I recently started working in the IT department of a "slow" company. We have almost no documentation for our code and systems, neither as wiki nor as self descriptive code/comments. I have to do QA for a software application on which only one developer ("James") works.
Through gossip, I have learned that James worries about job security. In my interactions with him, it seems that he tries to help as little as possible, almost as if to stall other people's progress. To make matters worse, we don't work in the same office. So, I can't even see if he is really busy or just trying to avoid me as much as possible. Furthermore, I have asked help from other developers who had briefly worked on small parts or bugs of "his" app in the far past, and the knowledge transfer was excellent & informative. Unfortunately, those developers don't know the whole app and have to direct me to James for help for the "bigger" issues.
How do I get information out of this person so that I can do my work ? I am thinking of putting it in front of my manager after observing James some more, but I am not sure how to do it.
How exactly is he stalling you ? By giving as little information as possible and avoiding me as much as possible. He does not tell me he is busy.
Do you need ongoing input from him or are you trying to divine what his application is doing to set up tests? I need ongoing input from him about the app and tests.
What exactly do you mean by "observing" ? I want to give him a few more days to see if he changes his approach to knowledge transfer. But, by not learning fast enough, I risk jeopardizing my job.