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I have been developing software for over 12 years now. I keep high standards when designing code from database normalization, to OOP, to learning and implementing the model view model pattern. Through my career, I have found that proper design always wins and allows an application to be extensible and thus flexible--it's an easy equation. Likewise, I have been very productive prior to starting my current job about three years ago.

For example, my first year out of college I re-engineered a call logging application, created a product ordering application that used SOAP, including the application's install, and worked on many new features within that company's major application. I had no roadblocks per se. However, I have worked at my current position for three years and I do not have a finished application to show for it.

The reasons for the slow development process are:

  1. we are under-staffed
  2. our database is poorly designed and was patched together due to time constraints and
  3. there is no project management process in place.

When I interviewed for this position, I was told that they value proper design and that they want to implement a project management process yet I have found they really don't desire either scenario. I have tried to be an instrument of change and recommend a path and my manager agrees but doesn't approve the change. What do I do? Is the only change that I can do is to change jobs? How do I become an agent of change?

I have spoken to an upper level manager and I get the same response: I understand and see the problem but it settles there. Now what?

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closed as not a real question by Jarrod Roberson, gnat, maple_shaft Apr 25 '12 at 18:42

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You wrote "model view model" - do you mean model view controller, or perhaps model view viewmodel? –  Mike Partridge Apr 25 '12 at 17:10
Yes, I meant model view viewmodel. Thank You. Not to be rude, does it matter to the context of my question? –  Brian Apr 25 '12 at 17:11
Would someone let me know why I'm getting down voted? –  Brian Apr 25 '12 at 17:13
It doesn't matter in the context of your question, no. I hadn't seen the MVVM pattern referred to in that way, so wanted to check. –  Mike Partridge Apr 25 '12 at 17:34
@Brian I have learned long ago that any phrase that is preceded by we want to or we are moving towards or we are working towards during an interview is an enormous red flag not to be taken lightly. Nobody works towards a management change, or wants to implement a culture change. If this was truly the case the change would have already happened. Interviewers will lie through their teeth to keep from looking bad. Chalk it up as a lesson and move on. –  maple_shaft Apr 25 '12 at 18:41

3 Answers 3

Not to be glib but it's easier to change jobs than it is to change a company's culture. Stroustrup's C++ Programming Language has a great quote on this, from Machiavelli of all sources: "And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only the lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new."

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If management won't listen, there's not much that you can do unless you become that management (i.e. become the manager yourself). You could try going to your manager's manager with your concerns, but if you find the same aversion to change, your only option is to work elsewhere and save your sanity.

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Look out for a new Job.

Since the manager agrees BUT does not approve your suggested changes, I do not think you can do much in this company to make changes happen.

If the manager does not agree with your proposals that is a different thing altogether but given the current situation , it appears to me that you can't do much here without getting involvement from the management. Good luck in finding a new Job.

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