We need heroism

These are the words I least want to hear, especially when it comes to my job. I heard them today from one of my bosses because I’ve been writing code for one of his projects. It has the usual immovable launch date and changing requirements. The latter is why I was added to the project. The client decided, in all their wisdom, that an application we were building for them needed to be bilingual (displaying English or Spanish depending on the viewer). This is after changing the platform from Java on Unix to ASP.NET & C# on Windows. All this, one month before the scheduled launch.

Part of me is amused by this situation because I’ve been telling this boss for months that we don’t have enough developers. Because my title is “senior systems analyst”, writing code isn’t supposed to be my primary job. This same boss has said in the past that he didn’t want me to write code. So it’s rather ironic (and annoying) that I’m who he asks to write code when it looks like his project will miss its deadline.

Needing heroism on most of your projects means something is seriously wrong with the process.  It’s particularly discouraging when your employer received a CMMI Level 2 certification within the past six months.  That level is supposed to mean heroism is in the past.  In reality, CMMI Level 2 means a ton of documentation (and a ton of time spent writing it).  It doesn’t fix inaccurate budgets estimates or timelines, clients that keep changing their minds about what they want or a lack of developers to actually build the product.