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I am a new programmer at my office. I just entered this workplace for about 2 months.

I've been working with another senior programmer which is essentially my "mentor" during the introductory period. I've been studying a lot for the past 2 months and I believe I have a good grasp of the system already. And I feel that one of the design decision that this senior programmer made is not very good and I have a better solution.

So how do I go about telling him this?

I'm not a junior programmer by any means I've been programming for some time. But they are using a custom 4thGL. So I can't say that "I have 5 years experience in .net and this is bad in my experience" or something like that. And we are working on different parts of the system and his part doesn't actually falls under my "jurisdiction" really... But I will eventually end up diving some parts of it sooner or later, and it is a major part of the system and I feel that a lot can be improved by doing things my way.

But I don't want to be the snobbish little kid that just joined the company, and I do want an ongoing good relationship with my colleague especially since he helped me so much during the first week or 2 when i was there. But i feel strongly about this.

So what is your opinion?


migration rejected from Sep 6 at 10:29

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closed as primarily opinion-based by durron597, Ixrec, GlenH7, gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau Sep 6 at 10:29

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

can you give a little more specifics - eg I believe this is wrong because – KiwiBastard Oct 17 '08 at 1:17
OK, but have you considered that if you can't explain the problem succently in a few lines, then perhaps you don't know the problem as well as the other guy? I've had Juniors who thought they knew the solution but when we talked it thru didn't think of all the edge cases.. – KiwiBastard Oct 17 '08 at 1:33
2 months is too little to understand the context / requirements fully. It seems to me he has just presented his solution instead of really explaining the "why?" – rshimoda Oct 17 '08 at 7:41
@Ben I kept my mouth shut on that one. Later found out that he's not wrong, but I wasn't wrong either. It's just one of the quirks of the software. Our software have many of these quirks. So basically in other similar situation with him I've used Andy's approach. – paan Sep 9 '09 at 3:24
Is it important enough to change? The solution may be good enough as is! – user1249 Jul 14 '12 at 18:25

2 Answers 2

As a senior developer (in job description anyway...) I can say I don't have a problem with this, as long as the objections are reasonable.

Most likely I'd either say "Actually, it works this way because...." or say "Yes, you're absolutely right. It seemed like a good design at the time, but turned out not to be ideal." Most likely then adding something about how I wish I could change it but the advantages don't justify the cost of doing so...


This depends on the company's culture, and how smart are your colleagues. Assuming that your senior developer is really wrong in that aspect, a smart senior developer will keep an open mind and accept your solution. Not just that, but will think that you are very smart. Smart developers will admit their faults.

In close minded firms where you are working with average Joe developers, face is most important and you probably should not mention that his design is wrong because it might have an negative effect on your relationship.

If you are asking this question and hesitating, it probably means that you are working in a close minded firm with average developers. In this case, I would keep my trap shut.


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