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QuestionWhat three skills does your boss need to manage you? Pin
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QuestionAdvice: Working for a Small Business Pin
Arterion13-Aug-08 12:44
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I'm currently working for a small business of about 18 people. The company is a sole proprietorship, and the owner works here everyday. I do a combination of software development and IT, and I am the only employee here with those responsibilities, and the skills to perform them.

As you might expect, the owner and the manager know very little about development and IT. Even so, I am given very little latitude in which to do my job. The owner is especially hostile toward my solutions and ideas. However, I am generally held responsible for when things fail, even if I have specifically forewarned him of an issue that needed attention.

Is this typical of small businesses? How do you deal with bosses (or clients) who want to either micro-manage every aspect of what you do, even when they don't understand it, or ask you for results while vetoing your proposals?

As an example, I have to develop our internal software. It is a poorly designed mess of Access and VBA code, both from a business and programmer perspective. Whenever I am requested to make a change, I am never presented with the goal or problem. I am never given requirements for changes. Instead I am told what changes to implement, on the order of "add three new buttons, one green, one red, one blue!". They never seem to want to talk about what they are trying to accomplish, and get frustrated with me when I try to understand the "big picture". Often, what they suggest isn't even a viable solution.

How can I get them onto a more reasonable development model, where they present me with requirements or the business problem they are looking to solve, and I come up with the best solution, that works with our data?

One the one hand, I feel like I am paid to do what they ask me to do, but on the other hand, I feel like, as their DBA, I am also responsible for the data, and as their developer, responsible that their software function properly.

I doubt it's an issue of trust -- I have keys and full physical access to the property 24/7. They also understand that I have full access to and control of their data, even confidential data, and why I need it. They trust that I don't snoop through private records, even though I have the ability to. This is pretty usual for System Administrators.

From what I understand, this is not an uncommon small business situation. How do others deal with it?

Thanks for reading!
--Joshua
AnswerRe: Advice: Working for a Small Business Pin
wolfbinary14-Aug-08 7:23
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Arterion15-Aug-08 10:58
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AnswerRe: Advice: Working for a Small Business Pin
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AnswerRe: Advice: Working for a Small Business Pin
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QuestionLooking for a job in the usa or in europe Pin
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GeneralAnd why it bothers you where I post my CV?? Pin
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