Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Who Wants to Be Fired?
942 points by billions on Oct 2, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 831 comments
Each of us have limits as to the things we're willing to put up with at a job. What's taking you near your threshold?

On my last job, a new manager called me for a meeting on Friday 4PM. I spent the whole month on an extremely stressful project.

The meeting was about an app that integrates credit card payments, billets and bank account on a terminal that is going to be available to the general public.

The deadline? 11PM of the same day. Final version. From 0 to 100% in 6 hours.

I said that it was impossible. He said that I was incapable.

I remember coming back home with a feeling that I was incompetent, even with my 11 years of experience with JavaScript. I didn't sleep that night, trying to build it even with delay.

Saturday morning I had a burnout. I was afraid to lose my job because I sustain my family. I thought throwing myself from my apartment window. That was one of the worst days in my life.

I got fired on Monday morning.

Got another job on the same day. Almost twice the salary.I told them that I need a little time to cleanup my mind and they gave 2 weeks to recover from that situation.

I'm happy now.

That is just awful. I'm glad you got out and got something better.

When someone tells you to do something that's both impossible and utterly unreasonable, just stick to telling them it's impossible.

If he tells you you're incapable, tell him he needs to use a realistic planning for these things, and if he can't do that, then he's incapable.

There's no angle from which this is even remotely acceptable. Even more so because it involves financial transactions: writing anything related to that in such a hurry is a recipe for disaster.

This manager needs to be fired hard, or he's going to bring that company down.

This. Also separately I really wish there were better legal courses for situations like that. Forcing someone to forgo their personal plans on a Friday night and suddenly work on moment's notice should be considered unethical and inhumane, and wrecks society, peoples' mental health, childrens' well-being, and much more.

The need for overtime work should be communicated in advance, or there should be an explicit, voluntary, paid on-call rotation for things that occasionally need immediate attention, and on-call should be limited to things that break and need fixing, not things that need to be built.

"No." is a perfectly reasonable response as well, especially since in this case, GP was fired on Monday anyway.

All relationships need healthy boundaries, in this case, their relationship with work, and work's relationship with them, is unhealthy. If online research about healthy boundaries isn't enough, I recommend seeking a professional's advice (like a licensed therapist or psychologist).

No psychologist is going to right wrongs that need to be addressed through legislation.

Rights have been stripped from individuals and workers. We need a massive redressing of the “corporate” world. Workers rights matter. We’ve got companies that are too big to fail being bailed out by the government meanwhile companies can schedule you for just under the minimum requiring benefits but still take up as much or more of a commitment as a full time position.

"A lack of planning on your end does not make it an ermergency on mine"

This is one of the reason I hate about PIP( performance improvement program). They set ridiculous goals for you in very short amount of time that nobody can possibly complete, then fire you on grounds of incompetence. A friend of mine who works in Facebook told me that an employee committed suicide due to the pressure of PIP. I suspect that guy was put into PIP due to poor rating (meet most), then was given a ridiculous task which is impossible to complete. That guy was stressed out and that eventually lead to depression and suicide. RIP

It's a sad story; but PIP is really the pink slip; you take it as an advance notice that you're going to be fired, and start looking for jobs. I've heard stories of people completing PIP programs successfully, but quite honestly, I don't get it. Once you got to that point, you're not a good fit to the team and/or they don't appreciate you. Makes no sense to stay. I could understand staying with the company & switching teams/departments, but staying in the same place makes no sense to me.

PIP isn't a pink slip at all companies. I once got a PIP when working at a mid-sized corporation. Fortunately my performance wasn't an issue, they just didn't like that I was frequently late to the daily morning standup (which upper management refused to allow us to reschedule to later in the day despite my insistence), didn't appear attentive in meetings, and was working from home too much. I started coming in to work on time and stopped coding during meetings and they took me off the PIP a couple weeks later.

Of course I took this as a sign to gtfo of the company, so I started applying, left for a massive promotion and 40% raise, and now I work remotely at a company where we only have standup once every couple days and it's not first thing in the morning. Nobody's micromanaging my work schedule or nagging me for not clocking in at a certain time, and I'm making way more money especially since I don't have to live in SF/NYC anymore and pay nearly half my compensation in taxes and cut a third of my paycheck to a landlord. Funny thing is that I'm actually more responsive/available now because I value my job more, enough to enable Slack notifications on my phone and respond asap (within reason). Couldn't be happier.

Companies want to look 'Agile' so they will treat it as though it is a religion. The daily stand-up bullshit gets taken to such an extreme that it becomes counter productive. If you work at such a place, simply get out. There is nothing that spells long term disaster more than rigid adherence to voodoo process.

The daily stand-up is entirely reasonable and productive if you do it right. The problem is people who insist on doing it wrong. Upper management has no business deciding when a team has their stand-up. Agile means "people over process", after all.

Sure. But the real reason management loves the 'morning standup meeting' is because it enforces morning attendance of all employees. So much for those flexible work hours. Oh, you do get to go home late to finish your work of course.

My team has morning standups. We first changed the time, then agreed to make my participation optional, when it became clear that (due to personal reasons) I was struggling to make it to the office on time. It's a shame, too, because they're some of the best standups I've ever had. Our flex time is actually a thing, with some of my team mates showing up early and usually leaving around 17:00.

I think I was asked, at every interview I've been to in the last few year, how I handle receiving difficult feedback. This is the only place I've ever interviewed at where I was asked how I handle giving difficult feedback.

In my team, when someone can't make it, they call in to the meeting. It's a short meeting, just a few lines per person. Doing it over the phone is totally fine.

Management shouldn't even be at standups. Its for syncing with your peers, not an instrument of control. But I guess this is what you're saying, right?

The funny (or tragic) thing is, treating a version of Agile as a religion that's right for all teams all the time is against everything that Agile actually is.

Sure, just like actual existing Communism is against everything that Communism actually is.

Both Communism and Agile are at odds with reality (current productive forces and human nature) so they tend to devolve into tyranny.

First, I don’t have my teams do daily stand ups.

But in the rare times that I have, it’s mostly because the team tends to get pulled in a lot of directions, and the standup is a reminder to focus.

There is usually a larger organizational issue that leads to a team pulled in so many directions. But that’s a lot harder to fix.

Eh, the first place I worked didn't claim to be agile or anything. The daily meeting wasn't a stand-up (we sat and usually ate breakfast at a cafe or chatted in the lobby). It was still a really useful meeting.

it's a literal stand up so people don't dither.

lot easier to become restless standing around than sitting down.

I guess if you drop the facade that it’s supposed to be fast and allow people to sit down, eat breakfast and drink coffee it doesn’t sound that bad (even if it’s still not a productive meeting).

Well, it's supposed to be fast because it's supposed to be done by a small team, of fie or six engineers. If you got fifteen people taking turns it doesn't really work. Even worse when the whole point is for middle management to check your progress, rather than an engineer-only meeting where you can discuss actual technical issues you're having so the more senior members can give you a pointer etc.

I sit during my teams standup, it’s a standup because it’s a daily sync not because of literal standing.

actually it is supposed to be a literal standup. standing encourages very quick and to the point updates.

Yes but the act of standing is a crutch, if you pardon the pun. What matters is brevity.

Agreed, I don’t need to stand to ensure my teams concise in their update. The parking lot concept is a great way to shorten meeting and politely interrupt people when they are long winded.

You are missing my point entirely. Yes its called a standup because standing encourages brevity. Just because you sit or stand doesn't mean its a standup in literal definition though.

>I started coming in to work on time and stopped coding during meetings and they took me off the PIP a couple weeks later.

So, you were consistently late for work, didn't pay attention in meetings and were admittedly inattentive and working from home "too much". So you were put on PIP and you took that as a reason to leave the company?

What did you expect them to do? You sound like a nightmare employee. I'm sure the company is equally glad you're gone.

I had a job where I put in longer hours than any other person on the team and was the most capable of handling the widest/diverse workload.

My manager was obsessive about when I showed up at work- despite never missing a meeting. If I got in at 7:30 one morning and 9 the next, it drove him crazy, regardless if I was putting over 9 hours a day every day.

He valued predictability over production because he was an obsessive control freak not because it made anything better from the point of view of the company or my actual output.

I may have been a nightmare for him, but I don't think I was the problem- a manager should manage for productivity/outcomes not for his pet peeves. My current manager (at another company) understands how to maximize output and is comfortable as long as work gets done and everyone is much less stressed.

Yea I didn't even mention my prior job. They had a mandatory 9:30am attendance meeting that they called "standup", and if I showed up 5 minutes late my manager would joke about it coming out of my bonus. Despite this I don't think he actually cared, but the President did, and ultimately he answered to him. I quit that job soon after and my only regret is not leaving earlier.

Some people aren’t cut out for being on time to late morning meetings (930). It’s a culture mismatch and there are companies that do perfectly fine with no meetings before noon and whatnot.

I wish there was an easier way to learn about this culture as part of the job search. I like to have candidates shadow for a day or two to meet the team and see how days go.

People who are into being on time have it as part of a larger philosophy, I think. Being late for them means something specific. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone change modes on this but it’s probably easier to change their philosophy than be late to a bunch of their meetings.

The only nightmare i see is a company that values a warm body being in a specific seat for a specific range of hours over actual productivity. Physical presence is not really required most of the time for most engineers.

Presence based management, colloquially known as "Butts in Seats Management", is the opposite of results oriented management, IMO.

I hate it when a company says it's "results oriented", but turns out to be mostly "butts in seats" that demands results, too.

It might be an unpopular opinion, but once you are on $250k+ a year like most of the readers here, it is reasonable of the employer to demand both your butt in a seat and results.

I my personal experience the guy who turned up at 8am and started getting shit done, always was far more productive (and indeed ended up a much better coder very quickly) than the “judge me by results not hours” guy turning up at 9:45. Even despite the latter guy being smart and more experienced.

Yes, I was consistently late for a software engineering job where 95% of my productive time was spent in front of a computer and "lateness" was arbitrarily defined by upper managers who moved the standup time 1.5 hours earlier to passively start enforcing attendance. Standups went from being a team thing to being mandated top-down by executives completely uninvolved in the day-to-day of our team's work.

Notice I said "didn't appear attentive in meetings". Yes, I was not very enthusiastic about our 15-20 minute morning daily standups where every employee goes around justifying their own existence and reitering what is already on the Jira board.

Yes I was working from home "too much" in a job where I was working from home 1-2 times/week, and for the first 6 months it was never an issue, but then when a new manager took over (with no involvement in our team's day-to-day activities) all of a sudden he had an issue with it. Not because my/our output was any lower than before, just because some marketing executive noticed that my team was working from home more than the others (made more apparent by an open office), and assumed this meant we were probably slacking.

You sound like one of those nightmare "managers" I worked with who destroyed the company's culture and caused the company's enormously high attrition rate with most employee's only averaging ~1 year before quitting for greener pastures. I'm glad I no longer work at companies with corporate drones like you.

You have a very weird definition of "nightmare employee". Nothing there says he was toxic; nothing there says he wasn't productive.

As a manager, can confirm. By the time you get to this point you are being "managed out". There is a basic expectation that you will either leave (preferable) or be fired at the end of the PIP process.

I've heard of people coming back from it, but it's rare. And I think it would need to be the trigger for some kind of personal epiphany that completely changed behaviour for that kind of effect.

I only have a data point of 1 on this so it may be different than other companies, but by the time I'm implementing a PIP, I've already made up my mind that I want the employee out. I've already worked on coaching them and identified that it isn't a temporary issue or something personal they're going through outside of work. HR is my last resort and a PIP is merely a formality I'm forced to deal with. There is a world in which they kick things into high gear and turn things around, but I've usually given up hope and the onus is on them to prove that they are capable.

I was given a ridiculous PIP once (two weeks after a receiving an outstanding annual review -- politics, eh), and actually completed it successfully (driven by rage, I knew I was going to be let go regardless).

Boss acknowledged I completed the PIP and then fired me for my "bad attitude during the process."

Well, he wasn't wrong about the attitude, I suppose.

I'd disagree that a PIP is a blanket pink slip.

At my current employer, I've personally seen (and mentored!) people on a PIP who've been given reasonably concrete feedback on how to improve their performance in terms of the parameters set by the organisation. (The last part is key!).

People who've responded positively to this have seen reasonably good upward trajectory, and those who've responded negatively have been managed out.

> Once you got to that point, you're not a good fit to the team and/or they don't appreciate you.

Or you haven't yet figured out the parameters by which you're being evaluated. Once you figure this out, the next step is deciding whether you want to subscribe to those parameters or not, and acting accordingly.

> "At my current employer, I've personally seen (and mentored!) people on a PIP who've been given reasonably concrete feedback on how to improve their performance in terms of the parameters set by the organisation. (The last part is key!)."

I think the mentoring is also a really important part.

so, what are some of those parameters set by the organization?

At one job I was working late in office and no one could see it. I wasn’t good about my weekly activity report.

No pip, but I fixed those issues and wow - I worked less and org was happier

I generally agree- its a clear shot across the bow that the company no longer wants you there.

A funny story though from about 10 years ago (IE financial crisis): A sales person my wife worked with was put on a PIP. It had very clear revenue goals, modified his commission plan to be more performance based, but he could make more if he exceeded those goals, etc.

To everyone's astonishment, he started selling like crazy. There was only one problem- his boss forgot to "unfire" him with HR. Right after the PIP period expired, he gets a big deposit that isn't his commission check in his bank account- it was supposed to be a severance payment.

The guy immediately withdrew it from his bank account, and kept as little in there as possible so they couldn't get it back without confronting him, and later claimed he thought it was a commission and claimed to have spent it. They made him pay it back on a payment plan in the end, but only after forcing them to admit it was a severance and all that. He left as soon as he could find a better job.

Circumstances sometimes are not that clear. Being put on a PIP where I'm employed is at the discretion of the manager, and sometimes it's just the combination of the report and the manager. One of my colleagues was put on a PIP, switched teams, and is now doing much better. However, some companies limit mobility during a PIP so it's not always possible to achieve this outcome.

Good for him. Usual SOP for a pip is to nail their feet to the ground.

Treating PIP as a pink slip is toxic. It might have become acceptable, but it's still toxic. I've only been placed on a PIP once and it's my go-to story for explaining what a PIP should really be.

I had just moved to United States with my wife and my 7-year old son. Since this was the second time I had moved from one country to another, I expected to be able to handle it reasonably well. Instead, I got seriously depressed by the absence of my friends and the cultural paradigm shift (i.e. the Seattle Freeze). I also had to deal with my family's emotional fallout -- both my wife and my kid got depressed and I was trying to help them as much as I could. On top of it all, I got an abscess and had to go to ER. As a result, my productivity dropped to zero.

The problem wasn't the productivity itself, but that I had mismanaged the situation. Instead of trying to talk these things over with my manager, I kept pushing myself, promising to deliver and failing to do so. It came to a point where my manager scheduled a 1-on-1 with me and told me he had no option but to put me on a PIP. He said he was extremely perplexed, because he had formed a completely different image of me during interviews and thought I would perform much better. During the 1-on-1, he kept prodding me to explain what was going on, until I broke down and explained the situation. He asked me why I hadn't told him any of that before. I explained that I had thought the American corporate culture was that you're expected to leave your baggage at the door and that nobody else should pick up your slack -- you're here to work, not to be babysat. He was appalled by the idea and explained that I should've talked to him and we could've organized things better. He reiterated that, because my lack of performance had percolated up the food chain, he had no option but to place me on a PIP; it wasn't merely up to him anymore. He explained that a PIP was a chance to prove that I really was capable of fitting my role and that if I met the PIP goals I would be in the clear, not just with his team and at that moment, but in the future too - managers aren't allowed to hold your PIP against you.

We then sat down and worked out a PIP. During the following 6 (or was it 8?) weeks, I met all the goals and that was that. After 2 years of working on that team, a much more exciting opportunity for internal transfer opened up, I applied for it and it worked out great. Nobody even mentioned my PIP.

In my opinion, that's how a PIP is supposed to work. For anyone interested, the company in question was Amazon. There are lots of things one might criticize about Amazon, but this is one thing they did absolutely right.

Disclaimer: current amazon sde

I was shocked at the end of your story that it was Amazon you were talking about, but I'm assuming this story happened at least a few years ago. I know of one friend who was put on a PIP around 2013 or 2014 - he is still with the company, has been trusted to be the technical lead for several large and important projects, and the only thing standing between him and a promotion to L6 is laziness in preparing the paperwork.

Amazon seems to have changed the process to what they call the "pivot program" - when previously you would have been put on a PIP (and given severance if you accepted it and failed it), you are now given the choice of

1) take severance

2) appeal (you will almost certainly lose, I don't have data for this but have heard about many of these appeals and exactly zero have gone in favor of the employee)

3) do the PIP, and if you fail it you are fired with no severance

Given that you are now offered severance as an alternative to a PIP and don't get a penny if you fail it, being put in the pivot program is unambiguously a pink slip. Sad to be reminded that Amazon used to be good at this, I don't think they are anymore

I'm really sad to hear that. For the record, my case was in 2013.

I've never been on one, but I imagine if I was my performance would drop to the absolute minimum. I love my job, but I come first. Hell, I'd even be applying elsewhere and taking interview calls from inside my cubicle.

I was fortunate enough to be part of a couple startups when I was younger that went belly up. I've lived through the fear. I don't have any now. Happiness and work/life balance above all else, even pay; not some manager's unrealistic deadlines.

PIP is usually the pink slip with 2 exceptions: 1. forced ranking. Even if you have the best team in the world, someone will be the last in that team. It can be avoided by rotations if the manager is smart enough. 2. Edge cases. I personally got via transfer a direct report already on a PIP from the previous manager. The short story: the previous manager is a moron (still working in the company, promoted since, failing upwards), that person is fine, working in the company 8 years later, mid-rated.

Well it could be that you've reached a certain age and aren't confident that you'll be an attractive hire to anyone else. It's just an anecdote but I remember chatting to someone who worked for Microsoft in Ireland and was going through a performance review / PIP like process. He was in his early fifties and said that it inevitably seemed to happen to people once they reached a certain age / salary point.

Age discrimination in hiring and retention is a real thing. This seems like a systematic way to cover over it to make it look like something else. Smarmy, at best.

An honest performance improvement program should come with some guidance on how to actually improve your performance, what the are, if any, and whether the expectations are realistic at all. Simply telling people "work harder or you get fired" has never worked.

A lot of companies put everyone who screws up (in a big enough way) on a PIP so they can fire them at the drop of a hat if they screw up again. Not that you shouldn't also look for other jobs but it's very much a box checking exercise in that case. Just don't screw up for 30/60/90 days or whatever and you're fine. Often times your manager will re-arrange your job duties to help you out with this (assuming they want to retain you).

This points to another problem with toxic management : pathological duplicity which makes it impossible to take them at face value because everything is done under pretenses and leaves not only them but the whole market crying wolf when they ask for something that they are actually saying. Human Resources to help with disputes? Everyone knows they are all about ass covering. Team player means they want unpaid overtime, etc.

It may be harsh but fair to attribute to being infested with sociopaths or their culture.

One of the benefits of completing a PIP might also be signing off an internal transfer to a team with better fit. There could be times where it's worth going through it to get something better - as long as you're quite far detached from the previous team.

Almost nobody wants to receive via transfer someone with a PIP.

That depends entirely on why they're in a PIP. My team might have completely different needs than the other team.

That unfortunately depends on people being rational. There are those stupid enough to not want to hire the unemployed because of their own prejudices.

There are plenty of idiots involved in hiring, that's certainly true. But I was recently (for the first time in my life) had to hire a lot of new people for my team, and I noticed I hire people on probably very different traits than some recruiters and managers do. I don't like candidates who just give socially acceptable answers, I do like candidates who give creative answers, who are vocal, opinionated, weird, outside the box and against the current. And I'm well aware people sometimes get fired for really stupid reasons. I doubt I'm the only one.

With that criteria, I would never be able to get my team complete. Most of the time I get existing employees transferred to me, I have to accept what I get or do the work myself (which is not possible). With new hires it's not easier, I interviewed candidates for 6 months without finding anyone (we don't pay so well, even if we are in top 50 in Fortune 500) and some director simply transferred me someone to fill in the role. I am just a senior manager, I said no but I was overranked and overruled.

I can't speak for Facebook, but I know that in some companies, it really is possible for individual contributers to successfully complete a PIP. I've known at least 3 coworkers at my workplace who have been put on PIPs. They were given realistic expectations that didn't require them to work 50+ hours per week, and they completed the plans successfully.

Of course, a manager who's put on a plan is generally gone in a few months, or they're allowed to step down into an individual contributor role.

that just seems weird though. for it to get to the point of a PIP being necessary, a lot has had to gone wrong until then. feels like it's a blunt instrument, used when usual communication has almost broken down. are expectations not normally discussed more informally in regular 1:1s already?

i do know people who have successfully completed PIPs and stayed. but every person who's taken the PIP as a signal to look for another position has done better in their careers and been happier than those who stayed. i get not everybody is in that position, but even if the PIP itself is reasonable, being PIP'd is not. it's a symptom of an underlying issue of poor management and should be interpreted as such.

> but even if the PIP itself is reasonable, being PIP'd is not. it's a symptom of an underlying issue of poor management and should be interpreted as such.

That's a very broad statement but, whilst the sentiment is no doubt well-intentioned, it's also misguided.

Sometimes no matter how much feedback you give, how directly you express it, or how many ways you say the same thing in your weekly 1:1s it just doesn't get through. Occasionally people don't get it. Occasionally they don't want to hear it. Whatever the reason, you're not seeing the results you need, and whilst performance issues are often a result of some mitigating circumstance (divorce, bereavement, illness, and many others), sometimes they're not.

At that point a PIP may be entirely reasonable, whether it looks that way to the employee or not. This is especially the case if the employee's behaviour, performance, and/or attitude is having a detrimental effect on the rest of their team. Unfortunately, it often is.

Contrary to what you've said, a strong indicator of poor management is a failure to effectively manage performance, and to develop and maintain high performing teams.

Managers are held to account on their effectiveness in delivering against company goals. Effective managers sometimes have to work with an employee to correct performance issues. Sometimes the needed improvement doesn't occur. As cold-blooded as it sounds, this will probably lead to that employee being shown the door.

I'm not for a moment suggesting that every manager who uses PIPs is automatically right or some kind of enlightenened management genius. Like any tool, they can be used ineffectively or inappropriately. But if they're never used at all that's as big a red flag as if they're used too much.

i have worked at places that never used a PIP. they were fine. they did due diligence when hiring and helped employees grow. maybe i live in a diverse area, most people are socialized pretty well after university and a few years of employment. so disagree about never using them being a red flag. maybe at megacorp inc, when you're hiring thousands, it's a fact of life. with terms like "unregrettable [sic] attrition", you'll forgive me for being cynical.

none of the PIPs i've seen have been reasonable, but small sample size. i have also luckily never been on the receiving end, only observing from afar. hell, sometimes idiot managers have put their best, most helpful employees on a PIP because they're... spending a lot of time helping other members of their team! so their individual performance goes down, but the team performance goes up. but when you view people as "individual contributors", you don't see that.

i'll happily agree with you on "a strong indicator of poor management is a failure to effectively manage performance", and go one further, a stronger indicator of poor management is a failure to effectively evaluate performance. unfortunately, that is exactly what makes PIPs so tricky. ignoring who's perspective is most "correct", there's still a divide in either performance expectations or perception. the better strategy is still to leave, not see the PIP through. which makes PIPs a good signal for "you're about to be fired", but a bad signal for "we disagree on performance", simply because that difference in perspective exists. putting it on paper is again not necessarily helping the employee. if "it just doesn't get through", is a PIP going to change that? if they aren't performing, if "it just doesn't get through", why not fire them? a possible answer: passive aggressiveness ("work with an employee to correct performance issues") and leave a paper trail aka. ass-covering ("the needed improvement doesn't occur").

but look, i'm not a manager, and don't want to be. could i fire someone? probably not. so is a PIP more humane? i think so. at the end of the day, it sounds like we both agree what it's for, just that you didn't agree with my phrasing. fair enough, although i still maintain from an employee perspective, assuming poor management if you get PIP'd once is a good plan. if you start seeing a pattern, then it's time to look in the mirror.

In one example, I think the poor management was with a previous manager who allowed the person to get away with not performing at the level that he should have been. When that manager finally left, it took a PIP for the guy to understand that the new manager expected better performance, and that was after months of warnings.

PIPs are merely an escalation. Ideally yes, there would be communication before you reach that point about expectations, how they're not being met, and how to improve. That's not going to fix every problem though, so you modify your approach as the problem persists. The alternative is to just fire people if more regular, casual communication hasn't done the trick. I think it's more humane to give people clear notice that it hasn't been happening though, and it's either time to really get serious or leave.

I do think it's close-to-analagous to an altimatum in a relationship, though. Sure, there's probably been communication up to that point, but now it's decision time and it's time to get things sorted out or part ways. It's probably headed for parting ways regardless.

As far as I understand the PIP means the company wants to fire you. They just want to do this to mitigate liabilities and you suing them.

My country most developers are freelance contractors as we don't like to work as employees. During good times you can switch easy to good projects and more pay. Contracts are 3 months with extension so every 3 months you can re-negotiate. off course during down turns it can be more difficult to find work. Just build a nest egg for those periods.

Wait till the taxman twigs there is $ going begging

TechLead, a youtuber that worked at Facebook, has covered this story [0].

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbEQriZEfoI

Everytime I see one of this guys videos pop up I can't help but this he's a bit of a parasite. Leaching off anything for views. He doesn't seem to provide any valuable advice in any video I've watched, yet people lap it up (although his following have a very distinct demographic)

I've tried watching him a few times and got the same feeling. He also goes to great lengths to remind everyone (all the time) of how much money he makes. Is that normal for people in Silicon Valley?

Yeah, that guy has some kind of personality defect.

But, more sadly, it just goes to show how desperate his audience is for someone they can look up to and who will, authoritatively, give them some kind of guidance.

He's part of the self-help-vlogger-industrial-complex. There's A LOT WORSE than him out there too.

I always assumed his videos were satire.

Yeah me too. I mean, he is building his channel around this character of being 'the tech lead'. It's a youtube personality. Don't take it too seriously :)

Well, not satire, by his sarcasm can be easily confused and misinterepreted. I don't think he's intentionally showing off how much money he's making.

I like him and I like how he's projecting the life of a regular developer from SV in his videos.

That's how I take it. I find his videos hilarious. No more a parasite than any other YouTuber.

What's the demographic?

Developers who want to work for FAANG companies.

Performance improvement plans are a way for companies to keep a paper trail for legal purposes, rather than a effort to improve performance.

It took me more than a decade learning how to estimate a task realistically not based on expectations. Due to pressure I always underestimated before which led to mounting troubles on the end despite of working hard.

My manager's manager told us publicly that whoever sets the goal must also do the work.

Practically he implied that we don't have to agree to any objectives that are imposed on us.

That entire concept is in response to the high costs of frivolous employment lawsuits. It's to have a paper trail of evidence to show that the termination was with cause.

It's amazing how much overlap there is between jobs where they treat you poorly, and where they don't pay you enough. You'd think it would be the opposite, but it's all part of them not valuing you.

Poor pay is often a result of a downward spiral of dysfunctional/failing organization. Your manager gets paid poorly, your coworkers, other teams. Best people leave first and new good people don't want to join. Demotivated teams lacking any talent produce bad product. Poor product looses customers, which forces management into freezing/cutting salaries. Everything compounds. After certain threshold there is no way back, but it is surprising how long can organizations with no hope stick around, and just keep people miserable.

Interesting how it's easier to have talented people eat microwave ramen for a year while you're energized building something new. Once the salaries go up, then drop, you start to spiral down the drain.

Isn't the "building something new" job somewhat of a gamble though? To get in on the ground floor of something big for a bigger payday down the line? The same can't be said for a struggling company cutting salaries.

I wish I could +1000 this... so true that poor pay is a result of a downward spiral!

Next time this happens to you, write down minutes of the meeting and send the doc to the guy asking to confirm that this is what they ask. When they fire you on Monday, sue.

This is actually a great advice.

I would also add that if it is legal for you to do so - send a BCC to your personal email just in case, or keep offline copy of correspondence.

Is this actually possible?

Yes, sending an email is very easy these days.

Thanks for enlightening me on the technologies of the 21st century. Maybe I meant if it‘s actually possible/makes sense to sue him because of an impossible deadline? Who knows

To answer your question (sort of): in my state it is not possible. It is state by state; my state is "at will" employment. This means, in my state, you can be fired just because. Employers in my state can't violate federal law of course -- they can't discriminate etc -- but they can fire you because "you're just not good enough" with no details or documentation.

That said, it is likely CA has it's own set of protections that make it harder to do.

Usually, it's the company's internal policies that require a PIP and all the documentation even in an "at will" state. This is to maintain the appearance of fairness and to avoid the possibility of employment litigation (companies of course often operate in many states and federal law is always a concern). If you document, you avoid all this. The firing though is usually a _fait accompli_; the PIP is CYA.

Every state is "at-will" except for Montana, which has some additional protections. There's no winnable lawsuit here unless you have a contract that's being breached.

Depends where you live. In America, no chance. In the UK, easily.

Shades of Leslie Nielsen.

sucks you can't take the severance though. its usually a don't sue us card

BTW that was probably an illegal act by your employer. They gave you a clearly impossible task then fired you when you couldn’t complete it. That’s unreasonable.

You might want to contact an employment attorney in your state for a consultation. Your state Bar association can give you a referral and probably a free consultation. They will be particularly interested if this was the culmination of a pattern of bullying behavior (consequences vary by State) or if there’s some kind of protected class involved (eg you are over 40 and the manager wants a younger team).

It might seem like an unnecessary hassle, but legal action can help your remaining colleagues and possibly put some money in your pocket.

For at-will employment, employers can legally fire employees for unreasonable reasons, including unrealistic expectations of work performance.

I believe that this sort of thing usually isn't worth the trouble. Acts of revenge are rarely really satisfying. Just find a new job at a better-run place. Then email all of your old colleagues about how much better the new place is - maybe you can recruit some of them and get a bonus for that too.

way strong, this one's long game is

The world is filled with incompetent managers who have no clue about the requirements or conditions and are afraid to ask, they play authority card or even intimidate instead. Very dumb.

I feel unlucky never being fired and leaving 4 out of 5 cases because of bad management (poor task allocation, inadequate yet wasted resources, focus on appearances instead of essence both in steering and execution, poor communication or attitude, misuse of authority - including not using authority where necessary). I almost wish of having a (real, not induced!) feeling of incompetency, the feeling of the need to improve, instead of the feeling of wasting my time at work.

Not implying anything, but perhaps they wanted to fire you or wanted you to resign for whatever reason (including those that have nothing to do with you personally).

Happy for you it turned out well, but the whole story is quite weird.

It's obviously impossible and the timing is awful, so it has to be voluntary and there's something behind it. Did he need a reason to fire you? But that seems like a really bad reason that could backfire in a court.

There was no internal grievance procedure you could have used.

Court? You must not live in the US. We got rid of any wisp of legal protection from job termination years ago... It has a catchy name invented by the lobbyists that wrote the laws... “Right to Work”

I think the only legal protection you get from the US government is on the basis of race/religion and what not, as well as some of the original Union terms like 40 hour work week and overtime. Right to Work has to do with whether you are forced to join a union or not. And if not, then don’t get the supplementary legal protections of whatever is in the union’s agreement.

You become “fire at will” not because the law says so, but because you are not in a union. On the other hand, most unions will still protect nonunion workers.

I’ve never really heard of programmer unions though. Would be curious.

My thought was that if there was a need for a reason to fire him, maybe he was in a place where there are some legal protections. Usually if you are in a place where you can't be fired at will, firing you for a bad reason is something you can fight in the courts.

If you can be fired at will, why even bother going through the whole thing in the first place, just fire him.

The only part of job termination covered by "right to work" laws is that one cannot be fired for refusing to join a union.

What an absolute joke. I suppose that just meant the new manager wanted you gone. Glad you got out of there and into a better place.

Dirty HR tricks when they want you out of there, but have to justify it legally. Funny thing is that you could probably still win them in court as any expert would confirm that task was unrealistic, so it's such a bureaucratic nonsense...

One of my goals in life is to never be susceptible to this kind of situation (been there some years ago). So far I manage to have as big a financial buffer as needed to be able to quit instantly in that situation without batting an eye.

Indeed I never hide my ability to do so and I try to make very clear the things "I won't do" at any gig I take. Either before I start or very early in the process. At my current job it is "I won't program in a language without both types and IDE". Because of this I only work on the parts that are in TypeScript and the the JS, Ruby and Python parts are other people's problems.

I may seem like an asshole, but so far it works. Almost a year later I haven't been fired. And they seem happy about my work. And I am definitely not near burnout. Stark contrast with the older days.

You don’t to me, I spent the last 4 months saving every penny to so that I had 7mths runway in the bank as I was approaching the inevitable “fuck this point”.

I accepted an offer for a new job yesterday and so I won’t need that buffer but I’m keeping it, ISA’s and pensions are all good but I didn’t leave myself enough readily accessible cash to just say fuck it and walk if I needed to.

Smart person. Now don't stop saving and increase your runway even further. The difference between having a few years worth in the bank and not is incredible.

New offer comes with a big salary increase (and me and my partner are saving for a house) so I'm going to be able to save about 70% of my salary after all outgoings - outside of work my goal now is to max out ISA's and then save the rest until I have enough to cover at least 2 years - I noticed there is a peace that comes from having immediate access to enough money to quit (even if you have no intention).

I actually think this is a fair enough approach: better to be doing something you're happy doing than to be miserable and complaining, that's for sure.

There is, of course a trade-off, which I'll illustrate with our situation. I'll only hire full stack developers, by which I mean people who are willing to turn their hand to anything in our systems, because it gives us more flexibility in terms of building teams, working across sytems, providing support, and so on. But we're a relatively small tech organisation with a lot of demands on us and so need that flexibility. People obviously have areas of specialty, but broadly they'll poke around in any system they need to.

I'm not saying you're wrong: not at all. Just that the trade-off is perhaps more limited options. That may not be a bad thing if they're not options you want though.

> I may seem like an asshole, but so far it works

I do the same, it's amazing how well it works. As long as you genuinely try putting (what you think is) the company interest first, people actually appreciate you more if you don't do what you're told, but what you think is best. At least that's my experience so far. And it makes sense - because not everybody can afford to challenge the status quo & conventional wisdom, people that can do it can become very valuable.

Depends on the people so. I usually fail at the point when personal interests and politics come into play. Which is my most common "fuck this" event.

With out an IDE is a bit of a redflag - all developers need to be able to hack with just a cli, yes its not ideal but some times you have to do it.

A very experienced dep/ops in extrimis should be able to hack code even if there is no installed editor - I have recovered a stuck systems by editing config files with awk.

Used to do this when I was young, not any more. It's not that I can't I just refuse work with "hackish" languages, tools and projects.

"I thought throwing myself from my apartment window." You got it backwards. You think of throwing your manager out the apartment window.

The best Defenestration is a good Offenestration

Stealing that!

>If you are wise, however, this is precisely what you will avoid doing because the average Vogon will not think twice before doing something so pointlessly hideous to you that you will wish you had never been born—or (if you are a clearer minded thinker) that the Vogon had never been born.

— Douglas Adams, H2G2

My aunt had a terrible job in an office building downtown Chicago. One of those jobs where the boss was a maniac and made them work crunch time month after month.

Across the street from her building is a ~10 story jail with an exercise yard on the very top. My aunt said she used to fantasize about how if she could throw her boss out the window, they'd put her in jail and at least she could go outside sometimes.

And right across the street from that jail, were jail tacos. The first place you would go when released from jail.

I miss jail tacos.

(Here is a picture of the basketball court on top of a 10+ story jail, very weird fixture of the Chicago loop: https://www.google.com/maps/search/corrections/@41.8764071,-... )

Kudos for landing a better job. I guess you were quite young at the time and I hope you matured more than to put yourself in such a harmful situation again. If you deem that something is senseless, impossible or on the verge of abusing you must say so and stand your ground. It is the right thing to do not just for you but for your coworkers and the larger ecosystem you are moving about. It's what that general said about 'The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept' only this time it was about the standard you put up with.

All the best

Thank you for this! I'm about to go through a forced job transition and this has helped me feel a little more hopefully that it will all work out, possibly for the better. Glad to hear you're happy now!

I'm so happy to hear you found a better path forward.

If anyone is feeling burnout for doing impossible or hero work, please remember your job is _not_ your life. You can escape the toxic situation.

Do not be some other man's squirrel.

The great thing about being given 6 hours to do a 6 week job is that you know it's impossible. So you say "I'm going to need to work from home". Then off you go to the beach. Or a job interview. Pull a Paula [1]. Then come back and say "Oh it's waiting for app store approval".

[1] http://thedailywtf.com/articles/the_brillant_paula_bean

> The meeting was about an app that integrates credit card payments, billets and bank account on a terminal that is going to be available to the general public. > > The deadline? 11PM of the same day. Final version. From 0 to 100% in 6 hours.

That is not only impossible, it is reckless. A good way to lose not only money when things break, but get your access to credit cards and bank transactions eliminated when they learn their procedures were not covered.

If I was in that situation, I'd do some form of:

What do you want by 11PM? A design?

Really, you want the whole thing completed?

Is this some kind of a joke?

(Depending on relationship) Walk out the door without saying a word, "I quit," or even better, just stand up and say, "Everyone who thinks this is absurd walk out the door with me right now."

Why: What I've learned is that employees ignoring an unreasonable boss sends a rapid signal to upper management to get rid of the unreasonable boss.

You lose benefits and the possibility of taking legal action against the (former) employer if you quit.

Even in "at will" employment states you can sue for unlawful termination.

In this situation it would add up to 'constructive dismissal' so he wouldn't necessarily lose any rights.


The problem is. People think that when you don't live up to unrealistic expectations that it's their own fault, when really it's just egregriously poor management. In my experience, whenevever someone isn't meeting expectations, it means 95% of the time the problem is the manager. the solution as you found, is to leave and find somewhere else that values your hard work.

That's so stressful. We've asked every new hire to take a week of PTO during their first month. I wish more places did that - you need time to adjust while switching jobs. But, you're typically stressed while looking for a new job, so you can't really relax until you have a new job and steady income + benefits again.

I'm sorry about the stress you must have been under.

I am, however, looking forward to the absolute crud an org like that will have to eat when they have managers like that. No org can last long with such levels of incompetence... Chapman's In Search of Stupidity is a chronicling of that.

Good God, what a terrible situation but an even better outcome. So glad you didn't take your life.

Sounds a lot like at-will employment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment)

A shady personnel manager at a former job explained the difference to me: If someone is terminated as an "at will" employee, they can collect unemployment and possibly other benefits as well such as severance.

If they are terminated "with cause," no benefits. I have never seen a PIP, but it may require you to sign away your rights as an "at will" employee.

Is it possible they wanted to fire you anyway and gave a task to you that they knew was impossible so that there would be a reason for it?

I guess they wanted a reason to fire you?

Regarding twice the salary - seems like you got as much respect as pay. That's usually how it goes.... :(

Sounds to me like constructive dismissal

Sorry to hear you went through that and glad to hear you made it through. Wish you all the best.

Absolutely insane you had to go through this, but happy to see that you're happier now.

Glad you got out and best of luck!

you should have quit on the spot.

what kind of company takes 1 morning to fire an employee? that does not sound realistic.

Maybe they needed or wanted a reason to fire them. If that’s the case, it was all ready to go on HR.

I doubt that firing on such a short notice properly followed the correct procedures, in the UK that's an automatic loss at tribuneral.

I mean it only happens in movies when an employee gets fired and immediately put his stuff in the box and leaves the building. In real life there are labor regulations that don't allow this, there is the notification period et cetera

That's simply not correct, at least in the US. The process I've seen is the employee is taken to a meeting room, they're told they've being let go, they're walked to their desk to retrieve their personal belongings, and they're walked out the door. From the employees perspective one minute they're working like normal, and perhaps a half-hour later they're standing outside unemployed.

I’ve seen this before.

Get an email the day before to deactivates someone’s access at X time. Next day they get called into a meeting 10 mins before X and then escorted to their desk and out a couple mins after.

I've had similar experiences, where I'm told in the morning to be available to handle an account deactivation immediately at X time, and then at X time I'm given the name.

What really sucks is when you have to do it for one of your teammates. :-(

Depends. Even in Germany the company can simply decide to get you physically out right now as long as they keep you on the pay roll for the legal notice period.

I saw this go down right in front of me once. She technically still worked for us for 2 weeks I believe, but I saw HR approach her, bring her out of the room for a few minutes, then she came back and started quietly packing things into a box, and left within the hour.

I don't know the full details, I think she did have some kind of warning weeks before, but ignored it because she thought she was immune to being fired. She was the worst developer I've ever worked with so far though, personality-wise and skills, she definitely lied in her PHP interview. That's also on that company though, I have no idea how she passed that interview (okay, I do have an idea, no programmers ever spoke with her).

> I mean it only happens in movies when an employee gets fired and immediately put his stuff in the box and leaves the building.

It's not only in the movies. I've seen it done in real life a number of times. In the US, anyway, this isn't prohibited by law.

I am very glad you managed to parlay a bad situation into a better one.

Fuck incompetent management. It is a virus that eventually ravages the entire host (organization).

Yikes. You should send his boss/ceo/investors a spite email telling the story about how he lost a worker who was working for 1/2 market rate by setting impossible deadlines.

> You should send his boss/ceo/investors a spite email

That is a horrendously bad suggestion.

A spite email sounds like a bad idea, but this manager sounds very harmful to the company, and the boss/ceo/investors might want to be aware of that.

And why would he care anymore about it? The company failed him, so why would he be helpful for them anymore?

He did his job, he moved on, whatever happens there should not be expected to be his problem anymore.

That manager is toxic and should be reprimanded and/or fired. The employee certainly has no ethical obligation to do them any favors, but it could prevent that manager from abusing current and future workers in this way.

This is a situation where the interests of the workers aligns with the business's ability to succeed. Why not leverage that to try to improve working conditions there? Seems like a win-win for everyone but the toxic manager.

Because if the CEO is smart, they'll fire that manager before he does any more damage to the company, and maybe hire the developer back.

To help other people who end up at said manager/job.

Nossa senhora! Parabéns pelo novo trabalho! ... que fique tudo tranquilo.

I'm the sole developer working on my current project, which is overhauling a massive DOS era application, as well as overhauling an early 2000s era CRM/business management tool, that almost all of our work happens through.

Did I mention that the DOS application is a HIPAA billing application that must meet all HIPAA guidelines as well as write EDI X12 billing files?

I'm very junior, been coding for ~5 years, 3 professionally, but this is my first real dumpster fire. We were about to hire a second developer, but turns out he had a record. Not for just anything, which we don't really worry about, but for embezzlement on the healthcare billing application he used to own. So, no. No can do.

So now poor 18-year-old me is knee-deep in a ton of shit I don't understand, working on non-version-controlled code, having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO, and trying to get details out of my older supervisor who built the code we're using, but he's near retirement and has so many vacation days saved up that he spends maybe 10 days a month in the office. I honestly can't blame him, but I either need resources to help me deal with legacy code, or a nice entry-level rails job, because I want to finish learning rails.

>having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO

Well that's really fucking stupid of them. Maybe they're worried about evidence of old HIPAA breaches existing after the system gets updated, and doesn't want to explain that logic? On your local development station:

  mkdir repo
  cd repo
  git init --bare
  cd ..
  git clone repo project_folder
  cd project_folder
  cp -r ../<path_to_project>/project project
Congratulations, you now have version control for local development that your CEO never has to know about! The only reason I'd suggest an extra folder (horribly named project_folder in the example above) is so that you never accidentally copy the hidden .git files when moving it from your dev station.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/505467/can-i-store-the-g... you dont need to copy files, just tell git to store its data in another dir

Wow thank you so much for this. There's some stuff I've been working on which I want to sync to Dropbox as I type but without the .git being synced too. Up until now I've just had to deal with the .git files being synced with Dropbox. But now it looks like I finally have a way of moving the repo!

If your bosses are concerned about Git, then they will likely have a fit over Dropbox. Get permission first, it is not worth your job.

it is not worth your job in a thread entitled "who wants to be fired"?

This entire thread discussion is filled with it's not worth it, but towards the "no one should be forced to work like that" kind of way

The Dropbox comment is from a different user.

Wow, that's a great idea!

It likely is because of accidentally storing PII randomly in a hidden folder.

The data and application code are probably very intertwined, rather than portable code that could be plugged into any kind of stage database.

You do know that HIPAA violations can land you in jail, right? Run. Don't walk. Vacate immediately. Leave.

I'm finding myself hoping that this is a fake, because I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone at all.

This was my first exposure to a professional development job, but for medical transcription (we had a billing dept too). I wasn't even hired to do it (I was hired as help desk staff), but the application neeeeded updating and the 2013 HIPAA omnibus had just dropped so we were on the line to get in compliance and no one else was stepping up. I had to learn as I went. decade old, undocumented code written in old .NET and (some) Java 6.

No version control, running on Win2000/XP, ancient beige box hardware (some with turbo buttons).

I was 19 and making $9 an hour. I got fired for automating my help desk tasks so I could bring us up to date.

Yeah...as someone who works on HIPAA compliant software, this sounds very scary to me. We carry a $1M insurance policy at all times. Did you sign a business associate agreement?

This might be why the CEO doesn't want version control. It's extra evidence

Unfortunately wouldn't be the first time I've heard something like this :(

Not just jail, you are also now personally liable. Meaning your personal assets are on the table for a lawsuit (at least according to Stanford’s HIPAA training)

You won’t go to jail if you do nothing wrong, but legal fees. Ugh, yeah, you’ll be in court as a witness and possibly defendant if you don’t leave ASAP.

> be in court as a witness and possibly defendant if you don’t leave ASAP

Might be able to quit the job, turn them in for HIPPA violations and also claim unemployment (source: I did this at a job that was violating HIPPA)

Or if they have a better lawyer than yours.

Well that would be the OCR. It’s doubtful they would waste a lot of resources going after a developer, unless they really thought he had done something. Usually they go after leadership.

And then leadership hires good lawyers that do their best to deflect the blame to the developer.

I don't think anyone has gone to jail for HIPAA violations who wasn't intentionally misusing or stealing PHI.

not a lawyer, but I think intent is a big piece. That said, if you ever feel pressured to do something that you know, or even think, might "not be quite right", diplomatically argue your point and get things in writing. Even an email thread between you and a manager is good. The idea is this: if the fecal matter hits the oscillator and auditors come in, you want evidence that you were doing what you were told, despite your protests.

Unless you're boss tells you to do something so egregious that after the fact it will look like you're stealing or committing fraud you'll be fine.

If your boss says "Hey download all of the PHI for these celebrities to a flash drive and load it on your computer at home" you should definitely say no or get it in writing.

But if your boss says "hey I need a copy of George's medical records, e-mail them to me" as an individual you won't get in any personal liability for it.

I worked in insurance for over five years (at a Fortune 500 company). I had annual HIPAA training. I was in claims, so I'm not sure how pertinent this will be to your needs, but here is some stuff I remember:

1. HIPAA has a minimum necessary standard of disclosure, which means give only however much info you must give to accomplish the task in question.

2. You need at least three pieces of identifying info to positively ID an account, such as name, address and account number. (Other possibilities include: Social security number; date of birth; phone number.)

3. When disposing of papers or other media containing covered information, it must be destroyed, not merely thrown out. This means papers, floppy disks, etc must be shredded.

4. If you're printing a lot of papers with HIPAA covered info, you should have a locked trash can for any papers you are discarding. Presumably, this is merely a holding bin until it gets shredded.

5. Papers with pertinent info should be turned face down if anyone comes to your cubicle to talk, even a coworker. Ditto for papers coming off the printer containing covered info.

6. You need an annual HIPAA training program to remind everyone of a lot of the above (and likely other things I'm not covering).

7. Computers should be password protected when you walk away from your computer.

I guess the short version is: When in doubt, err on the side of making sure the information cannot be accessed by anyone who isn't using it to accomplish the purpose it is intended to serve. Also, you can't go flipping through covered info for funsies. Although you have authorized access, it's only authorized for a specific purpose.

> 6. You need an annual HIPAA training program to remind everyone of a lot of the above

When you say 'need' do you mean 'legally required to' ? I wonder if that could work to the advantage of the poster, in that if they left because they became aware that things are not being done correctly and they have never had any such training, the legal responsibility would reflect back on the employers who had not provided such training to an obviously inexperienced employee and the CEO in particular who is the person who should have known to do that.

I am not in the USA and I think the UK has slightly better employee protections and lines of legal responsibility, at least in some areas (such as Health & Safety) but who knows..

HIPAA requires organizations to provide training for all employees, new workforce members, and periodic refresher training. The definition of “periodic” is not defined and can be left open to interpretation. However, most organizations train all employees on HIPAA annually. This is considered to be a best practice.


I worked for a "CTO" who didn't allow us to use version control either. This was from 2007-2010. I am surprised there is a company TODAY that does this, but I guess I shouldn't be.

The reasoning behind not using VC was that it "caused more problems than it solved." His solution? Code directly on the production server. Yep. You heard me right. Let me say that one more time. Code directly on the production server. We eventually finally won a development server and wrote some bash scripts to deploy from there, but we never actually got SVN or anything. Imagine working on five person development team with no version control.

The guy was a serious joke. The VC issue is just one of many. A serious despot. The guy was hated by all. We laughed at him. Why would I stick that out for three years? I had zero experience when hired. All of us were very green. We were all just putting in our time to hit that magic three years experience checkbox we needed for the next level gig. The CTO was more concerned with appearing to have a large department and having developers working on lots of different things, than actual quality. We wrote some pretty terrible code back in those days and we did a lot of it on a production server during business hours.

We all left at or around the three-year mark. Month by month the "CTO" lost developers faster than he could replace them. The "CTO" was eventually fired and we laughed from afar.

You are being taken advantage of like I was when I first started. You are cheap labor. Your CEO doesn't care about the product. Your CEO likely doesn't care about your career development. The sooner you leave, the more you will learn and grow. That was my experience.

> Code directly on the production server. Yep. You heard me right. Let me say that one more time. Code directly on the production server.

What a coincidence! We have a customer that is having a strange, hard-to-nail-down problem with our software. We asked if we could provide a diagnostic build to them that they could run in their test environment to gather additional information about what was happening.

Their reply was that they didn't have a test environment. They just install any software they get directly to their production machines.

Complete insanity.

I'm the GP, on my work account. Yes. That is exactly what we do. It's horrifying.

The good news is that there are fantastically good shops to work for (you should start looking for one), and that you'll have some good stories to tell about the hellmouth that was your first company.

But yeah, get the heck out of there.

If they require that you don't use version control but at the same time want it to be HIPAA compliant you need to walk right now if you have options, ASAP if you don't. You're being set up to be blamed if anything goes wrong.

Change management is part and parcel of anything in the medical software domain, and VC is an obvious part of that.

> working on non-version-controlled code, having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO

Version Control is a basic requirement of professional software development in this day and age.

You could try explaining to your CEO it would be like telling a carpenter they can't use a hammer to build your new house.

Or just take the initiative and use Version Control without telling them. In my mind it isn't something you need to ask permission for.

The CEO has likely given this directive to avoid a paper trail. Any attempt at rationalizing with the CEO will be a waste of effort when this person could (and should) be focused on finding another place of employment.

This is bad advice. If you accidentally leave personally identifiable healthcare information on some random stage server and that server gets hacked, that is a federal crime. If the data and application code are very intertwined (likely in a pre-SOA era), it can be very difficult to version control code completely isolated from PII.

> If you accidentally leave personally identifiable healthcare information on some random stage server and that server gets hacked, that is a federal crime.

Not sure how that relates to Version Control? I personally don't put production (real) data on staging servers to begin with; always scrub your production clones or generate data for testing instances.

> If the data and application code are very intertwined (likely in a pre-SOA era), it can be very difficult to version control code completely isolated from PII.

Maybe I am naive (never had to work on DOS), but shouldn't the data be in a database/datastore/data directory that can be ignored by source control?

Huh? Why would the code have medical data in it?

If you were to take an api response and save it for testing, but not completely remove all personal information.

Easier than you'd think, or at least I could see it happening.

Apparently (according to a carpenter friend) - if the carpenter uses a hammer on a modern build it means something has gone wrong - they're normally using nailguns or similar to put things together - hammers are to bash them back apart again or knock them into alignment if they weren't done right the first time.

Hammers can also be used in awkward to reach places that a nail gun can't get to. Also, structural timber is very rarely straight or true. Knocking things into alignment is a very common part of framing, and hammers can achieve sub-millimetre accuracy with gentle tapping.

Yes, nail guns are awesome, but hammers are very useful tools.

I've done some work as a builders labourer. Admittedly ~18 years ago.

Nail Guns are awesome. Pneumatic, butane/battery and powder actuated all have their place and were heavily used. Always had a hammer on my belt though.

In particular, it's hard to use a nail gun to fasten a plate, hanger or bracket.

And to bring it back to the original poster - barely a day goes by that you don't need a ~hammer~ ... version control history.

LOL, yes nail guns are the more efficient tool these days, however I bet these carpenters still have a hammer on their tool belt and use it at least once a day.

I always thought it is more like making a building without a scaffold: when you're on the ground floor it doesn't look bad, but the more you build....

If you're that young (18??), you can almost definitely afford to quit tomorrow and look for something better.

Never sacrifice your own career for your employer's success (within some time horizon.) Being willing to quit when your boss is a clear bad actor is a core part of this.

If you're that young (18??), you can almost definitely afford to quit tomorrow and look for something better.

It very probably is the opposite. A lot of people who end up working at 18 are doing it because they need the money and their support network is poor.

That's a good point. If things will go to shit if you quit, by all means don't. But regardless look to secure a job before quitting.

Can confirm. Been working as a SWE full time and trying to finish my degree since 19. I would not take this pile of stress if I had a pile of money.

It's hard when you're young (no savings, car payment, whatever).. but it gets harder before it gets easier.

This is a time in your life when you're (hopefully) not supporting anyone else, don't have a ton of possessions, don't have a mortgage, can couch-surf, eat ramen, etc.

Well, yeah, no. Family is leaving the country, S/O got kicked out, and I have a Great Pyrenees.

Quit. Period. Maybe find a new job first. But don't stick around.

Same boat, similar level of responsibility and I’ve been programming 20 odd years.

I accepted an offer yesterday, 35% pay bump, 5 extra holiday days, twice the bonus cap and all of that pales against knowing I’ll never have to touch that fucking codebase under unrealistic constraints again in a short time.

In stead I get to run a team, in a much bigger company with proper modern development practices.

When they rang to tell me it was mine if wanted it I was literally shaking, it felt like an elephant had stepped of my chest.

Until that point it really hadn’t occurred to me how unhappy the last two years at work have been, fighting the worst undocumented codebase I’ve seen two decades was a long slog, doing it alone for people who don’t understand the issues just made it worse.

Will be putting my notice in next week.

As someone 20 years older than you, get out and get out soon.

You are damaging your future career chances by stagnating in a job that won’t teach you how to do things better for your future.

> working on non-version-controlled code, having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO

I've been there. Run.

I'm bewildered as to why a CEO would have any opinion on version control at all. Or why you'd ask a CEO whether you could use one. It's like a builder asking a construction company CEO if he can hold a hammer lower in his hand and that CEO forbidding it. Can someone explain?

A good friend of mine worked for a small company whose CEO also tried hard to convince him that introducing version control was wrong.

Of course, this same CEO also didn't see any problem with the fact that the password field in the login form was never checked against the database, because who would know someone else's login name?

Why is a CEO even getting involved in an issue on that low a level?

Unless these are 'CEOs' of 3 people tech companies, I guess.

OP said they are the sole developer on their project, so it sounds like they are.

Gotta love those companies where there are more board members than employees.

I'm not exactly at a fortune 500. I'm one of two developers at my company and it would be hilarious to me if my CEO (who seems like a nice enough guy) even knew what version control was.

Then again, this isn't a tech company.

Small company, maybe a dozen people total, only tech-adjacent, not a strictly tech company. The CEO (which, for a company this size, probably also meant owner and perhaps sole board member) and maybe a fee other people at most had built the site in question.

Why a developer would be asking a CEO for advice or opinions on either of these things?

The dev says himself that he is a junior, and it is very likely that the CEO of a tech firm has more than junior-level experience in technical matters. Even if he doesn't, it is still fine for a junior to ask his superiors for advice.

  - Hey Joe CEO, which version control do you think I should use?  
  - None, that's an order!

It was a small (tech-adjacent, not strictly tech) company, and if memory serves right the owner built some of the site in question himself. I dont know that my friend reported directly to anyone inbetween, at least not when it came to technical matters anyway.

I'm studying hard, but learning new stuff while learning other new stuff is hard.

Listen. If not using version control is a problem for you, you're already more hirable than a lot of developers I've seen. Learning is always important but don't use that to procrastinate.

You don't have to go straight to the best job in the world. Just find something better (and do your homework to verify) and take it.

I'm in a small city, where not much work is available. I need to pad my resume a little more to make the work I do more attractive, but the reality is that LAMP devs aren't in high demand near me. I apply to several jobs daily, but not much is around. I'd appreciate pointers on how to improve my prospects, but the last place I interviewed was a seedy adult entertainment company, and I wouldn't have taken an offer if they begged, simply for personal reasons.

You said you're 18, you're young and hopefully don't have kids, so apply in other cities as well.

Yeah it's scary. But if the job is good enough, and the pay is good enough, then you've got to figure out why your bullshit reason for staying where you are outweighs both your mental health and your career prospects.

EDIT: And don't forget remote options.

God, at 18—or hell, at 22—showing the fuck up and not seeming entirely incompetent is a big deal. Show up, be engaged, do both consistently, and anyone who's not a total piece of crap will be all over giving you more responsibility and mentoring you up to bigger and better things. Total pieces of crap may still be interested, but it'll be in exploiting you (as in current situation). Oh, and ask questions. No one expects you to know diddly-squat, so ask away. Ask about stuff that's not part of your job description at all. People will tell you all kinds of stuff, and, incredibly, the whole exchange will make them like you more.

Phenomenally small amounts of give-a-shit go a long way for youngsters. It's basically their superpower, if they're willing and able to use it.

I know a bunch of remote-hiring places and if nothing else I'd be happy to help you figure out what to learn (and, probably, how to approach it) to GTFO. Email is in my profile.

Leave the city. It doesn’t end well if you stay... unless you can get remote work (even then it’s risky), but you definitely have to leave the company ASAP

> I need to pad my resume a little more to make the work I do more attractive

A word of caution: One of my objectives as an interviewer is to drill into a candiate's resume to see if they actually did what they said they did. Its OK to talk up your accomplishments. But don't claim expertise in language X or technology Y unless you are prepared to answer some questions about it.

I interviewed a guy who's masters work was in the field I did my doctoral work in. I think I'm the only one in the company who knows anything about the particular topic, and considering that the role was far removed from that topic, it was a very unlikely coincidence. However, when discussing his research, he mostly missed the mark. It wasn't enough to sink his application as at the masters level I wouldn't expect him to know it nearly as well as I do, and he was ultimately hired. But, you never know who you're talking to.

Taken out of context, I agree with you.

But this conversation has been about them saying they need to learn more before they can get a new job, and me replying that they shouldn't use that as an excuse to procrastinate. Thus the `need to pad my resume` comment.

Magento shops are always looking for LAMP devs. A national recruiter told me they place PHP devs at the big Magento shops without the job ever existing.... There must be a Magento agency in your city?

If you're 18 and already know why version control is a good idea, you're very hireable in any number of cities/remote!

When this goes sideways, and it will, they will try to pin it on you. You need to GTFO.

This is called rationalizing. Get out. Strategically, not on a whim. Hunt for another job.

Also run for all the other stuff you said before that.

> having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO

You can run a local git repo, no code would ever leave your PC. I'd do taht, and damn the torpedoes. If he is dumb enough to say no versioning, he'll never know you run it locally.

I was sort of in a similar situation when I was your age - in over my head at a complex project where the owner had never heard of version control (though in my case, I was too green to realize that it even existed). They had 30 copies of the same software, one in a folder on a shared hard drive for each customer. If there was a bug and it wasn't specific to a customer, you had to go fix it in 30 different places.

I promise you, if they don't want to provide version control they aren't going to provide you with other benefits and necessities that you deserve.

Related questions to benefits and necessities:

* Are you getting healthcare? * How is your pay compared to other Jr. software engineers in your area? * Are they paying you hourly? If so, are they actually paying you for hours worked, or are they finding ways to reduce that number of hours? * What if you demanded that they used version control, and brought your best arguments: what would they say?

Consider the answers to those questions, and if you don't like the answers, I strongly urge you to leave. There's a complacency that can come with "settling" for a place that is a "known constant." Don't settle here, when you deserve more.

Put what you've done on a resume, and give it to a headhunter. They will find you a better job - maybe not an ideal job, but a step up. And your career will truly begin.

You may find this article helpful in some way: “How to Improve a Legacy Codebase” [0]

[0] https://jacquesmattheij.com/improving-a-legacy-codebase

Ghost this job immediately. It's a clusterfuck waiting to happen, and your bosses are going to leave you holding the bag when everything turns to shit.

You're a programmer, not a fall guy. You aren't getting paid enough for this.

Three things:

1. I’m impressed that you’ve made it this far.

2. This situation has ‘get the fuck out’ written all over it. It’s time to dust off your resume and get out of there.

3. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble. You seem like a good writer and I bet you’d be a good developer to work with.

Best of luck bud. I wish I had a concrete way to help you.

Everything about this screams that you're being set up to fail, and given the circumstances "failure" might mean jail time.

There are plenty of jobs out there. Go get one, _today_, please!

You are 18 and been working professionally for 3 years. Well done. All said and done this is what matters. Real life experience over university education.

One thing for GP to consider: I did the exact same thing (worked for three years in software development), but now I’m back at school in college. This obviously depends on if you think school is worth it (I did), but I wouldn’t be surprised if my work experience before college helped me stand out in the application process. Either way, good luck!

What are the arguments against version control here (if any)?

Honestly the project sounds quite interesting, but I can imagine the circumstances make it painful.

> What's are the arguments against version control here (if any)?

* I don't understand it

* You're overcomplicating things

* We're not using any of that free shit here

* It doesn't say Microsoft or IBM

* The last guy we hired that tried to use it was smarter than I was so anyone else who tries is a threat to my leadership. (because everyone knows you can only manage people who have a strict subset of your own knowledge. If one of your peons dared learn something before you, that would be the end of your reign.)

the list goes on...

“We’ve never needed it before, so why do we need it now?” (actual argument against it at my current workplace)

My response:

You've never looked at a piece of code that you wanted to see the history of?

You've never needed to revert a single change a few hours/days/weeks later?

You've never needed to track down the person who wrote a piece of code in order to ask them for clarification?

You've never needed to see the original change reason for a line of code that is doing some weird, specific thing that seems out of place?

You've never needed to have two people edit the same file at the same time?

I've got these responses on a similar question: "we don't need to see the commit logs so who cares about them or the history being pretty and clear? Nobody is looking at the history!"!!

The question was "Let's submit pull requests as a clean job not as a homework draft. Why don't we allow push force on work branches so that we can squash fixup commits after review?"

Blows my mind that those are senior developers that are otherwise seemingly competent at what they do. There is some pinch of job security there though.

There are valid reasons for a "never rewrite history" policy, but their validity pales further you go from the master branch.

The thing is that in a lot of scenarios people need to do huge chunks of work in feature branches. Sometimes a 3000 line "refactor the world" squashed commit is really unhelpful. The best policy is always well thought of weighted case-by-case decisions.

However, on projects with a lot of hands on the keyboard such policy is unrealistic and someone will do the opposite of what they should and wont ask or discuss. People, especially in our business, hide incompetence behind aloofness and silence.

So in that case, with a lot of people that are hard to manage, stiff policy is the best choice and there probably are reasons why people want to preserve history, no matter how hairy it looks, at least it's there and you can find stuff in it.

I bet they are willfully blind to that difference.

* Someone used git to publish a HIPAA violation on github.

If HIPAA is a concern host your own server.

If you can't trust your employees to adhere to HIPAA or other mandatory regulations, you need better employees.

If your source code contains personal information, usernames, passwords, etc that should not be exposed to the public, you need to address that immediately regardless of any irrational stances on version control.

> "If you can't trust your employees to adhere to HIPAA or other mandatory regulations, you need better employees."

You need a better process. Developers aren't lawyers. Of course they should be aware of HIPAA requirements, but better is to ensure they simply don't have access to sensitive production data except in very controlled circumstances, while making safe anonymised test data available for anything they need test data for.

> It doesn't say Microsoft or IBM

GitHub does, now, though I really hope that isn’t necessary for a company to adopt version control.

And Visual Source Safe and TFS did previously.

Why didn’t you just recommend Azure Repos? It’s a great product and fits what you need.


* Azure means cloud and cloud means no

* It didn't exist at the time, but there was an on-prem that MS offered a few years back. It was forced on another department with no version control experience. It lasted about two weeks.

On prem gitlab then? Just throwing out ideas.

There are self hosted Azure products also.

I've learned there are arguments that are not worth winning, and if you find yourself in one, your priority should be getting out of the situation that created the argument.

I'm not sure what the answer is for version control, but I refuse to accept it's Git. I don't understand how it became so popular - did nobody say "wait, there might be a reason why Linus is known for cloning an OS and not coming up with a brilliant design for one from scratch?"

Git is great. Lightweight, scales effortlessly, learning curve isn’t too bad, decentralised by design and because it’s so widely adopted it works pretty much everywhere.

What else are you gonna use? SVN? shudder

The learning curve isn't too bad? Do you actually use Git? Like, from the command line?

I have no issue with a friendly wrapper in general, but after starting with the basic interface, I don't trust a wrapper to be logical, complete, and well thought out, given the foundation.

Yes, I use Git mainly from the command line and I've used it on Linux, OSX and Windows. I've also used quite a few GUIs including SourceTree, Github Desktop and GitKraken. I've been using it for a while now!

In the end it really boils down to a few commands that you use often, checkout/push/pull/commit/clone/branch/diff/status etc. It can definitely get confusing at times when you get merge conflicts and want to start playing with rebasing and stuff like that.

I've used it with teams with no experience with Git whatsoever and they're usually fluent at the basics within a week or so.

If you get stuck the command you need is usually a 2 minute Google away.

There's also this which is fantastically named! https://ohshitgit.com

> I don't understand how it became so popular

Git follows in spirit the model of BitKeeper, a software that already worked exceptionally well for Linus and other kernel devs. So Git had both a known good design from the very beginning and a decently sized installed user base (kernel devs) with an important project (the kernel).

IMO there's nothing wrong with the cloning of software. You make it sound bad, can you give reasons?


He thinks it's all cloud based. It's sad, yes.

I honestly enjoy the work when I know what's going on. We have a lot of unique problems to solve, and I have gotten positive changes made, as well as some really good weeks where I pounded out some good code, but other times it's slow, sad, and frustrating.

Like others have suggested, use git locally, there's no need for them to be involved or aware of that detail. Do you consult them on what text editor to use?

There's a skill to learn in keeping engineering concerns to yourself. It's unsurprising when management or executives are faced with decisions in unfamiliar topics they err on the side of Nay. Your mistake is involving them at all.

this ^

Using git locally is a tool just like your code editor. There's no need to ask your boss about that.

Since you're the only developer it's mainly to make it easy to revert any mistakes and to have confidence in deleting useless stuff (that you can recover later).

?? Git works just fine without any of that. CVS has been around since 1990, RCS since 1982. And SCCS is old enough to be OP's father.

> ?? Git works just fine without any of that.

I echo your ??. Sure you don't need a central repository to use git. What does that have to do with suggesting some git hosts that aren't cloud based?

You can have a git repo on a server that developers use ssh to access just with git. The bells and whistles aren't part of the core job. It's just my general griping about software these days.

I get where you're coming from, but I still don't think it deserves a ??. Most people in most environments want a GUI they can click around in.

I'm very comfortable with git at the command line, but I still think it's valuable to have a web interface. For instance, with a web GUI I'm able to share a link to a specific line or range in a file in a specific commit.

Typically if I need to do that I'm asking a question or requesting a change, and in that case I want there to be as few barriers as possible to increase the chances that the other person cooperates. Asking someone to clone/pull the repo, checkout a hash, and then view a line in a file is a much higher barrier than asking them to click a link.

Good luck doing code reviews with a distributed team using that.

Linux is one of the most massively distributed projects in the world, and it just works fine without GUI review tools. If Linux devs don't need such tools like gitlab, why you?

Big +1 for Gitea/Gogs, that thing will run on a toaster. Super low memory footprint and great for small shops.

> "What are the arguments against version control here (if any)?"

No good ones of course, but there is one that I think is superficially very compelling:

It keeps a permanent record of everything that has ever been part of the codebase. If HIPAA required medical and patient data to not be stored anywhere except under highly controlled circumstances, the CEO might be afraid that data might end up in version control.

And that's not an entirely unreasonable fear; developers writing a quick PoC could include data in the project because it's quicker than setting up the infrastructure required. And of course they'll later fix it, but the version control system will still keep a record of it.

Of course there are tons of bad practices about this, but here's the thing: bad practices do happen, even if it's just as a temporary measure, and version control will create a permanent record for that.

Of course the right way to do this is to ensure that the developers only have access to anonymised test data and not to real sensitive production data; and to ensure that production data is always and only stored under the proper, secure circumstances required.

It's still a red flag, but the reasons might be more subtle and complex than simply "I don't understand it".

No offense, but starting to code professionally with only 15 years sounds... a bit strange? I mean, I started coding with 10 (~20 years ago), and the easily available tooling was much worse back then than it was 5 years ago, but if I was your CEO I wouldn't put anyone with that little expertise and (I suppose?) no formal training on such a project alone (it's something else if you're working with a senior dev from whom you can learn). And when I was your age, I wouldn't have done anything that might put me in jail if done wrong.

Also, please pass this message from me to your CEO: He's an idiot for not letting you use version control.

Leave asap.

working on non-version-controlled code, having been expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO

Did the CEO give a reason? I'm a bit curious based on it being billing and HIPPA. Also, are you rolling your own EDI import/export?

CEO doesn't like "the cloud", and VC is obviously that to him. I do use it locally, but that's about all.

Yes, I just wrote an EDI exporter in Ruby for Medicaid services, working on one for MCOs now. Thankfully we don't have to import EDI, or I'd go nuts.


I don't work with HIPAA but with other compliance/regulations NOT using version control is the problem.

Unless you have patient information hardcoded into the source code for god knows what reason...

Things that might be hardcoded are access keys and passwords to PII databases.

Which is bad practice for lots of reasons and, is that a HIPAA violation? Your code also has it then.

Hosting git externally might be an issue though.

No. No no no no no.

You're not storing patient details in VC...... Right? Maybe show him that you can run svn even on his own machine... Anything... Anything is better than not using something

I've work with HIIPA and VC. No issues, as long you do not store patient information within the source code, I cannot think of any reason why you would need to do that...

I work with HIPAA and SOC2, this is ridiculous. Your boss is misinformed.

Just show him that you're literally only committing code, and not any real data in the repo.

I worked at a place that is extremely concerned with HIPPA to the point of having many specialist lawyers. We were required to use version control.

>I'm very junior, been coding for ~5 years, 3 professionally

I agree with everyone else commenting here. This is a disaster waiting to happen. You are also limiting yourself by not working with people who will mentor you and show you the correct way to do things.

You're experienced. You can find a new job. DO SO IMMEDIATELY. FIND A NEW JOB, NOW.

I didn’t see any contact info on your profile but if you’re looking for a Rails gig, let’s chat. Ping me at my profile email.

Seriously, the GP comment makes me wish I had a job to offer, not just due to sympathy but because any 18-year-old who is even sort of managing to tackle that problem and also knows that lack of VC is a serious red flag is probably worth an interview.

Wow. Just wow. Run. There is no way this will end well.

No version control = no way.

You're junior in years, but 3 years working professionally makes you perhaps less junior than you think. It's right around the point it becomes easier to get other jobs.

Before quitting, try your best to make changes that will reduce stress and improve the project's manageablity with or without permission. Your work sounds so mission critical you could probably do whatever you want with no chance of getting fired.

Just be able to justify your action and communicate your decisions clearly. You'll start earning respect and that alone will reduce your stress levels. Standing up for yourself is hard to do at any age and "learned helplessness" is a concern if you don't push yourself.

Giving a demanding task to a junior is usually how they improve and learn, but what you describe here is just a big pile of management incompetency. Escape.

This all sounds so similar to my situation that it's scary... but I'm 40. Getting out is proving difficult because of age discrimination.

This smells like you are being set up to take the fall for something. Possibly something with really serious personal legal consequences. This is way, way worse than being underpaid or working for abusive jerks. No way it's worth it, I'd say quit now, even if your immediate alternative is working at Wal-Mart or something.

I know the feels but I'm a bit older. I am currently rewriting an old web forms app. Source code is outdated and not what is in production. Some methods are 1500+ lines of code. This project is dumpster fire but at least I can vent to everyone and they agree. Plus, I don't have to deal with HIPPA good luck brother!

> expressly forbidden from using ANY VC by the CEO [...]

I read this and thought this could be because the CEO only thinks of version control as "GitHub", and is worried about putting sensitive information in the "cloud".

Have you considered discussing this with your immediate superior? Not using any VC is a disaster waiting to happen...

Probably they should stop using internet too, just in case, bad people lurk around there, they say.

My suggestion if you need one is to make a lateral movement and offload your problem to your CEO. Go hunt for another job.

Seriously, leave now! While you can.

Yo, git can be used locally. I highly recommend it.

this whole story probably just boils down to people not understanding the difference between github and git.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact