Communication, Developer growth, Teams

Open Letter to that Lone ‘Team Player’

Dear Lone ‘Team Player’,

Welcome to our team. We care about working together and improving as a whole. We know there are some challenges with the codebase, but are gradually improving as we deliver functionality.

We hear you’re extremely skilled at X, Y and Z, but we’re not familiar with those, yet. That looks like an awesome approach to solve problem B, but we only have problem A at the moment. Perhaps some time when B comes up?

We appreciate your eagerness to wade through the codebase and refactor things. We agree to many of your approaches, but you’ve just introduced bugs throughout the system. Would love to hear about your ideas before you make changes though, perhaps we can learn together?

Thanks for working hard and not giving up on that task alone for the past 3 days. It shows a lot of dedication. Too bad you’re still stuck. We would appreciate if you’d come to us a little earlier, say after 20 minutes, so we could help you understand why some decisions were made. We’d love to pair or mob with you.

You were unlucky with that bugfix you pushed out to production. The good news is that you solved the case for those customers in question. The bad news is you broke it for all the others. Mistakes happen, but rushing out that fix was a bit hasty. Please ask for help next time. We care about our customers and this could have easily been avoided if someone else on the team was involved.

So, you introduced X, Y and Z into our codebase. Looks really exciting, but you’ve now introduced new technologies we aren’t fluent in. This is going to slow the team down. Could we please discuss major changes like this? We would love to learn, but would prefer to be included.

No, we aren’t dinosaurs, but we appreciate the value we are able to deliver with the platform we have. We care deeply about every developer here, so please stop badmouthing others just because you don’t like their code.

Thank you for your efforts. You are clearly a skilled developer, but the values of our team aren’t aligned with yours. We wish you the best in the future.