Questions about working together with co-workers or a team. (Teamwork questions are at risk of being "put on hold as off-topic" for being about career advice or education.)

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614
votes
29answers
116k views

My boss decided to add a “person to blame” field to every bug report. How can I convince him that it's a bad idea?

In one of the latest "WTF" moves, my boss decided that adding a "Person To Blame" field to our bug tracking template will increase accountability (although we already have a way of tying bugs to ...
241
votes
21answers
33k views

Leaving intentional bugs in code for testers to find

We don't do this at our firm, but one of my friends says that his project manager asked every developer to add intentional bugs just before the product goes to QA. This is how it works: Just before ...
170
votes
23answers
16k views

How can I deal with a team member who dislikes making comments in code?

One of my team members consistently avoids making comments in his code. His code is not self-documenting, and other programmers have a difficult time understanding his code. I have asked him ...
149
votes
13answers
9k views

If my team has low skill, should I lower the skill of my code? [closed]

For example, there is a common snippet in JS to get a default value: function f(x) { x = x || 'default_value'; } This kind of snippet is not easily understood by all the members of my team, ...
107
votes
16answers
9k views

How to avoid “DO YOU HAZ TEH CODEZ” situations?

I have a strange situation at work, where a colleague of mine often asks me and other co-workers for working code. I would like to help him, but this constant request of trivial snippets interrupts ...
85
votes
13answers
8k views

Way in over my head! (Dealing with better programmers) [closed]

I've just been hired as a member of a group that is developing in C++. For the last 11 years, I'd been coding on and off at my last job (some C, some Fortran, some C++). The coding I'd done was ...
84
votes
13answers
11k views

How to warn other programmers of class implementation

I'm writing classes that "must be used in a specific way" (I guess all classes must...). For example, I create the fooManager class, which requires a call to, say, Initialize(string,string). And, to ...
82
votes
16answers
9k views

How do I deal with a slow and undedicated colleague in the team? [closed]

I have been working on a new project. The project works like this: The end user can access a webapp using a link and he can add multiple systems on his network and manage that particular systems ...
80
votes
10answers
7k views

How to motivate co-workers to write unit-tests? [closed]

We're working on a large product which has been in production for about 5 years. The codebase is.. erm.. working. Not really well but it is working. New features are thrown into production and tested ...
78
votes
21answers
9k views

How would you react if someone told you your code is a mess?

I am a good programmer, or so I thought before. I always love to program. And I want to learn many things about programming to make me a better programmer. I studied programming for 1 year and now I ...
66
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I take responsibility for my code when colleague makes unnecessary improvements without notice?

One of my teammates is a jack of all trades in our IT shop and I respect his insight. However, sometimes he reviews my code (he's second in command to our team leader, so that's expected) without a ...
65
votes
7answers
3k views

After years of working alone, other developers will finally see my (buggy) code. What should I do? [duplicate]

I have been working on a system alone for about four years. I have built it from the ground up. It is not a perfect system. It is very complex, it is buggy, and the business is now becoming aware of ...
61
votes
6answers
6k views

How does a non-technical manager add value to team of self-motivated software developers?

I am seeing a lot of programmers turning away from management and administration roles. They want to build stuff. And as a result, a lot of these positions are filled by non-technical people. I fail ...
58
votes
16answers
3k views

How to stop the development spec from changing in mid development?

Problem: It seems with almost every development effort I'm involved in, no matter how much time is spent planning prior to starting development, there is always a large amount of changes required ...
58
votes
8answers
13k views

Avoiding “Smart Guy” Syndrome on Team Projects

A lot of bad practices were being committed at the beginning of a project, and I recognized them and fought against all of them. Since I didn't pick and choose my battles, my boss now assumes anything ...
57
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I tell a senior programmer that I disagree with him [closed]

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 ...
56
votes
17answers
5k views

Alternatives to Professional Version Control [closed]

We're teaming up with some non programmers (writers) who need to contribute to one of our projects. Now they just don't like the idea of using Git (or anything for that matter) for version ...
53
votes
17answers
3k views

How can I make refactoring a priority for my team?

The codebase I work with daily has no automated tests, inconsistent naming and tons of comments like "Why is this here?", "Not sure if this is needed" or "This method isn't named right" and the code ...
53
votes
10answers
2k views

How to correct a junior, but encourage him to think for himself? [closed]

I am the lead of a small team where everyone has less than a year of software development experience. I wouldn't by any means call myself a software guru, but I have learned a few things in the few ...
52
votes
10answers
5k views

Should Junior Programmers be involved as code reviewers in the projects of Senior Programmers?

One of my team members, a junior programmer, has impressive programming skills for his level of experience. And during code reviews, I believe in emphasizing learning, not pointing out mistakes. ...
47
votes
18answers
10k views

How to manage a developer who has poor communication skills

I manage a small team of developers on an application which is in the mid-point of its lifecycle, within a big firm. This unfortunately means there is commonly a 30/70 split of Programming tasks to ...
45
votes
16answers
3k views

Should a programmer fix someone else's failed build? [closed]

One programmer committed some work to the SVN repository, then went home. After he left, the Hudson automatic build failed. Another programmer saw this, and after looking through the code changes, ...
43
votes
11answers
3k views

As a software architect, am I supposed to focus that much on analysing the logs and fixing other's bugs?

Since my graduation (late 2005) I was working for the same company as a c++ software engineer. A year ago I was promoted as a software architect but I have found myself involved more and more in ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

What should junior developer expect from their senior team lead [closed]

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer. I work for a small company, in which few people are developers, others are QA/Test and 1 is ...
43
votes
7answers
3k views

How do you keep track of what classes and functions your team has written?

When working on code, I face many of the same challenges that my teammates do, and I have written some helpful functions and classes, and so have they. If there is good communication, I'll hear about ...
42
votes
14answers
3k views

What's with the aversion to documentation in the industry?

There seems to be an aversion to writing even the most basic documentation. Our project READMEs are relatively bare. There aren't even updated lists of dependencies in the docs. Is there something ...
40
votes
15answers
8k views

How can I convince cowboy programmers to use source control?

UPDATE I work on a small team of devs, 4 guys. They have all used source control. Most of them can't stand source control and instead choose not to use it. I strongly believe source control is a ...
39
votes
20answers
6k views

Why are a seemingly disproportionate amount of programmers just, well, not nice? [closed]

Maybe it's just my personal experience, but I associate with varying different groups and types of people and it seems to me that an oddly large percentage of programmers I have encountered are "not ...
39
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I prove to management that our programmers could work more productively? [duplicate]

Backstory I graduated less than a year ago with a degree in Computer Science (with extra courses in software engineering), and another degree in Software Engineering. I'd like to think that I'm ...
38
votes
6answers
2k views

What should I do to leave a job professionally? [duplicate]

Given that the current employer knows and has been given appropriate notice ahead of time, how can a programmer make a clean job transition from his old job? What things should the programer consider? ...
37
votes
3answers
3k views

How to train junior programmers for today's (complicated) web environment?

Currently our company develops applications consisting, most of the time, in Ruby on Rails web servers and a bunch of different REST clients, from kiosk systems in Java to embedded devices in C/C++ ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

Is rotating developers on a project a good or bad idea?

I'm working on a small team that will begin working on a large new project with another small team. The other team is currently working on a legacy system that they have been working on for years. ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

How to code review without offending other developers [duplicate]

I work on a team that does frequent code reviews. But it seems like more of a formality than anything. No one really points out problems in the code for fear of offending other developers. The few ...
35
votes
11answers
4k views

What to do about team member who threatens to leave all the time and is difficult to work with? [closed]

I work in a small development group with 3 developers. We are loosely managed and have no structure to the team. There is no designated team leader and the manager is fairly hands off. The Senior ...
35
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I make the life of a new hire comfortable? [closed]

As a senior member of a software team that, unfortunately, has little documentation for legacy reasons, what are the things that one could do to make a new hire comfortable? I have been planning ...
34
votes
8answers
6k views

How do I communicate to a colleague that their code does nothing? [duplicate]

Stay with me here. When I say the code "does nothing", I mean something like the following function: void factorial(int n) { int result = 1; for(int i = 1; i <= n; ++i) { ...
34
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I write unit tests that simplify feature implementation? [duplicate]

I'm a newbie to working in software development and I read a lot about how cool unit tests are. Now, I've made my first steps into a project where I'm working with a number of equally unexperienced ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

At what point does “constructive” criticism of your code become unhelpful?

I recently started as a junior developer. As well as being one of the least experienced people on the team, I'm also a woman, which comes with all sorts of its own challenges working in a ...
32
votes
12answers
2k views

How many developers before continuous integration becomes effective for us?

There is an overhead associated with continuous integration, e.g., set up, re-training, awareness activities, stoppage to fix "bugs" that turn out to be data issues, enforced separation of concerns ...
31
votes
14answers
2k views

When to confront a good project leader or boss

Our project head is a genius software architect, a gentle and considerate person in general, a geek by nature and delicate by voice. But, at times, we (my teammates and I) differ in opinions -- ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

Are Frequent Complicated Merge Conflicts A Sign of Problems?

On our team, we use Git as our source control. We have several areas of code that are almost independent but have some overlap. Lately we have been discussing workflows and approaches to using source ...
30
votes
11answers
3k views

What factors should influence how I determine when to abandon a small project with a friend? [closed]

I've found myself in a tough spot as of late. Been working on a game with a programming buddy for nearly 8 months now. We both started off as newcomers to programming around August of last year, he is ...
30
votes
9answers
4k views

What should I do when waiting for a review?

Before asking my question, I must explain the situation. I'm working for a company as a junior software engineer. One of the seniors always stops me when I have finished my development and want to ...
30
votes
8answers
5k views

What are the three most important questions you should ask your team about your performance as their team leader?

I'm approaching the 1 year mark as a leader of a small development team (4 members, including myself) inside of a small software company. I'd like to give my team the opportunity to evaluate how I am ...
28
votes
13answers
2k views

A colourblind member of our team

My team relies a lot on colour within our code to outline features that need to be worked on (we colour lines of code that need attention). We have a close friend who is colourblind and wants to join ...
28
votes
12answers
3k views

What you should do if your junior did not adopt your suggestion? [closed]

I am leading a team of 3-4 junior developers. My job-- besides writing code-- is to provide supervision and guidance for the juniors. But, I fully understand how much developers cherish autonomy in ...
28
votes
13answers
1k views

How to make sure your company doesn't go underwater if your programmers win the lottery [closed]

I have a few programmers under me, they are all doing very great and very smart obviously. Thank you very much. But the problem is that each and every one of them is responsible for one core area, ...
28
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you disarm a cowboy coder? [closed]

I found a question (code cowboy on the team), but it was more related to "Ninja Coder" then the problem that I have. I have a team member who is a pure living example of "Cowboy Coder". I do ...
28
votes
6answers
921 views

What do you do if you've had a series of bad employers? [closed]

So I've had a series of really bad experiences and am wondering what I'm doing wrong. I started out as a part time programmer at a major university. I developed a problem with my wrist and asked ...
27
votes
26answers
2k views

Should managers prohibit programmers from using IM in office? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would you allow your programmers to use Messenger and social networks like Facebook? A manager may believe that using IM clients in the office is not acceptable, but ...