My paperwork hell

So I’m technically supposed to be a developer, but it seems like I spend all of my time doing paperwork. Now, I’ve been in the health programming industry for a few years, and I’ve seen plenty of paperwork… But what we have at this job borders on insane. It can seriously take up to a month or longer to check in a single line code code change. There’s a lot I could go into detail about here, but the main thing is how it makes me feel.

We don’t have dedicated people to translate between users and programmers here, so in addition to doing all of this documenting, we also have to regularly communicate with users. It’s about as counterproductive as it gets for an introverted developer who just wants to write software. Seriously, on a good day, I code maybe 10% of the time, the rest is all dedicated to paperwork.

I’m really not sure where I’m going with this… If one was to look at my posting history, the obvious solution is to find something else, and I have been looking. My area is kinda low on available tech jobs, though I am looking at doing some of my own freelance work.

I am certain that this post came off as confusing and disjointed, which is an accurate representation of how I’m feeling.

I’m not sure what your situation is. In your previous posts I read you’re the single .NET developer in the company. But it sounds like time-management is your main issue.

In my team we also do everything ourself, there’s no information analist or something to talk to our service users. What we do in my team, is the following:

  • as team (of 6) we work in a ScrumBan manner (
  • the sprint is 1 week
  • anyone can create stories, but stories must be INVEST ( ready, before picked up
  • during backloggrooming/marketplace meetings (once a week, max. 1 hour) we check the stories for completeness as a team, incomplete means cannot be picked up in the sprint
  • the scrummaster and product owner decide the basic priority, but the team decides what gets in the sprint

As team, we spend about 3 hours a week on talking to users to get requirements clear for stories. Where the 3 hours is spread over 6 team members.

But as a team of one, this might be difficult/useless to organize.
Maybe you should find (or battle for) one or two additional team members, to become a team and have people to work with. It’s not only more fun, but also raises knowledge and quality. And you can start sharing the burden(?) of gathering input from your users.

Also applying some time-management practices like GettingThingsDone ( and the Pomodoro Technique ( is always good. Like reserving a part of a day in the week/sprint for all communication to users to gather enough info for your stories. And a part of a day in the week/sprint for documentating. So the rest of the week/sprint you can focus on developing it all.

And, if you’re the only .NET dev, but there a lot of other devs in the company. Maybe you should rewrite your application(s) to the language the other devs know. Growing the knowledge of your apps in the company. So you’re not the only one who’s able to maintain and extend your apps. And you’ve got a greater knowledge base of devs to learn from and work with :smile: And you’ve got the challenge of getting up to speed with the other (new?) language.

I’m a strong believer in team work. Noone should be the sole developer of any codebase. It causes bad stuff on all areas, code and mentalwise. Unless in the open-source, where anyone can review and contribute (as the community is basicly your team)

I really really wish I had the say at my company to do any of the things that you are suggesting… As it stands right now, though, I get in trouble if I so much as suggest that our change management process might not be ideal for developers…

Additionally, I came into this company with my .NET knowledge to partially maintain a web system that was already in place, so I don’t have any ability to move away from it, unfortunately. Even if I did, the rest of the developers here are limited to only really knowing SQL, as they work in an ETL tool, so there’s not much I can transfer to them. Even if I could, there’s a manager that dictates exactly what we’re supposed to do, and it’s all just inundated in bureaucracy. I just don’t have any control in what I’m doing at all and I really don’t like it. Thanks for your input, though. If I had any ability to change it, I would try.

Wow, in that case I suggest to start searching for a new job. There is so much more interesting to do in companies that invest in their engineer.
And don’t limit yourself to the health programming industry, start looking for any job that you think is better than this one. Just make sure you get to work in a team with other devs.

If you cannot improve the situation, you should get out of it. The company should know better and if they don’t or don’t want, then they are to blame.

Yeah, that’s kind of the conclusion I’ve come to, and I’ve been looking too.

I guess I’m just really depressed with my current situation here and mostly need to vent more than anything. :stuck_out_tongue:

hehe, good look with the job search. It can only get better from here :smile: