I am trying to figure out a way to understand how management, specifically Software Development, do what they do. I want to someday become a manager myself because I believe I can be successful at it. I am a developer at a small company and lately all I am handed are small tasks rather than large projects. The tasks come with some requirements, but no formal training or mentoring on the actual application that I will be dealing with. So far no problem, because I love to dig and figure things out. It is when management comes to me and asks for an ETA on completion that I have the issue. They don't want ball park or a date range. They want a date that I will complete the task. The problem is that analysis and the self education is not complete yet. I tell them that I have no solution as of yet, that the task is still in discovery and it is impossible to give an ETA. They don't want to hear that, all they want is a date. It appears that they want to put all the responsibility on me, so if I don't meet the date it is all my fault. I don't see the logic in that. Please somebody explain to me how this is project management. I asked why they do it this way and that is what they said, "That's project management".

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The operative word here is project management. you m might want to use that program you give a heads up on any project you are assigned. Microsoft hase a good one, "Microsoft Project" use it to manage task for example from the start of the project, you have to doo research, analysis, training on the task put all thiose in and give yourself reasonable time to also include slack time (Breaks, Coffee any thing) at the end it will tell you down the the last second you will spend on the task

A word of advises too, you are doing the right thing so far, taking on small projects ( you have to prove you can manage small one before you are given larger task) try to finish them long before they are needed and as quickly as you can with great accuracy and efficiency. you also need to look at the bigger picture the task you are given is a part of the whole. The project manager put your task in the mix and they have an idea how long it might take to finish( base on the project outline) from Microsoft project or what ever program they use. it is always good to ask question and be honest that the task given you were not trained on and ask for help or more time to finish. one of the main questions to ask how long do i have to complete this task. then try to get it done before the dead line. if you have to give up a few minutes of lunch, come in early or work late whatever it takes to get it done before the deadline, this will allow you to prove your self. Because the MOST important thing in a project is to get it done on or before time and UNDER budget if possible.

I don't want to come off sounding sarcastic or whatever, but what I am really asking is what is the logic in assigning a task to one of your developers without any formal training(yes, I have asked about training and it is up to me to self train or ask around for help, which I have done) and then ask for a hard date. It seems illogical. It seems like management should wait until the developer has a better grasp on what they are doing first. Is that the way I should manage, if I become a manager? Microsoft project manager is great tool by the way. Thanks for the suggestion. How would you estimate how long it will take for self education and how long it will take to find a solution? Those seem to be unknowns before you can come up with a hard date.

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