Friday, October 25, 2013

Curiosity killed the cat

So in May of 2013 I joined this cool global software company as a developer. On the internal forums in this company people talk about how difficult it is to hire and keep experienced developers. Here in Kampala we are experiencing the exact same issues.

In Uganda developer teams of 5 or more are rarer than an honest politician. In my previous job I was one of 2 developers; we were superstars with the aura of magic makers or illusionists. I recently attended the leaving party for our former head of department and in his speech he described how even though we left more than 6months ago, we are still spoken of in reverential terms. That, it is universally accepted that there will never be another pair of developers as genius as us in that organisation. 

By now you are wondering why I left a place where I was the Olivia Pope, the Harvey Spector, the guy who gets stuff done. The short answer is curiosity. For a person who was adored as a messiah, the ceiling had been reached. The pressure was now on to become God's only prophet; Muhammad. But I wondered; if may be, instead of starting a new religion, I could just continue as a christian and possibly move from messiah to holy spirit. Still part of the technology trinity (ICT) rather than taking on an entirely new religion like Operations and Administration.   

But curiosity is a dangerous thing and we all know what happened to the curious cat; it ended up dead. The first real project at the new company and suddenly all my years of C# super stardom are replaced by python mediocrity. Every day I am getting scolded and lectured about bad coding practices and breaking the build. This 'feedback' is being delivered by kids on the team that just left university this year.

In addition, Agile is the project management method of choice in this new company. Agile prescribes pair programming, and bloody build monitors littered all over the office. Plus, mbu to enhance 'collaboration' the entire office is as open as my high school dinning hall. If you lift your head away from your computer screen, you can see everyone in the office. So there is nowhere to hide when the stupid build monitor turns red and your name is on it. Some of them even make weird sounds (Rick Dees bonehead song) when the build is broken. I wonder who thought that would be a good idea.

So curiosity has gotten me from messiah to Judas. Letting the team down and, worst of all, not even getting the 30 pieces of silver. The recruiter never said there would be days like these.