mercredi 18 janvier 2017

Accept my ideas

I like to question everything when I land into an existing team. As a normally pretentious person, I like looking smart, making people feel I'm experienced and that they can count on me. Yet, when I say what I find bad in a code base and when I expose my brilliant ideas, my new teammates don't follow me. That hurts my pride so hard!

“we've done this until now, there is no reason to change” says the lead dev. Of course they are reasons change, since the need for software and our knowledge evolve all the time! Questioning things is a good habit.

I've given up trying to look smart. It's being a jerk and lead to nothing. My solutions are meaningless when there is no problem, at least when the effects of the problem have not occurred (yet). So I state the problem, just to see if it's already known and if there's a consensus to do something about it or not. I do not insist. We decide not to do anything for now? That's OK, let's wait for occurrence. I'll offer my help when it will be needed.

The context is important also. First, we are contractors and we bill every change we make to the code. If we find a bug that the clients has not faced yet, it's complicated to inform them and demand money to fix it. It would be like maintaining a ransomware! It's a bad way to do software but the business is OK with that illusion of cost control.

Here is another factor. In our company, people are evaluated for their personal performance, not for the whole team performance. The benefits is that it theoretically push everyone to do its best and be rewarded for it. The problem is that it can easily create unproductive competition between people.

As a new guy in the team I have to figure out who are the leaders. It's useless to get in a fight with them. I propose stuff, and accept that they will be dismissed 80% of the time with a sarcasm. By the way, using sarcasm is lacking factual arguments. It's a good sign!