Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

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16

I see a number of red flags here. First of all, you're a recent graduate, which means, without much experience in software development. Second, you graduated in mechanical engineering, not software. And they give you as your first task, to recognize objects in a video stream? Seriously? That's like asking someone who went through a 6-month training in ...


1

My advice: bail out now before its too late. Many people here will say it's a great opportunity to learn something new and expand your skill set. But you run an even greater risk (and a realistic one at that) of the startup sinking, and everyone laid off and the bosses bail out with large cash bonuses. You'd be stuck with some vague thing you do not ...


40

I lack the appropriate skills? or Is it a lack of guidance on the part of the company? Both. You lack the required skills for the assignment (not your fault, but it's true). You cannot certainly gain the knowledge overnight. You need to understand the scope and ask for required training to update yourself about the domain and technology. ...


7

Communication is the key - Talk to your manager It's clear that you are stuck with something and unable to make a progress. And that's a perfectly normal thing to happen. The first line of action that you can take is to speak about it to your manager/supervisor. Share what you have done so far. Seek his inputs. Don't hesitate in mentioning that you have ...


11

The first thing you should do is ensure your boss has a realistic idea of your progress. Tell him "this is a lot harder than we thought", as soon as possible. Do not fall into the trap of waiting until the deadline finally arrives to admit that you're nowhere near finished. What you're trying to do is hard. It was impossible when many of us started work, ...


3

Is it the same situation in every startup, implying: No but it's common enough to have startups with no real tech knowledge of how to make their lame idea work. When a startup is unorganised technically it's often a sign of a funding mine. A working product is of lesser importance than marketing for more funding. So hiring the wrong people for a job can ...


0

Since no other answer has put it simply... 11 physical hours is not the same as 11 work hours. (According to this Law SE answer) I imagine the company has something like 1 hour lunch and a 30 minute break (or two 15 minute breaks). I've had this setup in two different countries in three different industries, so I don't think this assumption is ...


1

I suggest to check how well the startup is holding its "startup promises". These generally are: You are allowed to work, at least part time, on your dream tasks that would not be so easily accessible for you in a normal company. You can learn things you want to learn and gain lots of experience. You are offered shares, but not some "options", "coupons" or ...


11

My recent employer gave us a course to clarify German laws "for a given reason" and I will try to pass them on, as I've seen in some comments the same things that came up there. Let's begin with some kind of translation, which really isn't that easy. Werktag means a day that is usually worked on, seen for all the professions that exist. As Sunday is the ...


6

First of all, you should confirm that you are actually supposed to work from 07:00 to 20:00. It is quite possible that these are merely business hours, but you are only expected to work 8-9 hours within these 11 hours. It is quite possible that teams even have overlapping shifts to cover the whole range, or that you have a certain "liberty" of starting ...


4

It is illegal in both Germany and EU to work 11 hrs per day, and the company must know that already, I dont think they are dumb that much to tell you something like that because you can report the company. IMHO, the working hours are supposed to be 8 am till 7 pm it means the working hours that you are allowed to work within, you can work your 8 hrs ...


2

TL;DR I can't speak for German law, but in general a job offer is not the final step in the job-hunting process. What seems to be missing is active communication with the hiring manager or employer. If you have questions about the offer or the company culture, ask the employer rather than strangers on the Internet. Analysis [W]orking hours are supposed ...


37

Working hours 8am to 7pm does not mean you work from 08:00 to 19:00. It means you are only allowed to work in this time frame. See also: Business hours "8-20" at a car dealer does not mean you have to buy cars for 12 hours, it means you can buy cars in this time frame.


64

It has already been pointed out twice in the comments, but not yet included in any answer: German offices jobs typically have an amount of hours you are expected to work each day (typically somewhere between seven and eight hours per day, or 35 to 40 hours per week) and a time frame during which you are expected to spend these eight hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m. ...


2

Forget food benefits, that's maybe around 10€ per day, so around 2000€ per year. I think startups do that mostly for their many interns because if they pay them more the interns will have to start paying taxes. Usually you get free coffee, I haven't seen a company without a decent coffee machine that can also do cappuccinos and stuff like that. Free soda is ...


5

HI :)I can give a little insight in comparison to US startup culture. I think you are getting a pretty bad deal here. It isn't unusual to work many hours in a startup, but the there are supposed to be more potential benefits in the long run. LONGER DAYS: If you are a founder, or being paid a lot of equity, it is expected and necessary to work longer days. ...


8

The employer is also in breach of the European (EU) Working Time Directive, which limits you to 48hrs/week. Directives, unlike Regulations, must be signed into law by the member-state (Regulations are automatically binding).


158

It feels unethical and even immoral In Germany, it's illegal. As in against the law. The relevant sections are "Arbeitszeitgesetz (ArbZG)" §3: Die werktägliche Arbeitszeit der Arbeitnehmer darf acht Stunden nicht überschreiten. Sie kann auf bis zu zehn Stunden nur verlängert werden, wenn innerhalb von sechs Kalendermonaten oder innerhalb von 24 Wochen im ...


6

is it normal to be asked to work 11 hours/ day? No, not formally Any advice/thoughts other than run for the hills? No


2

From the comments: "Frankly, I don't wanna join this startup at all! The ONLY reason I want their offer is so I can use it as leverage to drive up my compensation in other companies. So I need a safe way of accepting their offer (without signing anything), that I can later turn down." This is an important piece of context that should have been in ...


12

A general rule to work by at this level is 'Pass information up, pass decisions down'. Give the investor your fair opinion of the CTO. Don't lead them into any decision you might want, or let them lead you into agreeing with their decision. Pass your information up, and let them pass a decision down - it's rarely correct to pass a decision up the ...


3

Is the CTO good for her current role? If the CTO is mired in detail, becoming a perpetual bottleneck and consistently missing her commitments then this sounds like a No. CTO's normally have a much more strategic focus on evolving the tech stack, reducing risk, designing and building new enabling technologies and technical and architectural standards. Also ...


6

There's people, and then there's politicians. There's no difference between them, other than that politicians talk about policies. But anyone can talk about policies, hence the saying that everyone's an expert in football and politics. Up until now, you've been a regular folk, but the moment you answer anything to that investor, you're a politician. Just ...


36

The question isn’t what the company should do, but what you should reply to a major investor. Not the same thing. So take my reply as “what you should say” not “what the company should do”. Of course she shouldn’t be fired. She is doing an excellent job in sales. But you don’t think she is quite the right person for her current position. She is not a very ...


76

You mentioned that she performs well in sales and as the face of the company. At the same time she is not the right person (anymore!) for development. So the company has a high profile employee that currently has the wrong task for historical reasons but has important qualifications in another area. If she started to develop the product, I guess she is ...


116

You don't know how your opinion will be portrayed. So, you are right so far, do not pass a direct judgement/opinion. Instead, stick to the facts. Instead of talking about someone in particular (finger-pointing), talk about problems and possible ways of improvement. If you're asked whether you want her to be replaced, you can take the following approach to ...


3

Like colmde, I'm going to take a different perspective than some of the ones posted before, but also slightly different from colmde's. Yes, there are some red flags here from an HR and management standpoint: You "[convinced] [your] boss, the COO, to let [your] wife join for one month as a product manager" - this is slightly less than ideal, but at most a ...


0

This may seem a little rough but... dude, if you don't own the place, nor are you in the position high enough to make these types of decisions, I suggest you grow up and focus on your work. You're lucky enough they hired her. The company isn't about you and your wife and worrying about these issues has as you said impacted your productivity. Secondly your ...


15

I'm going to take a slightly different tack than the other answers here, but arrive at a similar conclusion. First of all, getting a job for your friend or relative is not "highly irregular" especially if your company isn't one of those with really formal and strict rules and regulations. Often jobs are obtained because the boss is looking for someone with ...


26

I don't know if HR is sabotaging your wife's chances at getting the permanent position or not, I do know this whole situation should have never seen the light of day, to begin with! You got your wife the position, not in an "I'll pass your CV around and hope something sticks", but literally, got her the position. And on a new product, none the less, which ...


6

In theory, your wife is competing with other employees for this job. This is very detrimental to our productivity. Imagine if you had a different product manager working on the same project, let's call that person Julie or Bret. Would you have Julie or Bret sit in your office all the time? If that is indeed the case, my apologies, but let me ask you a ...


194

Lord forgive me, but I am actually on HR's side this time. Your arrangement is an HR office's worst nightmare.... Nepotism Fraternization Liability for lawsuits... Having a spouse be a direct report to her manager.... They are not engaging in sabotage, they are engaging in self-preservation. The myriad of lawsuits to which this makes the company ...


3

Is there something we could do? Talk to your manager about having a phone installed at your wife's desk (and your desk if you don't already have one). This will eliminate the need for constantly having to walk back and forth to communicate with each other. If your company already has a preferred messaging application you can use that or suggest one to use....


240

Is there something we could do? Having your wife report to you directly and sit in the same office (regardless of the size) is highly irregular in my experience and, sadly for you, a legit spot for HR to be concerned. I have worked with my wife in the past, but she was in a separate department and had a separate reporting structure. Also, my current boss'...


78

It sounds like you already used your position to give someone you're married to a position at the company she may not have gotten otherwise, and now HR wants to make sure you two are physically separated to ensure she's working properly by herself. HR is protecting the company's interests. It is very nepotistic to have a husband convince a manager to hire ...


13

I'd just go to your boss (the COO) and tell him your concern. Do realize however that this is a highly unusual arrangement: it's usually considered extremely inappropriate and grounds for immediate termination if a manager is in a romantic relationship with a subordinate. And while it isn't impermissible fraternization as you were married prior to her ...


4

While I understand your ethical concerns, it is the management's job to build an organization that can survive an employee quitting. How much notice is appropriate given the above 3 conditions? Whatever is mandated by your employment contract, which is literally what your employer defined as appropriate. Of course you may decide to give a longer notice, ...


13

How much notice is appropriate given the above 3 conditions? Give the notice that is either legally required or is the norm for your locale. Where I live that would be 2 weeks. Remember that this "crunch time" project has already been continually postponed throughout the last 6 months. If necessary, it will get postponed again. Is there any way that ...


3

No, the accepted answer is not really correct. It's not the State Attorney General. It will be quicker if you file directly with the Labor Commissioner's Office of California. File a claim for unpaid wages with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm The advice to stop work is good also. Also, if they're ...


10

My employer is postponing my FIRST paycheck due to a funding shortfall; what can I do? Postpone any work for this company until they have paid you for your work and have been reimbursed for your business travel. If you have not been paid within a week, report them to your state's Attorney General. Finally, start looking for a new company to work for. If ...


24

I don't think I can even file for unemployment or can I? You cannot file for or collect unemployment while you are employed. And in general, you cannot collect unemployment benefits if you quit. But check with your state's unemployment office to see if you can collect unemployment benefits if you quit in your specific circumstances. Do this before you ...


1

Why do you even care?! They can criticize all they want, just as long as they also PR good, valid fixes. As others said, the code they're fixing is what got the money to hire them in the first place. You might want to remind them of that. Daily. Seriously though, let them complain their heart out, write a page long commit messages, the whole shebang. Just ...


3

They can get over it. That code they’re criticizing is the same code that opened up the opportunity that required additional developers to be hired (aka them). Without it, there’s no reason for them to be there. Short story is that developers are there to improve the code (same story everywhere else). If it’s not doing something that it should be, to make ...


1

To move forward, I suggest a strategy meeting with you and the other two developers. The objective should be to plan the next phases. There are at least three things that need to be covered: Any new features that are needed. Cross training. Bringing the early quick-out code up to full production quality. Topics should include how to balance work on these ...


0

Get them together for a little talk. Tell them like it is: You put this code together quickly to get the company to a point where it would get funding which is used to pay their salaries. Without the code they are complaining about, they wouldn't be working there. Tell them: If you don't like it, fix it. Quietly. Without complaining to me. PS. If they ...


1

Agree with the answer by @PeteCon. You might be going into a defensive mode, because it is your code and somewhat a reflection of your skill. You say, there is no regard to the constraints you were facing at the time of writing, but that does not really matter. Bad code is bad code. If you created something functional, but not maintainable, then there is ...


3

I doubt the climate would improve if you told you take these criticism personally and you would like them to stop, nor if you did escalate the matter. You could gain that they stop criticizing openly, but that will not change what they may think and will be detrimental to your relationship as colleagues. Criticizing the other developer's work is being ...


27

You made a tactical decision to accept some technical debt in order to deliver a finished product which was functional. You worked from a blank sheet of paper, and made something which is good enough that clients and investors want to use it. Take pride in that - it should be one of the first lines on your resume. Now the system is growing in maturity. You ...


0

What do you think I should do? Since you don't want to work for less than what you believe to be your market value, since you don't believe the equity being offered is enough, and since you indicate that you "don’t want to be a slave", it seems that this start is not for you. You should decline the offer and probably look elsewhere for a non-startup job.


2

They offer me slightly less than market salary, and 0.1% equity – Considering the high risk, and the amount of work I have to put in the products. this seems too low, doesn’t it?? Yes


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