Best practices? My job laughs at these. Please help me leave.
January 21, 2013 3:15 PM Subscribe
I work in a very small IT company that makes custom business applications. The owner is way too involved in the day-to-day and pushes the sales guy to schedule us back to back to back for projects. We have no dedicated support staff so support for existing clients falls back to us (me and the one other developer) in addition to building new applications - and having all the meetings etc with clients. We are like half BA, half developer with no project manager anywhere in sight. I need to develop some skills that will allow me to get another job but no one here has the time or interest in creating requirements documents or making use cases. I barely have time to get my work done and am working more than 40 most weeks without overtime (I am salaried). I am getting burned out and need to leave. But the lack of actual SDLC/Agile/documentation stuff is really killing my attempts to transition to a straight BA position.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I don't even know what to do.
Basically, once the sales guy has gotten to the point where a client is actually interested, he sends us whatever description of the project the client has sent (could just be a bulleted list!) and expects us to take no more than 15 min to come up with an estimate of how long it will take. We don't even talk to the client before that! Then we (either me or the other developer) are expected to have just a few hours with the client and just start building this thing. There is no formal scope document, no formal requirements, no use cases, nothing. The "documentation" is that 15 minute estimate based on little or no knowledge of the business needs.
We are building on a platform, like Salesforce or SAP. I've been there over a year now. I've been actively looking since November for a new job.
On paper, I look great as a BA - I am really good at getting requirements and business needs from clients. Clients love me and constantly say that I really understand their business quickly. But I am not a developer and am not getting better at that part of my job, despite my trying. The area where I have excelled is in the BA part. There is no chance that there will be a BA-only position at this company at any time within the foreseeable future, so please do not recommend that. I have tried to discuss this and gotten nowhere.
But I cannot provide examples of use cases, requirements, or scope or anything. Even if I were to start writing these, I have no one to look at them. In fact, I need to be working right now, but I am just finally so frustrated that I had to turn to the green.
There is a local chapter of the IBAA but they don't seem to have any ongoing functions or open meetings. I can try to call them. I don't know what they could do for me though. Proofread my stuff?
Is there a job title I should look for that would allow to get more on-the-job training in writing requirements and other formal documentation? I make under 40 a year with no benefits and no OT. We're not getting raises because they have decided to go after some new "incentive" program that will really only give us a bonus if we don't file timesheets for a project, which will just cause them to wonder why we were over-estimating projects. It's a no-win situation. We are literally being asked to do work in less time than it will take. We have no formal QA so there's always problems with that too.
I can't take time off to regroup because we have deadlines all the time. We do not have vacation or PTO or anything. It's an informal "take time off if you want if your work is caught up" thing. Ha. If I am "sick" I am expected to work from home. The other guy just tried to take a week off to visit his sister who lives in another state and ended up having to work almost a full work week (well, 30 hours, he normally works about 60).
I burn out after 50 hours every week. I need out. I'm taking the civil service exam for a BA position in February, but in the mean time I'm trying to find other jobs. I had no idea I'd be asked for examples of my work and now I just don't know what to do. My resume is good enough I'm getting call backs, but without having this other experience, I'm stuck. I'm worried the state will also want examples of these formal documents.
I cannot move to another city at this time, unless the job offer was like 60k a year which no one will give me without this experience. I am on the east coast about 2 hours north of DC. I have a liberal arts degree, but my job experience since college has all been in IT depts. I am in my early 30s. I bought a line about this company and am now very concerned for my future, both professionally as well as my ability to save for retirement or deal with a, god forbid, medical emergency. If I got majorly sick right now or broke my arm or leg, I'd be so far up shit creek, I don't know what I'd do.