Ok. I’ll preface this with saying that I actually like the guy. It’s just when it comes to the business of software development, he is clueless. A bad thing when you’re primary product is software and half of your employees are software “engineers”.
So what happened?
He’s a bit of a scatter brain and promises new products with little to no investigation, prototyping, or even questioning the potential customer for the right details. So what does he do? He promises delivery of a product in five months that doesn’t exist…
So another dev and I were assigned this product that was sold with vaporware.
For the uninitiated, vaporware, in software, is a mockup that looks like it works, but it’s essentially hardcoded trash.
I asked the CEO about specs. “Any particular way you want this built?” “No”, he says, “I don’t care how you get it to work, just get it to work.”
Well, alright then.
We get to work. The other dev starts on frontend stuff. I start on database design. After that, I have to decide on the best way to make this happen. A little explanation first.
We are working on inventory tracking with RFID readers. We have to track items in a building, constantly, with antennas in every room. A set of four antennas are attached to a single reader. The reader connects to a network. There could be “unlimited” readers. Readers can be interacted with through their own API. Like turning on/off, settings, etc. Also, the readers can send their reads through an HTTP post request. I decide, since we are dealing with at least two brands of readers, each with their own internal API, that it would be best to build an API to consume the requests sent from the readers. A much simpler and more flexible approach than what they’ve done in the past. And by god I got it to work pretty damn well.
So my partner has a front end going. Running off of my database design and being filled by data from my API. The CEO thinks it looks great and works smooth. Then I show him the Swagger interface, just to give him an idea of what’s happening behind the scenes. Dude flips his lead.
“Don’t you know that the readers already have an API? You’re just doubling up work!”
Thank god the VP was there to clear things up. But damn, if I didn’t have that stupid covid mask on, he would’ve seen the scowl. Actually, my coworker said he could tell, even with the mask on, so maybe the boss could, too.
Anyways, what did I do about this? I got a new fucking job, baby!
More on that later.