I started work 2 months ago in a big company (5000 employees) as a software developper. I have the following problems:

  • The manager assigned to me a couple of tasks. As in warming up. For each task there are people that I should talk to in order to help. In order to solve the tasks I have to look into the code which is so hard to understand and it's not documented. it's basically chinese. Anyhoo, every single time I go and ask them questions they seem annoyed and they don't give me full answers. Sometimes if I ask different persons I get each time 10 differents answers (For freaking sake it's Math and programming, it's not Philosophy). I really Have to go back and forth with them In order just to get the damn answer. I really have to push them to get an answer.
  • I was assigned to a team to program some functions, and no one reached to me, they didn't even care. What I did is go to them once a day in the afternoon just to ask them what should I do or if I am working correctly.

What I am trying to say I feel like I am bugging them. I really don't like it, it's stressing to me, I am somehow shy and i really dont annoy people. I only ask the question once. I don't bother them with the same question over and over. It's just that I feel that i am working blind.


Is it ok to bother them more, when I finish a task? Once a day is not enough, I really need to get my stuff done. Sometimes I just want to say Screw them i don't care I'll be an A.Hole and just get my answers.

When I ask the manager he tells yes, go, ask them as much as you want. But I feel it's mean, it's not my style to really bother people.

When I also finish I always end it by thank you and excuse for bothering.

  • 4
    This is fairly closely related to How can I deal with being told I ask too many questions? Dec 22, 2017 at 13:20
  • 1
    Why are you asking 10 different people the same question? Most people would definitely get annoyed with someone who makes a habit of asking them a question someone else already answered or coming back to them later with the same question after either not really having understood the answer given (instead of just saying that in the moment) or having asked someone else the same question and having gotten a conflicting answer, or trying to "really push" for an answer (whatever that means). Dec 22, 2017 at 13:48
  • 2
    @HaniGotc when I give people part of an answer, its because I can tell they haven't done things I have taught them in the past, or things they should know to do. You need to exhaust all of your resources before bothering other people. They all have work to do with deadlines that in their mind is more important than helping you when (in their mind) you are not trying Dec 22, 2017 at 14:14
  • 3
    @HaniGotc Yeah, don't do that. Sometimes people will give incomplete answers because they think you can or should fill in the blanks yourself (or at least try to), or because they can't remember the entire answer or because they're really busy right now (or indeed because they think you should've tried harder to figure it out before asking them). Trying to force an answer is not really a good idea in any of those cases, but you can ask more specific questions or otherwise demonstrate what knowledge you have and what you need. Dec 22, 2017 at 14:17
  • 2
    @HaniGotc I have tried that method, what happened to me time and time again is the person never learned to figure it out and I was doing their job and my own. YMMV Dec 22, 2017 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


When I ask the manager he tells yes, go, ask them as much as you want.

Please note:

  • your colleagues do not provide you with what you need
  • your manager said to go ahead and ask

They have no excuses to shun you.

But I feel it's mean, it's not my style to really bother people.

I suppose it wouldn't be your style either to leave a colleague unanswered. They do not act according to your style, hence you're more than authorized not to use your style here.

When I also finish I always end it by thank you and excuse for bothering.

This is all the more reason to go ahead and keep asking.

  • 1
    the thing that I like about your answer. Is that you are a strong guy. that's like Foxtrot that i am going lololol. Good on you.
    – Hani Gotc
    Dec 26, 2017 at 16:50

Asking questions is perfectly normal, and should be expected by the senior members of your team. My guess is your system, like most I have worked on, is either poorly or completely un-documented. Therefore, the folks on your team are the documentation.

One thing I have noticed over my career is that most folks want to dive right into the code without taking the time to fully understand the requirement. Make certain you know what you are coding for first.

Having said that all that, you still need to dig in the code and get as close to the solution as you can. You should do all of the 101 stuff and more before bothering another member of your team ( Google, the stack, keyword search in the code, etc. )

When I ask for input, and yes as a senior developer I do ask for assistance on occasion, I make sure to demonstrate concisely, how I got to the point I am at and then ask for input \ guidance.

Short answer: Demonstrating your efforts first when asking for help is the best way to not be seen as a pest. In general, people are more open to help those who help themselves.

  • 5
    just to add to this, do more than the 101 stuff. I hate when people say "I checked the log and there was nothing there" and that's all they did. Do enough research that you can say something like "I tried A but that didn't work, so then I tried B. B looked promising but ended up being a dead end. Do you have any idea where I can look next?" This shows your co-worker you have actually looked at the issue AND you aren't just asking for an answer, you are asking for a direction Dec 22, 2017 at 13:31
  • 1
    yes that's really interesting what you are saying. People don't like it I guess when You tell them I did something checked the log and that's it lolololol. I did that once they really didn't like it
    – Hani Gotc
    Dec 22, 2017 at 13:34
  • 2
    as a senior developer I do ask for assistance on occasion this is what is important here, even senior developers time to time must ask something. In software development even the more older ones don't know all, sometimes you need to bugg someone, but don't come with the "hey this is not working, you know why?", tell the basics of StackOverflow rules, what, why and what have you tried? Dec 22, 2017 at 13:38
  • @IamSoNotListening the problem is that the questions are functional and not code related. You are 100% right If i don't understand what is happening, No matter what I do, it will always look chinese
    – Hani Gotc
    Dec 22, 2017 at 14:06
  • 2
    @HaniGotc, it seems like your organization relies on a "sink-or-swim" approach for new hires. This is very common. You will have to take responsibility for your own "on-boarding." Many people do not handle unplanned interruptions gracefully (your questions divert their focus). You can fix that by arranging semi-regular visits to a key person who can help you. Prepare prepare for each of these meetings in advance, show you've been working diligently, and demonstrate you are taking his/her words seriously. Express gratitude, summarize your progress to your boss, the colleague and his boss.
    – teego1967
    Dec 26, 2017 at 12:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .