Questions about working together with co-workers or a team.

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539
votes
32answers
106k 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 ...
161
votes
23answers
14k 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 ...
139
votes
13answers
8k views

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

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, ...
125
votes
22answers
2k views

How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?

I work with three other guys; I'll call them Adam, Brian, and Chris. Adam and Brian are bright guys. Give them a problem; they will figure out a way to solve it. When it comes to OOP, though, they ...
103
votes
16answers
8k 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 ...
81
votes
16answers
7k 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 ...
75
votes
21answers
8k 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 ...
70
votes
15answers
5k views

How to motivate co-workers to write unit-tests?

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 ...
62
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 ...
57
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 ...
56
votes
18answers
2k views

How do I tell a senior programmer that I disagree with him

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 ...
55
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 ...
53
votes
17answers
2k 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 ...
52
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 ...
48
votes
13answers
3k views

*Code owner* system: is it an efficient way?

There is a new developer in our team. An agile methodology is in use at our company. But the developer has another experience: he considers that particular parts of the code must be assigned 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
18answers
7k 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
4k views

What should junior developer expect from their senior team lead

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 ...
42
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 ...
41
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 ...
39
votes
10answers
3k 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. ...
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
11answers
2k views

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

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 ...
37
votes
15answers
4k 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 ...
37
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 ...
36
votes
5answers
1k 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
3k 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 ...
34
votes
20answers
4k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
2k 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++ ...
33
votes
7answers
2k 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. ...
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
8answers
4k 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 ...
30
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 ...
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
9answers
3k 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 ...
28
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 ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

How do you code without offending?

What I mean by that is, how do you go about developing on a code base you share with developers who have been working on it for years and are very familiar with it? I don't want to step on anyones ...
27
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
833 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 ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

Responsibility to reproduce bugs

I'm developing a program using a library made by another programmer (he works in the same company). Recently I discovered a leak in the library, which happens under certain network conditions after a ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

How to convince my teammates to follow some basic rules

I have a problem with my teammates. Long story short: We are three students working at a project for a competition. The project consists of 2 separate applications: one for Windows (that I develop) ...
25
votes
10answers
1k views

Helping a new programmer become more self-proficient and not ask me so much?

I'm currently working on a project with a new programmer. How do I help him speed up his work? He often asks me questions, and I pair programmed with him in backbone.js (a part of the project). Now I ...
25
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
2k views

Is it okay to use a language that isn't supported by your company for some tasks?

I work for a company that supports several languages: COBOL, VB6, C# and Java. I use those languages for my primary work, but I often find myself to coding some minor programs (e.g. scripts) in Python ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the negatives of Development Managers as Scrum Masters?

It is commonly agreed that team managers should not be scrum masters, but I am struggling to see why. For context, I am an Application Development Manager with 4 devs in a Scrum Team. I come from a ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

how to stay efficient when a build is almost always broken

I work in a middle sized team which shares the same source code and while have a continues integration in place, but as all of us has to work in the same branch, the build is almost always broken. ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

How to say effectively to a manager that you missed the 'deadline' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I cannot reach my deadline. What to do? My manager is a very deadline specific person. Even though I am a trainee, he insists on a deadline for every small assignment ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

How does one become a leader in a team of programmers? [duplicate]

What skills, knowledge and talents should a junior programmer aim to obtain in order to be qualified to become a team leader?
21
votes
10answers
2k views

How to add a new developer to the team

I run a small company composed of only 2 developers. We are building a very big application for one of our clients. Development on this project has gone on for 1.5 years. Now this client has secured ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Leading a not-so-good team

How would you manage if you are allocated a team of 5 with, say, 4 incompetent programmers and you are asked to lead? Obviously you can't code for the 4 guys (you can, but that is not a good idea. At ...