Hellish IT Contracts
This article on hellish IT Contracts was sent to us by Patrick.
The 1st Hellish Contract
First of all, the contract was for the lowest rate that I have ever woked and it was for
a short duration (1 month renewable).
It was in a very specific module of ERP, with probably very few
people having knowledge of it.
Normally this type of skill commands a much higher rate.
I accepted this contract because the market was really bad at the
time and I was on the bench for more than 6 months.
It was also the first time I ever bluffed my way into a contract. I did not
have excellent knowledge of the module or skill.
Arrival at Company
When I arrived at the companyIi discovered :
- Nobody else had any knowledge, whatsover, of the skill in the company
- It was a one man project, you had to do everything by yourself and
could not rely on anyone to help you
- The manager supervising me was offensive and very disagreable from day
one, even before knowing me
- The atmoshpere on the company was bad, with supervisors shouting at
juniors and mishandling them
- The 2 contractors before me on the same project left, or were sacked after a short period
Obviously, I got the boot after some time eventhough I did my best.
The 2nd Hellish Contract
It was a short mission again, renewable and it was for performance & tuning.
I had excellent knowledge and was very senior in the skill (10 years).
Basically they had a problem with a new project because the system
was very slow.
I discovered immediately that the servers were swapping all the time
but they were at max capacity (processors, ram).
Obviously the system was totally underdimensioned.
Political Problems in IT Department
They told me it was impossible for political reasons to change anything to the servers or replace/get new servers because it was another company before who had purchased the servers.
I used my knowledge and could get some performance improvements by tuning all the parameters, like 10%, but you can not transform a buick sedan into a Formula 1 car..
The projects was also full of useless junior consultants from consultancies who like to show off, are very arrogant (they wore a tie also), and very pricey.
I was the only technical guy on the project.
Contract Not Renewed
After the end of the one month I did not get renewed.
They told me i wasn’t good technically because I could not improve the system.
All the clients before on my other contracts had said I was excellent
technically and praised my competence.
Maybe the lesson is the importance of politics, even for a contractor, and sometimes all the blame is put onosea contractor while the responsible for the problems have left or are the managers.
In the first case it was a bit my fault but the requirements were much too high also.
IT Contractor Comment
If you have had any hellish IT contracts let is know by email or in the Comments section below.
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