Flipped Coding

How To Get Through Those Bad Projects

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Every developer has one of those bad projects. The project that was so poorly planned, so poorly designed that it makes you wonder if this was the right career for you to begin with. If you work as a web developer for more than a few years, you’re bound to get put on at least one project like that.

There’s hope though. Every project comes to an end one way or another and you’ll be able to put it behind you. In the meantime, there are a few ways you can make it easier to bare with.

  1. Remind yourself why you’re working on this project. A bad project can seem like it’ll last forever. I had a particularly bad project a while ago that lasted two years and it gave me at least three grey hairs from the stress. In all honesty, the only thing that kept me going back to work was the pay check.

It’s ok if money is a motivator. It’s ok if you’re trying to build up some experience so you can go somewhere better. Just remember why you are there right now because this bad project won’t last forever.

  1. Remember that you can go somewhere else. If the project is bad enough and your manager or senior developers are equally bad, it’s ok to consider getting a new job. Right now the market for good web developers is huge and employers know it. Take advantage of it!

That’s not to say every time you get a bad project you should quit your job. But if it gets to the point that you’re in a toxic environment that goes beyond the project, it might be time to go.

  1. Remind yourself that it’s temporary. Every project comes to an end whether it’s good or bad. If the company or client you work for is a good one it’ll probably be worth it to tough it out. I worked for an exceptional company and got put on a project with the worst possible client. But my manager always checked in and made sure I was ok.

It’s hard to find places that actually care about you. So when you do, try your hardest to soldier through the bad projects because there’s more good in the company than bad. Plus you’ll be getting even more experience. Once you know how to handle a bad project, the good ones are even better.

Believe me, I know what bad projects can do to you. But a bad project can also do a lot for you. When it’s time for a raise or a bonus and you’ve been trudging through it, you don’t go unnoticed. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, the people you work with and for are paying attention to how you handle this. It might not be a shining moment to you at the time, but it can turn out to be the best bad project you never would have asked for.

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