At one slow point in my career, I found it hard to find work aligned with my skills. I could pretty much do any type of development. But I wanted to focus on Windows application development. So when Tony Dickerson offered me work on a perfect match for my background, I jumped at the opportunity.
Once I came to work for Tony, I found he had a number of subcontractors on the project. This in of itself does not necessarily mean trouble. However the subcontractors were pretty much in charge. It seemed like Neil was working for the subcontractors. Now these subcontractors were all very good. But the direct employees were left having to deal with out of control subcontractors.
I think as a manager you need to understand the goals of who works for you. Employees need to be your bread and butter. They need to be trained to help achieve the company's objectives. Subcontractors and consultants usually have one goal - make the most money possible. When this goal aligns with the company goal you get a win-win. But often this is not the case.
I stayed on this project for many years. Eventually Neil was let go, and the subcontractors were shown the door. But by then a lot of damage had been done. A lot of key employees left because of the weird organizational structure.
A Little Bit of Crypto - I have been trying to figure out to "collision resistant" some of these standard hash functions are. It is a tough concept to get my head around. I figure...