In my company we have recently received a new hire that is specializing in automating testing, which is a part of what we do but it is not our core business. I specialized at university in the field of our core business and I have been working in my field for the past 2 years, I am well aware of my limitations and the bounds of my knowledge.
The new hire has at most read 1-2 courses in the field and I reckon he is of the same age as I and he has not worked in this field before.
The problem I have with him is that he is rude, he is constantly criticizing my knowledge in different fields and today he explained what he was working on and started to explain some of the most basic parts of my field. Constantly asking if I understood what he was talking about. I answered politely, and refrained from giving him the pleasure of a sour remark but I grow tired of his antics. I have told him that I know well of what he is trying to lecture me on, but he continues to explain as if I had no previous knowledge of the subject.
When he arrived I gave him a warm welcome and helped him get sorted, but I have limited my input to when he is in the wrong or when asked to come with input. I do not back talk him and/or say anything bad about him.
However, I fear that he might be trying to back stab me with the boss, he has tried once already and I am starting to sense that the environment between us is growing toxic.
What can I do to protect myself? And what can I do to improve the relation?
Following Thalantas advice I observed the collegue during the past days, and his behaviour is not limited to only me but he acts this way against others as well. At lunch one day he remarked that the testing done in-house was poor and needed to be redone entirely because they lacked technology x, y and z that weren't around when the system was first implemented. He was unaware of this when he made his remark, and that seems to be a common thread in all his interactions with me and my colleagues.
Regarding his attempt to backstab me, at a meeting with our boss he made a similar remark regarding my work. Due to extreme time constraint a product I designed was less than optimal, it is clumsy, cumbersome and lacks grace, this is well known but we didn't have the time or the resources to optimize it. It was and is strictly speaking good enough but nothing else. His comment to my boss was that the design was subpar and it should be redone from scratch, a valid assessment but the board has no interest or resources to dedicate for a re-design.
In both these cases he has been unaware of the reasons behind design choices. He speaks like someone fresh from university with all the knowledge and none of the experience to temper his skill. Takes one to know one I suppose.
With this knowledge I can see that even though he is uncouth at times, he means well and will in time come to understand his limitations. This allows me to overlook his wantings even if he still irritates me when he starts his antics. I have begun an amicable relation with the chap, we will never be good friends but on the other hand we will not be bitter enemies either.