I'm an Android Developer in a big company. I started to work here less than a month ago.

However, since I arrived, I have noticed that some of my colleagues are doing work absolutely wrong in some aspects, such as coding the design so that it only works on their specific phone instead of all phones. This generates a LOT of rework for us later on. The rework returns to the developer that caused the problems, but because we are on a tight schedule, it affects me too.

I'm in the same post and the same level as them. There is no QA, but there are community standards to develop the designs so they can fit well in any display.

How can I tell them the right way to do their work without sounding bossy, superior, etc.?

  • 8
    What is your professional relationship with them? Same level or are you in a management/authority position over them? Is this affecting your work? Also you might try searching over on The Workplace, I know they've had questions about similar situations (for example)
    – Em C
    Jun 20, 2018 at 13:32
  • 5
    The Workplace StackExchange might be able to help with this. If you provide more info about what they're doing wrong (and how you think it should be done), then you might get more relevant answers.
    – user8671
    Jun 20, 2018 at 13:33
  • 1
    This question might be a good fit for this site as well; however, I think in this case you have to explain why you don't want to resort to TheWorkplace.SE. Other than that, welcome to IPS.SE! Complete the tour, learn about this site and earn a badge! Jun 20, 2018 at 13:45
  • @Em C , i'm in the same post, same level. If is this affecting my work? yeah, because all the rework are dealying our schedule. And thanks everybody for the Workplace tip, i didn't know about that website. Thanks in advance. Jun 20, 2018 at 13:51
  • 1
    BTW if you'd rather move this to the workplace, you can flag this for migration, or just delete and ask there. I think they would ask the same sort of questions to clarify though, so you should consider edit-ing either way :)
    – Em C
    Jun 20, 2018 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


First, I see you asked "how can I get them to see things my way" not "how I can see things their way/am I missing something." There's a chance it's more efficient than you realize. At least believing this possibility will help your interactions. Because then you won't come across as a know-it-all. (Not saying you do come across that way, but you might.) So approach from a perspective of you learning.

On that note people usually don't want to understand what you have to say until you understand what they have to say. So make sure you explicitly understand, then paraphrase, etc., so that people know you understand them.

To not sound like a superior - don't view yourself that way. That's probably the most important part. If you view yourself as superior, it will come out subtly in your emotions - little things you say and do. I could give you specific tips but that would just be masking the problem. View yourself truly as an equal and the right subtle behavior will flow out from you.

How to approach depends on the scope of the inefficiencies.

Case 1 - The inefficiencies directly affect you. To address these, first talk to the developer(s) about it. If that doesn't work, talk to your manager about it. Make a succinct compelling case. Since it affects your work, keep pushing until you are not negatively impacted.

Case 2 - The inefficiencies do not directly affect you.

I could be wrong, maybe it's impossible. Some people might be completely complacent in their work. They might not care to grow or change. Even if you're right. (Maybe they're threatened by someone who knows better than them - or maybe they have everything they want - who knows.) It's healthy to accept this possibility. If you force people to change, you might resort to manipulative or controlling behavior. It may work, but it's not ideal. Instead, accept that some things are beyond your control.

Your best bet is to either gain formal authority - management - or informal authority by building relationships with people.

To gain formal authority, present a compelling business case to management. Give them a problem, your solution, and how it achieves the goals/mission/objectives of the business. (Therefore learn what they are first.) They probably care about money, so make sure the focus is on their bottom-line. There's a lot more to be said, but if you need a lot of help here maybe you're not ready for management.

To gain informal authority, approach people who want to be helped. Be sure to be encouraging and not overly critical. I could say a lot here, too, but there's so much, so I'll just give the general principle: basically act in the benefit of their interests, and not your interests (I guess more accurately act in the intersection of the two). Once you've done this people will solicit your advice and follow it. Of course you have to keep acting in their interest.

Honestly, if you think know better than most of the people in a big company, you should seriously consider working for a startup or starting your own company. You'll probably be happier. While you can influence large organizations from the bottom, it's easier to effect change from the top.



Telling someone they are wrong and you are right will probably only get you negativity as It can come off as arrogant especially as you are new. A better idea is to explain the problems they have allegedly caused and how you have to work around the issue and how the situation can be improved.

Step 1

You should bear in mind that you have only been working there less than a month, things that you view as wrong may have good reasons for being done that way. At a previous job I found some people were using an outdated version of the coding language we were working in. I pointed this out and was told there were legacy system issues that meant this version had to be used. Have you asked your colleagues why they do things the way they do? They may have a good reason for doing so that you are unaware of. You should approach in a casual conversation with something like: I see you're using abc, have you tried using xyz?

Step 2

Your job is not to teach everyone how to do their jobs. If you feel like other people's work is negatively affecting your output and they are unwilling to change or listen to you then that is an issue you should raise with your manager. The focus of your discussion with should be that your colleagues method of doing things is disrupting your workflow. It's not about emphasizing that the other person is wrong, it is about your workflow disruption.

  • 2
    Rather than 'Have you tried using xyz' I personally have had more success with 'Is there a particular reason you're not using xyz?'. Sometimes the answer is 'Theres not really a reason, I should look into it', other times the answer is 'Yes, because blablabla' but it seems to come across better.
    – Cronax
    Jun 20, 2018 at 15:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.