99% of our server-side code is Python and PHP (legacy applications).

Asked a junior dev to make a small update to a PHP site so we could have it run some cleanup server side. Plenty of existing PHP code to look at and piece something together. Should be 50 lines max.

Did he use the existing PHP code to do this task? Nope. Did he at least use Python? Nope.


His response?

"I couldn't figure it out and Node.js seemed to have good support for mongo so I used that instead."

We have 0 lines of server side javascript. Never had node installed. Literally none of the devs use node here. Not only is this completely outside of our tech stack, but he had to take the time to learn Node and JS just because he thought it was easier.

Much would of rather he put in twice as much time to learn the tools of our stack.

  • 13
    I'll get the expression that you _maybe_ gave the intern a workplace....

    And a task.

    But no introduction, no oversight, no check / follow up on his task....?

    If yes, then: Own fault.
  • 6

    Yes I'll agree that is partly it. It was also used as a learning experience. Part of the problem is he doesnt report to me so I cant exactly tell him what to do.

    Luckily it wasnt something critical. I could rewrite it in an afternoon. I have learned to make sure this doesnt happen again.

    Just annoying that someone would come to that kind of solution.
  • 8

    Yes and No. It's really hard to tell.

    Some of my interns needed to be mentored on taking a phone call (age > 22).

    Some others needed to be taught that asking questions doesn't mean that they will be reprimanded...

    Others simply felt alienated and panicked as they had no clue what to do.

    I'm not trying to play a blame game, more that when someone is new and you don't know him, start right there.

    Get to know him.

    Bosses might not like that, but the more you care, the less the risk that you end up with an ... Let's say problematic intern.

    One of the reasons I loved mentoring was that you never knew what was gonna happen... ;)
  • 8
    @IntrusionCM Umm.. isn't it common sense that if you're new hire/intern that you adapt to the current stack & code style unless you're explicitly told you can look for alternatives?! 🤔
  • 6
    I have certainly oversimplified everything regarding the junior dev without getting into pointless details.

    Should I have exercised more over site? yes

    Should he have done better work or be more open about the difficulties he was having? absolutely
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM as I saw your name pop up in the comments I thought "my boy here about to destroy this intern" but your opinion was kind to both parties and understanding. I deff have lots of respect for you and OP
  • 4
    @AleCx04 I can be abrasive, yes.

    But if you ask nicely or gimme the facts to understand, even when abrasive I'll try to be nice... I think everyone deserves a chance. Destroying... Hm, if you give up easily, you shouldn't be in IT or in a job involving a lot of responsibility. Harsh lesson, but must be learned.

    @sladuled common sense...

    Get to know them. Then you'll know what "common sense" to expect. I've had my fair deal of disappointments here, reason I hate the german education system for example.
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