Need a Programmer?

I’ve felt for a while like my current position isn’t a good fit for me. Basically, the way they do development is kind of 1995-centric, and I don’t have any power to change it. I find this very draining.

Talking to a friend, he also pointed out that my current job is very isolating. I work from home, and my projects are basically all solo. When I worked at Socialtext, everyone was remote, and so everyone chatted on IRC. Because everyone was in the same isolated situation, we all worked to be less isolated. But with my current position, most folks work at the office, so there’s no IRC. There’s also no planning of work within a group, so even less reason to talk online.

However, the latest humiliation is this. I am a 1099 contractor for my ultimate employer. When I started, I was told I had to bill through a random contracting company, call it TechPeople. This meant using the horrible TechPeople webapp to enter hours, printing a timesheet, signing it, faxing it to my real boss, who would sign it and fax it to TechPeople.

Then my employer merged with another company. The decision was made that contractors would go through the other company’s preferred agency, call it StaffSource. So I start submitting hours through the StaffSource webapp. This webapp is even more horrible than the TechPeople webapp, but on the flip side the approval and submission process is all online. So it involves lots more clicking, but no faxing.

However, because of contracts with TechPeople, I cannot be paid directly by StaffSource. Instead, my ultimate employer pays StaffSource, who pay TechPeople, who pay me. Now TechPeople comes to me and says that they need me to enter hours in their system too. Not only that, but to demonstrate that said hours are approved, I’m supposed to go into the StaffSource webapp after a timesheet is approved there, take a screenshot, and email it to StaffSource.

Apparently StaffSouce and/or TechPeople are too incompetent to make their systems talk to each other, or even just give each other access to their systems. After all, it’s their contracts and terrible apps that make this silliness necessary, so why should I be doing all the work.

So … looking for a programmer? I’m open to contract or FT work, but I don’t want to move. I’d love a position where I worked with other people on projects, rather than solo, but I’m open to solo work, especially for contracts.

My resume is online and I can be reached via email.

Edit: As genehack noted below, since I don’t want to move, it might be useful to know where I live, which is Minneapolis, MN.

In the past, I’ve had telecommuting jobs which involved visiting an office in another state on a regular basis. I’d certainly be open to doing that again (say 2-3 days every 2 months).

4 comments

  1. Given the “don’t want to move” comment, you may want to put some indication on your resume of where you’re currently located…

  2. hey,
    just noticed a typo in your resume
    Mason

    Since 200, I have been a member of the core team for the Mason templating system.

    cheersa

  3. “Doubling up” on ticketing/tracking systems is one of the things I tell people to watch out for in my ball of mud talk – http://www.redhotpenguin.com/talks/yapc/2008/.

    Have you discussed the situation with TechPeople? Seems like you should be making the onerous process part of billable hours so that at the very least you get compensated for your pain. I generally provide consulting clients with an invoice per month with hours broken down (usually takes about an hour to generate). If they ask for more then that, I tell them that those are billable hours, and in some cases they don’t mind.

    Of course, I’d much rather be writing code then counting beans… :)

  4. I did discuss this with all parties. TechPeople doesn’t care, because they are the “legacy” party, and will be phased out once all the contractors finish their contracts.

    StaffSource doesn’t care, because it’s not really their problem. They have a system that works, more or less.

    My ultimate employer sort of cares (or at least my boss does), but nobody can do anything about it. It’s too big of a company for one whiny consultant (that’d be me ;) to matter, and they can’t dump TechPeople outright because of contractual obligations.

    I realized that I should just suck it up and follow the ridiculous system. Part of what I dislike about this position is that I’m not in a position to make any changes to how things are done. This is one more reminder of that. That’s why it’s time for something new.

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