I am doing a MS thesis in an engineering lab and I am fully funded by my advisor (tuition waiver plus stipend). We are a small lab and my professor is aiming for tenure. I am ahead of schedule and almost done with my thesis.I am good at programming and completed the project in 3 weeks (my professor thought it would take at least 3 months). Now, my professor is asking me to work on other things which involve developing apps for her other projects. I have protested by saying I am an GRA and I should only be concerned with my thesis project and my work in all other large projects in the lab should be at my discretion.
My advisor replied that I am pretty lucky to work for her since other professors have graduate students who work on 5 projects simultaneously (which of course is load of crap, I have other friends working in other labs who only work on their thesis). The other time I protested, my advisor said that since I am supposed to work 40 hours a week in lab, the project should be completed within 2 weeks easily. (These projects which my advisor wants me to do require some 80 hours of programming sometimes since I first need to learn the language and then write code for it). It's not that I don't want to develop apps, but I am more interested in writing journal papers for IEEE with deadlines in November, and I need all the time I can for that endeavor. I raised this issue but my advisor said that getting accepted in IEEE is remote, so I should concentrate on writing apps since there is a very good chance for her to get funded if I develop them.
I know that even if I refuse development, my advisor might throw a fit but my GRA will be intact because no advisor fires a student who is about to complete thesis. Also, I had asked my advisor if she would be interested in helping me with getting a PhD after thesis and she flatly said no. The advisor said I should probably go back to industry and work for 3-4 years and then decide on PhD. It seemed more like an excuse to make me get out of the lab. So it's pretty obvious there is no chance of a long-term relationship with my advisor.
I am trying to understand what are the other job responsibilities of an MS student doing thesis? There is no chance of working with my advisor after MS, so why should i work on her projects? I can very well try to get some journals papers published as it might help in getting a PhD admit elsewhere, or should I just develop her apps because I work in her lab?
Edit: There are 3 people in my lab now (2 MS students and one PhD student), but I am the only programmer.