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I'm working on a project where:

Managers should have complete info on what work is going on and how the work in going on in the project and their interaction with developers is mandatory, but in my case it has been too much. My manager used to come to my bay once a day at the beginning of the project. Now 'm half way through the project and my manager completely left his cabin, he sits beside me the whole day (not to chitchat, he talks regarding the project). He wants to know every nook and corner in the project. Even though he is not from development background he wants to know all the code I have been writing, some times he even suggests me of other ways(which are not good in terms on performance).

I'm feeling very uncomfortable and 'm unable to work at my complete pace with him being on my side all the time. Is it good for a manager to be in this way with the developers ? Is it any good for the developer ?? I'm afraid of this as 'm a fresher and I don't want to work my future projects with him. I need your suggestion on this. Is my way of thinking different or my manager's ? Is there any way to handle this situation.

Thank You

  • Are you perhaps new to the job and he thinks that you need help/guidance? – quacky Jun 1 '15 at 10:15
  • No, not only me but he interacts in the same way with all the developers as well as QA. Thanks for bringing up the point – Logic Jun 1 '15 at 10:16
  • Is the manager new to managing software development? – quacky Jun 1 '15 at 10:20
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    @Logic What I mean is, if he comes to you for more than a few minutes for an unscheduled project chat, you could suggest that this discussion is important enough to schedule it for a meeting room or something. Let him know it's important to you but that you need to schedule it properly in order to get your assignments done. – Brandin Jun 1 '15 at 10:26
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    Ahh, have to love the helicopter managers :) I had a manager once that used to sit on the corner of my desk and watch me code. Not saying anything, just... watching. Now that was seriously creeping me out! – Jane S Jun 1 '15 at 10:33
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I have been in this situation and a friendly reminder that I now need to "dig into" my work on my own and concentrate (plus headphones) did always work for me. You can also be more subtle and invite your manager to come back later to look at the code together. Either way, polite professionalism is never out of place.

Additionally: this is printed out often and hung in software companies: http://heeris.id.au/2013/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-interrupt-a-programmer/

  • I actually tried the headphones thing, but I had to remove them when he approaches me with an intension to talk to me and there is no point of looking into code as he cannot understand, Thanks for your suggestion :) – Logic Jun 1 '15 at 10:21
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    Of course he cannot understand, it was just meant as a meeting later. @headphones: in my case people started apologizing whenever they made me take them off, causing them to think twice before interrupting me. Persistence pays. – KMSTR Jun 1 '15 at 10:27
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Of course there's a way to handle this situation. Talk to your manager !

If this situation makes you unable to work efficiently, this is bad for your, your manager and the project. This has to stop one way or another. But the odds are your manager really thinks he's being helpful, and if you don't bring up the issue he has no reason to change his behavior.

Obvisouly you don't want to just tell him "get the hell off my back" or anything close. But I'd suggest something along the lines of "Hey, I have the feeling we spend so much time discussing the project that I can't make it progress as fast as I could. What do you think about having a meeting once (twice if timing is really important and every hour counts) a day and I focus on my code the rest of the time ?"

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