On Thursday 25 October 2001 10:44, you wrote:
> Eric Lee Green <eric / badtux.org> writes:
> > Yeah, sometimes you must cope with people who are, uhm, less than
> > stellar, in order to get a product out. You assign them to all the simple
> > drudge tasks that even a moron should be able to do, and cross your
> > fingers that they won't screw it up, because it can take 6 months to get
> > a good replacement (as vs yet another less-than-stellar person) on board.
>
> And then you wonder why they aren't stellar...

One thing I learned from teaching was never to do anything that I could get 
someone else to do. There's otherwise no way for a teacher to do the 
10,000,000 tasks that s/he has been assigned, everything from teaching 
arithmetic to teaching kids basic stuff like how to interact with each other 
with words rather than fists (believe it or not, that's a big problem in many 
schools -- kids come to school without any language skills, and whenever they 
get frustrated they hit somebody). 

So I have no problem with anybody who has initiative and skills doing 
anything on the task list (which, BTW, is publically posted and anybody can 
choose any task off of it -- if they dare). But if you assign a difficult 
task to a person and it turns out that you spend more of your time helping 
this person do the task than it would have taken to do it yourself, the 
conclusion as to what this person's NEXT task will be is clear: something 
simpler. Sh*t needs to get done, and needs to be done in a timely manner, and 
if he can't do it, he can't do it. 

This may make me sound like a jerk, but it's just business. We have product 
to get out the door, and if a person is incapable of the initiative or lacks 
the background to learn what he needs to know in order to accomplish complex 
tasks without taking more of my time than it'd take for me to write the 
routine from scratch in the first place, it's clear that this 
less-than-stellar person is going to be assigned drudge tasks in the future, 
because he just is not being productive in more complex tasks and is sapping 
my productivity. If you manage to put together a team of superstars, great. 
I've worked on a team where most of the guys were great software engineers, 
and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Unfortunately, that's a 
very rare thing to ever have happen.  

Eric Lee Green          GnuPG public key at http://badtux.org/eric/eric.gpg
           mailto:eric / badtux.org  Web: http://www.badtux.org
             You do not save freedom by destroying freedom