Skip to main content
252 votes

What can I do about doing badly on an impromptu coding test?

I think you're asking the wrong question. I'm going to go ahead and say that challenge was probably designed for you to fail it: You've been given a really impromptu test, which is kind of weird ...
berry120's user avatar
  • 34.7k
212 votes

Unable to complete a task at work due to lack of relevant skill. How should I tell my employer?

First, change your attitude. It is not that you cannot complete the task, it is that you lack the knowledge and expertise. The difference? If you say "I can't do it" to your employer, you may as ...
Old_Lamplighter's user avatar
184 votes
Accepted

How can I constructively address the fact that a coworker with the same (senior) title doesn't have the basic skills for the role

How can I productively channel this issue? It's not clear what "productively channel" means in this context. You do your job to the best of your ability. If that means your colleague appears ...
Joe Strazzere's user avatar
181 votes
Accepted

What can I do about doing badly on an impromptu coding test?

Based off your information on this question I assume this question is also linked with this question. The way your manager has sprung this test on you is completely unfair and clearly an attempt to ...
Twyxz's user avatar
  • 19.3k
178 votes

Am I obligated to share tools I built with my employer?

If you built these tools at the office, and against existing corporate systems, then they belong to the company. Accept that. You are worried about getting "credit," which tells me you're part of ...
Wesley Long's user avatar
  • 63.3k
133 votes

How can I teach an IT team member a bit more common sense?

Listen closely, I'll let you in on a secret. There is no such thing as common sense. My dad worked in AI. I've spent 20 years of my life studying it and human intelligence. It's true; common sense ...
Edwin Buck's user avatar
  • 8,274
130 votes
Accepted

More junior teammates don’t understand my work...and that’s my fault?

I did a series of talks on what makes code simple and readable. There is no absolute answer. Much depends on the vocabulary the reader brings. Take for example: bool retval; if (x > 0) { retval =...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
113 votes
Accepted

Is it okay if I tell my boss that I cannot read cursive?

The fact that you can't read cursive is going to be hard to hide so you might as well just be up front about it and get the discomfort out of the way. If you disclose it yourself then that gives you ...
neubert's user avatar
  • 10.3k
101 votes

Unable to complete a task at work due to lack of relevant skill. How should I tell my employer?

Stop generalizing the problem. Break it down instead. Your initial complaint: I have to use iTextSharp that I have never learnt Is not a valid problem statement in a software development world. ...
Victor Zakharov's user avatar
85 votes

How to inform a co-worker about a lacking technical skill without sounding condescending

Why do you consider it a "basic" skill? The ability to program in an async fashion absolutely depends on the language you use. JavaScript? Hell yes. Pascal? Hell no. Do you consider it ...
tddmonkey's user avatar
  • 2,458
79 votes

Does my workplace lack guidance or is it my lack of skills?

I lack the appropriate skills? or Is it a lack of guidance on the part of the company? Both. You lack the required skills for the assignment (not your fault, but it's true). You cannot certainly ...
Sourav Ghosh's user avatar
78 votes

How can I constructively address the fact that a coworker with the same (senior) title doesn't have the basic skills for the role

I think you're doing something here, out of goodness of your heart, that is preventing your boss from seeing the problem. If Sam struggles with something, based on the same-level position between the ...
Nelson's user avatar
  • 14k
74 votes

How to do code reviews to people whose programming skills are weak?

One thing I did when I became lead was to create a best practices and coding standards document. I included everything right down to naming conventions for variables, objects, and procedures. Code ...
Old_Lamplighter's user avatar
70 votes
Accepted

How do you grow in a skill when you're the company lead in that area?

You're essentially down to the same path that anyone who wants to learn something in their free time. If there are no internal experts look for them elsewhere. The following are the best resources ...
clem steredenn's user avatar
70 votes

How can I learn to effectively train underskilled staff?

There are plenty of courses on how to train people, some online, some are from real-world learning institutions. I don't think you have time for this. So, let's get started with a 10 minute crash ...
JohnHC's user avatar
  • 14.5k
67 votes

More junior teammates don’t understand my work...and that’s my fault?

Disclaimer: this answer will be written as if OP's coding style really is as complex as necessary (not over-complicated) and it's really good, efficient code (not something that could be done easier ...
Yuropoor's user avatar
  • 4,643
61 votes

What can I do about doing badly on an impromptu coding test?

First, Update your resume, and submit it to a few recruiters and start job hunting. This was a setup with unrealistic time constraints. Your manager has given you an undefined goal and is setting ...
Old_Lamplighter's user avatar
52 votes

How to inform a co-worker about a lacking technical skill without sounding condescending

The main thing that makes your feedback condescending is that you call the skill "basic". It's wholly unnecessary to imply that he should really know this, and is an utter moron for not ...
meriton's user avatar
  • 5,155
48 votes

Struggling in my first software development job, how to decide if I should move on?

I am now working with technologies that are almost completely new to me This will be most software development jobs. I wish I could say something more encouraging, but many of us use technology that ...
enderland's user avatar
  • 111k
48 votes
Accepted

How can I learn to effectively train underskilled staff?

As a data specialist, I would be extremely annoyed if someone wanted to try to make me into an application dev for the bus factor. That is just shortsighted on the part of your management. It is like ...
HLGEM's user avatar
  • 142k
42 votes

More junior teammates don’t understand my work...and that’s my fault?

You have junior teammates, and your organisation needs your code to be comprehensible to them. This is critical. You've been given an unwritten requirement - your code must not only do the job, but it ...
speciesUnknown's user avatar
41 votes

Is it okay if I tell my boss that I cannot read cursive?

do you think it would be okay if I tell the teacher my problem, and ask her to assign these specific assignments to someone else? Whenever you are unable to perform (or have extreme difficulty with) ...
Joe Strazzere's user avatar
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 ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
39 votes

Am I obligated to share tools I built with my employer?

Yes, you need to explain your methodology if asked. First because the data and the proprietary tool you are querying belongs to the company not you and second because, you need to make sure your query ...
HLGEM's user avatar
  • 142k
39 votes

Does my workplace lack guidance or is it my lack of skills?

I see a number of red flags here. First of all, you're a recent graduate, which means, without much experience in software development. Second, you graduated in mechanical engineering, not software. ...
Dragan Juric's user avatar
  • 7,215
38 votes
Accepted

Just fired - how to know if I'm a good Software Engineer?

How can I figure out if I'm actually bad, or if I just need to keep practicing more? Given your positive performances throughout your former job and your excellent scores obtained during your whole ...
DarkCygnus's user avatar
  • 83.2k
34 votes

More junior teammates don’t understand my work...and that’s my fault?

My code is “complex” because it’s well engineered. Failing that, my code is generally well commented and documented, so if all else fails, my colleagues have the means to help themselves. And yet ...
Aida Paul's user avatar
  • 35.8k
33 votes
Accepted

Is it appropriate to state RegEx as foreign language knowledge in a resume?

Your CV is a way to provide information, not an art piece. As such, it should be honest, clear and to the point. The people checking it will probably be handling dozens of them, and probably will ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 4,697

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible