Thursday, 15 November 2007

Black Hats of Westminister:: Programmers from the dark side?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
They just looked like any ordinary bunch of super talented programmers. The usual, excellently minded intellectuals. Brilliant minded creators of software artistry.

They did everything the way every other programming team would do.
They wrote programs, then went home.
But something wasn't right!

Have you ever been in a position where you are talking to someone and you get this strange feeling that although they are responding affirmitively, they really disagree with everything you say? Sure they still do as you wish and as agreed, but something deep inside tells you that there is a different agenda at play here. Well that's the feeling i got when i worked with a mobile software design team in Westminster.

Something told me that i should look into the history of this project team. I thought, maybe something there might uncover some dark secret that would lead me to the truth. So i pulled the resume's on all employees and began to investigate where this team had come from. I found that most of the team had been together for 10 years. I found that the organisation we were all now working for had acquired the team as part of a company buyout five years ago. I found that none of the team had signed the new (non Tupe) employment contract and that they were now in dispute with the executive management team.

As i read and learned i became more and more uncomfortable about my own position. What had i got myself into, i thought? The management team were clearly not being open and honest with me about the difficult circumstances they were involving me in. The programming team were clearly not being open and honest about the difficult circumstances they had found themselves living with and were clearly only interested in dealing with the management team above. And there was i left in the middle, trying to live up to hundred "shifting" key performance indicators. Most of which would be a challenge, even with the best team of programmers, money could buy.

After six months of trying to work in an environment of grudging madness, i was finally told of my plight. I was told that i hadn't passed my probation, given six weeks notice and was allowed to leave immediately. I told the guy telling me that i wasn't sure what the future would hold for me, but that i would be back in touch if i ever fell on hard times.

Some time later i was informed by a friend that my appointment was only meant to be temporary, to cover for someone who was on maternity leave. Apparently, it was cheaper for the company to pretend to offer me a permenant role, than offer me a six month contract.

After a few months in the bottle, i finally reconciled my experiences.
I had wandered into a real rats nest of subversiveness.

The Black Hats of Westminister!

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