I have recently joined a public funded research organisation.

After joining I realised that there is no software practices to follow, no code reviews and no CI/CD. The only reason for this situation I realised was that the management was not interested in the code quality at all, they just need to get the work done and show it to some committee to get more fundings hence, the team members are not interested at all too. Most of the time in the meetings different managers of different team have their personal agendas and couple of times I have prevented to complete a feature which I felt was important for the project but was stopped by my manager because he wanted other teams to suffer or he didn't like the manager at all.

Last week my manager called me asking me how much time I spend on my desk and I told him around 7 hours he then told me that I should try cutting lunch time and avoid going for coffees and instead try to sit 8 hours everyday. This was shocking for me as I thought the quality of the work is more important than showing off that I am sitting on my desk all day. I couldn't reply anything in the meeting and kept silent but now I am feeling angry and want to talk to him regarding same matter.

I have a very good track record until now(in previous companies) and I don't know why he has targeted me but I don't agree with his expectations.

I am not sure what to do in such situation, the organisation is highly political and I cannot leave my current job right now.

PS: My project is to provide software solutions to the internal team and there are many internal teams.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – enderland Apr 3 '18 at 15:45

Your work environment sounds unpleasant, and it's clear you don't like it. That said, if you are supposed to work 8 hours a day, work 8 hours a day. Yes, in some shops they don't mind the hours as long as you hit your goals and deadlines. Since this place isn't as well organized, they count the hours.

I always told my people

If your manager is checking how many hours you actually work each day, you already have a problem.

I believe this applies to you too. You are not producing enough something for your manager's wants. That might be working code, but it might not. It might be agreement and support in meetings. IT might be working code for the teams he "likes" at the expense of those he doesn't. It might be quick deliveries without things he considers unnecessary. You can probably find out, but not while you're angry that you're being asked to work a full day.

So, step 1, spend the full 8 hours at your desk as requested. Step 2, listen to your manager when you are given direction. Don't override what you're hearing with what you think would be the right thing to do. Do as you are asked. (Step 2.5, if you hate this, start looking for another job in parallel with these steps.) Step 3, when you get a chance, don't make a big deal of it, ask your manager how you could improve. Say things like "I want to do well here, I think I need some direction." Listen carefully to what you are told. Even if you think whatever your manager says is a terrible way to run a company (it may well be), it is the way this company, or at least this part of it, is being run. To the extent that you can, follow the directions you are given. Again, if you hate that, see step 2.5.

Eventually you will either find another job or find out how to do well at this one and enjoy it. Work actively towards both goals and see which happens first. If nothing else you will have learned a lot about questions to ask in your next job interview to make sure you don't end up in a similar team next time.

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  • I was actually surprised because I am delivering things right on time, in fact I am doing more work, there are no formal requirement analysis we are told verbally to do things, later to save myself I started documenting stuffs then I have go an talk to end users, resolve tickets even I have to make release plans. He on the other hand is always busy in meeting, most the things I am doing was expected to be done by him but he is hardly paying attention to the project hence, this is the reason he wants us to behave so that he can enjoy whatever he is doing, overall I think he has trust issues. – CodeYogi Mar 30 '18 at 19:50
  • Perhaps he does have trust issues, and perhaps he is lazy, and perhaps those meetings he is always in don't matter to the business at all. But set that aside: perhaps he feels you are filling your day with things that don't matter to him. Writing up documents, making plans, talking to users etc. Not saying he's right, just telling you how he may be thinking. – Kate Gregory Mar 30 '18 at 20:13
  • I understand but what I am saying is quite opposite, he just wants to see the result and to get that result I have to do the heavy lifting. He doesn't care if we are writing test cases, in fact we don't. He seem happy with my work because I am delivering since day one and he is roaming freely or whatever. There was team meeting many times and we raised same issue many times that we need CI/CD in place, we need code review but at the end there are no results. There are few developers who are making use of this situation and not learning at all and there few like me who want change for good. – CodeYogi Mar 30 '18 at 20:48
  • If he was happy with your work, he wouldn't be asking how long you are at your desk and telling you to be there longer. You need to know why he asked, and why more hours is important to him. I can't tell you what is in his head but perhaps he can – Kate Gregory Mar 30 '18 at 21:40
  • Well, if this is the case then its really sad, he should discuss with me regarding the work. – CodeYogi Mar 31 '18 at 7:12

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