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

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Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

There were many ways for Ron to improve. There were many of way for me to help him improve. To be completely fair to Ron, he was trying to improve. And although I basically knew where this was going, I was trying to help him improve.

I'm not trying to dodge your question, but asking how Ron could improve is kinda missing the point. I've had numerous employees over the years who were not quite "up to snuff" in critical aspects of their tech skills. And, in some cases, we were even able to work out a happy ending that kept them in their job and allowed them to grow professionally.

The real issue with Ron was just that he was in wayyyyyy over his head in that particular job. If I had a large team with room for some very junior folks, I could've kept him on and allowed him to grow into the role. But I had a small team - there was only budget for 4 devs + me. So we really didn't have any room for a (very) junior dev - especially one who was supposed to be much better. His presence was literally handicapping everyone else.

This is also why I found the requirement for a Performance Improvement Plan to be so galling. If you're a solid dev who just doesn't have much experience with Angular, that should be no big deal. We can bring you up-to-speed (most likely, without any formal PIP). But if you simply can't code, there's really not much to be done. I can't sit down and take you from Intro to Coding up to the level that's needed to function on that team. It'd take years.