I have been working with a team for 2 years now. When I joined I made good improvements in processes and came up with few good ideas that helped us.

There is a new team member who will be joining our team and I know him from a previous project. He is better in terms of knowledge, and communication as compared to myself.

I am really feeling threatened that this person will come and steal the show. I really look forward to learning from him but I am feeling threatened that my thunder will not persist after he joins us. How do I deal with this?

  • He cannot be better than you in all domains. Enjoy his example where he is strong, and help im grow where you are strong.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Dec 12, 2015 at 8:44

5 Answers 5


Your question boils down to self-confidence and being a team player. If you have contributed good ideas and efforts to the team, then continue to do so. Don't try to out-shine the other person. Your manager and co-workers will be much happier with you if you work to integrate the person into the team instead of trying to keep whatever thunder you believe you have, and they will notice either way.

If you spend time trying to show that you know as much as or more than someone else, your team members will find it irritating and unprofessional, and that will hurt your professional growth more than whatever the new team member might do better than you. Welcome the person, help them learn the ropes, treat him or her the way you would like to be treated, and everyone will benefit. Cultivating that team-building attitude will do much for your career.


I get this all the time. When I started programming there was no Internet or Stack Overflow to help me, there was no option for me but to read big thick manuals.

It can be threatening when someone waaay more capable than you joins the team, but you have two approaches. You can feel threatened, or make the most of it.

For example, I work for a company who hires extremely smart people, and frankly they make me look like a doofus sometimes. However, I relish the chance to work with these guys. Mainly because there's a LOT I can learn from them. The field of software engineering is so vast these days that it's impossible to keep up with all of it.

So the other day, a colleague of mine gave me an awesome demo of what he's been working on using the new Spring Cloud, and it was great. I learned something new. And that's what I love about working with really capable younger programmers. They have no fear, they're willing to try something and so what if it doesn't work? And that's starting to rub off on me.

Now the flip side of this, is that I have something the new guys don't. And that's experience, and excellent communication and presentation skills. (I worked as an assistant pastor for a small church for a while and had to preach, so that's where I learned that skill.)

So they'll often pop over and ask me how to present something to a group of directors, or just bounce ideas off me so they can explain something really technical to folks who aren't that technical.

It's a two way street if you approach it right. It's easy to feel threatened, but at the end of the day, there's ALWAYS going to be a better programmer than you somewhere, and they'll be younger too.

So don't worry, you've got nothing to prove, just keep updating your skills, and make the most of the learning chance you've been given :-) And enjoy it


There are some things which you need to keep in mind here:

  • Don't let your self-confidence hit low: The presence of another person, whom you feel is more talented than you; should be a challenge for you, rather than a threat. Managers and leads love to have such kind of self-inspired people in the team. So, learn hard and try to be better at what you already do. Letting your confidence hit low only worsen things. And it is very dangerous when it comes to your professional career.
  • Compliment the skill sets: If he knows something you don't, and you know something he/she don't, then compliment both the skill sets to achieve things together. This would be well appreciated as excellent teamwork. So, instead of making it look like a competition, make it look like a game. Making it look like a competition is, in fact, harmful for both of you, and the team.
  • Help him/her. Help a lot: Make the new person feel welcome in the team. Make sure they get up to speed quickly. By doing so, you not only have a very good impression, but you wouldn't lose your thunder, as that person would be very thankful for your help and would compliment you as much as possible. And keep in mind to do so, yourself too. This takes the dirty competitive spirit and helps both of you to learn from each other and improve yourselves.

So, instead of trying to be competitive and trying to get one-up over him every time, try to help him and compliment his skill set with yours. Your teammates would love it, and both of you would be great assets for the team.

  • 2
    And remember that a company needs all kinds of people, each with a different mix of skills and strengths. Working well with others, being reliable and thorough -- these are important too. And if you're interested in management, those "soft" skills are probably more important than technical knowledge.
    – mhwombat
    Dec 12, 2015 at 19:17

Don't worry about it, you have two years seniority already and you have proved yourself. Just keep up the good work without stressing yourself over how well someone else performs. Your place is already made. It actually sounds like your team will now be a stronger more efficient one. This is actually a good thing.

Also, two years is a long time, people's skillset can change drastically over two years. People I was learning from 2 years ago I have left far behind in several areas.


You deal with it by taking advantage of the opportunity to work with a good teammate to achieve excellent results for the company. This is, or should be, a positive-sum game; more than one person can win and you're most likely to win by a joint effort.

  • 1
    but eventually during promotions there is going to be a comparison, there will be a chance he may get the promotion and there could be a chance i get laid off if that situation arises. I dont want to be the lowest of the rungs untill i improve myself. What about that?
    – shyla
    Dec 12, 2015 at 5:46
  • The risk of getting laid off is less if you can claim part of his success as being your contribution. Yes, thers is some element of competition, but there's more benefit to both of you from cooperation.
    – keshlam
    Dec 12, 2015 at 6:22

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