At this point in my life, I have found myself working side-by-side with developers much, much younger than myself. While I can "take them on" at any time professionally, I am unable to establish any rapport with them.

When I return from a break and enter the open-plan office, they immediately turn down the music that they've been listening to (pretty loudly, I might add) when I was out. They play networked computer games among themselves during business hours. This is a branch office, and there is no manager on premises. There is an office administrator, but she does not actively manage and in any case, is unaware of what's going on because her office is elsewhere in the building.

I would appreciate hearing about coping mechanisms from others who may have had similar experiences.

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    What aspect do you need to cope with? Does their behavior interfere with your work? What problem are you trying to solve? – Seth R Apr 24 '18 at 21:05
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    are you their manager ? – Neuromancer Apr 24 '18 at 22:29
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    (Waiting for the corresponding "Working with old developers" question. "When he returns from a break, we have to silence our music and put our phones away. He says he can't work with all the distractions.") – shoover Apr 24 '18 at 22:59
  • Are they doing the same work as you? Do you all report to the same manager? – Nolo Problemo Apr 24 '18 at 23:32
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    @SrEngineer, I believe Neuromancer is asking because your situation is very different when comparing being their manager vs being their peer. – cdkMoose Apr 25 '18 at 13:07

You might want to start by treating them as co-workers and peers rather than someone you need to "take on" or "cope with".

Just treat them as you would anyone else. Be friendly and helpful. Respect them and expect respect in return.

And stop worrying about whatever games they play. Do your work and let their managers/supervisors worry about how much work they do or don't do.

  • Thanks, your answer put things in perspective for me. I respect them, but the reason I don't get respect back - I think - is because they are young and don't know any better. If I can give an example: during video conference calls, they just block the camera, and I am all the way in the back, not visible. By nature, I am not socially aggressive, so I just stay back until someone on the call asks where I am, and I wave my hand from the back. This has happened several times. – SrEngineer Apr 25 '18 at 5:12
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    @SrEngineer asking if you can be included in the picture isn't "socially aggressive" – Erik Apr 25 '18 at 5:31

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