I'm a consultant at one company. There is another consultant who is a year older than me and has been here 3 months longer than I have, and a full time developer.
The full-time developer is great. My concern is that I see the consultant making absolutely terrible design decisions. For example, M:M relationships are being stored in the database as a comma-delimited string rather than using a conjunction table to hold the relationships.
For example, consider two tables, Car and Property:
- Spare Tire
- Satellite Radio
- Ipod Support
Rather than making a table CarProperties to represent this, he has made a "Property" attribute on the Car table whose data looks like "1,3,7,13,19,25,"
I hate how this decision and others are affecting the quality of my code. We have butted heads over this design three times in the past two months since I've been here. He asked me why my suggestion was better, and I responded that our database would be eliminating redundant data by converting to a higher normal form. I explained that this design flaw in particular is discussed and discouraged in entry level college programs, and he responded with a shot at me saying that these comma-separated-value database properties are taught when you do your masters (which neither of us have). Needless to say, he became very upset and demanded I apologize for criticizing his work, which I did in the interest of not wanting to be the consultant to create office drama.
Our project manager is focused on delivering a product ASAP and is a very strong personality - Suggesting to him at this point that we spend some time to do this right will set him off.
There is a strong likelihood that both of our contracts will be extended to work on a second project coming up. How will I be able to exert dominant influence over the design of the system and the data model to ensure that such terrible mistakes are not repeated in the next project?
A glimpse at the dynamics:
I can be a strong personality if I don't measure myself. The other consultant is not a strong personality, is a poor communicator, is quite stubborn and thinks he is better than everyone else. The project manager is an extremely strong personality who is focused on releasing tomorrow's product yesterday. The full-time developer is very laid back and easy going, a very effective communicator, but is someone who will accept bad design if it means not rocking the boat.
Code reviews or anything else that takes "time" will be out of the question - there is no way our PM will be sold on such a thing by anybody.