Episode 317: Process renegades and hiding my disgrunteledness


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I work at a small company that has recently grown from a couple of engineers to 40+ due to some great new project opportunities. As part of this transition, many new policies are being implemented. The policies concerning the engineering department primarily revolve around task tracking and reporting time. Gone are the days when an engineer can charge eight hours to “fixing stuff” and earn a paycheck. Most of us are on board, but there are three engineers in particular who have been around for quite some time and vary between subtly passive aggressive to downright combative when it comes to creating JIRA tasks and logging their hours.

    The problem? They serve an absolutely critical role in our company. They are nigh irreplaceable in an extremely niche market. How should a manager strike the perfect balance between forcing an engineer to do something that they don’t want to do and not forcing them out? If this was a more common skillset, there wouldn’t be an issue with telling them “You don’t like it, go find another job”. But when there are a handful of people in the world that do this kind of thing and it closely involves hardware and these three just happen to be local… well, you get the idea. Losing these individuals would be a staggering blow the company. Making them redundant isn’t economically feasible. Time to ramp up for this position would be close to a year.

  2. So I’ve recently followed the first rule of Soft Skills Engineering and quit my job. All right! I believe in the new role and I think it’ll be a good change to me.

    Despite this, I’m feeling guilty about leaving my team behind. When my managers asked me how I was feeling in the last few quarters, I’ve mostly said I’m fine! I never told them my reservations about how the codebase I’m working on has no oversight, that they need to hire another dev because I don’t trust being the sole keeper, that it seems like product has forgotten this feature. I even indulged them when they asked me to make a long-term career plan when I was certain I would leave by early next year at the latest.

    So, what’s your take on how disgruntled employees often have to hide their true feelings? Maybe I could’ve been open, but it really seemed like the odds were against us, it’s just that upper leadership was neglecting this feature and there was no urgency to improve things. But I still feel like I wasn’t being fully honest. What do you guys think?

    Thanks so much and keep up the good work! Feelin’ Guilty

    P.S. Do you feel that this industry naturally rewards lack of loyalty and connection? What do you feel about that?

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