I was brought into my company as a front end developer. Their project load was a lot weaker than they thought it was so I ended up finishing my projects pretty quickly. I decided to practice full stack development and gain some experience in that area. I asked our IT manager a few questions about SQL that I needed help on while developing a data entry page. Now, he won't stop derailing my projects just to sit and watch him write code or break/fix legacy SQL procedures. This would be fine if he was actually teaching me, but he literally just has me watch him...No explanation or anything.

It's gotten to the point that he now has a 50 inch TV in our IT office hooked to his computer so he can just turn his TV on and tell me to stop what I'm doing and watch him write code. He's a terrible procrastinator and really bad at delivering on time and now he's trying to pull me in to his bad habits as well it seems. I'm afraid he thinks he's "teaching" me when it's not doing anything for me at all other than wasting time.

The question is: How do I "let him down gently"?, because he is a nice guy and has been coding about as long as I've been alive. He is also the IT manager, my boss, and we have an open floor plan office. I respect the guy but he's horrible at managing time, and if he's bored then he's going to pull the entire office in with him. Unless the game he plays on his phone is more interesting that day.

  • I've tried to explain that it isn't helping because of his lack of explanations. I've tried to drop hints that I learn by doing etc...and giving me SQL tasks to complete goes a lot further than just watching him do something. – Noble-Savage Aug 29 '18 at 20:02
  • It sadly did nothing though. – Noble-Savage Aug 29 '18 at 20:13
  • 2
    Start asking why he does any and everything. One of two outcomes will occur: a) you'll actually start learning something or b) he'll stop because he doesn't really want to teach you. – John Eisbrener Aug 29 '18 at 21:31
  • Although the problem is work-related, the way your question stands you might find more help at StackExchange IPS – Elmy Aug 30 '18 at 5:56
  • do you actually understand the code he is writing? Ask questions etc,.? – Kilisi Aug 30 '18 at 6:18

I suggest pushing towards making his teaching effective.

The first step is to point out that very few people learn well just watching someone program, and in particular it does not work for you. You need to have your fingers on the keyboard, listen to what he tells you to do, ask questions until you understand it, and then type.

He may find actually teaching too much like hard work, and reduce the frequency of teaching attempts. Even if he does not, you will have a chance of learning something, and will be in a position to demonstrate knowledge by going ahead and typing without waiting for his explanation.

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