A piece of advice to all younger folks who are starting or early in the career.

Never take problems to your manager. NEVER.

Always bring solutions. Why? Because:

1. No one wants to dwell on past. No one cares how big the problem is (unless during retrospection), it's about what can be done NOW to fix it and move on.

2. Your manager already has lot to worry about. Bothering them with another thing will only annoy them putting you in bad light as someone who always has problems.

3. You are employed to think, and solve problems. That's your primary job. Coding, design, writing product specs, or singing while you dance naked is just a medium to do so.

4. This approach reflects your proactive attitude towards your job. No matter how shitty the solution. It will reflect that you thought for yourself instead of relying on someone else to solve the problem.

5. Very few people do it which will give you added advantage over your colleagues/peers during reviews.

6. Lastly, this way you'll learn a ton of new things by researching and implementing yourself.

  • 17
    I think that's good advice. I think the first line is a bit too clear cut. You can bring problems... provide you bring all the other things you mentioned (how you tried to solve it and what happened and so forth) ;)

    I tell my kids, that if they bring me a problem I want to know how they tried to resolve it / what they did, or if it is serious some thoughts on what to do... I don't care if their solution didn't work or if they think their solution won't work... I just want to know they tried / thought of something ;)
  • 2
    @N00bPancakes Agreed.

    Problems followed by solutions.
  • 1
    Agree, nobody takes seriously the guy who complains about everything, but everyone respects the guy who brings solutions, to you it might not feel like there's a difference, but this is how it looks to the outside!
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    Fuckin yeah! Rant about it, expose problems, but come prepared with possible solution or two.

    I hate people who just bitch about how something is bad, but never do or suggest anything to actually make things better.
    Edit: or at least admit it's above your level & you need help with it..
  • 2
    @sladuled Asking for help is sooo underrated.

    @SoldierOfCode True. No one likes the person who just complains and does nothing. Fucking speak about it that you have a problem instead of expecting me to read your mind.
  • 2
    this is the key part of the puzzle that separates code monkeys from actual programmers/developers/engineers (either software or physical ones), and it's a great and very important piece of advice.
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    @Midnight-shcode Thank you!

    Glad you found this useful :)
  • 3
    I disagree !

    But then, I would often disagree with a lot of managers on what their job role is..

    Most think its to tell people what to do..

    Me, I see that as only a small part of my role.

    My main role..

    Is to solve other peoples problems.

    So, what you need is a manager who will listen to every single problem you have, and help you solve it.

    Will take them a lot less time than you doing it yourself, and you can learn for the next time, what to do.
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    Managers should work for people they manage. Not the other way around.
  • 3
    @respex Just like government should work for people and not the other way round.
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    I understand what you saying, but disagree about some things. If you are a junior dev, it's good to try to solve things, but it's also important to know when stop (losing time) and ask for help.
  • 1
    @notyourbestdev again, I am not saying don't ask for help. I advocate asking for help.

    My point is to be proactive and show you put efforts in things.
  • 1
    I don't agree on this but I'm sure it's not the same in everyone's environment.

    Even the role of a manager is kinda blurry
  • 1
    @F1973 When I talk about knowing when to stop, it's about giving up. Sometimes you really can't solve it and you should call someone before someone calls you. I super agree with you about being proactive which is the point of this rant.
  • 1
    Though it has already been said, I would add two important things:

    1. You can't be expected to know everything, especially if you're less experienced. Yes, always try to solve the problem, but there's a point when you should ask for help to not burn through weeks without progressing. Finding the sweet spot can be difficult and often gets easier with experience.

    2. If you realize that you can't hold the timeline, raise it to your manager. Unexpected problems arise, it happens (often), sometimes problem which are much bigger than the time planned. Estimates can be corrected, no biggie, but feedback is also important to reevaluate priorities because of those now estimates.

    I know I'll have to improve on #2.
  • 0
    @notyourbestdev you still fail to get the point. Nevermind.
  • 0
    @saucyatom you too don't get the point and y'all surely didn't read through the comments here..
  • 1
    @notyourbestdev If you're a jr. dev you won't know when to stop until you've gone too far ;) Going on for too long is how you figure those things out.
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    One of the benefits a manager has over their staff is power, power to action things.

    So if you want to make X happen, but you can't because you don't have the authority to have it actioned, your manager could have the power to make it happen.

    Or know someone else with more power..

    Or knows a loophole. :-)

    A lot of the time, as a manager, it making things happen for your staff to do their job.

    Do they need a new chair, a bigger desk, a better monitor..

    Could they benefit from having person X from department Z come and give them a hand for a few hours to complete a task.

    Just ask your staff "What do you need?", though you may find some are reluctant to tell you, since the last manager never listened to their requests..

    Hopefully you are also up to speed on what your staff actually do, so when you are going from A to B, you can spot issues that no one has brought to your attention that might need fixing.

    You fix stuff.
  • 2
    I would add:

    Never do anything anybody tells you to do in a meeting.

    If they actually want something done, they'll follow up with an email.

    Otherwise they're just grandstanding for the Agile gods.
  • 1
    @HiFiWiFiSciFi holy fuck!! This one is real good.
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    I really hated having to follow everyone up from a meeting to check they are doing the thing they said they would do !

    I remember my blast job, there was 2,000 pending items I was waiting for others to do..

    (Once a week I'd touch base with them to ask how they was progressing with each task.. usually when they was on their way to lunch, since there was pince points you could ambush people so they couldn't avoid you. :-) )
  • 1
    @HiFiWiFiSciFi this will explain a lot of meetings with no result. What about document the meeting, share it and do literally everything discussed? If it's all bullshit, popular talk, they probably quit on saying this stuff when it actually happens
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