Hot answers tagged

258

I believe your reasoning is flawed. One of the most important aspects of engineering is: don't reinvent the wheel. Sure, being autonomous and able to come up with your own solution to a problem is pretty important and part of what makes a good engineer. But before doing that, there's something you need to do every single time. Check for an already existing ...


210

Let's start here: I've realized that I've gotten myself in this situation because I always give in when she asks for immediate help Exactly. Now you have to get yourself out. As an old boss of mine used to say "If you do it once, it becomes your job". Here's a new word for you to learn. no You need to start sending this person through the proper ...


210

I only want my manager/scrum master to understand why it still took 2 days when John said he will help me complete in 4 hours? Pass it to him if asked. He volunteered to take responsibility, so let him. 'Why did it take two days when John said 4 hours?' 'You'll need to ask John that, 4 hours was his estimate, my estimate of 2 days was correct.' It won't ...


157

I would say, if you only make the website, and don't do the hosting for him, then your 'job' is done when you have the files ready to be ftp-ed to your client (and of course, he has agreed that he has seen and approved your 'final product'). How he gets it onto his own hosting provider is not your problem, besides, I would guess they have support there as ...


143

Assuming you want to stay a law-abiding citizen, you should refuse. This is fraud. There is a reason it's a signature, not just a printed name. Forging a signature is illegal, it doesn't matter if the document is super important or just "a little" important. Refuse to do it. Look for a new job as soon as possible. Depending on how you feel about it, ...


141

Don't make estimates based on expectations of the future, make them based on observations of the past. When John says "don't worry I'll help you and you'll finish the task in 2-4 hours" bring up the last few times this has happened. Thanks John, I really appreciate that offer. The last three sprints you've been too over-comitted with other work to ...


116

Okay, you are now officially in over your head. See a lawyer who specializes in employment law ASAP and let them know EVERYTHING, update your resume, and get out as soon as your lawyer says you should. Not only is this fraud, but you may also be a party to it if you say nothing. Again, this is why you need a lawyer ASAP. Follow the advice of your lawyer ...


88

The top-voted answer here is very good. However, I think that there is another option worth considering - the issue isn't really the assistance; it's the immediacy. You stated that you do not mind helping her. As such, if you must, you can agree to assist this coworker in troubleshooting issues. You must learn, however, to defer the immediacy. For example, ...


76

First things first: part of the job of senior developers is to mentor junior developers; to some extent, he was just doing his job when helping you. As long at the person I'm mentoring is trying to learn and get better, I don't mind spending time helping them as that's going to make the company better in the long run. That said, if you do feel that the ...


75

I should not tell others that I ask questions on Stackoverflow As a developer myself, I can tell you that there should be absolutely no downside to others knowing that you ask stackoverflow for help every now and then. Rationally speaking it is not always possible to either already know, or source the answer to your problem through google searches or ...


71

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 firm and straight about it and push back. Say something like: "Hey listen, I understand you got this problem, but I have this other assignment which is ...


69

Talk to your manager. Explain that the frequent interruptions from Team A are affecting your productivity, and ask your manager how they would like you to deal with this. At that point, there are pretty much two options: Your manager tells you that it's important that you keep helping Team A. So you do that. Your manager tells you that it's more important ...


65

You should speak to the person: "Hey listen, I understand you got this problem, but I have this other assignment which is expected out of me. If you feel you are really stuck and can't progress without assistance, speak to your manager and they should be able to sort something out for you" If they keep bugging you, that's when you go to your own boss. ...


61

This type of thing will come up again as you grow your business. No one can take advantage of you without your permission. The solution is to charge for your time to manage the web site on a competitor's platform. For example: "Hosting is $50/mo on my server and includes FTP support, OS patches, backups. It's a flat rate and a good deal." "If you host with ...


58

John’s time would be called an “impediment” in agile circles. So to move forward without headaches and stressing... Put in your estimate If John says, that’s too high, should be x, respond with “Cool! Let’s huddle up later and we’ll revise the estimate after that once I get your insights on the subject” Go about your day. No meeting? No worries, the ...


35

I have never gone wrong saying "let me buy you a beer after work". It's almost always appreciated (if they say they don't drink, obviously look have a think for another small token of your appreciation - lunch is a good alternative) and it's a good way to make new friends and get to know your colleagues a bit better!


35

If you want to continue to grow as a developer, there comes a point where your individual contribution alone is not enough to continue advancing. Having ever more technical knowledge and solving ever more technically challenging problems are good, but too much of that alone will get you labeled as a cowboy coder. Making yourself irreplaceable by holding ...


28

Be straightforward and help to the extent that you can. That's essentially it, but let's examine that in more detail. By now it's almost common knowledge that people who admit to not knowing something are often perceived as more confident and reliable. The problem of course is that you can't say this to everything people ask of you, which you can do by ...


26

Good points have already been made, but to add my two cents : If you were a manager/team lead, what would you prefer : an over confident dev doing it all by him/herself, or one not afraid to seek help/guidance when needed? I have even heard about companies where "not asking for help" was seen as a negative trait during yearly performance reviews. But of ...


24

If you agreed that the job included FTPing the website to the host server, then that's what you need to do. If you agreed that without hosting, you would simply hand over files on a memory stick and walk away, then you don't need to. But if you signed up to do the FTP upload, that's clearly on you. If you didn't make it clear how your client should give you ...


23

My first idea was to add a tests, verified by a continuous integration system, so that it would limit the amount of harm he can make to your project, which is also the point of li x answer. Then, there is the issue that this guy is actually making money for the company, in a perverse way. By having the customer pay on the hours spent, it turns to be a ...


23

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 you are working on. It's your manager's job to decide whether you should take that time or not. Talk to your manager, without bringing up the attitude of ...


21

I have the answer for you, and it will make your life so much richer, but I am not going to give it to you because you might take my wisdom and answer other questions on this site, and get reputation points that should have come to me. See? That just sounds silly, doesn't it? As if readers are only allowed to vote for a single question. While it may seem ...


21

First, if your company has a help desk, send her there. That is what they are paid to do. You are paid to develop and her quick one-second fix takes you out of your groove, breaks your concentration, and takes you time to get back to your flow. A one-minute fix to her has cost you potentially 15 minutes of full blown creative productivity. When it comes ...


20

John is probably busy, so book him for a 4 hour meeting with this on the agenda where he is not busy with something else. Do it as soon as you can, preferably right after the meetings where this happen. If he doesn't have time in his schedule, ask him in email with the manager cc'ed to arrange the meeting with you. If he is very busy, ask him to place it ...


19

From the perspective of someone who hires and manages developers.... I feel like if someone knows I ask questions on Stack Overflow, it could leave a bad impression that I need somebody to help instead of being able to solve the problem independently. More generally stated: I feel like if someone knows I ask questions, it could leave a bad ...


17

Yes, there is. It's called Stack Overflow, and it's free. Lots of great developers hang out there just to sharpen their skills on questions.


17

"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 way involved in their project (e.g. "I don't want to help this person who could use google" implies that you could or should help them). If you are later ...


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