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OT: toxic programming
Old 06-29-2008, 09:42 PM   #21
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OT: toxic programming

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
When I reached my FI goal in 2004, work was in a sweet spot - I was doing
fun, easy programming that I could do in my sleep, absolutely no stress.
Knowing these situations never last, I decided to let my retirement date set
itself - I would quit when the fun left.

Sure enough, 2 years later our company embraced a toxic new programming
trend which would suck all the fun out of work, so I retired in 2006 at 48.

I know this is off-topic but being a programmer, at least while I'm still working, I was a bit curious as to what the toxic programming environment might have been..................
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:55 PM   #22
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We had reached our financial target by age 48, but I needed to stay at work until age 52 in order to get my partial retiree health coverage. But when I was 50 the company decided to RIF a bunch of people, and I realized with the RIF package that I could qualify to retire. I would only get 56% of my health coverage paid by the company, but I was more concerned with the automatic qualification for coverage than the price. As soon as I knew I would be able to stay covered, I volunteered to be RIFed. So I got out, and in the process was able to save a coworker's job. That made it even sweeter. Of course, they nailed him 14 months later with the next RIF , but you can only do what you can do.

Harley
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:04 PM   #23
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I was layed off at age 49 - slowly dawned on my concious mind that work was optional. Been putzing ever since Jan 1993.

heh heh heh - slightly more complicated but that's the nub of it.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:56 PM   #24
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The Plan had been to retire at or around age 55. That was when I was 40. When I hit 50 I took ER from my 24 year employer. I sought out an other company in the city we wanted to move to after we retired. They hired me and I retired from company A and started with company B 2 weeks later. They paid all my relocation expenses; which was the ONLY reason I took the job in the first place. All I had to do was w*rk a year to avoid having to pay any of it back to them.

The plan was to ER 12 months and one day from the date I was hired by company B. Life has a way of screwing up your life and my plan faded away as I approached and passed the selected date. There was no longer a good reason to stop w*rking and the distraction was needed at that time in my life.

Flash forward a couple of years and things were very different. My new wife suffered a nasty surgical trauma which left her disabled. She could no longer work and went on long term disability. My time at w*rk was more valuable at home so ER became a goal again. Once I met a committment I made to company B, I chose a date. and pulled the trigger. That was more than a year ago.

I miss the paycheck but not the j*b. Corporate life sucks and there is no way I will ever go back to it. I paid my dues and now I am reaping my reward. My time is my own (expect for DW) and I never seem to have enough of it to get all my To Do List items done. Oh, well....there is always tomorrow.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:36 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by metabasalt View Post
I know this is off-topic but being a programmer, at least while I'm still working, I was a bit curious as to what the toxic programming environment might have been..................
XP (Extreme Programming). Everything is done in teams, with multiple meetings per day. You work in a set of low-walled cubicles. No code ownership - everyone makes changes everywhere. Impossible to concentrate, to get into the code for complex changes. Managers love it because they get a constant flow of status reports. Weak programmers like it because their incompetency is hidden by the team. Good programmers hate it.

This was too big of a change for me. For 27 years, I worked (mostly) in quiet, solo offices with the door shut, designing, developing and maintaining programs for years. I generally knew the code inside out, since I was the only person working on it. On a perfect day, I would get in at 0530-0600, work 8 hours, not open my door all day, and leave at 1330-1400, and I had a lot of perfect days. I could not handle the new 'social' programming.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:28 AM   #26
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We plan to retire when DW turns 57 and gets health care and an increased pension. That will be in 3 years and 3 days. Until then I'm cutting back to part time work and finalizing the 'plan". It will take me 3 years to convert real estate and business assets to retirement funds.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:21 AM   #27
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I had already done the math and determined DH and I were FI. Work was going good with a great boss and an interesting, high profile project, so I was in no hurry to leave. Then my boss got promoted and the new boss was simply awful. I had worked for many bad bosses before, but this time I knew I didn't have to tolerate another nightmare. Within four months of the new boss arriving, I left along with a collegue who was in the same situation I was. We have chatted since and decided the bad boss was actually a good thing as it gave us the final push to get out and move on.
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OT: Toxic programming
Old 06-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #28
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OT: Toxic programming

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
XP (Extreme Programming). Everything is done in teams, with multiple meetings per day. You work in a set of low-walled cubicles. No code ownership - everyone makes changes everywhere. Impossible to concentrate, to get into the code for complex changes. Managers love it because they get a constant flow of status reports. Weak programmers like it because their incompetency is hidden by the team. Good programmers hate it.

This was too big of a change for me. For 27 years, I worked (mostly) in quiet, solo offices with the door shut, designing, developing and maintaining programs for years. I generally knew the code inside out, since I was the only person working on it. On a perfect day, I would get in at 0530-0600, work 8 hours, not open my door all day, and leave at 1330-1400, and I had a lot of perfect days. I could not handle the new 'social' programming.
Thanks CyclingInvestor,

My reactions on reading about XP were similar to yours, though not so strong. But that's probably because I just read about it and didn't have to actually participate.

Your explanation of why it's popular , especially with managers, makes sense. The CIO at my job is high enough up that he pretty much stays out of my hair. But he loves being able to measure things. Let's hope he never hears about the virtues of XP.

Best wishes,

metabasalt
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:57 AM   #29
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My reactions on reading about XP were similar to yours, though not so strong. But that's probably because I just read about it and didn't have to actually participate.
I saw the way that the defense contractor (war-monger/war-profiteer) I worked at implemented "Agile Programming". Two software engineers per workstation? Not for me, thanks. I would end up killing my partner
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:20 AM   #30
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Since we're already meandering....

I was an enterprise architect at a company when they decided to try out XP on several projects there. I met with one of the coaches and asked him for some high-level design artifacts. He said "we don't document with XP, the architecture is what you get at the end". I told him that was fine and all, I couldn't care less about class diagrams, but you need to figure out where your data is and what you're going to run on. Well, they went from running on tablets in the stores, to the registers, to the backend servers in the stores to corporate with terminal services to corporate with Citrix access instead. The project was eventually cancelled.

I have plenty of toxic IT work-environment stories... all from being on a project that went 100% over budget and 100% over time.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:49 PM   #31
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My current immediate boss and I have been butting heads since she was hired 4 yrs ago. This past Dec I decided to stick it out till July when I have 10 yrs and thus some type (even if little) retirement. I left May 22nd on sick leave and will not be returning
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:51 PM   #32
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being on a project that went 100% over budget and 100% over time.
That sounds about right . My "terminal j*b" before I retired last year was an IT Project Manager.

Amazing to see what happened in the IT (formerly DP, or when I started in '66 with unit-record accounting machines, "Tab") arena.

When I started in '66, XP would be considered wiring up a 5-pocket drop on a 188 (let's see who can interpert that one ). Can you say "jackplug "...

- Ron
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:51 PM   #33
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Several things came together at once:
  1. I was asked to start a new area in megacorp, high priority, CEO, CFO handpicked me. Area S-Ox, gotta keep them outa jail.
  2. 1st year, no problem, I'm a star. Unlimited budget & perks.
  3. Second year, no problem, I'm overhead.
  4. 3nd year, why did we create this position and staff it with a loser.
  5. 3rd year, BIL died unexpectedly, 6 months before his ER date, he was already FI
  6. 3 weeks later, the light came on! Why am I here?
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:31 PM   #34
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Six months after I qualified for a pension I retired. I gave my notice 3 months prior to my retirement date. The pension and health benefits were the last links in my plan. As CFB said, after so many years being retired you don't even want to think about going back to that life.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:57 PM   #35
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Thanks everyone. I know one day it will come. For now, work is not that bad, we are on the younger end of this even for ERs, and of course that extra padding of the nest egg is always welcome.

I am planning for 3 or 4 years out. Of course if there was a major change in the corporate environment, it might accelerate my schedule!
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:50 PM   #36
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Last summer I was working another 80 hour week and while I was sitting at my desk one night when I was hit with a bad case of vertigo. I could not walk and thought I might be having a stroke.

We've had our expenses covered with rental houses and other investment for quite a while and talked about retiring for a few years. We own a lot in the Bahamas and planed to build a house there to live in five or six months a year.

The vertigo / stroke thing done it for me. I gave notice a month or so after that and left in January this year.

We sold the 'nice house' and moved into one I was fixing to flip; It is paid for. I sold my nice car and bought a little pick-up truck.

I had a great job making too much money and hated leaving it, but the thought of being found dead and carried out by the cleaning lady was what it took for me to call it quits.

I'm 54, my wife is 53 and still working. She plans to quit when I get the Bahamas house built. We are going there to get things started this month.

Our plans include moving from city to city and country to country every few years until we get too old to enjoy it. We will be buying and fixing houses as we go, leaving some behind as rentals.
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