I work in a startup of 9 people. It is my first position as a lead developer. I have started to build my team 9 months ago, we were two for many months and due to a tight deadline we have hired two more developpers 6 weeks ago. One of them tends to be stuck easily when the tasks are too specific and, most of the time, exceeds of an order of magnitude the estimated time.
To give a concrete example, we had to change a bit our API (we are three backend developpers for one frontend developper) for the frontend. It was a change in the json format. We did a first briefing (he and I) of 20 minutes, we took time to talk through the motivations, solutions, write the spec for the new format, we both agreed on it. He came back, one day later, with a new design, a new format, and a code quality below our standards (big, complex, not tested). Again, we have paired on it 20 minutes, reviewed the flaws, the code limitations, and so on. Half a day later, he presented a solution, which was slightly different than the previous one, fixing only one of the issues. He also insited on the fact that it was only a WIP.
At this point, the frontend developper was blocked, and his task was urgent. I have took the decision to wrote the code has had to do, which took me 50 minutes and 20% of his code size (tests included).
There are many things which are quite unpleasant:
- I should not have put him on the critical path
- My takeover was rude (I do not know if there is an appropriate way to act given the situation)
- I did not watch over him enough
- The time I have invested the synchronize with him is roughly equivalent to the time it took me to do the task
To state the situation, when it come to doing tasks from end-to-end, he can manages it regularly (the usual 2 or three times overtime), but when it comes to small fixes/changes he seems stuck. It will be an issue because we will start our beta in two weeks, and we will face a huge number of feedback requiring a lot of small fixes. Is there a way I can help him to improve his skills, in order to make him a better "bug fixer"?