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Long story short - I work for company ABC as a consultant. ABC has a contract with XYZ, where I'm basically staff-augmented in a year-long engagement, alongside another junior dev.

He's smart but he's new to the field, and requires a lot of hand-holding. This usually takes ~2 hours out of my day every day, which I'm fine with.

Yesterday I took ~30 minutes to help him track down an issue that he was working on for 4 hours, and today he said he solved the problem.

My relationship with the customer is a little shaky right now due to some elements outside of my control, so anything I can do to make them know I'm providing value would help.

But when my colleague doesn't mention my contributions, it's a little frustrating as I'm actively trying to nurture this customer relationship, and I can't go and say "My colleague failed to mention that I fixed his stuff".

What's the proper way to approach this as diplomatically as possible?

  • @JoeStrazzere daily basis written and discussed – RobVious Nov 20 '13 at 14:41
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    @Why do you care? People take credit for work they didn't actually accomplish all the time. In the end it usually comes back to bite them because they can't repeat the feat. Unless this is a massive corrective action or extremely visible fix, what difference does it make? You both work on the same team apparently so treat it like a team. – Joel Etherton Nov 20 '13 at 18:19
  • Does the client feel they are paying for a more senior person? – user8365 Nov 20 '13 at 19:50
  • Very related question. Another of many examples why visibility is so important. – enderland Nov 20 '13 at 23:59
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    if you do it you gotta sing it no one else will sing your song for you – amar Nov 21 '13 at 4:58
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Do you have SCRUMs, regular updates, or any sort of task reporting? If so, the thing to do is mention "Worked with Mr Junior Dev" to fix bug XYZ. If this is something that happens on a regular basis, the client will get used to the fact that you are occasionally helping this junior dev.

Keep in mind, when you help someone you are being more useful to the company and you are doing a more difficult job than simply doing the work yourself. People that can teach others to be better are a rare find, and it is often a more valuable skill than simply implementing features or fixing bugs faster. This situation should look good on you, not be a detriment.

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    I'd add that the new developer probably didn't want to hurt OP's reputation in any way. He may just have a hard time communicating and didn't think this through before speaking. He may not see the big difference between "I solved the problem" and "I and X solved this problem together" as he probably wants to show that he actually did something. – Fabinout Nov 20 '13 at 15:04
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Well, look at it from the Jr. Dev's point-of-view: He spent hours on the issue, asked for help, got it, and fixed the problem. Short of not thanking your for you help, is he wrong?

He did do a lot of work. Yes, he's green, and you can do in 30 minutes what it takes him 4 hours to do, but did he do it or not?

I think you have to let the kid take the credit if he actually did the work.

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Keep in mind that he's a junior dev, and therefore (I'm assuming) new to the workplace at large. He might not know that the expectation is to give credit where credit is due, and that the focus should be the team effort, rather than individual work. Especially if he's fresh out of post-secondary education, where the emphasis is often solo work, he might not understand the workplace dynamics. (I'm a junior dev as well, and miss a lot of the 'inside baseball'/'office politics' details.)

Just talk to him. Explain the situation from your point of view. It's much more likely that you've been in his shoes than vice versa.

If, after discussing the issue with him, he doesn't change, just give him a friendly reminder every once in a while, and make sure to communicate with your customer about why this kind of relationship has value (as mentioned in other answers).

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Before the next meeting with the customer, sit down with the employee and go over the product with him and make a summary of the work you two have done. Do this in a way that points out who did what (and maybe some sections you both worked on), for example start by listing the things he did and then the things you did and then the parts you both worked on. This should imply that he didn't do something by himself if it's not under his list, or whatever visual aid you decide on using.

You're right to be careful! If he's still learning you don't want to discourage him and a well trained employee benefits everyone, and I literally mean everyone.

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