Episode 319: Steve's babysitter and these uncertain times

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In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. My company wants several complex applications rewritten. “Steve” wrote the original applications, and has been assigned to do the rewrite. There is very little documentation on the original applications, and the rewrite will take intimate understanding of the existing code and new requirements.

    Management assigned me to work with Steve. They warned me that since we have started working remotely after covid, Steve has been hard to get a hold of and not meeting deadlines. My job is to keep Steve on task.

    When I ask Steve a question he will respond “I’ll work on it tomorrow” or “I’ll have to look in to that.” Then I never hear from him again. If I tell management I haven’t been able to get a hold of him, they will contact him, then he will contact me asking “What can I help you with?” Again, all his answers will be “I’ll have to look into that.”

    Occasionally Steve will report to me that he has finished a task. But because he did it without me, I am even more confused about what needs done or how to do it.

    I feel like my job has turned in to tattling on Steve. I am afraid I’m going to be labeled a whiner and that this project will harm my career growth.

    Over the last 2 weeks my solution has been to just ignore the project. Management hasn’t checked in with me, but I’m sitting on a ticking time bomb.

    What should I do?

  2. How to keep our sanity in times of uncertainty? I’ve recently changed jobs and despite the facts shows that I shouldn’t be worried, I can see my judgement is blurred by the fear of getting laid off even there’s no sign of it and I fear I would fulfill the prophecy!

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