I am the first female developer in the IT department of a business with a very strong culture in taking care of each other and working together: members are quick to help each other, acknowledge successes, and willing to give a hand. I've been here for one year, and have always been treated well when seeking guidance on a task.

Since I've started, I've been a part of 2 major system developments: System A (the one I have dedicated more time, and the one I was intended to assist), and System B (a larger project but with no intention to develop again for the foreseeable future).

We have one very large build planned for the rest of the year, of which I have performed roughly 80% of the development work. My manager informed me a few weeks ago that he would like me to prepare to help with a related project next year and to pass off my build responsibilities to John (a coworker) when this happens.

He then asked if I felt like John could take over the year end build instead of waiting for the next build to begin his training. I responded with the following:

John has had very minimal involvement with this build up until this point. Given that this is an abnormally large build for System A, and that I am responsible for 80% of the issues being addressed as part of this build, I would feel more comfortable being the one who finishes it. However, I’d be happy to invite John to sit with me while I perform these responsibilities, and to help instruct John on taking over fully once this build is finished.

My manager was fine with this, and I did invite John to sit in with me. I've even let him perform a few of the responsibilities, with my supervision. However, I’m starting to feel as though John is over-extending this invitation. Today in our team meeting for System A, we were discussing our final testing procedures (pre-deployment), to which John stated:

I was hoping I could perform these steps and you could just sit with me and make sure I do it correctly.

Due to the combination of being put on the spot in front of the team, plus the strong culture of helping one another, in hand with John having seniority at the company (but not on the system), I agreed.

However, I anticipate John will also assume that he will be the one to run the production deployment procedures, and that is what I need help addressing.

Is it unreasonable for me to tell John that I would like to be the one to do the final production deployment? If so, what is the most respectful way to phrase this, as John and I will obviously continue to work together in the future and I don't want him to feel insulted.

  • 3
    There's a lot of text here. Could you edit it down and/or add a TLDR to make it easier to read?
    – David K
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 18:17
  • 2
    @david I removed some of the extra text that probably could have been deduced without being said. I know it is still lengthy, but I am not in a position to further edit at this time. Will review again later.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 18:25
  • @jkallifka Im going to restructure your post to emphasize more on the issue, and try to cut it down a bit. Feel free to do any further edits after that.
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 18:54
  • I don't see how your gender is relevant here in anyway. He can ask what ever he want, but you are the person in charge of this project. Just say: "'NO, We continue as I was already planned" Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 19:22
  • I don't think he should have said that in a meeting. He should defer to you in a meeting.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


Is it unreasonable for me to tell John that I would like to be the one to do the final production deployment? If so, what is the most respectful way to phrase this

Seems reasonable enough. You indicate that your manager was ok with your reply, and part of what was stated was that "and to help instruct John on taking over fully once this build is finished.". Taking the word of your manager, it is understood that he is ok with John taking over after this important build is done.

It is true that John could take care of this with more help and time from your part. It is also ok for you to want recognition or credit on the long project you have done. Just be careful not to let your Pride corrupt you; seek recognition but be a team player. (Don't see it as your project, it is actually owned by the company, what is yours is the knowledge and experience related to it).

Even though, it seems to be a safer move for the project if you carry out this last build yourself (John may be good, but you have more time working with this, and the least risk possible is desired).

Now, you can try addressing this the next time you are together working. A direct, honest, and respectful way of phrasing it could be something like:

"Hey John, I see that we have made great progress together, and I am sure you will be able to take this over in no time. Just to be on the same page, Boss indicated that he would like this to be my last build on this project, and I would also like that. I hope that is ok with you."

This I consider a polite approach, as you are not bringing up the fact that it could actually be safer or better if you did this, by giving more emphasis on your transition and your boss's decision to do so.

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