8

For example, the product owner badly misunderstood something and the senior developer didnt try and correct the misunderstanding but just repeated what he said and wrote it down.

We seem to have a culture of extreme documentation here. I get the value of writing down what happened or what was agreed to but people will put the email subject where a person was informed and/or consulted.

It doesnt seem to matter that a lot of the stuff is wrong as long as someone higher up signs off on it.

Developers seem to mostly focus on blindly following tickets as written even if they cause major errors.

How does one get anything done in a culture like this?

7
  • 3
    I feel this. What makes it feel so wrong to us, though? Is there a developer code of ethics? Do we have a responsibility to ensure folks don't take averages of averages of averages across several reports and create their own assumptions?
    – Aww_Geez
    Jul 14 at 20:47
  • 1
    You may want to investigate the history behind this. Jul 14 at 23:33
  • 2
    There are some very well documented cases of very very large companies that had this culture. Look for "Microsoft" and "Stack Ranking" case studies. You're not solving this as an employee. Look for another job.
    – Nelson
    Jul 15 at 1:04
  • So you're saying "how can I live in an alternate universe?"
    – Fattie
    Jul 15 at 1:23
  • 2
    This sounds like at some point in time there was (or still is) someone who discouraged the developers from pointing out problems - probably because said someone in a management role fired an employee for pointing out deficiencies in the process and their understanding.
    – mishan
    Jul 15 at 8:29
18

Also cover your ass

How employees behave is usually driven by incentives. You seem new to the company, so all you have seen is the documentation and ass covering. You probably have not witnessed the behaviour of managers that leads to all that ass covering.

Documentation is boring. Few people do it of their own initative and they usually are not very thorough about it. That is the default state of affairs. People doing detailed documentation and keeping track of who is in the loop and what specifically they were informed of in written form, if not somehow imposed by management (this is a major caveat, as some companies just enforce this behaviour), is rare. I would almost describe it as the equivalent of building bomb shelters inside a company.

If everyone else is building a bomb shelter, it is probably wise for you to do the same.

Regarding fixing this, this is not a grassroots thing. Management at some level made employees do this, intentionally or not. You almost certainly can't solve it in any way.

1
  • 5
    Good comment. Also, if you don't want to live in a bomb shelter, try to move from that neighborhood. Unless they pay you obscene amounts of money :)
    – rs.29
    Jul 15 at 0:09

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