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Will you work with much less experienced not passionate coworkers?

Or they slow you so much that you should always try to work with at least as experienced and passionate as you coworkers.

Will less experienced not passionate coworker reduce your productivity?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 2 '11 at 6:42

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Do you generally have a choice of who you get to work with? Try to make the best of a bad situation. –  Cody Gray Mar 2 '11 at 6:39
This question belongs on programmers.stackexchange.com –  jmort253 Mar 2 '11 at 6:39
So if @jgarcia's name remains grey, does that mean that he didn't figure out that his question was just moved and not abandoned? –  jmort253 Mar 2 '11 at 6:51
@jmort: It means he hasn't created a new account on this site and/or associated it with his Stack Overflow account to regain ownership of his question. Of course, not everyone asks a question and sits there refreshing every few seconds to read the responses. The asker may come back in a few hours to check on his/her question, and won't notice until then that it has been migrated. –  Cody Gray Mar 2 '11 at 6:55

7 Answers 7

If experienced programmers always work with only experienced programmers, all of the experienced programmers would eventually die off leaving a bunch of unpassioned, middle aged, and still inexperienced, junior programmers behind.

As an experienced programmer, your job is to mentor and teach those who are less experienced than you, as well as to instill in them a sense of passion for their field. Each new generation learns from the previous generation as humanity leapfrogs through time, and this starts with the leaders in the universities who first foster our interest and passion for Computer Science.

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I agree completely, but the original question does seem to imply an inexperienced programmer who lacks passion. I'd find it much easier to work with someone of any experience level who had passion for what we were doing than I would for someone who didn't really care and was content with their ignorance. –  Cody Gray Mar 2 '11 at 6:44
Hmmm... now that you mention it, the original question does have a hint of leaning in that direction. The OP didn't really make that very clear. I'll make another update. –  jmort253 Mar 2 '11 at 6:46
How do you instill passion in someone towards a subject if that passion is nonexistent? I mean, she didn't just lose her interest (e.g. due to burnout) but never had it, as the OP seems to imply. –  Péter Török Mar 2 '11 at 8:44
@Peter - Haven't you ever been inspired by someone before? Perhaps a friend introduced you to a new hobby or a teacher sparked your previously non-existent interest in something? –  jmort253 Mar 3 '11 at 4:43
only when I had already had at least some interest in that subject, even if I hadn't realized it before. Either because I simply hadn't heard about the subject before, or I hadn't realized its connection to something else I had already been interested in. –  Péter Török Mar 3 '11 at 8:20
  • You can't choose your co-workers. If you are self-employed or work as consultant or willing to change jobs or departments frequently you have an outside chance to decide, otherwise no.
  • How do you judge the other persons passion for work? Every one has his own set of priorities.
  • What others do is not in your control, what you do is. Put in your best effort at the job and don't worry much about others passion towards work.
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Will less experienced not passionate coworker reduce your productivity?

You will have less time to program. However, that time is used to teach the newer developers.

So in the short term your productivity is less. In the long term however teaching the newer developers will pay off. And who knows, you might even enjoy teaching them.

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Everywhere you go you will encounter all kinds of people and you should always try and make the best of that team. And since you must likely can't choose who to work with then you should remember that if the team does bad that also includes you.

You should also take into account that these programmers might be well experienced in the whole programming concept and are just inexperienced in the technology they are now working with... so they should be better once they get a hold of that technology's ideology.

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You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your ummm... coworkers. +1 –  jmort253 Mar 2 '11 at 6:50

No experience is ok, we've all been less experienced at some point or another.

No passion, now that is a real problem. People (not only developers) that are in the job just because they need money, showing little to no care about what they do. Those are the people that you want to avoid (if you can!).


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In short, yes, they will slow you down and your productivity with it. In my experience, the only thing you can do is try to motivate them (your coworkers) also. Even if you just accomplish to motivate 1 out of 50, it's a good job done.

Even though I'm not the best developer on the block, I do try to motivate others to do even better. I myself am visiting a lot of usergroups, when an interesting subject is presented I send a mail throughout the department and hope 1 or 2 will respond and come along. Most of the time they don't. Also, try to write reviews/articles of things you have seen or learned and let the others know it. Most of the time I'm doing this stuff by mail because it's easy and everyone can read it when or if they want it. Some mentoring is also a good idea. Even if you aren't the best developer on the block, you can probably still learn your coworkers a thing or two, or discuss about it.

Most of the time you won't succeed in motivating others though. They probably got different priorities and tell you they got a social life and you don't. Just disregard those remarks and go on with visiting, writing and try to motivate others. It's a hell of a job, but won't go unnoticed.

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It's really according to what experience you have got. If I was a Junior, on the first step of the ladder, then you might not really have a choice!

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