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I work for a small-medium sized company, and the company itself handles like 5/6 different projects.

Every 2 days we arrange a standup meeting where we discuss the status of our projects, our deadlines and our problems.

Since 2 weeks I noticed that one colleague is like of "stalking" my project... asking personally about the status, the technologies I used, the problems and the workaround I used.

As long as I'm generally friendly and I share my competences in the company to improve everyone, the problem here is that my colleague is about to leave the company in 2 weeks, should I still share my project with him or I should ignore him?

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    Is this behaviour which started only after your colleague resigned? Do you know what their next role is? – Philip Kendall Jun 7 '17 at 8:59
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    did/do your report to colleague? – Sascha Jun 7 '17 at 9:11
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    Your best bet is a light touch. Simply say "I'm right in the middle of something - the boss is on to me to finish XYZ! - I'll have to get back to you tomorrow." Just leave it at that. – Fattie Jun 7 '17 at 11:45
  • @Fattie: I think that's an excellent suggestion, you should make it an answer – Neil Slater Jun 7 '17 at 19:30
  • thanks for the compliement @NeilSlater. yeah a lot of the questions on this site, essentially the answer is "just the right word combination" – Fattie Jun 7 '17 at 19:31
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A reasonable assumption is that your colleague will be tackling a similar project in their new role. There might be other motivations, but it is hard to second-guess them.

If you want to solve the mystery, you could always ask directly "Why are you so interested in my project lately?" - you will need to judge whether and how to ask it, I don't suggest being so blunt as my quote unless there is a casual culture where it is easy to ask such direct questions.

Other than that, once you have spent enough time on giving updates through politeness (depending on your patience and workload - e.g. I might draw the line after a first 15 minute chat about the project), then I suggest you pass the problem of second-guessing the motivation and how much effort to put in, up to your manager.

Suggest to your colleague that further reports/documentation on the project beyond the standups is something you would like to do, but that time for that would need to be prioritised by your manager. Make it clear that he should request your time via your line manager. At that point, if your colleague has a legitimate need in your company's view to learn more about your project, then it can be arranged without problems to your workload. If he does not, then the only problem is you may burn a bridge with your ex-colleague (and he might be asking because he intends to offer you a role or work with you in future due to the project - although beware that could also be a problem for both of you).

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Since 2 weeks I noticed that one colleague is like of "stalking" my project... asking personally about the status, the technologies I used, the problems and the workaround I used.

Is he asking for specific code examples, or just general open-source stuff like "what NPM plugin did you use to solve issue X"?

Assuming it's the latter, I personally wouldn't have any problem sharing the (open-source) technologies I've been using or the (high-level) approach I used to solve a generic problem, even though this employee is planning to leave. In that situation, he's just asking for some last-minute professional advice from a colleague he clearly respects. The content he's asking about is not owned by our company, so there's no legal implication for sharing what plugins you used with him - he could get it himself at his next job if he wanted to.

However, if he wants specific code snippets or details of other NON-open-source tools we use in our current company (which he is about to leave) then I would politely decline to continue the conversation. If he gets really pushy about it, I would probably also mention to his superior that he's asking for proprietary stuff that he doesn't need for his assigned tasks in the time he has remaining.

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Given the circumstances, I'd say,

"My priorities don't leave me any time to do any out-of-band technical discussions on this project. But you're free to take a look at the source code which is in _____, or consult my boss if this is a priority. And for technology ____, there's a wealth of information on (google, links, etc)."

Take yourself out of it. You're not obligated in any way. You don't have to be concerned with why this person is bugging you about the project.

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As my brother says,

"life is about word combinations."

For the problem at hand, your best bet is a light touch. Simply say:

"I'm right in the middle of something - the boss is on to me to finish XYZ! - I'll have to get back to you tomorrow."

Just leave it at that. It's really that simple.

  • And so they just repeat that every day for the next two weeks? I can't imagine that will work for long. – David K Jun 12 '17 at 13:00

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