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I work for a small company and am on a team with 2 other developers. Both developers are more senior than I and they started after I did, but even when it was just me and one other developer I rarely attended meetings. These are not tech meetings mind you. We don't have those. These are supposed to be meetings for department heads to discuss new promotions, business strategies, etc.

My company has 2 meetings a day, 30-45 mins each, every day of the week. I think it's pointless for me to attend. I prefer the CTO, my manager, to just tell me the specifics and let me code. I feel that a junior would just be wasting valuable time that they could be using to learn by attending meetings all of the time and not having time to code. Yet pretty much all FT employees go to these meetings and both of the other developers do (including the CTO of course).

Am I isolating myself from the rest of the team by opting out of these meetings? Should I change my attitude and start attending them? It'll be kind of awkward now to attend seeing as though I had rarely gone to them in the past. I've briefly talked to my manager about my attendance. He said not to worry about it, yet I end up out of the loop 99.9% of the time. My manager will have me do something last minute or not tell me all of the details I need. We don't have team tech meetings so I end up asking a ton of question or being forced to work blindly.

Is my company just having too many meetings to begin with?

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    "I feel that a junior would just be wasting valuable time that they could be using to learn by attending meetings all of the time and not having time to code" Are you saying that the time of your seniors is less valuable than yours? – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 11 '17 at 4:04
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    "I've briefly talked to my manager about my attendance and he said not to worry about it yet I end up out of the loop 99.9% of the time." Have you made ANY determination, before you posted on this site, that the reason you are out of the loop 99.9% of the time is that you did not attend those meetings? – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 11 '17 at 4:08
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    "Is my company just having too many meetings to begin with?" The answer to your question is most probably in the content of the meetings you did not attend and on who is on the attendance list. And subjectively, whether you feel as a junior that seniors and managers coordinating with each other and others is of secondary importance. We are not privy to any of this information, so we have no way to know and therefore we cannot provide a reliable answer to your question. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 11 '17 at 4:27
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    It's only my personal opinion: too many juniors make the mistake of focusing on their own work at the expense of grasping anything about the big picture. Of course, if the only path upward that's available in the firm is the management path, not having a grasp of the big picture, not understanding how your work fits in with the other tasks, not knowing who your colleagues are and what they are doing - that's not conducive to being considered management material. Never mind that this ignorance already makes you less effective as a professional. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 11 '17 at 4:52
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    "My company has 2 meetings a day, 30-45 mins each, every day of the week." That's a lot of meetings. Sounds like there's a lot of work left for the company to make their communication more efficient. – Erik Jan 11 '17 at 9:49
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Your job is not only about your job. Your job is part about a greater picture. Your job is part of a full application that shall work as one single part, not like a gathering of seperate elements.

Listening to other's job is often a chore, even for a veteran like me. It's nonetheless an important chore. By understanding better what others do, by understanding better where the application goes, by understanding better how others are working, you will, even if only unconsciously, do a better job. Better in the sense : better integrated in the whole product.

Your concern about the conference room being too small in the future is irrelevant. Right now, it' is big enough, and understanding what is really happening elsewhere in the firm will help you, ultimately, doing a better job. Even if you do not notice it right now. Even if it's just unconscious.

Plus, to answer your title question, yes it does : the more you look interested, the better will be your image, which is important too. But it's not the only reason.

TL;DR : what looks useless will be useful long term. Both for relationships, and for your work's quality.

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Meetings are a sometimes boring, but pretty vital business device. Its important that everyone knows what direction the company/department/group is taking and what everyone else is doing/feeling/thinking so that they can do their jobs better. Going to meetings allows you to sync your efforts to the efforts of others and make sure you are always on the right track.

What would happen if one of these meetings fundamentally changed what you were doing/coding and your boss didn't tell you right away? I know that I hate it when I spend hours coding stuff that ends up being wasted work. If you spend 30 minutes in the morning finding out all the details about something and leave with a clear understanding of your mission instead of blinding coding away, thinking that you're right; I think it could potentially save you some wasted time and/or work. I, for one, hate when I am left out of or miss meetings.

And yes, you are isolating yourself by not going to these meetings. As a head-down coder myself, I can tell you that there are still some people in my small office that really don't know that I even work here even though I've been here almost a year, or when they see me I'm sure they wonder - "what in the heck does he do here?" Its good to interact with your co-workers.

Also, I think that an hour a day of meetings still leaves 7-ish hours of coding... plenty of time to get some code written.

  • Thanks for the perspective. What you said about obtaining a clearer understanding instead of blindly coding away was spot on as well. I know when I get information from my boss sometimes it's still not so clear because he doesn't even have a clear understanding himself. If I'm able to hear it directly from the source I can also ask questions until I develop a clear understanding which helps a lot. – terratunaz Jan 17 '17 at 16:53
  • If nothing else, you're understanding the way the business works, how the people around you think. Imagine the benefits to that should you advance up the chain. Knowing Bob will fight on everything versus Jim who will take criticism and advice can be really useful in the management positions. Not just at that company, but when you move around to other place, you'll know what to watch. Also, yes...WAY too many meetings. The crunch? – SliderBlackrose Dec 19 '17 at 19:09

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