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

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Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

In my strong opinion, PIP === displinaryIssue. That's when PIPs have a chance to work properly - when there's a behavior (or the lack of a behavior) that must be corrected.

If a dev is capable of doing the work, but he's just not "pulling his weight", that's not a tech issue, it's a discipline issue. And I absolutely agree that, sometimes, for whatever reason, devs can get it in their head that they don't really need to work that hard or deliver that much. And a PIP can be a formal way of telling them, "We notice that you haven't really been pulling your weight. And you need to start doing so - or you could be released."

But if the dev just doesn't have the skill set to do the work, a PIP is pointless. In fact, it can even be viewed as kinda cruel (hence, the CIO referring to it as Dickensian).

If I've somehow managed to get myself into a position as a surgeon, and it becomes apparent to my manager that I'm in no way qualified to be a surgeon, a PIP is just a waste of everyone's time. I'm not going to learn to be a surgeon in 90 days.