I am not a people person

It’s true. I love my work – I love writing the best code that I can, but when it comes to some things, like tact, when dealing with other team members, I suck.

Btw, too much work has resulted in no time for any of my personal code, so I haven’t had any to share for a while. I considered sharing my prototype code for reading flat files that come from the bank, as it is written in such a way that you can easily derive subclasses to read data with any types in different file formats, where each class just has one abstract method to implement, using virtual helpers to add the various entities so that classes for different structures are quick and easy to add in a few minutes, but I don’t think it would be ethical to share that code, and in fact it might break a confidentiality agreement with Multichoice. So apologies… there won’t be any new code shared here any time soon.

I promised myself not to write all the functional code myself this sprint, but did a major part of it last week already (by prototyping). So now all the code to read our incoming files is written and unit tested. I really thought the other guy could then do the convert my nice generic classes to XML part, and he is sick today.

Worse yet, he is working on a part of the solution that I don’t believe requires much time at all, so I am once again going to have to write all the “real” code.

To explain… we have two user stories this sprint, and I don’t believe the first one should even be a story:

  1. Receive a file (of a couple different flat file types).
  2. Process the file. (Read it and transform to XML.)

I am working on number 2 of course, but now our testers are getting pedantic about part 1, claiming they can’t write their test cases and so on because they don’t know how we receive the file.

Who cares how we receive the file? I mean, it’s trivial to write a Windows service that either polls or uses a file system watcher, and just passes the file along. Of course this results in me making statements like “You are just creating obstacles” in our daily stand-up meeting.

I hate dealing with people. They are too often stupid, lazy and just get in the way. Or maybe it’s me who’s wrong?


About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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3 Responses to I am not a people person

  1. Cindy says:

    It can be frustrating working in a team when you’re not a people person, but unfortunately you still have to work with them no matter how you feel about them. However tedious it is when people are working slow, unless you take the time to get them up to speed, you’ll always feel like they’re holding you back.

    Something that’s helped me in the past is to think of the people I’m working with as a complex piece of code. What motivates them and what are they thinking when they do things that appear stupid to you? If you can understand them, then you’ll be halfway to making them understand you 🙂


    • Jerome says:

      We get on well, and I do know that the team members are not stupid, but sometimes it still gets frustrating. 😦

      And sometimes, their main problem is that they do not listen… (I’m referring to our test analysts here…) I explain things to help them understand what the scope is of the work they should test, and sometimes it gets frustrating when they don’t understand that certain things may be prerequisites and although using them needs to be understood, they should not be tested because they are not part of this team’s deliverables.

      And when I explain how to log bugs better, they think I am trying to resist them logging any bugs because I “don’t like bugs”. Meanwhile the truth is simpler… For example, if my code is writing a line of a flat file with 11 fields, and it gets the format of field 3 wrong, then everything thereafter will be offset by the bug in field 3… Do not log bugs for all the other fields, unless you are smart enough to calcumate what the fields should look like with the offset in field 3, or else you will waste your time and get responses from me like:
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.
      Can not reproduce.


      • Cindy says:

        Haha, I love your bug responses 🙂 Hopefully after getting that a few times they’ll think first before creating dependent bug reports. Maybe try praising them when they find tricksy bugs too, that way they’ll know you’re not against them finding bugs, just against them reporting stupid ones.


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