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Discussion on: Ron, The Untouchable, Invincible, No-Good Developer (Conclusion)

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Adam Nathaniel Davis Author • Edited

sounds like you disliked the guy just because we wasnt a good programmer

That would be one interpretation. I don't feel any need to defend myself. But I will try to clarify just a little bit.

Raj was a very nice guy. Friendly. Intelligent. A lot of good qualities. He was also woefully inept as a developer.

I had no problem with Raj as a person. I'd be happy to hang out with him any time. I had massive problems with Raj as a member of my team.

I "dislike" anyone being on my team who is completely incompetent. If someone is incompetent, I want them off my team. As soon as possible. There's nothing personal about it. It has nothing to do with me liking/disliking the person.

And maybe it's a product of how I wrote this article, but I find it interesting that any "negative" feedback I'm getting is focused on Raj. And... I guess that makes sense. After all, his name's in the title.

But I'd contend that, if you're really paying attention, the story really has very little to do with Raj at all. Raj was stuck in a bad situation. Quite frankly, so was I. Neither of us had to be.

The whole scenario was needlessly dragged out by a mindless company policy, an HR person with no interest in thinking about the proper application of that policy, and a C-level executive who wouldn't trust the people he put in place to manage the team.

When I told HR about the problem - and gave them a year-long pile of documentation that already would have justified a termination at almost any other company I've ever worked for - they didn't care. They had a "PIP box" that had to be checked, and they weren't gonna hear any excuses about why that might not make sense in this case.

When I told the CIO about the problem, he just brushed off my concerns - until it started impacting his priorities. When his deadlines started getting threatened, suddenly he was all about releasing Raj as soon as possible. And once he threw his C-level weight behind it, HR just fell in line.