I am currently in my second year of my apprenticeship in Computer Science/Programming, located in Germany.

At the moment I am working on a redo of a website for our customers together with the coworker in question, Bob. We meet about every two days talking about or latest changes and additions.

Bob finished his apprenticeship last summer and is currently trying to get a position(not a new job) to become an instructor aswell.

While we are working with a ticket-system, both of us are working on the different parts of the project simultaneously.

Although Bob is more experienced in some parts, I know I am doing way better with text and grammar (e.g.). Thats why I feel very unconfortable watching him redo all of the frontend writing, although they are perfectly fine. I feel like he is redoing a quite significant part of my code and texts, just because he can and feels like it. If he doesn't like something, its always marked for further research. I understand that he has more experience in some fields, but it still just feels like he wants to instruct me.

I once had a rather huge confrontation with Bob and another coworker, who left our company, about a similar topic. I watched both sit in front of a diagram, I had to create for a Project, for half an hour, googling and trying to figure out why my diagram was wrong and what I should have done instead. Not to mention the fact that this type of diagram is totally useless for our kind of Project, and I just had to do it because it's written in some Handbook from the 80's. (not literally) After that confrontation, I talked to my boss about it, he talked with both of my coworkers and my instructor, and then nothing happened. That was about 4 months ago. That's one of the reasons I dont want to talk to my instructor either. (Others beeing: He's very busy; He's is good in social stuff like that; etc.)

I really feel uncomfortable putting much time in my tickets, because I suspect everything to be changed afterwards anyways. That not only drops my motivation but also my interest in working with Bob.

How can I approach this situation, with the goal of further working together with Bob, and not feeling uncomfortable or even angry watching him review and possibly change stuff(or even him not doing that at all)?

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    Those diagrams (I assume you are talking about an Entity-Relationship diagram, UML diagrams or program flowcharts) are actually rather important for you to know as a German apprentice in an IT profession, because they are often topics in the final exam at the end of the apprenticeship. So you might want to be grateful that someone takes the time to teach you how to do these correctly. – Philipp Mar 7 '19 at 9:51
  • @Philipp I've learned how to do these Diagrams in school. And yes, if they had actually tried to teach me, great. But in this case it was just a Diagram I had to do and noone ever looked and will look at it again. Besides that, its not about the diagram, but the fact getting rantet although they dont know better in any way – nuuse Mar 7 '19 at 9:57
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    Besides that, please note that questions on this site require a specific goal. Before we can tell you "how to approach the situation" we need to know what you want to achieve. Get your instructor to treat you differently? Get a different instructor? Get your instructor to leave you alone and complete your apprenticeship on your own? Find a different profession? Or change company? – Philipp Mar 7 '19 at 9:57
  • @Philipp edited question to include some kind of goal. – nuuse Mar 7 '19 at 10:15

It is very possible that you are right about it, and Bob is the less-than-nice guy.

Try to use him to your advantage. Instead of confronting him and "fighting" him, try learning from him.

Here there are 2 possibilities:

  1. He is actually better than you and you will improve professionally - you win.
  2. He is a jerk, but you get to understand how his mind works and how you can "defeat" him better - again, you win.

The only thing that will get hurt in the process is your ego - which is not useful anyway, usually.

FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: at a previous job I had to use some technologies. Although they were overall good, there were details which were plain "stupid". I had all kinds of discussions with the experts in the company, responsible for the technologies, but they were not able to explain / motivate their point of view. Long after I left that company, I understood why those details were not stupid, but were - if used correctly - actually smart.

Conclusion: I had my ego hurt twice, because I was just stubborn and close-minded:

  • once, when I thought the details were "stupid";
  • the second time, when I understood that it was me who was "stupid".

Is Bob your lead or superior?

If not, he has no business changing your work.

He should be working on his assigned tasks as should you.

If you as a team assign tasks to each other, make sure it is clear who is to work on what, which responsibilities go to whom and enforce that you both stick to it.

He is correcting your grammar and wording on user facing texts?

Grab a Duden and let him explain to you and your boss why he redid your work.

Oh yes, go to your manager and inform them that Bob is correcting fuctioning code and correct grammar / spellings / wordings in dialogue windows.

Bob is wasting his time and overstepping his purview.

This all of course assumes there was nothing to correct in the first place.

Did Bob ever explain what you did wrong?

Without that, he is just attempting to dominate you and present your work as his to earn that promotion.

Don't let him walk all over you.

Please explain downvotes!

  • 1
    I do not really agree with you. In my case this is a teamproject, with me still beeing an apprentice. He is not presenting the things he changed as his own. Its just that he says 'I dont think thats a good approach'. With the only argument beeing, that he doesnt like it. He is not really overstepping his workrelated purview – nuuse Mar 7 '19 at 10:05
  • @nuuse are you HIS apprentice? Was he instructed to mentor or guide you? You said you work on different parts each.By changing your work he oversteps his laid out responsibilities unless you answer the previous questions with yes. – DigitalBlade969 Mar 7 '19 at 10:07
  • No, he is not my official instructor or mentor, but besides having some things I really dont like about his ways, there are other things where he just has more knowledge, and I know I can and want to learn. – nuuse Mar 7 '19 at 10:09
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    There are such things as code reviews and the expectation that more senior employees mentor newer colleagues, including watching over what they deliver and if necessary correct it. So your general statement that he has no business changing the work of OP feels quite out of place. Same goes for feedback. The issue rather seems to be that he is bad at explaining why he made changes or that he may be too obsessed with finding things to correct. – Frank Hopkins Mar 7 '19 at 17:40
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    @FrankHopkins I know what you mean, the issue I actually mainly have with the behaviour is that he changes the code prior to (if at all) informing OP. Even in code reviews you wouldn't by default just change your colleagues code,you'd recommend changes and let the colleague di it themselves.Also it depends on the company.At many places you have a hierarchy and approval processes that are solely performed by leads,supervisors or management. A co-worker, even if senior to another,can't just willy nilly change somene's work! – DigitalBlade969 Mar 7 '19 at 19:04

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