I'm a lead software developer and have been at a new company for about 8 weeks now, everyone is nice and I am settling in well. The job/culture isn't what was sold to me in the interview but I am trying to make the best of it.

One particular thing that is really bothering me is that the development environment they have supplied me with is wholly inadequate. It is an under powered ultra-book with a mobile class processor and to make matters worse they have a very convoluted development setup which requires me to develop inside a VM, which along with the encrypted hard drive adds a lot of overhead on what is already IMO a slow machine.

I get constant input lag, have to wait between 1-2 minutes to build/compile any code change and get random freezes once or twice a day that take between 10-15 minutes to resolve.

I Have made IT aware of the issues along with my line manager, I have made it clear that it is having a negative impact on my productivity, so far nothing has been done and to be honest i don't think anything will be done as no one seems overly bothered to do anything about it. It has now been going on for 6 weeks.

From my point of view I do not understand this, everywhere I have previously worked If i had informed IT that there was an equipment issue effecting productivity they would have resolved it. Not only is it effecting my productivity in terms of slow hardware but also my motivation in general.

They paid a lot of money to hire me in terms of salary and recruitment fees and I do not understand why they cannot spend what would in the context of the total cost of employment be a trivial amount of money to fix this. I feel this is a deal breaker for me because it is making me unhappy and not want to come into work, I had a lot of job offers before choosing this one and I don't think I would have any problem finding alternative employment. How can I make them aware that I am extremely unhappy with how the situation is being handled and that I will eventually leave if things are not improved.

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    "I Have made IT aware of the issues along with my line manager" - OP already did.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:24
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    Don't expect things to improve. Unless you can get more employees to make the same complaints they only see this as one person's issue. They also only see this as "spending more money" and can't see the bigger picture in terms of cost. You might have to create some charts and graphs and actually show them how much they could save by spending a little now.
    – user41891
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:29
  • I was in a similar situation in the past, the manager logic was that if they buy me a new machine, they will have to buy a new one for everyone who complains, so any purchase was almost declined.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:52
  • @SebastienDErrico lol, why wouldn't they buy a new machine for everyone that complained, do they want people to have problems doing their work. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:55
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    Same as you, this affected a lot my morale, when I knew their logic, I offer them a deal that I knew others employee will not accept like I buy a computer with my specs, I pay 50% for a new machine, the company pay 50% and it is 100% mine. They accepted. I was in the process to buy a laptop at home, so I did not mind to get a 2x better machine for the same price.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


Determine Who Are Putting Up Obstacles

The first step in trying to get this issue addressed is determining who are actively supporting you and who are putting up the obstacles. Lets take your line manager for example. Is your line manager starting the process and fighting against IT to get you the hardware you need, is the manager ignoring you or is indifferent, or is actively trying to not get you that PC since they do not want others also asking for a new PC (and the budget is not big enough to get everyone new PCs).

You will want to find people in IT or management who care about you, will work with you, and champion your cause and help defeat the people putting up obstacles. Ask them the questions like how to deal with the paper pushers, what worked and did not work in the past, and have them setting fires under those who need the push. If you are unable to find anyone like this then the best option is to polish your resume/CV and begin looking elsewhere, since the chance of getting this resolved will be extremely low.

Convert People

If the situation is that your manager has dealt with IT so much over the years that they are simply exhausted from dealing with them and do not have the energy to help you, then this can be fixed. Try to motivate them to fight and do the right thing. Some small encouragement and affirmation that they can do it can go a long way to getting them to step up and fight for you.

Challenge the Process

They require you to do development inside of a VM. Is there a way to do development outside of the VM or is everything locked down outside of it? If you can do development outside of it, ask fellow developers if they follow the develop in a VM rule. You might find out that all the other developers have quietly been ignoring the rule, but have not told management/IT since they do not want IT coming in locking it down. Be warned this approach tends to fall under the policy of sometimes it is easier to ask for forgiveness then to ask for permission.

Bypass the Problem

Sometimes IT can be a penny wise and a pound foolish. If they are refusing the request because they do not have the budget to replace everyone's PC/laptop (and thus they wont replace anyone's PC/laptop since that would be unfair to the rest) then change the request so that it would not come from that budget. I have seen stories of how people have gotten a new top of the line machine, because they worded the request such that IT thought it was for marketing to demo the company's products. Marketing does not need powerful machines, but if customers are going to see it, then it must be the best even if it does not need to in order to reflect on the quality of the company.

Creative Solutions

Depending on the nature of the IT department and project you might be able to get creative with solving this issue. A situation happened to me where I had no development machine at all:

When I started on the program I had a company machine connected to the company's network, but I did not have a development machine connected to the development network. This was because IT rejected a request from my manager which they really should not have and they were refusing to address it. The company machine was too weak for development and locked down such that I could not do development on it. However, the development environment was reachable from the company network and they had a few windows server VMs on the development environment. So I proposed have a windows server VM spun up for my own development purpose. This bypassed IT since development team admins were responsible for managing VMs and so they started one up for me. So I ended up remoting into a windows server from the company machine to do software development and it worked surprisingly well.

So see if there is anyway specific to your company that you can bypass the problem and get a development environment that meets your needs (like a windows server VM where you remote into it).

Break the Problem

This can backfire thus I do not endorse this and do not recommend doing this, but for completion sake I am listing it.

Sometimes the fastest way to solve a problem is to break it more. How many people wait to fix a leaky pipe till it turns into a major problem? People have a tendency not to fix small issues until they become major issues. So in your case take your issue and make it an even bigger issue. Intentionally push the ultra-book to the point that when it freezes and locks up you cannot fix it and IT has to deal with it. If IT starts having to spend 4+ hours a day in your cubicle/office trying to fix the ultra-book for their own sanity they might get you a new one. This can back fire horribly since IT might get you an even worse/older machine to use, and it will directly cause your performance to drop, which can make people above you rather unhappy and there is no telling who they will direct it against.

Document Document Document

As said by others always document in email chains and other documents things that are actively hurting your performance and save them. These types of issues can go from getting no attention to people rather high up asking questions like why developers are missing deliverables? So no matter what path you take, having documentation to protect you is very important.


I think you pretty much indicated towards the answer in your question!

  1. You have escalated the issue
  2. It is deal breaker for you and effecting your happiness
  3. You will not have problem finding another job

I am getting out a very similar experience. Company paid a lot for my interview, flights and hotel expenses and a high salary. But as soon as I joined, they just stopped spending on things which would help me do my job better. (Not hardware or equipment but some other things where I could not do everything I am capable of).

I quit after 6 months of frustration (may be I stayed too long) and based on my experience, things will not improve. It is just poor management and shortsightedness.


I Have made IT aware of the issues along with my line manager

In my opinion you did the correct way to signal the issue. Now you only can live with it, I'm afraid. You can perhaps try to raise this issue again some time later.

What is very important, however, that you keep track of all efforts you already did (mails, some calculations how much time you lose due to hardware, etc.) in case you are said do be delivering poorly or that your speed is not up to expectations of the company. You will be then able to back up your story and immediately sketch a plan on how to improve the situation.

By the way - in one of the places where I was working we had similar issue - many colleagues complaining about the unresponsiveness of their software tools. The VP handled it quickly - they asked to present a number of minutes lost every week to the issue. The case dissolved somehow - apparently solving it by purchasing new hardware and software turned out to be more expensive than coping with it (within given time-frame that was of the VP interest).

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    In this case it would cost them at least £13,000 - £15,000 to recruit someone to replace me and they are already having serious difficulty recruiting everyone they need. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:49
  • You're probably right about the amounts. However if you keep on complaining, the company will be willing to spend those $Ks on new colleague instead of trying to please a troublemaker. I'd rather work this situation out than make it even more severe.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 14:11

Here's a suggestion: check with their security group and with your manager if you can bring your own device. Buy a decent desktop with whatever specs you find useful, install it on your desk and leave it there. Connect from whatever you are with your current laptop. It is a 1 - 1.5k investment that will make your life easier, and you will be able to take it home when you move on.

Outside of that you are in for a long time without proper equipment, I had that happen to me and it was around 3 years when I was finally able to get something close to decent.

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    I disagree with this. Personal devices shouldn't need to be used for work related tasks. A smart company frowns on users relying on their own devices for company work, since it can lead to security issues or any number of problems. OP also mentioned they are required to use an encrypted drive, so it just adds more layers of suffering on the OP. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 14:34
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    In one sense this seems wrong. You should not have to do this. Yet it is a simple, practical solution to the problem, and the impact on your life is probably a lot less than quitting and finding a new job. +1. Also, the fact that you are willing to put up your own money highlights how important it is to you. Maybe merely making this request will cause them to take action and buy you a new PC.
    – user45590
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 14:35
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    I am not against this Idea but I have already spent £1000 on a new headset, mouse, keyboard and monitor due to the previous ones being unacceptable. I don't want to have to spend anymore money. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 14:52
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    @user1450877 well so you actually did what I suggest. Just not yet for the computer itself
    – user1220
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 15:42
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    Seeing as how even the keyboard was deemed unacceptable by the OP, I doubt the company could get him an acceptable computer. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 15:57

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