I work with a team of GIS analysts. Increasingly, our work is moving online. The industry-standard software (ArcGIS) allows us to make and publish online maps without coding. We have limited experience in coding - we can customize pre-built systems given enough time but we are not web developers.
We have a request to build complex functions into our existing web app. It is my professional judgment that these changes are beyond our capability, especially in the time period allowed. We have < 2 weeks to do this. Guy who knows JS better (not a dev though) is out for a week. Supervisor avoids coding as much as he can.
We had an extremely tight deadline on an earlier phase of this project a week ago. We were able to successfully complete the work with 2 major caveats:
- Almost all changes made were based on appearance, not on tricky app functionality
- We didn't implement these complex functions then either.
How can I communicate this to my supervisor? In the past, we've semi-successfully customized web apps, but this is another level entirely. Here are my thoughts on what to do:
- Express the above to my supervisor. We've had this talk many times: I've had 2 in-person and 1 email conversations, as has the other employee in our group with more JS experience than me. My concerns (and that of another analyst who's better at web dev than me) are dismissed, sometimes in a condescending manner.
- Push for hiring a subcontractor. We have the budget to do so.
- My "best" idea: do my best within the time allowed and be honest about my progress or lack thereof.
I'm tired of being constantly stressed about this project due to the unreasonable expectations and my supervisor's unwillingness to say no to the project manager or take my concerns seriously. What can I do to make this situation tolerable and productive?
Update: Thanks for all of your helpful responses. I'm going to send an email outlining my concerns - it is unlikely to change this process but it will provide me with a bulwark when I don't finish this on time. In the meantime, I'll use this experience to get good at JS (I've focused on Python but the web = JS as far as Esri is concerned).
More recent update: last month, I told manager in person that I was spinning my wheels on this project. I was able to work on other related tasks that did not involve hardcore JS. The other employee actually had more experience with JS than he let on and was able to kludge together a product, though in 8 as opposed to > 2 weeks. Manager finally pushed back against unreasonable demands, though his unwillingness to be honest with project managers continues to damage our department's productivity and morale. I enrolled in an online web dev with Flask course (want to use python as much as possible!).