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Brian McNabola
Brian McNabola

Posted on

How do you deal with One-upmanship ?

Let me start with this.

"Computers are easy its people that are hard"

We've all been there.. Your on slack or hangouts or reddit..Your trying to discuss or highlight something that someone might find useful. Some project you are working on or a tool you built to shave some time off a repetitive task or a third party app ..something you believe gives value.

Then you get hit with the "expert" opinion that provides no feedback or improvement. Just a pendantic statement highlighting a irrelevant observation.

This is usually a one-upmanship moment. These put downs are what drive imposter syndrome among a dev community.

How do you steer theses discussions back into a constructive conversation and not play into a egotistical game?

I don't mean to come across as bitter here but there are issues in dev culture like this that disable a learning mindset.

And I am in no means dissing being a expert in a subject. But with that expertise it's better to use your knowledge for the greater of the community.

Top comments (4)

thejessleigh profile image
jess unrein

This is one of my least favorite responses! I see blog posts all the time that have a clever solution to a problem, and see the comments talk about how the author was wrong for having that problem in the first place. For me, the worst part about these responses is that they're not just unhelpful, they're not even interesting.

When people respond to my work this way, with a statement explaining why I'm wrong to have a problem, or a comment that doesn't really address the conversation I do one of the following:

  • Say something to the effect of "Wow, that's a great point about long term architecture. I'd love it if my team were able to address it sometime in the future. But I had to devise a solution this sprint and this is what I came up with." Something mostly polite, but that highlights the uselessness of the comment.
  • Ignore them.
kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

Consider whether they are generating noise, or they are trying to help. Filter out the noise.

I also wanted to point out that sometimes people have "compiled" knowledge that they cannot articulate well. In that case, you will get resistance/discomfort from them but perhaps not much concrete feedback. If you suspect something under the surface, it might be worth trying to draw it out by asking further questions. "Tell me your ideal usage scenario. How does it look and work?" Then dig into the qualities that make it "better" in their mind. You could learn a new perspective that you hadn't considered. Or you might just learn that they have strong preferences for no good reason. :)

Ultimately you still have to use your best judgement as to the right course of action for your app.

notriddle profile image
Michael "notriddle" Howell
paddy3118 profile image

Get back to those comments after a year and you are less into your particular solution.

Sometimes they have a point.