Before I ask my actual question, let me introduce our company structure in few lines:

I work on a project that's completely agile in development. We are a team of 6 and we have 5 such teams in our company. It's a product based company, and we have customers and not clients. Each one of us is unique in his or her skill sets, and there a great opportunity in learning and applying new skills.

That's about the company I work for.

The issue is my co-worker. He is smart enough as everyone else is. Just to impress the boss, our CEO sitting in the adjacent cube, he peeps into my screen and says a random line "why you need to do it that way, there is a better way to implement", "try out blah blah library" and then leaves the desk. Our next meetings will have an evaluation of why we are doing it entirely again, are there not better ways? The discussions go in circles.

While my CEO is not around he is calm enough and focused on target.

With such statements, our meetings go out of context and spend more time to arrive a conclusion at the meeting.

How do I deal with such an attitude that is indirectly affecting the team performance. How can I put in a good words to my co-worker that what are the qualities we need to focus.

Maybe this is too localized question of a team, but there are many such situations in almost all working places where "impressing is the way to go.." Please advise.

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    Hi Holy, it's not really clear what the problem is. How does the guy act when not around the CEO? Can you edit your question and clarify that further? Good luck! :) – jmort253 Aug 18 '12 at 4:28
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    Are you sure it's "just to impress the boss?" – Erik Reppen Aug 18 '12 at 6:15
  • "Thank you. Here - please sit down and show me what you mean!" – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 10 '13 at 12:19
  • If you have the impression that your colleague says things to you only so that your CEO hears it, then obviously you should make an appropriate reply that the CEO also hears, and that is suitably embarrassing for the colleague. If he says "try out blah blah library" say very loud "you don't know what you are talking about, we all agreed that blah blah library is rubbish". – gnasher729 Sep 26 '14 at 10:19

Based on what you describe, I would consider establishing regular code reviews in your team.

Code review is systematic examination (often known as peer review) of computer source code. It is intended to find and fix mistakes overlooked in the initial development phase, improving both the overall quality of software and the developers' skills...

That way, you will have a perfectly legal basis to "redirect" counter-productive meetings and work interruptions into a properly arranged convenient process.

An additional benefit could be better quality code in your products.


...Which door represents your team or your company? Why are we in that room? Is this just a normal code review or have we found a stream of horrible problems shortly after going live? Are we debugging in a panic, poring over code that we thought worked? Are customers leaving in droves and managers breathing down our necks? How can we make sure we wind up behind the right door when the going gets tough? (Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin, Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship)

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    The first time I saw that cartoon I just couldn't stop laughing. It's one of my favorites. – jmort253 Aug 18 '12 at 18:23
  • Absolutely, I could not stop laughing either. – Ashwin Aug 19 '12 at 4:23
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    To add to this, a code review doesn't need to be "systematic". One simple thing you can do to encourage informal code reviews is to set your version-control system up so that every time a change is submitted it e-mails the diffs to the entire development team. You can catch a ton of bugs that way, without needing to have everyone stop working to participate in a formal code review process. – aroth Aug 19 '12 at 4:29

This smells like office politics, but it might not be. I would assume a positive intention to prepare myself mentally. Then I would tell him politely, at the exact moment that he or she does it, that while you appreciate the advice, it would be better for him or her not to disturb your flow by interrupting or hovering over you unless it's a critical issue.

You might also want to try and preempt this behavior by discussing implementation suggestions with the team before you start coding. Then put it in writing through email and send it to the team.


It would be great if everyone took care of themselves, but those in charge of the meeting have the responsibility of keeping it on task (And a lot of other things that go into running a quality meeting.)

Find a time away from your desk to inform this person that they are not to come by and interupt you. You don't do it to him or her, so you would like to be shown the same respect. Either your company can have a code review process (Like gnat mentioned.) or you will ask if you need help.

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