So, recently I have been dealing with what can only be described as lack of professionalism on one of my coworker's part.

Usually I wouldn't mind, but it's become so frequent that it negatively impact my work.

For a bit of context, We're a software development team, and my work depends greatly on theirs. If they're late in their work, I'll be late on mine. If their work is faulty, mine will be too, as a result.

There's a few examples of their behavior (those are things that happens regularly, not just one off incident)

  1. They very rarely test their development, leaving that part to me. It happened multiple time that I tested their dev, and that, in the first seconds of the test, I could point out several part of their dev that were done incorrectly. Due to the current pandemic, there can be upwards of 1 hours of latency between the time I point out their mistake, and the time they acknowledge it and start working on it.
  2. It happens more often than not, that whenever I point out something that does not work as intended, they shift the blame to me, implying that it's not working because of my dev, not theirs. This is despite the fact that the bug could only be introduced by their dev (Luckily, several of my senior coworkers backed me up when this kind of thing happened).
  3. Massive lack of communication. Like stated above, my dev is massively dependant on theirs, if it's not done in time, it can completely delay our delivery. As such, knowing where they're at is important, as it allows our team leader to take informed decision. But to know where they're at, we need to constantly pry the information out of them, and it can take hours for a simple status update.

This examples are only the tip of the iceberg. At first, I did not think too much of it, but recently it started to affect me a lot more that before, for two reasons :

  1. Whenever I'm late in delivering, I get reprimanded by my boss, while whenever my coworker delivers late, he gets applauded for delivering. When I deliver late, due to me fucking up, I can accept any reprimands. But when I deliver late, because I did not have the tools necessary to deliver in time, I feel it's a bit unjustified.
  2. I'm currently in line for a big promotion with a 35% raise in salary. I'm afraid that due to my recent streak of late deliveries (caused by my coworker delivering their work late) I might have to forget about that promotion.

So I would like to point out the recent lack of professionalism and team spirit of my coworker, without looking like I'm trying to create conflict unnecessarily.

I thought of sending a mail to my team leader with a similar wording :


I couldn't help but realize, that recently, we missed several of our deadlines. I took the liberty to look into it, and found the following :

My work on [software B] is what caused us to go over the deadline by [X amount]. Even though my work on [software B] was done withing the allocated time, according to our [timetracking software].

On the other hand, my coworkers work on [software A] was delivered late by [X amount], according to our [timetracking software].

I undersand that their work is made more difficult with the ongoing pandemic, but I believe these late deliveries reflect badly on us, as such I think we should address the problem as to find a solution to avoid these kind of incident from happening in the future.

Would such an email pass as overly accusatory ?

  • 3
    Why do you think your team lead and manager are not aware of this? – Kilisi Jul 7 at 11:33
  • 1. Why didn't you create gather requirements, create test data & develop code to work in the test environment? 2. Are you sure that management values the projects you delivered late as highly as the co-worker's projects? Delivering the moon late is worth more than delivering a sandwich late. And value is determined by business needs. Not how impressed you are with the code. 3.) Are you sure you weren't expected to do 90-99% of the work on the projects where you think the co-worker is obligated to do 50% or whatever? Cause it would be strange for a manager to set you up to fail on purpose. – HenryM Jul 7 at 14:19

I point out their mistake


whenever my coworker delivers late, he gets applauded for delivering

These are at least 2 things you do very wrong.

  1. You must not point out their mistake. You must fill in an error report (or whatever you call it) in the official bug reporting tool. And then you notify your project manager about the list of bugs found.

  2. At the moment you should receive a delivery and you do not receive it, you report it to the project manager. Send a copy to your manager. Make it clear to them that your work depends on their delivery. When your colleague finally delivers, everyone should already be angry for the delay.

While they (the managers) are angry for the late delivery, they should also receive from you the list of bugs - as a result of not enough testing. That will increase the chances that your managers will do something to fix the problem - along with their anger at your colleague.

Another hint: while waiting, send e-mails to your colleague (e.g., once a day) asking for the estimated date / time of delivery. Express your concern for the impact on the final project delivery. Always send copies of the messages to the project manager and to your manager.

Of course, if you wait until it is too late, you suffer the consequences.

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This solution depends a lot on how valuable your boss believes testing and correctness to be. If the boss understands the value of testing code and making sure bug-free code goes out, then what you should do is, you should start CC'ing your boss on all communications that go to this coworker when you report a bug. Your boss will be aware of the bugs this developer is creating, aware of the fact that he is not testing his code, and aware of the consequent delay.

Additionally, there should probably be a push on your team to require unit/integration testing of your code. Untested code is more likely to have bugs than tested code. Available, documented, and sufficient testing should be a requirement for passing code review; it's the developer's responsibility to prove the code works, not the reviewer's responsibility to verify it.

As for your promotion, I agree you can probably kiss it goodbye. If that's a big deal for you, you should probably start looking for a new job now. You, for better or worse, have become the "front man" for your coworker's incompetence, and that's going to look bad on you. It's unfortunate, but that's how business works; you can have the most valid reason in the world, but simply nobody cares. If this is an issue for you, you should find a new job, and when you leave and they ask you why, you should explain to them that they really need to listen more to their skilled people and not to back up those not contributing.

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