meeting with PM, 1:1
me: well, to be honest, i think there is also some room for improvement concerning communication in our meetings. the discussion culture in our meetings could be more open.
PM: what do you mean? i don't know what you're talking about.
me: well, i feel sometimes that in meetings, you overly challenge what colleagues suggest. on the other hand, it's really hard to argue against what you are saying. what you say is often like engraved into stone and it is hard to argue against that, but the next day you might have changed your mind again and then things are different, but engraved into stone again.
PM: hmm. can you give me some more concrete example?
me: well... (gives some examples) it's just that it would be nice if you would listen more to what people say in meetings and try to understand what they actually mean or want to say, instead of saying "nah, that's not how we do it" or "no, that's wrong"... just.. well, have more trust in our skills, try to find out what people mean before you discard what you think they said... a bit more of appreciation and openness.
PM: oh, i can tell you, i'm the MOST open manager in this whole company.
me: ...
PM: but anyway, i will think about it.
me: well... okay. also i see there are some challenges within our team concerning intercultural communication. i mean, communication between Germans and Indians is in general a bit problematic in our company, and maybe it is a good idea to have some workshop together concerning intercultural competences... i think we could benefit from that. (what i actually meant is, these problems exist, but currently i see them more on his side or between him and Indian colleagues, because e.g. he tends to harshly criticize people in daily standups, and if we "direct" Germans already feel affronted by his behavior, how must Indian guys feel about it? in fact, 2 Indian devs already left the project. also communication doesn't really work well, in a way that there's often a great mismatch between his expectations and what Indian devs actually think they have to do)
PM: i can tell you, i really understand our Indian colleagues, i really know how to work with them. also, their working style has greatly improved since project start. (which doesn't feel quite right after he totally ripped apart the work of one guy in the last sprint review meeting)

of course, that's not the whole conversation, but it's kind of a symptomatic example for the whole situation...

  • 11
    LOL It's quite comical how the PM involuntarily confirms your concerns without even realising.
  • 6
    @soull00t The first part was hilarious, he just confirmed your point 😄
    I hope that conditions and communication will improve. It's what helps making projects a success.
  • 7

    The "I'm not at fault guy".

    They could punch their own face and claim it was someone else.
  • 2
    I feel you until the indian devs part. You can take the chillest PM, give him a project with a deadline, give him a dev team which consists of half indian devs. And then watch how shit will unfold after few months.

    From my experience chances are that indians will be doing low hanging tasks (but a lot of them) while still sucking at that. I dont know whats their problem but I wouldnt trust them with ANYTHING. Imagine writing if statements for null check like this: if(null != condition). Fucking kill me now.

    Lets be honest companies outsource indians from agencies just for 1 reason: price. They get assigned tasks that nobody else wants to work on. They get replaced often. They are like a backup plan that allows producing some work around the clock or in case some seniors abruptly leave the company. Nothing more nothing less. A glorified cheap backup. Thats why you shouldnt care about feelings of a stupid code monkey. Not all indian devs are that bad, but most of them are.
  • 4
    @AnxiousADHDGuy well, people in my company describe the exact same problems, and it sounds really bad and creates a lot of frustration... I also don't quite get what's the problem, but i think it's also due to different understanding what a dev actually does. Do they just deliver exactly what has been asked from them (even if it doesn't make any sense) or do they also take responsibility and ownership for the topic, question decisions, argue for better solutions or also take into consideration other parts of the code that might be affected. i guess this expectation can also be changed, in theory, but probably requires a lot of communication. I'm just trying to make the best from this situation, but what my colleagues are telling me sounds indeed infuriating 😅
  • 3
    @AnxiousADHDGuy also, i've seen people do that in our code as well:

    if (false == boolVar)

  • 5
    @soull00t The idea behind Yoda conditions, i.e. if (0 == var), is that if you mistakenly put = instead of ==, you'll get a compile time error.

    For nullish comparisions, I always write that as explicit comparison with 0, NULL, or '\0' to convey whether this is a comparision for a value, a pointer check, or something string related. I don't do that for bools, though.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop okay, good point, that really makes sense... ^^
    but nowadays' IDEs should also be smart enough to notify you when you mistakenly write if(stuff = otherStuff)...

    also in my above example, the check is unnecessary

  • 3
    @soull00t Even GCC has a warning for that with -Wall, and if also -Werror, the compilation will fail.

    If you really mean to both assign and compare, then GCC requires double parenthesis like if ((var1 = var2)).

    Sure, for bools, I do the same with the negation.
  • 3
    @soull00t @Fast-Nop plus Yoda style should be either used never or consistent....
    Coding guidelines.

    I don't like it, but it's in my opinion like hungarian notion: Use it always or never - otherwise people will struggle with understanding what's going on.
  • 2
    @fast-nop wow ok I didn’t know that was an actual programming style with a name given to it. I took on a project where there were a bunch of yoga conditions, which drove me crazy. I proceeded to replace them. I guess your explanation makes sense. I would think most linters nowadays would prevent us from using only one =
    Also most of those conditions could be converted to "not" conditions anyway. But I get the feeling some programmers need to be comforted with more verbosity
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