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I work for a small company that develops websites for other companies, most of them local, some with a more regional or semi-national presence.

I cannot tell you how many websites I've worked on where some guy has an idea and just barely enough cash to pay someone to develop a website to implement it. And out of all of those "fresh idea" websites, not one of them has remained afloat. Most never even generate the first dollar of revenue.

Another situation that is common is there is this one client I'm always working on that is an established presence in an industry, so at least their entire business does not ride on their website. But their website is fairly robust and they keep adding and enhancing the functionality. The problem is that nobody is using the functionality they're enhancing! I mean, sure, there's the whole idea that if you improve it, more people will use it, but at some point it's like "quit throwing good money after bad," you know?

It boils down to the fact that I rarely, extremely rarely, get to work on anything I know will be useful to anyone. The only recent project I can look back upon with any small sense of satisfaction is one I'm actually not quite finished with, but it is presently on the sidelines as others QA the site and I work on something for the people in the prior paragraph. But this project? It's for a non-profit. I already know they're not trying to make money! Which is convenient, because if I'm working on it, it didn't have a good chance of doing that anyway...

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Last Post by geekgoddess
Featured Replies
  • 1

    Take pleasure in doing a good job, rather than in counting how many people appreciate the effort you put in. Because you'll soon realise that hardly anyone appreciates your effort, least of all your customers. Read More

  • 1

    Every recruiter claims to want talent, the "top 5 percentile" of candidates. In reality, they prefer mediocrity as that's a lot cheaper and less likely to have high demands when it comes to what work to do and under what conditions. Read More

  • 3
    Narue 5,707   7 Years Ago

    [B]>I'm well aware that I need to find greener pastures[/B] Keep in mind that it takes a lot of shit to keep those pastures green. ;) Read More

  • 4
    vmanes 1,165   7 Years Ago

    Doing a good job is like peeing your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling, but nobody notices. Read More

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Take pleasure in doing a good job, rather than in counting how many people appreciate the effort you put in.
Because you'll soon realise that hardly anyone appreciates your effort, least of all your customers.

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Take pleasure in doing a good job, rather than in counting how many people appreciate the effort you put in.
Because you'll soon realise that hardly anyone appreciates your effort, least of all your customers.

I'd setting for someone using my effort. Appreciation is a dream I dare not have.

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If you want to be assured that someone is using your work so badly, why not look for a job with a different company? But I agree with jwenting in that your focus should shift more towards taking pride in the work that you do and improving yourself rather than worrying about how often the finished product is used.

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Oh, I'm well aware that I need to find greener pastures and I have my eyes open. Complicating matters somewhat is the realization that greener pastures will more likely be found in a different city, as this particular area (Greensboro, NC) is not a technology hotbed. Charlotte and Raleigh are 75-90 minutes away in opposite directions, so I wouldn't really need to go far, but it's challenging enough to conduct a thorough job search locally while still being fair to your present employer.

Anyway, this wasn't really so much of a "woe is me, I'm helpless" post, but more of a venting session inspired by a recent blog I read about attracting talent, but too much of an offshoot to go there.

Edited by apegram: n/a

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Every recruiter claims to want talent, the "top 5 percentile" of candidates.
In reality, they prefer mediocrity as that's a lot cheaper and less likely to have high demands when it comes to what work to do and under what conditions.

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>I'm well aware that I need to find greener pastures
Keep in mind that it takes a lot of shit to keep those pastures green. ;)

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Astroturf pastures, got it. Not so good for grazing, though. Sorry, cows.

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I've always worked on critical financial systems used by banks and top-notch financial organizations which deal with millions/billions so the "user satisfaction" is never an issue.

I'm personally in favour of self-satisfaction, the learning gained and the moolah over user-satisfaction; I'd rather have the employer worry about the latter. And in case you are really interested, join and contribute to an established open source project; much better. :)

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I don't worry if someone appreciates my efforts because the machine is up and running because I diagnosed the problem, I repaired the equipment(used right hammer) Yeah it's fixed and I did it! That's job satisfaction. Later---

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>I'm personally in favour of self-satisfaction, the learning gained and the moolah over user-satisfaction; I'd rather have the employer worry about the latter.

I could not have put it better myself. Because first of users will never be satisfied. and second of all user satisfaction is the responsibility of project managers, business analysts, marketing, etc. and of those jobs i'll only salute the analysts (when they dont make my life more difficult than it needs to be by messing up the analysis.)

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The latest survey amongst graduating students indicates that job security ranks higher than job satisfaction.

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You should do as other people have suggested and take pride in your work.

Personally, if what I produce matches what the client has asked for then it was a good job and I am happy.
Never mind that the client is always changing what they want and that they always want it yesterday, when it comes down to it, as long as I get paid and the job gets completed. I am satisfied.

Although, at present I have only done a few small freelance projects...

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@Will Gresham

Well i have nothing against customer satisfaction. And I did a little bit (thank heavan it was only a little bit) of systems analysis so I agree that one should give the customer what would satisfy him even when he keeps changing his mind or simply does not know what he wants.

But more often than not that is out of your hands. You work for a company where the chain is so long. Team leaders, business analysts etc and all kinds of people decide what must be and as a programmer you have no choice but to follow orders. At that point yours is not to reason why. yours are but to do and die.

I remember at my previous job I had to develop an app that my manager had to use himself. After arguing with him for half an hour as to why I think his ideas for the GUI is flawed he asked why i cant for once just be a good little soldier and follow orders. I followed orders and lo and behold. He did not like it one bit.

That is why i said that one should not go out of your way for customer satisfaction. I have done many types of jobs in my life and have worked under supervisors and managers who apreciate input or initiative. I have also worked under managers, supervisors etc who SAY they value it but more often than not it is their way or the highway. In those cases customer satisfaction is not in your hands. It is in their hands.

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Nobody notices if it works
they only notice when it doesnt, and then the coffee steaming out of the guts of it is never their coffee, even when the empth cup is in their hand

Nimby and the SEP effect

Not in my back yard
and
Somebody Else's Problem

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I take pride in what I do, certainly, it's just... working on website after website that you just know is going to be a bust is sort of draining. But at the same time, I try to see the humor in it.

I joke with my coworkers that I'm the kiss of death for a client's project (although it's actually their own ideas for what those projects should be). In fact, just today the topic came up again because there's another site our company has been working on that is for a sporting event coming up next year. When the event is finished, the site no longer has a purpose. One of the project managers said "it sure is sad to know we're working this hard on this website and in a year, it will be no more." To which I chimed in, "if one of the websites I worked on lasted that long, it would be a record." The people who knew enough all laughed, the project manager in question had a puzzled look on her face until we recounted the failed websites I had the pleasure of programming. (She's relatively new.)

And it's quite a list.

Today, I received yet another proposal that I have to provide a reasonable estimate of hours. It's a doozy.

Edited by apegram: n/a

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your project history sounds like my employer history...
All but one no longer exists either due to bankruptcy or because they were purchased by a competitor :)
None of which (cross my heart) is because of my effort.

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I'm a teacher, so it's great when I get to see the faces of those, who've tormented me for 5 years, get their come-upance when they turn up to school on results day and find that they've failed to achieve the bare minimum expected by society.

BTW: the flip-side is great too!

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I'm a teacher, so it's great when I get to see the faces of those, who've tormented me for 5 years, get their come-upance when they turn up to school on results day and find that they've failed to achieve the bare minimum expected by society.

BTW: the flip-side is great too!

lol. you enjoy the look of horror when they realise that they are failing?

cant say i blame you though. it must feel good when somebody's bad act comes home to roost and you are there to see it. especially if the bad act has been a nightmare to you.

i wish i can have an opportunity for something like that. but it seems as if the client my team is dealing with right now is too clever for us. man i would pay good money to see the shoe on his foot.

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I joke with my coworkers that I'm the kiss of death for a client's project (although it's actually their own ideas for what those projects should be). In fact, just today the topic came up again because there's another site our company has been working on that is for a sporting event coming up next year. When the event is finished, the site no longer has a purpose. One of the project managers said "it sure is sad to know we're working this hard on this website and in a year, it will be no more."

I have been a full-time freelancer for over three years now, having started my own company after working for others for many, many years, and I work on a bunch of sites that only last a short time. One of my major clients deals with huge events and promotions and all of them are short-term. If a national promotion runs for several months over the summer, then that's how long my site is up and being used, but it totally satisfies me that my efforts helped to make the event/promotion successful. There's definitely times when I put something together for a promotion that gets canceled at the last minute also, which is OK. As others have said, it's cool just to be learning new things and see them working. You are in an environment where you get to work with a multitude of clients who are always asking for you to create new and different things. To me, that's a challenge. Inevitably, I have to create something I've never done before and have had to learn a new skill. To me, that's exciting, and only enhances my ability to help my next client. In a world where word-of-mouth is King, your ability to just "make it happen" no matter what they ask for will lead to your success in the future. :)

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