I spent an hour and a half today arguing with another programmer about changes I made last week to get something working. The entire process is like smashing my head into a wall repeatedly. Eventually we got to the bottom of it: he was trying to solve a merge conflict and he was angry at me for changing code I “knew” he was working on*. Out of all the things you could accuse me of being, you chose… psychic.
We regularly have these absurd exchanges. Very usually they stem from him being a bit of an arse. That doesn’t make them any easier.
The reason I have such ridiculous colleagues is that they are foreign remote workers. You might occasionally hear companies say they hire remote workers because they don’t want geography to get in the way of ‘talent’. Be suspicious of these claims if their workers only seem to occupy areas where the average wage is substantially lower than that of the country the employer is located it.
My boss thinks this is great because he gets lots of cheap labour. It is not so great if you actually have to deal with them day to day. It reduces your ability to actually do any work because you’ve already spent all your mental energy on extremely inefficient and frustrating communication with people whose best contribution to the project would be to go away. Also, personally I don’t think we should be sending money to a country that’s just invaded Ukraine, but whatever. Let’s hope their military hardware engineers are as good as their software developers.
* He actually hasn’t committed anything for two weeks. I’ve no idea what he’s working on or what files he is changing. Previous experience suggests the answer might be: all of them.