Episode 152: How to pair program as an introvert and being mistreated as a contractor?

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Hi guys! Big fan of the show. Here’s a question: What to do if I hate working in pairs?

    I’m in a tricky situation. I work on a great project in a team of great people We try to implement all the good programming practices. Retrospectives, cross-review, working in pairs..

    I hate working in pairs. I am a typical introvert-programmer and the thing I like the most about programming is that you can sit all day digging around the code and NOT communicate with the people. Or at least not all day. But how can I say that to my teammates? “Hey, I would rather work alone than talk to you guys.. By the way, love y’all!”

    It seems impossible to communicate that to my co-workers without hurting them. And moreover, this is a good practice. Which makes me feel horrible because I feel super-tired after whole day of talking to people. Plus I also feel like somehow I take up their worst qualities: if the person is slower, I become slow too, or start making mistakes. Help!!

  2. Hey guys, big fan of the show here. Thanks for your advice and time.

    The company that I work for provides “tech teams” for hire. In other words, American companies that want to outsource part or all of their tech team to a cheaper location can hire us and get developers and PMs at a fraction of what it costs in the US.

    I ended up working with an established fitness company based in NY. Their management insists that we are “regular” engineers in their tech team and we should participate in their technical discussions, agile meetings and so on. However, their engineers seem to be on a completely different page and treat us like monkeys that can write some code.

    For the most part, I can deal with their condescending treatment and everything else they might throw my way. The problem is that the company is currently in a very intense project and they are all “stressed” which seem to provide them license to be extra rude BUT ONLY TO CONTRACTORS. Their managers brush everything under the excuse of stress but I’m sure that wouldn’t fly if we were “regular” team members.

    How would you handle this situation? Any advice before I lose my temper? I’m also afraid that getting rid of a contractor is much much easier than firing an actual employee.

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