338

Politely refer him to your manager. Nothing positive is in this for you.


144

He probably does not want to put the request in writing because he knows that can get subpoenaed later. I think there are two steps for you to take: Document what you have been asked to do. Write down the dates of these directives and these conversations to the best of your memory. You should also backup the email exchanges this request has been alluded to, ...


106

You are most probably right to not give him the documentation. It is suspiciously coincidental that he asked for lunch two weeks ago and now is asking you for some favor, be really careful. You should politely tell him "I would gladly send you the documents, just let me check with my manager to get clearance", or refer him to your manager in another way. ...


82

I am not a lawyer, but this seems to go beyond the ethical realm into a legal one. I work in IT, and my manager is trying to get my coworker and I to submit a falsified security scan to a client of ours. This sounds like fraud. Contact a lawyer immediately to determine how best you can protect yourself, and to find out if you have done anything that ...


80

While you are still employed with this company, you are obligated to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. If your boss tells you that he wants you to write this guide, then you should do it to the best of your ability. You have already advised him that he needs someone trained to do the job, and it's his decision whether he wants to listen to your ...


57

If the documents being requested are obviously confidential work product then the proper thing to do is to decline and advise your manager. A former company manager is trying to social engineer some confidential company information; that is a serious incident and your company may want to take action. Reporting it promptly is the best course of action to ...


44

You're writing what's known as "Handover Documentation". The aim of this documentation is to pass knowledge of how this software works and how it's written, maintained, and deployed to people who will follow you. There's a related question/answer over on Stack Overflow that generally covers the topics that you need to address in your own document: What ...


37

How do I convince my boss that the company, my colleagues and future projects are best served by me setting up the resources needed for its continued support rather than having to spend my last weeks here squeezing billable hours out of a customer and setting up scaffolding that no-one will really know how to build upon? You don't. If there are any ...


36

Sounds like your company has some real key-man risks. You should definitely do as requested. Document, document, document. Start with an outline of the main topics you should cover, and bounce it off your boss. Then create an outline of each topic. Don't worry about complete sentences when you're listing items, just get the basic ideas and steps down. Do ...


31

But it is so commonplace, I wonder is it okay? This is a completely wrong action, and not okay in any way. The only possible reasons that your coworkers have been able to get away with this behavior is that either their organization is not following proper ethical conduct, or the organization is not able to enforce the policies properly. This kind of ...


26

Problems caused by you leaving the company are not your problem. Plain and simple. This is something that managers like to claim when employees are leaving the company, and incidentally, those managers who make such claims are also those who have to utter them the most. That being said, let us assume that your manager is merely misguided and does not mean ...


19

I'm going to take a slightly cynical, devil's advocate view... Snow's answer lists a whole lot of good stuff that should be documented, but nearly all of this should already be documented, and continually being kept up-to-date. If this documentation doesn't exist (and I know there'll be plenty of places where it doesn't), then that's essentially a failing ...


18

It is quite normal to do this kind of stuff when one has announced their departure. Just put in the time and be as nice about it as you can. No need to work long hours. It really isn't your problem how they are going to find a qualified person to do the job. It could very well be that your job vacacny is some help-desk technician's big break. The best ...


17

I liked the answer by @kilisi - simple and to the point. However I'd go further. You should report this contact and request by your former manager to your new employers. The fact that he left on bad terms simply underlines how serious this could be. You may not know the back story and their may be more to this than just your contact. This is either your ...


17

So far, everything that manager has asked me to do related to this has been spoken verbally. I have made several failed attempts to get him to put anything in writing. You don't make him put anything in writing. You put it in writing for him. To: My Boss Subject: Work order Hi Boss, As discussed, I put [unethical feature] you ...


16

To all the pompous people who think that documentation is somehow not a useful thing or below their dignity, please try working with code/systems that are undocumented and/or not self documenting. Sure, you can use your brilliant engineering mind to figure it all out. But, you'll lose a lot of time. You might even make mistakes and then start over. So, ...


14

I can speak to part of this from my experience as an infosec coordinator at a SaaS business. (I can't speak to all of it, because my employer has a culture of compliance; our executives would never play this game.) In most cases these requests come from a part of the customer's business who are simply checking boxes before signing off on new vendors. On ...


12

is it reasonable for me to expect my contribution to at least be acknowledged In my experience, it not unreasonable to expect some sort of acknowledgement, but it is also not uncommon for a document to be presented as "prepared by the department", without an individuals name as the author. I would say in this case since you have an email to back up the ...


12

There is almost certainly no general crime against forging non-legal documents. (I think the legal definition of forgery specifies legal documents). But there are things to keep in mind: Fraud is a crime, and forging documents can be used to commit fraud Just because it is an internal document, doesn't mean it is not a legal document The company may be ...


11

From the draft of our acceptable use policy: Blogging Blogging by employees, whether using 'Company Name'’s property and systems or personal computer systems, is also subject to the terms and restrictions set forth in this Policy. Limited and occasional use of 'Company Name'’s systems to engage in blogging is acceptable, provided that it is done ...


11

When people refer to documenting something in this context, what they mean is to create a paper trail. That's proverbial these days because it will almost always be documented digitally, at least in typical office jobs. The point of documenting is that you have a trail of accountability and a log of the reasons that fuelled a decision making process. It's ...


10

Is it appropriate to get in contact with this previous developer to get some insights into the code... Sure. Understand that you're making a personal request. Understand also that the previous developer may not remember why things were coded a certain way. and if so, what would be a tactful way to do it? Invite him out to dinner, or some equivalent ...


10

I don't think this is a standard thing, but the name is pretty clear. Have you invented anything? If you have, you are being asked to list all the things you've invented. I am quite confident that your new employer will have a policy "anything you invent while you work for us belongs to us" and that they enforce that by saying "you seem to have invented X, ...


9

A software developers job is not simply to write software that works but to write software which works and is maintainable. Different organisations and people may have different views on what maintainable means but if you are part of a company that considers maintainability to be highly documented, fully unit tested code then your job is to write software ...


9

"Written communication" means you have to leave a paper trail of documentation. While not all jurisdictions have decided whether a fax or email counts as "written", you should use the safe method of actually delivering a real piece of paper. It does not matter whether you type the text or write it by hand, as long as it's perfectly readable. Although not ...


9

Any reason to keep a notebook, file cabinet for projects this day and age? Yes, it will depend on: The kind of work you do: Some jobs still require to keep physical, paper copies of things. This is specially true for accountants, legal jobs, tax records, etc.. Many jobs now days could still require papers at least to some degree. Company Culture: Some ...


8

I suggest you start by using a technique called Rubber Duck Problem Solving. The idea is that you ask yourself the question you are going to ask someone else first. You try and answer your question, usually by asking yourself the important questions about the details. Then try to find the answer to the questions you asked and did not know. This process ...


8

I do not think it is unethical at all. Unless you are posting trade secrets, company proprietary information (especially financial), company customer information, or downright false information about your company than I think you are in the clear. As an example, check out Steve Yeggie's Google Platforms Rant. Steve posted this publicly on his Google+ ...


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