Programmers that need their hand held

How to stop enabling the low self confidence of a programmer

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7 Replies - 1393 Views - Last Post: 29 April 2010 - 09:28 PM

#1 supersssweety  Icon User is offline

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Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 26 April 2010 - 02:59 PM

So I manage the back end development on a few e commerce sites. It is just me an another guy. The other guy is the one who constantly needs his hand held. I swear sometimes he doesn't even read what I write to him. We work remotely. He has problems with understanding logic. This is the first time I really had to work w/ him and we are working on a big re-write of something in our system. This is his first big project, usually things are bugs, and he is GREAT at bugs he can really crank them out...he does take a minute to understand, his answer is always "I can't recreate it" instead of thinking outside the box and gathering all the info to understand what is happening. There is usually a lot of back and forth w/ him and the bug reporter, but once he gets it he gets it done. That is the case w/ 1 out of 3 bugs he does, the other times he just does it and does it fast and well.

In working on this big project though, I don't know... I know everything that needs to happen inside and out, and he has been on the ride with me, and he just doesn't get what needs to happen all the time, when it is very very obvious what should happen and how for the most part. I find myself giving him pseudo code for everything I assign him and I don't give him anything that is too complicated. How can I mold this guy? Like we have to get this done, so I help him out as much as possible but I feel like I am enabling him. If I let him go on his own though, I mean I don't know, one of the parts we had to re-write took him a day and half. He did it backwards, the opposite way I told him it needed to be done. When he said he was done w/ it, there wasn't much code at all and it was broke all to hell. So I stripped out what he did and made it do what it needed to do in 4 hours. I understand the task overwhelmed him, but when I spend 3 times the time it should take to do something because it is overwhelming and I don't quite understand everything, it comes out RIGHT at least it WORKS. I am very frustrated.

I have never managed a developer before in my life, in fact I just happen to manage this guy, before this my experience was only 2 years in a hard-core development job. Before that it was just mom and pop web-design stuff. How do I make this guy think for himself, his questions aren't anything you can google, its all to do w/ logic and how things should play out. He just needs to pay attention more to documentation and THINK about things and he would be fine...I would assume...geez I hope or he is totally in the wrong field.

Just the other day he was sending an ID to a function that was expecting an object and he just choked, I was like...ok so get the object from the id you have and send that (which wasn't enough I had to write out the code...I do that a lot)...why did he need me to tell him that? Why did he even ask me, the error was plain as day? He KNOWS how to do this I don't understand the freezing up. Any insight would be much appreciated.

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#2 MentalFloss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 26 April 2010 - 04:00 PM

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It's because you're helping him.
If you stop helping him then he's either going to realize that he has to rise up to the occasion or he's going to quit or get fired.

It'll sort itself out. You just have to be a little more apathetic.
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#3 supersssweety  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:25 AM

Yeah, I know your right, it is just so hard not to because I don't want to have to go behind him and fix everything. I guess instead of telling him something is wrong and how to fix it I should just tell him it's wrong.
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#4 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 27 April 2010 - 07:35 AM

He probably cheated his way through his classes.
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#5 supersssweety  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 27 April 2010 - 08:33 AM

HA quite possibly!
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#6 programble  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 28 April 2010 - 12:47 PM

I know a certain someone like that. I suppose it would be rude to name names...
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#7 W3bDev  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 29 April 2010 - 01:24 PM

There are those who are willing to hear, but not willing to listen. Meaning some are capable of turning examples and thoughts into future productivity, there are others who lack the initiative of such principals. No matter how you try, you can never force someone to get better at ANYTHING... they have to be willing.

There's a first time for everything, but if he/she is not willing of putting the effort forward to solve problems (aka rely on others), it will ultimately his/her downfall, or reason why they never move forward with their career.

Good luck man, its a hard spot, but most I know have been there.
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#8 CamoDeveloper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers that need their hand held

Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:28 PM

I honestly think that's pitiful, to me, that sounds like he wants to get paid for doing nothing. You're just going to have to be tough with him, make him own up to his mistakes and laziness. I had my ass scolded a few times, but it worked and I learned from it.
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