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Background: I am working in a small company for almost 2 years, and since ~10 months I am the responsible for R&D of one of our products. Before assuming such responsibility, I have been tutored by a senior colleague for ~6 months. After such period he has been transferred to another office location with a different role. He is not in charge of development any more, as he is more on "higher level" now.

What happened: the same colleague is frustrated due to deadlines and other issues, and I think he is lashing out at me, greatly unjustified. In particular, he is pointing out some MINOR mistakes (that I did) to our Director of Engineering, without involving me at all. I'm fine if he finds bugs and he "discloses them", but I'd like to be involved. Indeed, I only know this because the Director came to me describing such situation. The Director understands it and the reasons, and he backs me up.

To be more specific, I really don't like that this colleague:

  • didn't involve me [since I am responsible of the product];
  • told the director that I didn't test the product, that it is not stable, etc. [which is not true, as I actually improved code coverage and other metrics. However, especially since it's software, bugs can happen. Also, I fixed TWICE some bugs in the products which he delivered to customers. Should I then say the same about his work? No.]

I understand his seniority position, but I feel pressured and now I'm not performing at 100%. Due also to other reasons/issues, I'm feeling burned out.

I have come up with two ideas to address this:

  • Talk with this colleague directly
  • Involve the Director.

What strategies would be most effective and are there any that I may not have thought of?

The goal would be to avoid such situations and all the eventual drama.

closed as off-topic by IDrinkandIKnowThings, motosubatsu, gnat, DarkCygnus, scaaahu Nov 22 '17 at 9:44

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    In my opinion, I think the Director is getting an ear full already. If this employee is whining or complaining about something you did or didn't do and the Director wants to address it, then make your case. Otherwise it's just blowing smoke, especially since the Director is backing you. If the Director knows you do good work, then this employee is just making a fool out of himself. – Mike Nov 21 '17 at 15:10
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    @Mike consider making this an answer instead of a comment. – Retired Codger Nov 21 '17 at 15:24
  • How should I handle this? - What is the result you want? This question currently seems nothing more than airing office drama. If you have a goal you want to achieve you should explain that in the question. VTC – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 21 '17 at 15:30
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Go to your director and apologize for any difficulties caused. Tell him that you would have corrected these issues immediately if you had known about them.

Then when he asks

What do you mean you didn't know about them?

You can reply honestly that your collegue went to him instead of you. Then apologize again for him having to get involved in such minor issues and that you will again ask your colleague to bring the issues to you first rather than wasting his time.

That will show both the fact that you are on top of things and that your coworker isn't

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Directors don't like extra work.

You should have a bug reporting mechanism. If the bug is not reported you cannot address the bug.

You should have test procedures and test dates. Provide that to the director.

I would not confront the person but remind them of the bug reporting mechanism and tell them they can come to you if they have any problems.

  • There should be a well organized system of bug reporting and testing from support to core development and including marketing (feature requests), as well as a clear module ownership system, so that people know they must deal with problems in modules through the responsible people and in a formal way . This also helps track real work being done - not just code metrics, which are close to useless. – StephenG Nov 21 '17 at 23:11
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In my opinion, I think the Director is getting an ear full already. If this employee is whining or complaining about something you did or didn't do and the Director wants to address it, then make your case. Otherwise it's just blowing smoke, especially since the Director is backing you. If the Director knows you do good work, then this employee is just making a fool out of himself.

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First off, metrics like code coverage don't really mean anything if the tests aren't adequate. I have worked on applications with near 100 percent coverage that are hot garbage. You can always "cook the books" so to speak. I'm not saying this is the case for you; I'm just pointing it out.

Unless the server is on fire and the company is losing thousands of dollars, the director probably doesn't care about this kind of stuff.

So here's the concern: Is the app actually stable? Is it properly tested? Is it (mostly) well written? If the answer is yes, you don't need do anything. You let your work speak for itself.

If this is unfounded (And maybe even if it is founded) and the other developer continually goes over your head, s/he's not doing himself any favors. Again, the director has better things to do than address trivial bug reports.

If this comes up again, politely inform the director that you're confident in the quality of the application, then say you will log the bugs in your bug tracker. Then they will be triaged and eventually fixed.

Finally, I'd like to point out that you don't actually know the circumstances of their discussion. How do you know he is lashing out at you? Or stressed? This seems to be speculation. Perhaps the senior developer reviewed your code and was asked about it during a meeting that you weren't involved in and gave his opinion.

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