Daily Log #96

After Halo, Gears of War 4 was what kept me engaged for the last four days. Once I reached home from work, have a quick shower and I will be playing on my Xbox until it was time to sleep. I finished the game campaign by Saturday afternoon.

When that was done, I continued to spend the next two hours or so playing Mass Effect: Andromeda. Despite all the bad reviews and comments about the game, I thought it was still a decent game and will at least keep me occupied for the next few days if not weeks. After all, it’s a RPG game and I tend to take a long time with these kind of games because I want to complete every quests there is. I can get pretty OCD about it.

Of course, I will probably go back and play the Halo games again to collect all the achievements and complete optional or bonus objectives.

I’m also looking forward to Shadow of Tomb Raider. Thus far, I think the game looks pretty good. Then there is the quest system with customizable difficulty for different aspects of the game (exploration, combat and puzzles) which definitely is interesting.

Games aside, my professional life is also doing relatively ok. It’s at where I want now.

As I have said repeatedly, I have no desire to climb the corporate ladder and only want to focus on creating stuff either through code, writing or drawing. Thus far, I’m enjoying myself with creating great looking user interface for users to work with when they use the application my team is building.

However, there are times when I just feel unmotivated or disappointed at work because of how low in terms of quality one of my colleague goes when it comes to usability and design. I feel like I’m taking a step forward only be forced to take two steps back. It’s just frustrating.

I still don’t get why this company is at such a state where there is no investment in having a full-time UX designer/writers to craft a great user journey for the application, don’t have resources to implement continuous integration and yet keep getting us to get ready for demo after demo.

Do you know that for every demo we need to prepare, we spend at least forty man-hour not doing development work just so that we can test, prepare deployment packages, go onsite, deploy and test again? There are always at least two people involved for deployment of both the client and server application? One of them is me.

Then there are situations where certain sub-system running on a different servers decides to break down or stop running. And those sub-systems are critical to the function of our system. The vendors responsible for those sub-systems don’t seem to be providing a very good support and actually asked us to fix their issues. So even more time spent there. I’m definitely not happy with it. My colleague, well… even more unhappy since she is taking the brunt of it.

And do you know that that in that forty man-hour, I could have completed two medium-sized features or one big, difficult feature? I could also have refactored many of my codes and fix silent bugs (these are codes found during reading that could potentially break in a certain scenarios). Or I could have created a simple user journey with storyboards and then implement that in code.

The company is like trying to do devops but is just not practical given our existing strengths and weaknesses as well as project requirements. There are still tons of features not implemented.

I definitely feel that the company is just chugging along, still thinking they are the best in the world. It’s a system integrator trying to be a product/solution house but doing a poor job at both. It’s not a good place to be in.

But still, I try to make the best of it because I don’t want to go to work every day and torture myself. I have not really decided to join another company because I believe that it is the same everywhere else. I just don’t think that there is a truly great tech company in Singapore that does things RIGHT and INSPIRING. Hell, I don’t even believe in my company’s motto, vision, and values. What I have seen and experienced have pretty much destroyed those beliefs.

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