I'm a developer who just started doing some consulting work at a small third party company on a temporary basis (a few months). I was asked to help out on a small side project in a different team, as there is only one developer in that team and I have enough time to do both. The supervisor hasn't written code in years, and the company has no formal development process in place, and as such they don't do code reviews for example.

Even though my coworker on that team has been a developer for longer than I am, it seems he/she has very little experience, even regarding basic programming paradigms in their language of choice. There is also very little initiative on his/her part, but that might be due to a cultural and/or personality difference.

I feel like all progress is due to my work, and it's probably going to be viewed as a team effort. I never thought this would bother me, but actually typing it out feels unfair. On the other hand, there is no direct benefit for me to speak up and potentially stir up "undefined behavior" in a team that's very friendly and easy going, and I don't mind teaching someone. I'm not getting paid directly or based on deliverable, and will leave on a set date in the future.

Should I talk to our supervisor about this?

EDIT: thank you for your honest responses - both are great and have excellent remarks. Yesterday, I inadvertently found out that the supervisor is indeed aware of the juniority of my coworker, at least to some extent. Thanks to your input, my plan is to teach him/her what I can during my time here and not whine about getting credit. :) This is a learning experience for me as well, as your responses helped me reflect on my perspective and personality. I didn't expect to feel so strongly about my showing off achievements, and it's important to at least be aware of that. So thanks again!

  • What was the motivation of hiring you? Was it just to get the side project up and running? Was it as a consultant to improve their development process? Apr 12, 2019 at 4:19
  • You're a consultant, you're there to deliver work. And to show the example of good practice. Not to implement good practices againts the customer's will, or to say bad things about interns.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Apr 12, 2019 at 10:26
  • @さりげない告白, my main project is in a different team in a different scope, which is on more of a policy level on a different topic than software development altogether. This side project was really the other team lead asking for some of my time now that I'm around anyway. My main team supervisor gave the go-ahead to spend a part of my time helping the other team out, so long as I deliver on my main project.
    – MapleSyrup
    Apr 14, 2019 at 3:07

2 Answers 2


I was asked to help out on a small side project in a different team

If you say that, this means the task is part of your job. However, you are supposed to help with this job, not to oversee it.

I'd suggest two things:

  • Have a meeting with your boss and clear the scope of work. Make sure both of you are on the same page about how much help is expected out of you and of what nature. End of the day, it'll be easy for you to show your progress / accomplishments.

  • It's not your place to judge the performance of your co-worker, you do not manage them. You can only do your part in the shared assignment, and leave the rest to the colleague to complete. If they cannot own and complete their part, it'll be evident where the problem is.

The point here is, you need to point out the issues, without appearing as finger-pointing at someone.

As a proactive proposal, you can try to implement some of the best practices you think would be useful and show the progress / outcome / improvements. Lead by example is usually the best policy to get something (new) accepted.


I feel like all progress is due to my work, and it's probably going to be viewed as a team effort. I never thought this would bother me, but actually typing it out feels unfair.

If you start complaining about that, you're just going to sound like you're whining and creating trouble for no reason.

You're leaving on a set date in the future. On that date the other person will be managing on their own, and one of two things will happen:

  • He'll do just fine, and clearly he wasn't as bad as you thought he was;
  • He'll struggle and won't be able to do anything without you, then everyone will realise you were responsible for all the actual work, and you'll get a good reference / reputation / further offer of employment.
  • 2
    possibility 3 : the other guy will fail, and explain that the consultant did sabotage everything. Still, as a consultant, that's what you are paid for. I did never expect anything else from my customers while a consultant.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Apr 12, 2019 at 10:27
  • 2
    @gazzz0x2z If that's the case, and he still can't pick any pieces up after a good length of time, it becomes pretty obvious that he's lying.
    – berry120
    Apr 12, 2019 at 10:40

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