My company has basically 3 tiers of data scientists: junior, associate, and senior. I am myself an associate. Juniors should be under the supervision of another employee, associates should be able to take a project on their own, and seniors have additional responsibilities beyond the projects they are working on.
3-4 months ago, we hired a new employee right after they finished their masters in data science from a reputable university (they had experience before the masters though) as an associate. I was tasked with transferring this employee my workload as I picked up a new project (along with helping them any way I could). During these three months, this new employee has shown severe lack of understanding of some basic concepts.
- Not debugging their code, if it runs then that's it.
- Not checking what the transformations they are doing on the dataset is producing.
- No testing of edge cases (check point 1 and 2).
When asked to debug their code or test the edge cases, etc. They have shown they really have no skill in doing so, I recall for most major problems we had with this project it was me who always found the bug/problem, and came up with a solution. One issue for example is not checking the order of the columns before feeding to a trained model, this has happened more than once, and even after the issue being brought to light. Their problem is less of being fresh (bad code for example, which does not apply to them) or how to use a framework, and more of something that I can't put my finger on. It seems they know the machine learning part but nothing of everything else.
I have already tried to gently bring up these issues as a matter of mentoring and guiding them toward better practices. But the fact remains is that I still don't trust their work and I do review the modifications to make sure they contain nothing too obvious.
I am supposed to be helping them, and that doesn't bother me. But I will have to let them do things on their own very soon, but their work will be impacting my work (think of it as one project's result can be used in other projects). I feel they are inadequate as an associate, and would be perfect as a junior position. I am torn between staying silent, talking to them, or bringing this up with our manager.