March 25, 2008 – Work Changes Abound

Reading so many others posts on work is strangely interesting, so I figured I’d start mentioning it a bit more. My work has been changing quite a bit recently. Development at Westgate was broken into 4 different dev teams, each with their own developers, technical leads, project managers and QA staff — but now we’ve been merged into one super team — roughly. Now there’s developers (22 or so), technical leads (7?) and then project managers and qa staff are their own groups. Certainly will make things interesting, and will let us all mingle with a lot more people than 10 or so that would be on any given team. They shuffled us around so our rooms now have people from multiple teams, and soon will start changing up the lifecycle. Our direct manager also changed, which was a bit weird considerin he switched from managing to developing when it usually goes the other way. What people are pushing for now is for everyone to have a laptop and then there wont be assigned seating — you’ll just work with whoever you need to for your project. A lot of people already bring their Macbook Pros from home for this. That wasn’t previously allowed, but with 80% of the developers favoring macs now there’s been a push for it. It helps that sometimes in meetings laptops are required but not actually provided by the company. I don’t see this becoming the norm for everyone, but the majority with laptops will probably be able to use them at least. Looks like my next project is going to be exciting though. Me and one or two others at most will be redoing the main company site ( in JRuby on Rails. Rails development is heavily mac focused as well, so brining in my laptop for this shouldn’t be a problem. For now Rails development looks like the next thing I’d love to get great at, so at least I’ll be able to get my feet wet still at Westgate. It can’t be all roses though. Looks like QA is understaffed so some people in between projects might have to do some testing — which is amongst the most annoying things we can be tasked to do. They also seem to be pushing people to work longer hours which is a slippery slope. At the moment we work 8 hours a day, excluding lunch. Usually this means 8:45 – 5:30 with a 45 minute lunch. I have nothing against putting in some extra time at the end of a development phase to meet a deadline, or if there’s an emergency and something is broken on a live site. If we’re working longer at the beginning of a project, or if we’re constantly moved around to already late projects, then we’d have some issues though. Salaried hours above 40 are just annoying. Do you get paid for time above 40 hours?

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I'm , a full-stack product developer in Salt Lake City, UT. I love enlivening experiences, visualizing data, and making playful websites.

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