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Pie is an alias for our product.

Me and 10 co-workers are working on different kinds of pies, and people are generally assigned one pie to work on (or multiple people on one pie, but never multiple pies per person).

Whenever people are assigned to a new type of pie, they mostly choose one which fits their interests and which they find exciting. I generally choose less "exciting" pies so that others can work on pies they like, but this seems to be a mistake. After I have worked on a pie for X months and have made some cool improvements on it, co-workers develop more attention for it.

As a result, when the grouping is changed, people are eager to work on the pie that I initially developed. This often leads me to be assigned to a new pie, and the process repeats. When I look back on the pie that I initially developed, the progress has stagnated.

Is this a known problem? I find it hard to tell people that they only want to work on a certain piece because I have made it that way, and that them wanting to work on it too will only slow down the progress.

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  • 2
    Why don't you just work on pies that interests you?
    – reg
    Mar 9 '20 at 20:14
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    @reg my thought was that people would stick to their exciting pie when grouping would be changed Mar 9 '20 at 20:24
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    I don't understand, are people actually assigned to work on a specific pie or do they get to choose to work on a specific pie?
    – sf02
    Mar 9 '20 at 20:33
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    It could actually help to know the field you work on (I would assume it's software engineering) to give field-specific advice, and that you give a bit more specifics about your task assignment process e.g. how or who in your company handles when does the "grouping" change.
    – Arthur Hv
    Mar 9 '20 at 20:47
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    Why are you not pushing back and sticking to a single pie? You say you have been assigned a new pie. Why do you care what happens to the pie after you are done with it.
    – Shadowzee
    Mar 9 '20 at 22:01
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This is not really an answer, but:

Now you are working in the real world. You have colleagues and are part of a team. You can work with each other or against each other.

You choose the tricky jobs and make them work. Your work is so good that other people want to take over your projects. Yay you! You are a good worker and you are setting a good example. Your code is cool so they want to learn from it. Your reputation is great.

Feel flattered. Make sure your code is clear, elegant and documented properly so someone can continue your work at any time. Encourage the others to do the same. You are in a team. They are lucky to have you.

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Option 1:

To me it sounds like you have some creative vision to make the more boring pies fun by adding some cool new features. Your colleagues might not really have this and therefor choose the more 'fun' looking ones.

Maybe an option is to share this vision with your co-workers. You could present them with the option to ask you for some ideas, but you could also just take a look at some of the more boring ones and suggest some things. For instance:

Hey I know pie X is a bit boring, but I just looked at [feature/tech Y] and think this can make X very interesting.

This way they might stop looking at which one is interesting now and start looking at which on has the potential to be interesting.

Option 2:

On the other hand it also sounds like you are kinda letting them run over you. It sounds like you don't really put up a fight when they want to take over your pie. If you are really interested in one or have been putting some hours in one and think you can get it even better, you could just say this. For example:

Cole: 'Hey I'd like to have pie X, it looks great now.'

You: 'I know, but I've been spending a lot of time on it and I have a lot more ideas in the pipeline. Would you be oke if I just keep working on X? Maybe you could even help me implement some of the features I'm thinking of!'

You can also go back to option 1 here and give him some suggestions on the other pies that you think might interest him.

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