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The One Where I Lie To The CTO

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article describes a situation where the author, a software developer, had to lie to the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in order to complete a critical project on time. The author faced challenges with an outsourced vendor's product that was not performing as expected, and the team had to secretly build a replacement solution in a short timeframe, working through the holidays. To avoid disappointing the CTO, the author lied about the team's progress during status calls, allowing the team to take a much-needed break and then deliver the project successfully.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The One Where I Lie To The CTO

1. What was the author's relationship with his father, and how did it influence his approach to the project?

  • The author's father had told him that doing a good job often meant doing what needed to be done in spite of your boss, and that you can either make your boss successful and happy or you can run every decision by your boss, in which case no one is successful or happy.
  • The author applied this advice from his father when he decided to lie to the CTO in order to complete the project successfully.

2. What were the key challenges the team faced with the outsourced vendor's product?

  • The vendor's product was not a fully functional solution and required heavy customization to match the project's needs.
  • The product had performance issues as the database grew, and it hit the 16MB document size limit in MongoDB.
  • The team had to hide these limitations from the client and secretly build a replacement solution.

3. How did the author's team manage to build the replacement solution in a short timeframe?

  • The author assigned a team of 3 people to design the database, build the backend, and implement the business logic/web services.
  • The team worked through the holidays, with the author lying to the CTO about their progress to allow the team to take a much-needed break.
  • The team was able to deliver the replacement solution in just under 2 months, despite the original project taking over a year to launch.

4. What was the author's motivation for lying to the CTO, and how did it pay off?

  • The author wanted the team to feel like "rock stars" when the project launched, and he didn't want to disappoint the CTO.
  • By lying to the CTO, the author allowed the team to take a break and then deliver the project successfully, which was a proud moment for the author.

[02] Conclusion

1. What was the overall outcome of the project?

  • The team was able to deliver the replacement solution in January, which fixed the critical defects in the original launch.
  • The project was a success, and the team felt like "rock stars" for overcoming the challenges and delivering on time.
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