A follow-up to a previous rant: https://devrant.com/rants/2296700/...

... and how the senior dev recently took it up a notch.

To recap: Back then the senior dev in our two-man project prepared tasks for me so thoroughly they became typing monkey jobs. He described what to do and how to do it in minute detail in the JIRA tasks.

I talked to him back then how this is too detailed. I also talked to our boss, who agreed to nudge mr. senior in the right direction and to make it clear he expects teamwork.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago. An existing feature will get extended greatly, needing some rework in our backend project. Senior and me had a phone call about what to do and some unclear details in the feature spec. I was already frustrated with the call because he kept saying "No, don't ask that! That actually makes sense, let's just do it as the spec says" and "Don't refactor! We didn't request a budget for that from our customer". Like wtf, really? You don't consider refactoring part of our job? You don't think actually understanding the task improves the implementation? Dude...

We agreed this is a task for one person and I'd do it. It took me the rest of the day to wrap my head around the task and the corresponding existing code. It had some warts, like weird inheritance hierarchies and control flow jumping up and down said hierarchy, but nothing too bad. I made a mental note to still refactor this, just as much as necessary to make my task easier. However... the following day, I got an email from mr. senior. "I refactored the code after all, in preparation for your task". My eyebrows raised.

Firstly, he had made the inheritance hierarchy *worse*. Classic mistake: Misusing inheritance for code reuse. More control flow jumping up and down like rabid bunnies. Pressed on that matter, he replied "it's actually not that bad". Yeah, good work! Your refactoring didn't make things worse! That's an achievement worthy of being engraved on your tombstone. And didn't he say "no refactoring"? Apparently rules are unfortunate things that happen to other people.

But secondly, he prepared classes and methods for me to implement. No kidding. Half-implemented methods with "// TODO: Feature x code goes here" and shit. Like, am I a toddler to you? Do you really think "if you don't let me do things myself I feel terribly frustrated and undervalued" is best answered with giving me LESS things to do myself? And what happened to our boss' instruction to split the task so each of us can work on his parts?

So, this was a couple of days ago. Since then, I've been sitting in my chair doing next to nothing. My brain has just... shut down. I'm reading the spec, thinking "that would require a new REST endpoint", and then nothing happens. I'm looking at the integration test stubs ("// TODO: REST call goes here") and my mind just stays blank, like a fresh unpainted canvas. I've lost all my drive.

I don't even know what to do. Should I assign the task back to him and tell him to go fuck himself? Should I write my boss I'm suddenly retarded? Could I call in sick for a year or so? I dunno... I can barely think straight. What should I do and how?

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    Go as far away from that task as possible - both physically and mentally.
    When you managed to stop thinking about it and had some fun doing non-related things (gaming, sports,... whatever you like most), go back to that task the next day and complete it.
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    Go as far away from that so-called "senior" dev as possible.
  • 0
    @Oktokolo "recharge your batteries", got it. You know what, I really don't remember when I last took a proper break. Thanks, I needed to hear that.
  • 0
    @100110111 I love how you worded it like the comment above yours. 😂

    Ok, I'll explain to our boss that mr. senior and I aren't compatible. Because we aren't - he's unable or unwilling to discuss the "what" and then delegate the "how", which is exactly how I function. Problem is, we're a small company. Moving to a different project or starting a new one isn't easy.
  • 0
    @VaderNT oooh, yeah small teams are a beast of their own kind. In those situations it's especially paramount to have a good atmosphere within the team. Not everyone has to be a 100% compatible, and since we are humans, it's unrealistic to expect that. But the way I see it, and the advice I can give you, is that you have to assess how much you like working at that company compared to options you may have (and options you have - since in our profession, we are wanted) - that defines the lengths you should be prepared to go to ensure things get better where you at.

    Also, you definitely should have that conversation with your manager, but more importantly, what I think you should do is to tell them that a 3way conversation between your boss, Mr. Sr. and yourself should take place where you try and solve this issue on how you could work together from here on out, or try to come up with a way to shuffle the company's dev resources so that it benefits everybody. If it turns out other devs have problems working with the said senior dev, too, then he may be a liability to the company and should be rid of... I never wish that for anybody, but maybe an honest conversation and assessment of how the dev HR work together could highlight what the real issues are and possibly pave way to solving them.
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