavaScript is the culprit. I admit that I haven’t interviewed nearly all different departments, but 4 out of the 5 that I have interviewed has said they honestly don’t care about JavaScript.

The application we are working on is using coding concepts that are still PHP4, and more than likely will remain that way if I’m not allowed to implement anything cool, new, and what the web is moving towards. My boss just doesn’t seem to understand where web content is moving towards and that many new technologies do exist and are there TO BE USED!

More things include using tools to develop and maintain our apps. Things such as trac, subversion, and other tools would be EXTREMELY helpful for us, as we’d be able to trac our code better and finally have documentation for our application. But, anytime I try to recommend these things to Kim, or heaven forbid install them, she tells me we’re not going to consider it now. “We’ve got too many other things to deal with.” This mainly involves moving from one server to two newer servers, which has been going on for 6 months now….I swear this move could have been taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, but the fact that it’s still going on is really depressing.

On the upside, a couple of new positions in another department are about to open up, and I’ll be applying for them, because I want to get off this dead end project.

In Summary

I suppose I have been a little depressed as of late. I’m going to skip out on my TREC (Engineering Competition) later tonight because of this fact. I needed some alone time (and probably need more). But I need alone time that doesn’t involve work or anything else. Just myself. Hopefully Sunday will lift my spirits, as Melissa and I are going to look at a potential first house for us. We’re not telling our parents (so Courtney, don’t even think of mentioning this to mom or dad!) because my parents especially think this will probably be a bad idea. Most online things are telling us that it’s not that bad, and for a few hundred dollars more a month, we’ll be on our way to OWNING, instead of keeping with the renting cycle we’ve been on.

Enough. I’m done with this post.