I am a UX and front-end developer. Lately, my manager has started blaming me when things go wrong, but he ignores similar mistakes made by another senior colleague.

Our working environment is bad and outdated, but the senior guy likes it that way. The manager loves the senior guy because he is a senior, and he can make things work even if it produces a lot of poor code.

Somehow, I don't find my environment as smooth. For instance, the SVN sometimes doesn't show the files to checkout, and later it does. But the manager thinks it was my fault, and keeps going on about what I have done wrong.

There are human errors, and I make mistakes sometimes, but the manager makes it sound like hell has broken loose. When the senior guy makes mistakes, the manager brushes it off like it was nothing, with something simple like, "can you fix this?" or "why have you named a variable xyz?".

I respect him as a manager but when he keeps blaming me for breaking things like the SVN missing files, I almost lose my cool. The workplace doesn't seem healthy, but I love my work and would like to change how my manager talks about my mistakes versus the senior guy's mistakes.

How should I go about this? Should I master their software, or pick on their mistakes and make them accountable, or do something else?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Thalantas, Erik, TrueDub, gnat, scaaahu Feb 2 '17 at 12:04

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For people who seemingly portray more knowledge than they have, you need to get into details.

When he next asks, is it hackable, ask him if he knows of existing vulnerabilities that may make it hackable. Drill into the detail, suggest a code review meeting so we can go through the code and see if there is an exploit possibly.

Details will eventually either:

  1. Highlight a possible exploit to fix
  2. Highlight there is no exploit.

If the question is asked and regularly throws up point 2, then you'll find the question will be asked less and less.

  • Seems like a good approach, but when he says, "It doesn't matter or it is not your concern", would it be wise to answer him like that knowing i am with company < 1 yr and he >1 yr – cookieMonster Feb 2 '17 at 12:00
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    Seniority is meaningless when it comes to security concerns. – Magisch Feb 2 '17 at 12:16
  • How would he answer "it is not your concern" if he has asked you if it is hackable? @Magisch is correct. Every time he raises a potential security concern, you need to nail that security concern down. Seniority is irrelevant. Play the intellectual card and people will eventually trust your technical opinion more than his if he can't back it up. – Andrew Berry Feb 2 '17 at 12:59
  • I have updated the question as it was closed. – cookieMonster Feb 17 '17 at 11:03
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    Be careful who you try this with. Say you're building SQL commands by gluing strings together using input from the user. That makes you vulnerable to a SQL injection attack. If you say to me, "let's have a code review" and other things that are supposed to "call my bluff" and "shut me up" -- I would give you a very short time to google SQL injection and would be very angry that you came at me as "portraying more knowledge than I have." So you need to be completely sure that you're calling a bluff, or your biggest worry will be whether or not the door hits you on the way out. – Kate Gregory Jun 6 '17 at 16:23

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