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Recently, our biggest product failed majorly because we'd only used outsourced labor to do it, and they never tested anything, etc.

Finally, our CEO decided that the US team should learn the code and fix it up. (Not a total rewrite, but lots of formatting/style changes, refactoring, etc). However, he knows next to nothing about programming (thankfully, he admits it).

He had been grooming me to take on the project manager position, but I had to go back to college. Now he gave it to another programmer who is naive and inexperienced. I don't feel the naive programmer will do nearly as well. The CEO's reasoning is that the naive programmer can work full time and I can only do part time, so the less senior programmer could put more work into it.

How can I convince him that 15 hours of my time is worth more than the other guy's 40?

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closed as off topic by Jim G., Bernard, Thomas Owens Sep 26 '12 at 15:00

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This is at programmers.SE (rather than Workplace) because the nature of the decision relates specifically to how programmers work/should be managed. –  SomeKittens Sep 26 '12 at 14:31
Your question should be: How can I prove that 15 hours of my time is worth more than the other guy's 40? –  Bernard Sep 26 '12 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

Short Answer: I hope your boss makes decision on facts. If it is not the case, i would skip wasting my time to convince him :)

I would basically get the facts from source control by comparing on what that naive guy did in 40hrs and what was my contribution 15 hrs. That should make the difference for him.

However, you would better present it from company's benefit perspective and without finger-pointing to other guys in the team.

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I completly agree with your answer, facts ARE the only way to prove this in such a context. The only thing I'd like to add is "why bother?". Under such conditions, even if you do prove your point, and you are put in as Tech Lead or whatever, why would you want to keep going (and have even more responsibility) in such an environment? You'll still have to go through the whole charade next time you'll get in a situation like this... –  Shivan Dragon Sep 26 '12 at 14:55

First of all, don't become too emotionally attached to a project. Doing so will keep YOU from being able to make the best objective decisions. Although it might be hard to see happen, letting the project fail again might be what is needed in this case. Of course, if the project fails again and, due to wasted funds, you could potentially lose pay or your job, you will naturally be more invested in its success. I am NOT saying to have a cavalier attitude toward your work or your team, but if you provide the facts well and then recommend the correct approach (both done respectfully), all that is left for you to do is support the project to the best of your ability even if it fails again. (Even if you KNOW it is going to fail again.)

From another point of view, if it is true that the original failure (with the outsource team) was caused by a lack of skill or experience, then handing it off to a less skilled or experienced internal developer will not produce better results.

Lastly, even though you might only have 15 hours per week to invest in this project, that 15 hours might be best spent mentoring the more junior developer as he is the one doing most of the coding. You may not get the recognition for salvaging the huge financial loss, but you get the personal satisfaction of seeing your team mature and grow.

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