Episode 235: Bus factors and toxic time bomb


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. I work as an IC in a team which owns 3 very different and large parts of the system. Our team is 4 experienced engineers and 1 intern. Historically each person was assigned to a single part and, as you might expect, we have a bus factor problem. With this layout we’re making as much progress as possible and it helps us to compete on the market but creates a dangerous situation if someone would decide to leave (spoiler: I will).

    What would you do if you were IC, team lead or a manager in such a team? We’re already exceeding headcount so it’s not an option.

  2. I am a developer with 1.5 years of experience, and was put on a greenfield project to rapidly develop a new application. We have a contractor that came onboard to help with the process. On the very first day of meeting this person I noticed their propensity to not allow anyone else to talk and interrupt.

    Fast forward several months and this person has really become a micromanager, they’re requesting the source files from our UI contractor, they got another person kicked off the project because they didn’t like the changes they were making interfering in their development process, they have constantly hoarded all the real dev work and work frequently until 9pm.

    I have voiced my concerns to the PM, mainly about the bus-factor, since layoffs are likely coming and this person likely won’t be converted.

    At this point I am just tuning out on this project. I do the scrap issues the contractor basically doesn’t want, but I am seeking learning opportunities elsewhere within the company and have nearly zero interest in the project which I see as a ticking time bomb.

    What would you recommend? I could potentially escalate the issue to the manager of our team but I basically see working with this individual as toxic and the PM as autopiloting to the finish line.

Show Notes

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2534312/the–640k–quote-won-t-go-away—-but-did-gates-really-say-it-.html - apparently the bill gates quote is apocryphal

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