Ownership ain't all it's cracked up to be...

So I spent most of the ‘work’ day today trying to shove a big mess of code into a production world…but first we had to demo it all to a business client and get sign off…and don’t you know it kept blowing up on just about every turn.

Now technically, I wasn’t around for the design phase of this project…and I only wrote about 10% of orig. code behind it all…but somehow, slowly but surely everyone else has been pulled off the project…leaving me with ownership of it all.

From a tech. standpoint this doesn’t really bother me…I mean I can read through and clean up other people’s code no problem…but the key is that:

1. I have to have time to be able to do this (cleaning and debugging someone else’s code usually takes at least 1.5 times the time it would take me to debug my own code)…this project is already a month overdue. So no time.

2. I need to know what the business unit really wants before I can actually provide that (goes back to my rant a few days ago - if you hand me crap, I can shine it up so much)…and since the business unit doesn’t know what they want, the other coders (whose code I now have to take responsibility for) also couldn’t build them what they wanted…making the problem about 10 times worse (starting off on the wrong foot really only makes the problems bigger and bigger the longer it goes on).

So long story short…I spent most of the day getting beat up about code I now own, but haven’t actually had a chance to take over…awesome for sure.

I’ll get it all cleared up and make everyone happy eventually…but it’s going to be get more rocky before we hit the staight-aways…and the beauty of it all is that, once we hit the clear path, I’m 99% sure ownership will suddenly transfer to someone else (and I’ll go grab another crap ball of code to call my very own).

I think being able to accept that this is the way things are (and not let it bother me beyond the occasional rant) is what helps me to 'usually’ have a good reputation with the people I work with…and it seems to ensure I’ll always have a job (if/when I want one) since there always seems to be another ball-of-crap to deal with :thumbsup:

Just once though, it would be nice to be handed a ball-of-beautiful code to manage and append to…but alas I know that’s a pipe dream (heck even my own old Draftwizard code, that I’m 100% responsible for creating, is a ball-of-crap code! So I can’t really complain too much).

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).