235 votes
Accepted

Why is it 'expected' that software developers work on their own projects in their spare time?

The negative view is that they want you to be so addicted to creating things, that you work 80 hours a week for them without regard to your health and well-being. A positive view is that they want to ...
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  • 1,600
198 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with a coworker that keeps changing the look of a report I'm building, without documenting the changes in a design template?

I think the crux of the situation is: There is no template even though my boss asked her to provide one. Next time she stops by, beat her to the punch and insist that you need the template to do ...
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  • 33.9k
193 votes

Leaving job close to major deadlines

A business would not hesitate to terminate you if it was important for the business success. You should not hesitate to terminate the business if it's important for your success. The company is not ...
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  • 6,536
170 votes

My colleague got upset, did I insult him?

You did several things wrong. You brought attention to the issue in a public forum. Bad idea You said that you had an error, and that Jack was the last one to touch your code. That is the same as ...
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155 votes

How do I explain that I don't want to maintain old projects?

Unfortunately maintenance is the rule when working in IT, very rarely are there new projects, and people get reassigned around projects regularly. And while the quality of the code you will have to ...
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  • 1,295
138 votes

Is the concept of multiple projects normal in the IT industry?

It is normal to be on multiple projects for many companies. Your problem is your personal organisation of your work. You need to keep the projects separated. I am to work on both these projects ...
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  • 197k
122 votes

Why is it 'expected' that software developers work on their own projects in their spare time?

As other answers have already touched upon this is a route towards being able to provide code samples that a free of any restrictions upon the candidate (no NDAs or anything to worry about). By far ...
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  • 95.1k
108 votes

My colleague got upset, did I insult him?

You need to be careful when you say things and name names. Even if perfectly clear to you that you did not mean it was Jacks fault, it might not have been clear to others and it might not have been ...
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  • 110k
102 votes

Why is it 'expected' that software developers work on their own projects in their spare time?

Speaking as a R&D SW engineer who also does SW recruiting and interviewing (and who asks exactly that question)... SW often involves absurd levels of complexity and training. I want to hire ...
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95 votes
Accepted

My boss doesn't want me to have a side project

what do you think I should do? Nothing. As long as you are not using company time and resource to make your side project, and you don't have a clause in your employment agreement which prohibits you ...
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  • 61.2k
79 votes
Accepted

I think my coworker went through my notebook and took my project ideas

Does your company have a clear/clean desk policy? i.e. no sensitive documents to be left on the desk/"out" when the employee is away (usually overnight, but it depends on the company). Put your ...
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  • 8,951
73 votes
Accepted

How to avoid volunteering for work on extra tasks

Particularly if this is the first time this has happened, just ask the direct question: Hi Sam. How much time do you think you'll need from me on this project? If that number comes back as something ...
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72 votes

How do I deal with a coworker that keeps changing the look of a report I'm building, without documenting the changes in a design template?

When she talks to me my anxiety goes through the roof. I have to use controlled breathing while imagining murdering her in a variety of ways. This is bad. You should be discussing this part with ...
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57 votes
Accepted

Leaving job close to major deadlines

If you’re excited about the new offer, you should take it. Knowing that you’re leaving your current role, there are some things you can do to leave on the best terms as possible: 1. Give your ...
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  • 12.2k
56 votes
Accepted

Gotten enmeshed with constantly helping a co-worker with their homework during work

Is helping this person complete her studies part of your job description? I doubt it. You have to learn how to say no, she's using you as a very strong safety net and that's not going to help her ...
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  • 9,653
54 votes

How do I explain that I don't want to maintain old projects?

Yes it is reasonable to tell your manager you are not enjoying your work and to ask for something fun. It is also reasonable for that manager to ask you to stick it out. There is a job that needs to ...
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  • 12.3k
52 votes

Is the concept of multiple projects normal in the IT industry?

It is very common to have two or more projects on the go at the same time. You need to learn how to manage it. Talk to your manager about how much time you should be devoting to each project. Once ...
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  • 12.1k
52 votes
Accepted

How to discuss potentially dropping a Client I (and others) have a moral objection to

What's the best way of discussing this without singling out the team member that raised the original objection? Just communicate your own feelings and indicate that some team members have similar ...
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49 votes

Why is it 'expected' that software developers work on their own projects in their spare time?

I'm going to re-interpret this question a tiny bit into: Why is it 'expected' that software developers do continuing education in their spare time? So, when I re-frame it that way, that makes a ...
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  • 5,596
48 votes

My colleague got upset, did I insult him?

When you say to/about someone It used to work before you changed it, I still have the old code if that might help you You are saying to/about Jack, "you broke it." And this is not true. It ...
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43 votes

How to avoid volunteering for work on extra tasks

I am assuming you are no free roaming agent picking up whatever you think needs working on. You have some kind of manager that assigns tasks to you. So let this manager decide whether you should be ...
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  • 110k
40 votes

Struggling to finish project, how to tell coworker?

Struggling to finish project, how to tell coworker? At this point you need to be open and honest about the status of the project. Honesty and transparency are usually your best ally when it comes to ...
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  • 84.1k
40 votes
Accepted

I was assigned to a fake project after being hired. Is this bad news for my career?

Stop worrying You were assigned to work on internal project XX in part because you had nothing better to do. You are now assigned to a client using the same technology stack. It sounds to me like ...
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36 votes

I think my coworker went through my notebook and took my project ideas

Make your notes publicly available (within your organization or team). Securing your notebook will be an easier option, but as you've asked for other approaches you might consider this one. This will ...
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  • 5,974
35 votes

Client is very unprofessional and I'm no longer interested (see details), how do I tell them this?

Oh, I see it. The fact that you have no contract with this other party is the reason why things are lingering. You're not communicating the value of your efforts to your client effectively and are ...
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  • 35.3k
34 votes

How can I suggest a list of improvements to my leaders/team without offending them?

Instead of presenting suggestions, you can ask questions and start discussions. Where possible, treat it as something newly possible -- it's not that the people who set up the current system were bad ...
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33 votes

Is there a simple, non-offensive way to flag "bike-shedding"?

This is a fine question! Parkinson's bike shed isn't as notorious in the US as it is in the UK, so here it's even harder to use "bikeshedding" as a short keyword to capture peoples' attention. If you'...
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  • 26.2k
33 votes
Accepted

Struggling to finish project, how to tell coworker?

How do I approach my coworker about this? If you, with your knowledge and experience in the project, believe it is not possible to finish it on time you should have a follow-up meeting ASAP, to make ...
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  • 73k
32 votes

How do I explain that I don't want to maintain old projects?

My question: would it be reasonable to ask my manager to put me on another project because I really dislike the work I need to do now and how do I tell this? No it would not be reasonable. Part of ...
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  • 65.3k
31 votes

Is it wrong to be honest to the manager about a messed-up project?

Did I do the right thing There is nothing ethically wrong with your actions, but you potentially made an enemy who is higher up the hierarchy than you. Only time will tell if this works against you. ...
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  • 197k

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