I'm working in a software company as a junior s/w developer(fresher). Recently I was assigned to a project, already 2 of my team members who are senior to me by almost 3-3.5 years are working on this project. I was asked by my reporting officer to transfer their work on my machine, install it and review the code. While installing a bug floated, which the older members could not solve and I came up with a work around to this problem.

They seemed unhappy with the work around, I told them that I don't know how else to solve this problem and if they want to solve it they can, (moreover the technology is new for me) and in this context they were rude to me.

They told me that I'm behaving as a trainee and I should do it by myself and so long I don't solve this I can't do anything else.

The reason I'm bothered with this behavior is even if they are senior to me I don't work under them, My reporting officer is some one else and moreover, the bigger question is "Can you be rude with your coworkers?". I believe no one can be rude, If my company is not happy with my services, they can fire me but they can't be rude with me.

So, coming back to the issue, what should be my response to these people?

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    Can you explain on how they were rude to you ? Is it just because they're not your manager, or is it something they said, or their tone ? – MlleMei Sep 11 '18 at 10:04
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    This looks like a lot like you're asking us 'what should I say'. Please take a look at our help center, asking 'what do I say' is off-topic here. Asides from clarifying what exactly was rude, could you clarify what your goal is? Do you want to tell them that whatever they tasked you with is outside of your scope of work? Explain to them that you're bothered by their rudeness? I'm going to put this on hold now, until you've clarified a bit more. – Tinkeringbell Sep 11 '18 at 10:18
  • We can probably make this work for IPS, so I'd like to you to take a look at this and try to consider each point in there. That way, it would be easier to get proper answers that improve your Interpersonal Skills, instead of just a script for what to say (that might not even work). – Tinkeringbell Sep 11 '18 at 10:19
  • @Tinkeringbell, Sorry, I'm new here and I did not go through the help center – user21628 Sep 11 '18 at 10:22
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    @Tinkeringbell, I believe now there is no need to change anything as this incident is now 2 days old and I've already gotten over it, thanks to my dad's insights and the accepted answer. But I hold everyone's interest to provide a solution to my problem in high regards. And thank you as it's because of people like you that such sites are home to high quality content. – user21628 Sep 13 '18 at 4:07

It seems like some of your senior colleagues may be quite insecure. It is a classic scenario that someone younger joins a team with new ideas, more recent education and training, and this makes some older team members insecure about their own abilities. Instead of welcoming new people with skills that will strengthen the team, insecure people think only how it will affect them personally - how it reflects on them if you can do something they can't, and possibly how you might go on to bypass them.

I would say you need to be balanced in your attitude and approach to this. On one hand, try and see it from your colleagues' point of view. You don't necessarily know what promises your colleagues may have been given about their own careers that didn't happen. They may have been promised training and development, or career progression, and if that hasn't happened yet then they might be angry about that and (unfairly) projecting that onto you because you're the new guy with a fresh outlook. On the other hand though, it is unreasonable of them to demand you bug fix something they can't, especially when the code was somebody else's and the bug arose when they were giving it to you.

Don't respond with rudeness if someone is rude to you at work. If you set out with the aim of firing an insult back or proving them wrong in a very public way then you might end up looking bad yourself. Remember you are still new and while you might know a few extra workarounds than them there is no substitute for experience.

Use the project you are working on to prove yourself. Research the problem and fix the bug if you can. If not, try to implement the workaround in an automated way so it is as good as a fix. Alternatively, can you see a way that the bug could be avoided if you built this code again from the ground up?

I found myself in a similar situation a year ago, and after a year it has almost completely resolved itself. Ways I have found work to improve the situation are:

  1. Even if someone has irritated you, show them respect as a senior and ask them for advice on some things. If they have an ego problem this will puff them up a bit and feel better about themselves and their skill-set. If they feel less insecure they may treat you better.

  2. Focus on your own work and quit suggesting ways they could do theirs better. The longer they spend struggling with bugs of their own creation the less time they have to interfere with your work.

  3. If the rudeness persists from specific individuals you may consider going to your manager (or their manager) about it. But don't do that too soon - get a few successful projects or pieces of work under your belt first. That way your manager will see it as a concern raised by a valued member of staff rather than "the new guy causing trouble".

One year on in my role and I have my own workload which built up over time, and this keeps me separate from anyone that was a little rude when I was learning from them / job shadowing in the beginning. I have built up working relationships with more people and know where I stand with them, so I know they wouldn't listen to one or two people who might be rude. And the rude people have softened. If they are still a little sarcastic towards me on occasion I feel comfortable either ignoring it, or else I have the knowledge and experience to dismiss it.

  • I really appreciate your answer, it has motivated me a lot and I accepted it for this, but just a little point I'd like to add, I don't really think that they are insecure of me as I know my abilities and skill set which is average over all. But still a big thanks for your answer – user21628 Sep 11 '18 at 10:26