I began work at a company 2 months ago as a PHP developer. I stepped in to somewhat of a kludge, but I've yet to find a company that isn't... The development stable is currently two developers (including myself) who will act as the interim CTO while the company seeks out a replacement CTO.
The company is a news site that runs on top of an inhouse WordPress theme with enhancements in the form of arbitrary plugins, features built into the actual theme, and plugins some built in-house and some 3rd party ((some whose core code has been modified, which renders upgrading a nightmare). No coding standards have been upheld in the creation of the WordPress code and it appears that it has been a number of developers managing the code and no two components are completed using the same methodology, which is beyond a huge mess when it comes to debugging. I am the "WordPress" developer. The other developer is in charge of the latest foray which is developing an e commerce platform to complement the news site, which will be run on top of Magento.
As the only WordPress developer I am handling all bugs and feature requests on a prioritized basis - I am interacting with business directly to hammer this out. The biggest issue I foresee is any bug/enhancement/project that is deemed a priority and requires a significant amount of work (read: 1 week+) becomes a bottleneck and essentially nothing can get worked on until I complete the project. They say that they understand that now but I foresee that becoming an issue when they actually see it in practice. I am looking towards the future and fully expect it to become a stressful situation (14+ hour days 7 days a week anyone?) - which is something I need to avoid at all costs.
Until we restaff a CTO or I am considering proposing that I write up coding standards for the WordPress development and utilize odesk or another outsourcing solution for handling feature requests - ensuring they conform to the standards set forth. In the proposed environment I will (a) manage the odesk developers (ensure I communicate exactly what is needed, ensure they are coding to proper standards) (b) handle any quick feature requests / bug fixes (c) begin refactoring the WordPress code so that it conforms to the aforementioned in-house coding standards - to get us to a manageable state. The company has used outsourcing solutions in the past, so I am confident that the idea of using one would not be an issue.
At this point I am only forumlating the plan to propose to management -- not yet thinking of HOW to do what I accomplish - I just want to get the full OK from them before doing that. What are your thoughts on this plan? Is there anything else that I should think about/consider? Thanks.