Episode 354: Good at circuits, bad at git and ghosts of team members past


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I work at a startup that makes embedded devices and the software that runs on them. Everyone on the tech team does both. We recently hired someone to lead the tech team to give the CTO more time for other duties. My new boss is incredibly experienced with hardware design and embedded systems and has been in the industry for a long time (40+ years). However, they are not familiar with modern software practices like version control. They will frequently ask us to do things like delete all copies of a broken version of software. When we try to explain how git works they will ask us to make a new repo with the now working version of the software even if the fix was a 1 line change. How can I politely explain that they just don’t understand how this works and correct them without being rude?

  2. What’s a “normal” rate of performance firings on a team/engineering department? I recently got a new job at a growing startup, and it’s fairly uncomfortable seeing the ghosts, on messaging apps and docs, of like 6 people in the ~25-person department who’ve been fired in the last half year. With that said, the department is continuing to hire, so I don’t think this necessarily means I should be worried. But does that sound like an unusual amount of performance-based firings?

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