Sharing the Joy of Software/Delphi in the .NET world

Friday, November 12, 2004

Another Side of Software Development

On my new job I work with another person. We will call him Bill. I was told about Bill on the initial interview by the company's Midwest manager. I was told he was talkative and was asked of that was an issue for me. I can deal with talkative people using many slight of hand moves or just being honest and asking for us to get back to work. Now I met Bill face to face on the second interview when we met with the government client. He had already accepted the position and I was still considering it. He seemed OK but I could tell he enjoyed to hear himself talk. So I accepted the position and working with Bill. I started the new job and have been very happy with the opportunity. I was honest with Bill about what I saw as a soft division of responsibilities; he taking the role of lead for the database and I developing the ASP.NET SOA architecture. We both agreed that our past warranted this split and that we both could learn from the other and assist in the development. Since then I have had more and more glimpses into the unstable mind of Bill. Besides being a know-it-all on everything from politics, biblical prophesies, conspiracy theories and office organization, he is a not much of a developer. I have discovered that he developed a few HRIS and Portals using Oracle technologies and I think he has done a bit with VB and Delphi. When we discussed OO concepts I was less than happy. I think he talked himself into the job. And so in addition to being the major developer on the project I also have been trying to help him get up to speed on ASP.NET, .NET and C#. Not easy for someone who is a know-it-all to allow himself to be seen as not knowing it all. But I am trying. I understand that Bill has a family out of state to feed and support and so I do not want to jeopardize his employment but I want to make sure that this project is successful. I write about this since this is a topic that you are not taught in college or school. How to deal with people that are difficult. I can deal with difficult people that are smart. I can work with people that might be difficult to lead. But I have to really use all my skills working with Bill who not only is difficult but not as experienced as anyone thought. How does this relate to my new blog title? Well it might in the end. We all learn from experiences. I have found that difficult ones teach more than easy experiences. I hope and pray that I learn a lot from this one. Just have to enjoy the difficult times I guess. UPDATE -- I have read all the comments that my comments have generated. What I did was discuss with Bill what our jobs are and what we each want to learn and experience. What I have learned is that he is very excited about getting into ASP.NET and will work very hard to get up to speed. He has also demostrated a lot of insight into the database architecture that has given me time to think about the system architecture including the security, exception handling and logging. I think we understand each other now. Thanks for the help.


  • A know-it-all is usually a person who is very unsure about the attention he gets from others, thus he forcefully draws all attention towards himself. The only thing, how I was once able to deal with a similar person, was patience, being clear about my own position, telling him from the beginning the rules that I play with and not letting them be jeopardized by his rule.

    Because the know-it-all is someone, who is actually seeking for lots of attention, he will start to trust you after 1 year.

    You should never care whether he will keep or lose his job. Whatever happens in this respect - it's his own problem that could lead him to some fruitful insights, if he loses the job.

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