Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Tom,
There are a number of issues in there. Have you tried training her? Like actually sitting down with her and explaining what you do and why?
I also recommend having a process for making suggestions. (such as "you should use Hibernate"). It could be a regular retrospective. Or "process improvement lunch" every other Friday. The idea is to have a time/place for suggestions where it is appropriate to talk about why they are good (or not good) ideas. Often with a new person, the suggestions are coming from a good place but the person doesn't know what she doesn't know and they aren't appropriate.
It sounds like she has some tech skills since she built something even though it wasn't what you needed. Which means there is a chance you can coach her to success. What if you become more involved. For example, you do a design together with her. Or pair program for a while. Or ask to look at an early draft. As far as Hibernate, maybe you could have her do a proof of concept. Write one query (you chose it so it isn't trivial) and compare the performance difference between raw SQL and Hibernate.
There's a more general problem I'm seeing. It doesn't appear to be clear on what her role is vs yours. Which of the three of you makes the final call on design decisions?
Tom Nielson wrote:My colleague and I are fulltime and have Senior Developer titles, while she is just a "contractor" with no established responsibilities or role other than to assist us. Therefore, either of us make the final call on design depending on whose project it is. I establish and maintain our design standards though.
Guillermo Ishi wrote:
You're allowed to show leadership.
chris webster wrote:Glad we managed to help you get a different perspective on your situation, even if it's still far from satisfactory. But I would just point out that it's not the outsourced vanilla XYZ developers who are damaging our industry. It's our (managers') decision to use them inappropriately that is doing the real damage. If you're painting a bridge then you can probably do a fine job with relatively unskilled/inexperienced labour. But if you use the same unskilled labour to build a bridge, then you only have yourself to blame. Unfortunately the PHBs still seem to have trouble getting their heads around the basic principle of "caveat emptor". Good luck with your project - hope you manage to turn things around with your contractor.
Tom Nielson wrote:Well I bring good news. My problematic colleague quit a few weeks ago. I was starting to raise serious concerns but after her departure I got a lot of apologies from management, all of whom acknowledged she was a destructive influence and waste of time for our department. My value and talent seems to be understood now, and they told me I was right about everything from the beginning. They promised to not hire a contractor for this position again, and then relocated a former colleague back to my team which was the most optimal.
Thanks again for listening to my rants and providing insight I was able to present. It helped my case a lot.
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Tom,
Have a cow for closing the loop. It's nice to see the conclusion. I'm glad you don't have to deal with the situation anymore. And that your management "gets it".
Blake Edward wrote:
I'm glad you got things worked out. As a contractor myself, working for a company that works within a large global company, I have some empathy for the woman who was hired and then quit. There is a huge disparity between contingent workers and "real" employees and I am sure that she could see right from the start she needed to immediately prove her worth because typically contingent workers don't get trained. Also, since there was no real training for her, and you really didn't want her there anyway, I can see immediate frustration on her part. If she wasn't hired as a trainee it's possible that your cracker jack management team that hired her told her that one of her jobs was to find "new and better ways to do things" which means they didn't have a clue about what you do either nor any real respect.
Again, I'm sorry you had to endure the poor decision making of you managers, and that somebody got hired, didn't get trained and had to quit, and that you had to deal with the disrespect and the frustration. I'm sure the manager who hired her still has his/her job, right? Maybe they should be the ones to have left. Stories like this are sad.