Just for a context: I am in 4th month of my new job as software engineer, have been working in the industry from last 5 years. We have fairly small team of 3 members. out of 3 members, 1 Member is working in a project from last 2 years, she has same years of experience as me.

  • Now this member, while designing a software module, doesn't accept anyone's design suggestions. Matter of the fact, several time her proposed design had to be be re-designed during coding due to the design gap.
  • As she is a senior member, she assigns a task. There have been couple of occasions when I had assigned tech-debt task. After completing the task, she said this task is not needed as it's making code more complex.

is there a way to handle stubborn colleague?

  • The entire company has only 3 people, or only your team? Do you have development processes in place? Are they used? Is there a project manager?
    – virolino
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 12:14
  • my team. Organization is huge I can say 30000+ employees. There is a deployment processes using SNOW. To the last question, yes there is a project manager, but around 400 employees reports to the project manager including myself.
    – Stephanie
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:05
  • The deployment process should happen only after all the development processes finish (which means the product is finished and tested - according to the needs of the respective release). A project manager "managing" 400 people is not a project manager, because he cannot manage.
    – virolino
    Commented Jun 10, 2020 at 14:11
  • The issues you raise here can't really be addressed in general but only in their technical specifics and in terms of who is responsible for the ultimate delivery of something that works. To take the 2nd example, this wouldn't be the first time an organization set out to fix a longstanding concern, but discovered that the "fix" creates (at least in the view of some) a situation uglier than the present one. Commented Jun 11, 2020 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


Frankly speaking, it may sound unfair or stubborn from that colleague, or even feels mean of her attitude. But for your own benefit, esp. only 3 months for a new job and most probably in trial period, it would be not wise to confront with such senior member, esp. if you have no back-support from top mgmt. or you have no essential skills the company cannot lose you. To go further with this mood would danger your job. The world is crucial for beginner. This is firstly the bloody side.

Now the constructive side, I would first separate the emotional feeling with the job/task fulfillment on content. Most conflict can be solved by more and effective communication. There must have regular project meeting discussing tasks, responsible member and delivery deadline. Keep that meeting note in heart & pin on wall, because that's decisions made by team not single person. Anything not clear, ask it directly and make it noted. Secondly, team-up with other members and always be humble to ask their help or second opinion. Thirdly every company may have its working way maybe need to get use to it. The last thing and most important is to sit together with that Sr. member, elaborate each other's concerns about the content and project/task details in terms of deliveries and timeline.

There maybe tricky sides, how to play smart on this matter later on.

Hope this helps...


The performance of your peers is not your problem, it's your boss' problem. Worrying about it will only leave you frustrated and unhappy.

It's not really surprising that an experienced person ignores suggestions from the new person. There may be good reasons why your suggestions won't work, or both options may have been equally good. Even if your solution was better, it's often not worth changing something that is 'good enough'.

  1. If this person ignores warnings and produces a bad design, raise bugs to ensure the problems are fixed. That will keep this person busy and they might listen next time. Your boss should also notice that this person's work requires lots of bug fixing.

  2. It sounds like this person gave you a task and then didn't use your work. Again, your boss should notice the wasted time in the schedule.

You should have a fair idea whether your boss his happy with your work - and if not you should ask. If either of these problems have been blamed on you, you can set the record straight. Otherwise, if the boss is happy with your work, everything is OK.

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