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Man up! (A developer’s responsibility to their team)

Dear Reader,

Regular readers know that if I have to answer a question more than once, I usually blog the answer so that I don’t have to answer it anymore. This is one of those posts. Also, I do apologize in advance to my female coder friends, the title wasn’t meant to be sexist.

Twice in the past 3 months I’ve had the same conversation with two different people.

Other: Well, they did it, they chose <solution X> over <solution Y>. They are so wrong. This is gonna be totally fubar. I’m not sure I can support this decision knowing how stupid it is.
Me: Were you involved in the discussion?
Other: Yes.
Me: Then, now that the decision is made, you have two and only two options. Either get behind the decision and do your job, or leave.


Look, it’s easy. As developers, we see people we don’t respect making decisions we don’t agree with. I know how difficult this position is because like every other developer in the world, I’ve been in this position. However, unlike a lot of developers I’ve talked to in recent years, I don’t see “digging my heals in” or whining as alternatives. If your company, or your leadership has made a decision you don’t agree with, you do only have two options.

  1. Man up, suck it up, grow a pair, put your big girl panties on, however you want to phrase it, you not only go along with the decision, you get behind it. You find a way to get your head back in the game and play. Why? because it’s your job. You are a member of a team. When the team decides to move, you move with it. You don’t decide to mope, you don’t decide that maybe if you are passive aggressive enough things will get better. You owe it to your team to get on board or move on to option number 2.
  2. Leave. Yes, get the hell out of Dodge. If you can’t get behind the decision, don’t try to bring the house down from within. Do the honorable thing and leave. If you can’t leave immediately then circle back around to option 1 until you can.

Yes, your job will suck for a while until you can relocate, nobody promised you happiness, just the pursuit of happiness.

I talk to a lot of people about how to build teams and the cornerstone of any good team is respect. Management has to respect developers and I firmly believe that. However, you as a developers, have to respect management as well. It is a two way street. It is your job to respect them and as soon as you find yourself in a position where you don’t or can’t, leave. Until then, man up and do your job.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=


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