By John Sonmez July 6, 2017

Dealing With Bad Managers In The Development World

Dealing with managers can be tricky and difficult. A lot of times, I see lots of developers complaining about bad management in their workspace. They feel like they are not being driven to their full potential and it really makes them want to give up.

How do you deal with bad managers? Is there an easy thing you can do to fix this common mistake? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript of The Video

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. Hey, I just want to give a quick thanks to one of our sponsors at Simple Programmer which is DevMountain Bootcamp. You should go check them out. The link is in the description. They are a coding bootcamp and they can teach you web development, iOS development, UX design, a lot of good stuff. I get a lot of feedback from a lot of you out there that email me have told me about DevMountain, so I decided to check them out myself. I like what I found. I like their programs. They offer some 12-week intensive programs. They also offer some after-hours programs which I know that some of you will like. Go check them out. You can see the link in the description below, DevMountain Bootcamp. A big thank you to them for sponsoring Simple Programmer.

Today, I got a question about, “What does the software development field look like?” What is real software development like? Some of you don't know, don't know what it's like to actually work as a software developer, so I'm going to try to answer that here.

Anthony says, “When I was looking into buying Clean Code, a couple of people were debating saying while Clean Code is good practice, it makes you slower. Your manager/boss won't appreciate it.” He says, “Someone stated also that many managers still measure your productivity by how many lines of code you have. I understand that some managers are bad, but they're saying that most of them are still old school. Even though you shouldn’t trust everything people say on the Internet, this isn't the first time I've seen it.” He says here that he's 19 years old. Has no work experience to start apart from his parent's business. Reason for that is because he's under a visa that doesn’t allow him to work. “If I had work experience then maybe I would be able to answer this myself.” Thank you.

There's definitely going to be places where companies are dumb and managers are dumb and they're going to measure a programmer's skill in quality based on the number of lines of code that they write. There's going to be places like that. There's fewer of them today. It might depend on where you are in the world. I'll give you that. I think that there's more of those in India and in Russia. Not to pick on places, but just from my experience. It doesn’t—it's just something that I've seen and it's something in the culture. Software developers in India that write to me all the time write about how they're being brow bitten by their superiors. That's just kind of the environment there.

I can't speak to all environments, but I can say this. I'll say that this is just an overarching principle in life that I subscribe to that I highly encourage you to subscribe to, which is—you could call it karma if you want, but it's essentially this. If you do the right thing, good things will happen to you. Yes. You could game the system and you could focus on producing as many lines of code as possible. Maybe you would climb up the ranks as a superior developer because you're writing some shit code but you're writing a ton of it. Okay? Maybe you'd worked at some company where they'll be like, “Oh, you're great” because you're writing all this code even though you're writing all these bugs and it's a highly unmaintainable mess, and it's not the right thing to do. Yeah, you know, people climb up the ladder that way all the time, but they also fall. When they fall, they don't have much to fall back on because they've gamed the system. They haven't actually developed the skills. They're not actually good. They've just figured out that there's a loophole. There's some way that they're being judged and they figure out how to game that system. They really don't have any value.

I think there's an Einstein quote where he says, “Try to be a man of value. Try to be a person of value rather than something else that”—I don’t remember exactly what the quote is, but it's a good one. Look it up. Someone leave a comment and tell me what the quote is. Anyway, the point is this. The point is this, is that I believe 100% and I'll go all in on this, is that if you're doing the right thing, if you're producing quality, if you're providing value to people, it will come back to you 100 fold.

It may take time. It may take commitment. It may take persistence, but if you're consistently producing value, it's going to come back to you. Again, when I started this YouTube channel, a lot of people said, “Well, this is kind of like—I don’t know. You're not going to make money doing this. You're spending a lot of time. It doesn’t make sense,” like, “You have a hundred subscribers. What are you doing? Why are you wasting your time? You should be spending your time making Pluralsight courses where you're making a shit ton of money.” You could check out my Pluralsight here. I might as well plug them.

I said, “No, no.” Okay, look. If I'm here and I'm creating YouTube videos and I'm honestly creating a lot of value for people, in time good shit is going to happen. Good stuff is going to happen when I do that, right? It has. This channel has grown. It actually makes a decent amount of money, just the channel itself, aside from the other part in Simple Programmer. I'm able to impact a lot of people and who knows what's going to happen in the next three or four years, or five years down the road. It's because my focus is on creating value. I'm not optimizing. I'm not doing SEO. There's a little bit of SEO, but, essentially, my strategy with this channel is just to create really good value, so that people are like, “Man, you should have more subscribers.” They're like, “Oh, you should be doing some stuff to have more subscribers.” I'm like, “No, no. It will come.” Trust me. It will come if you're creating value like good things will come.

That’s what I would say about this, is that like, yeah. You can game the system. Yeah, you could figure out. I'm not saying don't be strategic. Obviously, you got to have some kind of common sense. You got to be pragmatic and practical. Ultimately, if you're going to go to the field of software development, if you're going to be software developer, write good code. Okay? Focus on producing the best value that you can for your employee. Your employee might not recognize what good value is. They might think that however many lines of codes that you write and you can try and educate them on that, but ultimately by producing good value. Even if some people won't recognize it, you're going to get further in life. You're going to get further in your career. You're going to feel more satisfied and fulfilled in life and the good things will come and they'll come back a hundred fold if you give it enough time. That's the investment that I would highly recommend that you make.

Again, some people would call it karma. I don’t know what you call it. I just say you do the right thing and good things happen to you. That's my belief. It always—what comes around goes around. It always seems to get you in the end. There you go. That's what I got to say about that.

By the way, I haven't—some of you have been watching this channel and you're like, “Oh, man. That's a pretty awesome shirt that John is wearing. Where can I get one of those?” Just click here or there will be a card and you go to store.simpleprogrammer.com and you can get one of these shirts about Trusting the Process. If you want to know more about trusting the process, do a search for trust the process on Simple Programmer and you'll find plenty of stuff on there.

All right. If you haven't subscribed already, click that Subscribe button. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."