Contract Firms, Two Car Funerals, and Quality Assurance
Last Thursday, the manager on the contract I was working for called me in to his office to let me know he was paying a lot more for me to the contract firm I was working under than he thought he was. This was a conversation that was destined to go poorly. In fact, it was pretty much downhill from the point where he told me he could get two programmers for what I was making.
And here I thought my rates were pretty reasonable, at market or at worst only about 10% above. And of course they were, but it turns out I was only making 52% of what the contract firm was billing for me.
I wonder what languages the two programmers who replace me will speak. Probably Elbonian.
Anyway, the upshot is that on Friday I decided that I wanted to work on LeadReply – my neglected pet project – for free more than I wanted a 25% pay cut. So that’s what I’m doing, and it’s well underway.
It’s an interesting project, in that it’s completely underfunded. I have scope to work on it for maybe two months, and certainly to do everything I want to do is four months or so of work at minimum.
Today I was working on the classes that will parse the leads when they come in. There’s no rocket science there, just a lot of looking at text emails of various types and pulling strings out. I was almost done the parsing code for most of the types I needed to handle on the first day, when it occurred to me that I was using something of a brute force approach, and needed to do some easy refactoring to make the code less fat and more maintainable.
I hated to bite the bullet and do this, since string parsing code is so ad hoc and yet so menial that it’s always little fun. But then I told myself something that was destined to be put on this blog. I thought, “You know, you might as well do this job right, since after all you’re not getting paid for it.”
That’s how I also do the jobs I’m paid for, of course – but in that case where’s the joke?