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  1. #1
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    Communication Problem

    As of now... I'm experiencing a communication problem w/ a close co-worker. He's definitely super nice guy! However, I feel as he's ignoring my e-mails and messages that's work related. All of them are basically saying "Help!!!". The reason is that I am maintaining a project that's basically created and maintained by 2 developers. 1 developer is not technically in my team, so I have to ask the other fellow constantly. This code is 5 years...very big... and it requires a scientific knowledge in some field (can't say ). So, it's pretty obvious that half the time, I need help in understanding the code and understanding the domain knowledge. After working w/ him for 6 months, he's now ignoring my e-mails and messages unless I go to his office. When asked face to face, he's always glad to help out.... Anyways, what would be the best approach in solving this communication problem? Also, he's the type of guy..who thinks if you have the code, you should understand everything.... probably the entire code is around 10k lines or so.....

  2. #2
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    If you harrassed me everyday for 6 months, I'd start ignoring your messages too.

    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

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    Collect things up and then send all the questions in bulk once or twice a week, so it's not a constant stream of interruptions?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    If you harrassed me everyday for 6 months, I'd start ignoring your messages too.

    That is true to a point.. but these guys worked on this for 5+ years... It'll take another good year to understand even 50% of these things. I miss the good old simple forms and simple requirements... I'm dealing w/ scientific terms that I can't even pronounce....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_dot View Post
    Collect things up and then send all the questions in bulk once or twice a week, so it's not a constant stream of interruptions?
    That is a good advice. I sort of do that for coding question but not for domain knowledge information. If I only bug him once or twice..I know for sure that I can't finish in time. Once I understand what I need to code and the requirements, I'm good! What I freeking hate is...I do something and I break their stuff... bad part is that it's impossible for me to know what I broken except my part is working. Then time to time, these guys would get frustrated and do the fix themselves... That's not really helping me since I need to understand what the problem is and how to solve it....

  6. #6
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    That is true to a point.. but these guys worked on this for 5+ years... It'll take another good year to understand even 50% of these things. I miss the good old simple forms and simple requirements... I'm dealing w/ scientific terms that I can't even pronounce....
    Perhaps rather than keep asking him for definitions like he's the Urban dictionary, you might consider asking him for the best (beginner friendly) reading material on that particular science so that you can do some research yourself and get to grips with exactly what's going on. The first practical skill any freelancer learns is that you need to not only understand your clients audience (and their needs) but your clients business too, a designer can't build an experience without an idea of what it's being used for and you probably can't get to grips with the code until you know what's behind it. In this case their business is obviously science and it's clear that you need to know that subject (and learn it) to be able to work in the environment. It'll save that poor guy a neurosis!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Perhaps rather than keep asking him for definitions like he's the Urban dictionary, you might consider asking him for the best (beginner friendly) reading material on that particular science so that you can do some research yourself and get to grips with exactly what's going on. The first practical skill any freelancer learns is that you need to not only understand your clients audience (and their needs) but your clients business too, a designer can't build an experience without an idea of what it's being used for and you probably can't get to grips with the code until you know what's behind it. In this case their business is obviously science and it's clear that you need to know that subject (and learn it) to be able to work in the environment. It'll save that poor guy a neurosis!
    That's a very good analogy! Yes, that's the exact scenario. I did try to learn the field knowledge...but failed miserably. I don't think simply handing me multiple 500+ pages of books that are 20+ years old are helping me. Actually, that's what they did at one point... I gave up in 1 hour...lol... But, is it really my fault? from the job interview they only cared if I can program well in Java and nothing about the knowledge........ maybe it's time for me to move on and admit I don't belong there.

  8. #8
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    It's probably their fault for not making the background knowledge an expectation of candidates but I'm sure there must be a dummies type guide that gives someone a crash course (that or Wikipedia is your friend)! Either way if you're really struggling to gauge the needs of the project due to not understanding how and why it functions in a particular way it might be a sign that perhaps you may want to find something that's not going to have you hanging at the back with a raised hand

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    It's probably their fault for not making the background knowledge an expectation of candidates but I'm sure there must be a dummies type guide that gives someone a crash course (that or Wikipedia is your friend)! Either way if you're really struggling to gauge the needs of the project due to not understanding how and why it functions in a particular way it might be a sign that perhaps you may want to find something that's not going to have you hanging at the back with a raised hand
    Yeah... I'm definitely heading into that road. The only reason I took this job is because of $_$ and unlimited school tuition fund.. Still, worst case is I can move on to another team that's less science


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