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Learn from Linus: the Nice way, the Nasty way, and the Hacker way | 172 comments | Create New Account
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Learn from Linus: the Nice way, the Nasty way, and the Hacker way
Authored by: tknarr on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 09:22 PM EDT

I'd note something about the "don't be nice" thing. I sometimes refer to "switching to bastard mode". That happens when there's a project I'm responsible for that requires other people to do things. We've had the meetings that involved me and my manager and them and their manager, and they've been assigned their bit of the work and are responsible for completing it. And they don't. I play nice. I ask, I nudge, I poke. I send daily (or even several-times-a-day) e-mails inquiring about progress and saying we need it done because we're coming up on deadline. And I'm not getting any progress made. My manager's on me to get it finished, and I'm stalled waiting on someone else. So finally I get fed up and stop being polite. I walk over, park myself at their desk, and refuse to move until I've got a commitment for when they're going to have it done. And when that time rolls around and it's not done, I'm back at their desk not leaving until it is done. No excuses, no delays, the work will be done one way or another. Inevitably that has my manager on me about being rude, but I respond "Here's all the e-mails from you complaining about how I'm not making progress while I was being polite. Well, progress has been made. If they're upset about the disruption, why didn't they just get the work done sooner when I wasn't disrupting them?". And my manager rarely has a good answer.

I hate having to be a bastard, but if it's a choice between "Be nice and fail to deliver the project." and "Be a bastard and get the project delivered." then it's an easy choice.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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