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123 votes
Accepted

Having failed to meet the timeline, my collaborator asks for my help and covers his mistakes

You don’t do unpaid work. If Bob legitimately needs your help he’ll have to escalate it through his boss who will talk to A and maybe give you extra hours. Beyond that, none of this is your problem. ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 36.5k
106 votes

How to deal with a co-worker who assumes "unofficial" ownership of a project?

I had the opportunity to work under a project manager who had an interesting approach to project ownership disputes: "When it's time to call the shots, it's better to have one average captain than two ...
OnoSendai's user avatar
  • 4,433
97 votes
Accepted

Is making grammatical and spelling changes to shared documents and code bad etiquette?

I were to commit fixes to spelling and grammar mistakes in code, and make no changes to the actual functionality of the code? Tread carefully here. Often, any code changes have down-stream effects....
Joe Strazzere's user avatar
91 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a co-worker who assumes "unofficial" ownership of a project?

When he makes a suggestion or criticism of your pull request, explain once why you aren't going to change it to match his suggestion. It should be simple and clear. For example: "That wouldn't ...
David Schwartz's user avatar
83 votes
Accepted

How do you respond to a colleague from another team when they're wrongly expecting that you'll help them?

It's sad but true: people take the path of least resistance and effort needed. If the repeated requests are taking up your work time in a way that makes completing your own work difficult, please be ...
Sourav Ghosh's user avatar
79 votes

Handling a perceived over-reaction to a bug introduced by my team

do I simply treat it like a post-incident review and walk everyone through what happened and what steps we have in place to prevent it happening again? Yes, this. If you don't want them to make a ...
Joe Strazzere's user avatar
77 votes
Accepted

How can I warn another team that the boss is going to call them out?

Actually, nothing is preventing you from sending an email saying: Hey Bob, this project is becoming more urgent for our team. Could you guys please commit to a date for us? And maybe you could give ...
Stephan Branczyk's user avatar
73 votes

Potential new partner angry about first collaboration - how to answer email to close up this encounter in a graceful manner

You allowed this person to be tested using a different tool. To me, that would mean that you wanted to evaluate the quality of the translation, not the format of the submission. Perhaps that person ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
69 votes

How to deal with co-workers that hate each other

How to? You don't, their manager does. All you can do is factually point out where their bickering is causing your work to suffer. You should try to focus on the work aspect of this situation and ...
Neo's user avatar
  • 84.8k
68 votes

How can I warn another team that the boss is going to call them out?

Don't tell them. Tell your boss. It's not your place to warn them about your boss, and it could tend to undercut him, so don't do it. Instead, explain to your boss your concerns. Tell them what you ...
John Wu's user avatar
  • 2,988
59 votes
Accepted

Giving credit to a colleague in a presentation that I was selected for

If the presentation is entirely about the project the two of you did together, take the position that you, individually, are presenting about the work that you and your colleague did together. Use the ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
58 votes

How can I shift my job responsibilities back to programming?

First step should be to talk with your manager. Explain to them what you have explained to us here and state your wish to get more programming work. Assuming that your manager agrees with your wish, ...
E.T.'s user avatar
  • 1,179
56 votes

Is making grammatical and spelling changes to shared documents and code bad etiquette?

I consider this kind of change an improvement in quality. Internal documentation has a value although it's not facing end-user, and improving the quality of it makes it more valuable. I also ...
Laurent S.'s user avatar
  • 3,233
52 votes

Politely saying no to other departments despite historic expectations?

I have had to handle this exact kind of situation (in a different context) as a managing consultant. These other departments are not coming to you on a whim. They are coming to get a technical ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,690
43 votes

Handling a perceived over-reaction to a bug introduced by my team

I think the important bit here is reporting jobs in our pipeline that are required for financial auditing Sometimes, the point isn't whether a job failed or not; the point is whether this was ...
falsedot's user avatar
  • 1,421
32 votes

Having failed to meet the timeline, my collaborator asks for my help and covers his mistakes

Bob may not be aware that you are a contractor and don't get paid for the work. So the obvious answer is "Bob, you are aware that I'm a contractor, and I get paid by A for doing my job, and if I ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 169k
28 votes

How do you respond to a colleague from another team when they're wrongly expecting that you'll help them?

Ask your manager what he or she wants you to do. Obviously helping out another team is going to take time, particularly if they have an ongoing set of problems. It's going to cut into whatever else ...
DaveG's user avatar
  • 5,295
27 votes

Politely saying no to other departments despite historic expectations?

What are ways to change this? You will need to educate the population on the new way of handling requests. For requests that are outside of the responsibilities of your department, you need to direct ...
sf02's user avatar
  • 79.5k
22 votes

How can I politely ask my PM to stop calling me unexpectedly?

If this is an actual voice call, just say: Sorry, I'm in the middle of something. Let's set up a zoom to discuss, my calendar is up to date. or Sorry, I'm busy right now. Can I call you back in an ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 124k
21 votes

Handling a perceived over-reaction to a bug introduced by my team

Just show the data (if you have it). I assume you folks have metrics and historical data around failed jobs and some pareto charts of the root causes. Show the data for all jobs and the data for this ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 124k
20 votes

How can I shift my job responsibilities back to programming?

If you're unhappy with your current responsibilities, and want to get back to what you were doing before, there are a few things you might consider: Talk with your manager. Express you desire to ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 12.3k
18 votes

Deadline getting closer, still waiting for others to finish

You're being set up for failure. It's not intentional, it's a by-product of poor project management and a lack of accountability. It's surprisingly common. Be vocal and visible. It is your ...
jimm101's user avatar
  • 12k
18 votes

How do you respond to a colleague from another team when they're wrongly expecting that you'll help them?

"Sorry, I'm busy with task X" Don't elaborate. You want to keep the conversation firmly grounded in the current reality and avoid any comments that give credence to the idea that you might be in some ...
P. Hopkinson's user avatar
  • 8,451
18 votes

Potential new partner angry about first collaboration - how to answer email to close up this encounter in a graceful manner

You tested her and she failed, that’s it. Because she didn’t deliver what you needed, and because you can do without the drama. You can reply that the technical aspects created you lots of costly ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 169k
18 votes

How can I warn another team that the boss is going to call them out?

How do I warn them they're probably going to get hit by a torpedo without them thinking I'm in on it? By not getting involved in the first place. It doesn't seem like it is in your place to manage ...
Aida Paul's user avatar
  • 35.8k
17 votes

Newly promoted software architect wants to do code reviews of code in progress

Your so-called "architect" is ridiculous. Reviewing work in progress, unless requested by the person doing that work, is a waste of everyones time. My answer if someone wanted to review my work in ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 169k
16 votes
Accepted

How do you handle a pressing question in your head while someone is in the middle of explaining something to you?

Write down your question and release the exclusive lock. When your cohort is done hearing himself talk, read what you wrote down to jog your memory, and ask him the question.
Robert Harvey's user avatar

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