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Discussion on: Let me do my damn job or do it yourself

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thinkslynk profile image
Stephen Dycus

I don't see much of an issue here...

This sounds like you don't want to work on a team, honestly. There is nothing wrong with other people editing your code and attempting to improve it, whether successful or not. Sure, it would have been more efficient to go straight to the senior dev, but if the inexperienced devs don't attempt to tackle these small bugs, they won't learn. You're advocating for robbing people of a learning opportunity, because you think you know better and were hired to handle everything. That's the irony here. The one with the ego here is you...

In your example, the senior dev exhibited poor communication skills. If they thought it was a carriage return issue, and the other dev says they've already tried that, then the first question the senior dev should have is "How did you strip it? Can you show me? I just want to double check so we can rule it out." The issue then would have been fixed even quicker AND the other dev would have learned how to properly handle this issue in the future. If the owner / dev gets pissy, that's his problem. Soft skills work wonders in these situations.

Judging the owner's programming skills and talking down about his abilities sounds petty; the fact that he even thought to try to strip carriage returns, whether he succeeded or not, puts his skills at least on par with some of the junior devs I've seen.

Calling the owner in this situation narcissistic is also petty. Being wrong about what a bug is doesn't make you a narcissist, nor does disagreeing with another dev even if they were right. We're all human and we're all fallible. This whole story could have easily gone the other way with the senior dev refusing to believe it was their code, when it was; I see it all the time.

The senior dev could have worked with the owner to diagnose the issue. Or when the owner said that it was a javascript issue, the dev could have said "I'll take a look, thanks" and then just moved on. Or the dev could have told the owner they could both try to tackle the bug at the same time, and see who could fix the issue first (a tactic I prefer, as it protects everyone involved.)

"Developers, stick to your guns when you can and when you're right." - I think this is your problem; devs should never assume they are right, especially on the senior level. Always question your own work, and the work of others. Be humble and accept that you may be wrong.

That's my opinion on the matter. shrug

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spirodonfl profile image
Spiro Floropoulos Author

This whole comment is based on the premise that the owner wants to work with others and listen to what they have to say. When you have someone who dismisses you without letting you finish, there's no amount of soft skills to counter that.

Thanks for the comment.

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thinkslynk profile image
Stephen Dycus

Sure, but that's a different issue than what you've described. That's an issue that's only fixed by finding another job. I had that at my last job. The environment was so toxic, we had an employee assault one of the co-founders; wrestled him to the ground. And the thing was, no one felt he was unjustified. It's easy to get into that toxic mindset where you hate your boss, and the way you interact with them is "justified" because they're a jerk. But at the end of the day, you should just leave the company. It can be hard, especially if you're not in a tech heavy city, but that's the best thing for you.

Your post is advocating to "stick to your guns when you can and when you're right" in the face of a boss who "dismisses you without letting you finish" and who doesn't want to work with others. That is, in my opinion, bad advice. It's not going to make him listen to you, it's not going to make your day more enjoyable, it's not going to make you feel appreciated. It's going to make the owner more pissy, make the environment more toxic, and then you'll go home complaining about how much of you hate your boss. Life's too short to settle for that, especially in our field in which developer unemployment is SUB 1%. The grass is greener, and you will find a job where either your boss leaves you alone, or will listen to you and work with you.

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spirodonfl profile image
Spiro Floropoulos Author

I can appreciate what you're saying. A lot.

I'm not sure why I don't fully agree with it so I'll think on this some more and try and articulate my position better.

Still, your opinion here is well taken and I especially appreciate the attitude you're trying to push forward here which, if I may sum up, is: "At least don't make things worse!"

Couldn't agree more. :)

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thinkslynk profile image
Stephen Dycus

Yes, don't make things worse but more importantly, look out for yourself. You owe nothing to your boss. If he's difficult to work with, and working with him makes you loath your job, please leave. It may shock your boss into being better with future hires, but at the very least you'll find something that makes you happy. Maybe I'm just projecting a bit here after dealing with a similar situation for 3 years, but I felt it necessary to stick around and deal with it because I had something to prove. Ultimately I was fired for publicly telling our CEO to stop sending passive aggressive chain emails to the entire company. It sucked at the time but I've been so chill and happy now for 3 years at my new job; now I wish I had left sooner. I could have saved my self from so much anxiety, depression, and anger if I had just left sooner.