16
shine
14d

developer makes a "missed-a-semicolon"-kind of mistake that brings your non-production infrastructure down.

manager goes crazy. rallies the whole team into a meeting to find "whom to hold accountable for this stupid mistake" ( read : whom should I blame? ).

spend 1-hour to investigate the problem. send out another developer to fix the problem.

... continue digging ...
( with every step in the software development lifecycle handbook; the only step missing was to pull the handbook itself out )

finds that the developer followed the development process well ( no hoops jumped ).
the error was missed during the code review because the reviewer didn't actually "review" the code, but reported that they had "reviewed and merged" the code

get asked why we're all spending time trying to fix a problem that occurred in a non-production environment. apparently, now it is about figuring out the root cause so that it doesn't happen in production.

we're ALL now staring at the SAME pull request. now the manager is suddenly more mad because the developer used brackets to indicate the pseudo-path where the change occurred.
"WHY WOULD YOU WASTE 30-SECONDS PUTTING ALL THOSE BRACES? YOU'RE ALREADY ON A BRANCH!"

PS : the reason I didn't quote any of the manager's words until the end was because they were screaming all along, so, I'd have to type in ALL CAPS-case. I'm a CAPS-case-hater by-default ( except for the singular use of "I" ( eye; indicating myself ) )

WTF? I mean, walk your temper off first ( I don't mean literally, right now; for now, consider it a figure of speech. I wish I could ask you to do it literally; but no, I'm not that much of a sadist just yet ). Then come back and decide what you actually want to be pissed about. Then think more; about whether you want to kill everyone else's productivity by rallying the entire team ( OK, I'm exaggerating, it's a small team of 4 people; excluding the manager ) to look at an issue that happened in a non-production environment.
At the end of the week, you're still going to come back and say we're behind schedule because we didn't get any work done.
Well, here's 4 hours of our time consumed away by you.

This manager also has a habit of saying, "getting on X's case". Even if it is a discussion ( and not a debate ). What is that supposed to mean? Did X commit such a grave crime that they need to be condemned to hell?

I miss my old organization where there was a strict no-blame policy. Their strategy was, "OK, we have an issue, let's fix it and move on."
I've gotten involved ( not caused it ) in even bigger issues ( like an almost-data-breach ) and nobody ever pointed a finger at another person.
Even though we all knew who caused the issue. Some even went beyond and defended the person. Like, "Them. No, that's not possible. They won't do such dumb mistakes. They're very thorough with their work."
No one even talked about the person behind their back either ( at least I wasn't involved in any such conversation ). Even later, after the whole issue had settled down. I don't think people brought it up later either ( though it was kind of a hush-hush need-to-know event )

Now I realize the other unsaid-advantage of the no-blame policy. You don't lose 4 hours of your so-called "quarantine productivity". We're already short on productivity. Please don't add anymore. ๐Ÿ™

Comments
  • 8
    This manager really has to control his anger issues, especially on things which are not his job (e.g. code style).
  • 11
    Yet another one asserting his power through temper tantrums. They look more like children, to be honest, the non-cute variety.
  • 1
    My guess is that maybe there are other things the manager is worried about and this is just a focal point? Looking for a reason to be mad. Something else is happening at work or home?
  • 6
    Every developer makes mistakes from time to time.

    As long as they do not repeat the same mistake over and over its not really a problem.

    And people miss things in CR and in testing and ...

    Solve the problem and go on.

    IF you see that the very structure makes it easy to do these mistakes, see if you can change it to make it harder to fail without compilation errors.

    If a developer keeps doing the same mistake over and over, then you need to speak with them to try to identify the cause and try to help them find a way to avoid doing them.

    If the at this time don’t care to learn, THEN its time for the manager to step in hard.
  • 1
    @sbiewald I wish I could say that to their face.

    unfortunately, I'm just another guy on the team. This person has a lot more influence and impact ( not to me alone; but to the company as a whole ). But I think they are aware of the issues.

    often times, when they realize that someone who wasn't supposed to hear one of their outbursts, listens in ( and they probably realize that they weren't supposed to lose their cool, maybe? or they just feel guilty ( I don't think so; but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt ) ); they do take them aside and go on a justification mode even if that person didn't ask for any justification ( I've been in that position a couple times; but I've decided that if this happens again, I'm going to say, "I didn't ask for any explanation or justification, did I?" to their face ๐Ÿคท‍ ).
  • 1
    @Demolishun no, this is not an isolated incident ( yes, maybe calling-the-whole-team-to-look-at-a-non-production-issue-and-scream might be ); but this person has had a history of losing their temper at various occasions. and it's more often than not. I don't even want to think of the situation in their home.
  • 2
    @Voxera I wish I could've hit the ++ button more times than 1.

    I wish that all managers understood this very basic thing. I guess this habit of grilling your sub-ordinates for every minor issue just comes about when you become a manager.

    but also, this person has written software for over 15 years as well; so, it's not like they don't understand this side of the table.

    working with such people is tempting me to create a list of "things not to do as a manager". I'm sure one can find enough resources for "things to do as a manager", but none for the opposite.
  • 2
    That's an asshole. Adding an explicit no blame policy to my code of conduct template rn.
  • 0
    @Lor-inc Thank you for being a thoughtful manager ๐Ÿ˜Œ

    I'm happy to know that there are managers like you in the world too. At least someone could claim #NotAllManagers. I just hope that everyone was just as thoughtful as you.
  • 1
    @shine Manager lol. The highest ranking title that would potentially apply is junior. I just do projects with my friends and since I'm the least biased regarding code quality I'm usually elected lead, which means that I get to advise the rules.
  • 1
    @shine
    > I'm just another guy on the team

    Your story hits home. I had an abusive boss too. That quote is 100% how I felt.

    Like you, I couldn't say anything to his face. For fear of more yelling or even worse consequences. In the end I changed jobs, to which he said: That's like running away.

    Since then I realized...
    Doesn't matter if you're "just another guy".
    Doesn't matter if they have "influence and impact".
    You're human, you get treated as human. Kindly and fairly. Period.

    We're not victims. Our bosses hold no more power over us than we allow. We chose our jobs on our own free will. We don't work *for* our bosses, we work *with* them. At any time we can choose differently. That's a valid choice.

    Their boss may or may not be aware of the issue. Tell them anyway. Whenever your boss crosses the line, again and again and again. Like bullies in school, they continue as long as they feel safe. Let their boss make them feel unsafe. It's their job to handle this.
  • 0
    @VaderNT Thanks for those words of comfort. Really, it is comforting.

    In the current situation of the world, I'm not sure about the hiring situation; so, I don't want to dig my own grave by going against anyone at this time.

    Nevertheless, this person would be the same whatever the situation; so, it's only the world's economy that's keeping me from going against him.

    Oh, and by the way, the poor developer in the story is not me. I'm the sysadmin guy on the team who had to find and fix the developer's issue.

    I was only feeling sorry for the person because I put myself in their shoes and imagined how I would've felt if I was in their place.
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