Context: I'm a remote worker. I have a few projects I've been working on for quite a few months; my old PM resigned and now I've been moved to another team with these projects. One of these projects is currently in a process of deployment of a new version with drastic changes, and another is in the first test deployment. However, these deployments got stuck for a while due to testers (and PM knows about that).
Recently PM asked another guy (working in the office) to help me with these deployments.
So, I supposed he would help me with poking the testers, as he is in the better position to do that. However, instead of this he came up with some ideas to improve the projects to make the deployment easier (which ideas are already on my to-do list, but not of top priority on this stage), and I answered that I'll check his code tomorrow. Then, he pushed his changes directly to the master branch (without creating a pull request), which changes broke the build. I reckon he didn't know well enough what he was trying to do.
So, his help was not really helpful so far, and now this looks like he is just pushing me around.

Q: is it just my paranoia, or this guy is just reckless and incompetent, or he is really pushing me around - intentionally?
What should I do?

UPD so, he has done this with approval of the PM - and without including me into the chain. What means that he is undermining my credibility, and/or PM is unhappy with something in my work. Have I missed something?

  • 2
    "Is it just my paranoia? ... What should I do?" How should we know? We don't know your situation, colleague and management structure nearly as well as you do. Have you tried talking to this person? Have you clarified with your PM who's supposed to be in charge of the projects and deployment cycle now? Did you ask how this new person would be positioned in the hierarchy (i.e. below you, next to you, above you)? These are questions that we can't answer.
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 8, 2016 at 7:59
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    @XenoMind You seem to want to vent your frustrations instead of resolving the problem. You can't do anything without knowing what your actual position and role in the team is. I've given you advice but can't help you if you refuse to hear it.
    – Lilienthal
    Apr 8, 2016 at 8:56
  • 4
    Why don't you just ask the person instead of asking someone else to help you speculate? If you can't, the problem is your team suffers from a lack of communication.
    – user8365
    Apr 8, 2016 at 9:43
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    @XenoMind Can you just pick up the phone and call this developer? Hey, your changes broke the build. Just start from there.
    – Brandin
    Apr 8, 2016 at 10:30
  • 1
    I accidentally pushed code to master this week. I forgot to check my branch out before making a small change. So maybe he did too. Go talk to him.
    – Tony Ennis
    Apr 8, 2016 at 12:17

2 Answers 2


For non-developers: Your software is typically there in three copies: The "master" version which is THE version that must be handled with extreme care because any problems there can damage your company, the "development" version, which must be handled with care because any problems there can cause trouble to other developers, and your own versions where you are free to do whatever you like. Changing the "development" version without a review is totally unacceptable. Changing the "master" version without heavy review and several people signing off on it is even more unacceptable.

You send an email to the person: "It seems that you checked in changes into the master branch without any review. Could you please remove them as soon as possible? "

If nothing happens, an email to the person and their manager: "It seems that you checked in changes into the master branch without any review. It seems that you haven't removed these changes. Could you please explain to me what you are doing? "

  • 3
    This strikes at the heart of the problem... It's not WHAT was the coworkers intention when pushing this code but rather WHY was he able to push that code without review in the first place? It sounds to me like there is a process gap in the OPs source control.
    – user48276
    Apr 8, 2016 at 12:12

is it just my paranoia, or this guy is just reckless and incompetent, or he is really pushing me around - intentionally?

It's always best to assume idiocy if there is the slightest chance of it. At this point nothing good can come out of assuming otherwise. Hopefully he learnt a lesson.

  • 4
    Nice application of Hanlon's Razor: "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Apr 8, 2016 at 10:04
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    Was about to post the same advice ... - but you may want to add, that this is a great chance to educate him on the process and to make sure anyone (PM & other dev) is knowing & agreeing on this process and knows the benefits it provides if followed. ;-)
    – s1lv3r
    Apr 8, 2016 at 11:22
  • 1
    The corollary, of course is that the malicious, understanding that most will assume idiocy can do darn good impressions of idiots to hide their malice. Apr 8, 2016 at 12:04

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