10 things that irk developers about their managers

What developers are thinking before they bite their tongues.

It may be several months before Festivus, but some developers got an early opportunity to start in on the "airing of grievances."

Keyboard and exclamation points-photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo credit: Joe McKendrick

In an effort to open up better lines of communications between development teams and managers, Avtar Ram Singh gathered a list of the major grievances developers have about their management. He titled his piece, published at the Circus Social site, "10 Reasons Why Your Programmers May Kill You" -- which suggests the tone of the responses he got.

The tone of his list of grievances may seem cranky, and may set back the collaborative utopia that agile programming is supposed to bring to enterprises by several decades. But the customer -- in this case, the internal customer -- is always right, right?  And everyone needs to blow off steam now and then, right? And the squeeky wheel gets the grease, right?

So, business-side managers take heed. Here is Avtar's list of the major grievances.

1. “Just tell me exactly what you want, dammit. None of this creative crap.”

2. “It would help if my manager understood the difference between an event and an action.”

3. “Given that I’m adding such value to your business, you might as well ask me every now and then for some input! I have some good ideas!”

4. “There’s no such thing as a simple modification. If you ask a builder to add a window to an already completed wall, he might use your head to knock out the bricks to make space for it.”

5. “I have a style of programming, and there’s no such thing as ‘churning out code’, alright? I craft my code, I’m an artist of instructions.”

6. “Maybe he should show his face during developer meetings to understand what we’re doing.”

7. “You want the status report or you want the application finished? Make up your mind.”

8. “So all that needs to be done is move this box here and that box there is it? Well why don’t you do it?”

9. “I never said that this needs to be done in four days, you did. There’s a difference.”

10. “The client is using software that was made before I was born. I don’t make you write with a feather pen do I?”


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