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I was the Architect for a project our company just started working on for an MNC. The one who runs the project from the client side is a good friend of mine. For some unsaid reasons, and due to internal politics, I was removed from the project. The CEO gave me a reason for this, which was an outright lie. The project manager for this project and I had a lot of conflicts recently and that resentment had a lot to do with my removal. He was actually an inexperienced person. I corrected a few things he did because I had to. Which resulted in forming a bad relationship with him. Anyhow, I was looking forward to this project for a long time. I expressed my disappointment to my boss (CEO) too, he is a nice person.

So, I've been stalking this project time to time and I got to know a lot of fishy things they are doing. Actually, I'm an expert in all of the technology stacks our company has. The only technology we are dealing with and I'm not an expert in is technology Y. This project was supposed to be developed in technology, let's call it X. That was an architectural decision I took back then considering everything from available tech stack in the client company, security and every other factor I usually consider when I make a decision like that.

Two things come to my mind, Either one of this might have happened causing my removal, I don't know if this is an important thing to mention here, but I will just list it down here.

  1. Technology Y was chosen as the technology to keep me out from the project.
  2. I was removed from the project because somebody decided to go with technology Y. To my knowledge about the client staff and our company, "somebody" doesn't exist.

Anyhow, the decision to go with technology Y is flawed. It's not inherently a problem with technology Y. It's just that it's impossible to implement it using anything other than technology X without compromising the security of the overall infrastructure. I spoke with the current architect and learned they have to compromise a few security related matters in the design. He somewhat tried to justify the choice of technology but wasn't successful, to be honest. He is a very good friend of mine.

Here is what I want you to advise me on. I want to communicate this situation to my friend in the client company who is overall responsible for this project, without damaging my company. I personally believe the project manager should either be corrected or removed from the project. I also don't want to upset my boss in the process. I'm also ready to take the project back if it comes to it. But I'm more than happy to stay away, because anyway this project is not is not going in a direction I think it would add a significant value to me or client. I just don't want internal politics to not affect technical matters. You can call this whatever you want, jealousy or revenge. Simply no,is my answer. Also, the unethical decision here is not removng me, but the choice to let develop an insecure system.

TL;DR

  • I was the Architect for a project, I was removed from the project
  • I'm an expert in all of the technology stacks our company has. The only technology we are dealing with and I'm not an expert in is technology Y
  • This project was supposed to be developed in technology, let's call it X.
  • The decision to go with technology Y is flawed
  • I want to communicate this situation to my friend in the client company who is overall responsible for this project, without damaging my company. I personally believe the project manager should either be corrected or removed from the project
  • I think it is a bad idea to use personally identifiable information (such as name/surname, etc) for such discussions. – Ho1 Jun 29 at 7:15
  • @Ho1, I haven't.? – Jim M Jun 29 at 7:40
  • doesn't your client do any kind of acceptance review or test? Wouldn't they discover such security flaws during this inspection? Mostly, someone from the client side should be proficient enough to inspect such systems and deliveries (most hire someone if required). All you need to do is sit back and relax and wait for the ball to drop on the manager. – Lifelong Scholar Jun 29 at 16:15
  • i took liberty to write up TLDR, feel free to edit/remove – aaaaaa Jun 29 at 18:57
  • "The CEO gave me a reason for this, which was an outright lie." Is the CEO knowingly lying? Or is the lie coming from someone else? If it's the former, it's time to look for another job at a different company. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 29 at 21:12
23

With all due respect, this isn't whistleblowing. This is just you trying to take revenge on your employer for a decision you don't like.

If you're not happy at your current employer, find another job. Professionally. Don't try and take everyone else down as you walk out the door, because that will not help anyone, including you.

  • I'm happy with my current employer. I got a promotion just a month ago. And I'm not taking revenge, I clearly mentioned "I personally believe", not "I want", hence not that I want it to happen exactly the same way. I also believe I would like the colleague to be corrected. – Jim M Jun 29 at 7:35
  • And I clearly said, "without damaging my company". – Jim M Jun 29 at 7:47
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How is any of this unethical?

Your entire post is a "he said, she said" rant about vague and subjective opinions on what's the best technology for this project. Your question reads like a jealous, angry rant from an impetuous child who didn't get their way.

Take no action and move on from this.

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    So your advice for me is to "don' be angry, jealous". Thats a good advise. Thanks. – Jim M Jun 29 at 20:04
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    Yes, my advice is to not act like an impetuous child who's mad because you didn't get the the toy you wanted. – joeqwerty Jun 30 at 1:15
  • Thats interesting how you look at an ambitious project of an MNC, a toy. Anyhow, wait for another two weeks I will come up with an update. To show you things impetus children might do. Until then, I'm not responding to bullies. – Jim M Jul 1 at 14:04
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    I'm sorry thas you see my matter-of-factness as bullying. I call it like I see it. You're upset because you were removed from the project and because they went with a technology that you don't agree with. You state that the chosen technology is inferior to your choice and has serious security flaws but you provide nothing other than your opinion to back up those statements. You're asking us how you can get the project manager removed from the project. The end result is that you're angry at being removed and you want to get back at the people who removed you. That is impetuous and childish. – joeqwerty Jul 2 at 2:13
  • Buddy, I don't want to share any technical information. Thats a choice of mine. I can only say, all tech leads in my company agree with me in this. Even the current tech lead wasn't disagreeing, he was just dping his job as he perceives - justifyiing the non-technical manager's choice. Even the CEO does, but he has choosen an alternate truth, due to his situation. We are working on a solutiion. Personal insulting is a sign of lack of character. People can be as bad as they want. As greedy as they want. As aggressive as they want. But lack of character, is not something ok. – Jim M Jul 2 at 3:26
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Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the decision endangering the health or life of people in a direct causal manner (not: will possible flaws in the other technology just make the project harder/more expensive)
  • Is the use of the technology directly contradicting rules imposed in a strongly regulated industry (e.g. airospace, automotive, pharmaceutical, mining, chemical process engineering)
  • Is it fraud/does the person who has decision power here personally profit from keeping information from the customer (an example would be if the person gets a commission on a license sold by a third party to the customer and lies about flaws/ capabilities)

If none of these are true, then the following applies (otherwise talk to a lawyer)

The CEO gave me a reason for this, which was an outright lie.

As long as you don't have to sell this lie to the customer, it's a project decision. You obviously don't have to (not on the project any more), the customer is informed that there are two options and dissenting opinions, and the customer decided to fetch independent advice (or the advice was to use the other technology). From the project viewpoint this is a perfectly sufficient input for the customers risk management. It's not up to you to make this decision, and there is nothing unethical about this.

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    +1 You don't have to go to every fight you're invited to. Is this one worth your energy? Read TheDailyWTF.com . If you find yourself wanting to write articles for them, it's time to move on to some other job. Otherwise ... being at peace is sometimes better than being right. – O. Jones Jun 30 at 15:38
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Your question has two different aspects: The first one is a technical issue in software engineering, and the second one is related to workplace professionalism.

  1. Technical issue

Choosing PHP over .NET is not something that necesserily mean compromise in security, performance and other quality factors. So, the main problem here is the lack of transparency over architectural decisions, which is essential in performing software projects.

  1. Workplace professionalism

I think directly communincating with the client over such decisions is not a good idea, because it usually affects the trust of the customer, and the company may lose the contract. So, I suggest you to work on the technical aspects of the project, possibly trying to learn PHP and architectural aspects of the project, so you can find fixes for the flaws you may find. This is the professional approach to architectural decisions that you find problematic.

I suggest you to prepare an architecural design document, and justify what you say, and provide this document to your company CEO.

  • I updated the question to reflect the fact that PHP is not really causing the security issue, but the infrastructure choice which is unavoidable. – Jim M Jun 29 at 7:36
  • And also updated the question to avoid technologically biased answers. – Jim M Jun 29 at 7:50
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    I think writing .NET and PHP instead of x and y was much more informative, and necessary. Btw, I still suggest you to prepare an architecural design document, and justify what you say. – Ho1 Jun 29 at 7:57
  • With all due respect, if the problem is technical, would I post in this forum.? When I said I made a decision, I meant I did all those documents and analysis. – Jim M Jun 29 at 8:01
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    Because everything you've written reads like you don't like the decision that was made to remove you from the project, and you're now trying to justify it being wrong for "technical" reasons. You might be right, but you can't ignore the politics. Have any of your peers reviewed your technical analysis, and do they agree with you? – Philip Kendall Jun 29 at 11:49
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  • I want to communicate this situation to my friend in the client company who is overall responsible for this project, without damaging my company. I personally believe the project manager should either be corrected or removed from the project

Let's assume you do talk to your friend.

What are you going to say?

  • The decision to go with technology Y is flawed

You can't say that part.

You can't contradict your own company. That is mutiny. And you may very well lose the entire project because of that.

The CEO gave me a reason for this, which was an outright lie.

Is the CEO knowingly lying? Or is the lie coming from someone else?

This part is very important. In one scenario, the CEO was lied to. That's very bad.

In another scenario, maybe you were removed for personal reasons, and the CEO didn't have the heart to tell you the truth. And changing the underlying technology may just have been a side-effect of removing you from the project.

In other words, if you pursue this with your friend at the client company, you could make sure your CEO wasn't lied to (but nothing more than that). But even then, just trying to find out this little bit could be risky to your company (and perhaps, even to yourself).

Personally, I wouldn't even do that much if I were you. The thing is. If the lie did come from your CEO, then you will have exposed your CEO as a liar and you will have aired your internal dirty laundry to the client. Clearly, if there is the tiniest bit of chance your CEO knowingly lied to you, you should not talk to your friend about this.

That being said, if you really do talk to your friend about this (because obviously, your CEO may have been lied to and frankly, there is very little that we can do to stop you), to tell them that the underlying technology was supposedly changed at their request. That is risky enough.

Whatever happens. Do not tell them that technology Y is flawed! That would be absolute career suicide.

  • CEO is a really good friend of mine. After all he is a human. I understand his situation, he needs the manager for many things. He gave me three promotions in a row within two years. I'm not going let this damage him. He knows my loyalty. Your thoughts on this were really helpful to me. I have come up with a solution to this. I've slowly started the execution. – Jim M Jul 1 at 14:14

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