Should I babysit a developer? I spent 12 hours trying to help a guy set up his development environment, and this guy had 10 years of experience somehow. He was supposed to be at least intermediate level I was told by my manager, and he asked me how to do a pull request using git, which is a very basic thing every developer should know. So I told him to google it, does it make sense? I was also asked to google things that are much more advanced and I managed it on my own. I am a developer with almost 5 years of experience and I became senior recently, so I am just asking if what I did was reasonable. The guy seemed to have lied through his interview process, because he doesn't know how to do the most basic things and seems to be completely clueless.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 1:59
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    Why do you assume every developer is familiar with git? His previous company may haved used Subversion, or Team Foundation Server or one of the dozen other VCSes out there. Also, every company has their own quirks for setting up a development environment, and unless you switch jobs regularly, setting up a development environment is not something you do often. Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 9:40
  • I work 15 years as a developer at my current company, and work there longer than 99.9% of the other devs. I still have to ask once a week "how do I do X?" as the environment keeps changing. I'd be totally lost if I started working at a different large company.
    – Abigail
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 11:09

3 Answers 3


To answer you question: you shouldn't "babysit" him, but do provide some coaching and guidance. There are developers who have never used (or barely used) Git or the Linux command line. Provide him with resources to help him learn the job requirements. For example Codecademy provides some free courses on common tools; they have a course on Git and one on the Linux Command-Line. Another option is to provide him with a subscription to Pluralsight or other e-learning platforms.

Are for how to politely tell your co-worker to "Just Google it," see How to politely ask a coworker to “Google it”.

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    I've been a developer for 30 years, and have never used Git. Different projects use different tool sets.
    – Simon B
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 8:47
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    In addition to the very valid point that not everyone uses Git it seems to me that every company that does use Git has a slightly different workflow. Asking your senior how to create a pull request should get you the correct process, Googling it will give you a bunch of likely extraneous information and you will still need to figure out the specifics.
    – Eric Nolan
    Commented Jun 23, 2021 at 9:21
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    I got hired in a company a few months ago. The developer I'm working with has over 40 years of experience, but didn't know anything about git, beyond how to checkout and commit on the default branch.
    – Dnomyar96
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 6:09
  • Making sure that new hires understand the tools and the workflow should be accomplished during on-boarding. There will always be some difference between the way the new hire did it at his last gig and the way it gets done in your team/department/company, and the only way the new hire will learn this is by somebody taking the time to directly communicate it to him. Contrary to what many managers and supervisors seem to think, 'asking around' is not a valid training technique.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Sep 17, 2023 at 3:37

Well, you tell us.

When they said 10 years experience, did they say 10 years experience with git?

When they said 10 years experience, did they say 10 years experience with linux?

If they did, then I understand your anger.

On the other hand side, your post reads as if you took your 5 years of experience and expect everybody else to have the exact same knowledge. You seem to not comprehend how vast the field of programming is. If you have 5 years experience, you probably weren't born when I started. I have programmed in languages and used version control systems that you have never heard of. I can use them in my sleep and the were absolute standard 10 or 20 years ago. Does that make you a bad developer? Does that mean you should be fired? No. It just means there is so much to know about software development out there, you will rarely meet anybody with exactly the same experiences you have.

Maybe you should take it as something good. If he actually knew exactly what you know, just more of it, why would the company still need you? Be happy that you can probably learn a thing or two about things you don't know. Because if they could use the linux command line and do git pulls, there would be nothing for you to learn from them. Instead they probably know other cool stuff that you can profit from once they explain it to you.


Making a pull request is a bit different on different repository hosting service. There is Github, Gitlab, Azure DevOps, AWS CodeCommit, SourceForge, BitBucket and so on. I have few years of experience with Git but if my company decided to start using AWS CodeCommit for repository hosting then I would need to do some research.

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