The Arsehole Developer

I feel lucky that I’ve worked with some great teams of people through my career - both as a single developer completing a contact and in team situations. One thing that always strikes me is the need for teams to nearly always have different characters - you can think of the hit show Silicon Valley to picture what I’m talking about. You have the shy-type CEO Richard Hendricks who meekly goes about his business compared to the subject of this post - the arsehole developer Bertram Gilfoyle who is portrayed excellently by Martin Starr. You can get a rough idea of the character by watching this video which has Gilfoyle’s best moments.

This type of person has presented themselves quite often early-on in situations that I’ve entered. I always get the feeling that people do this so that it sets down an early marker so that you can learn your position within the team. Whether or not the actual position in the team is determined by this interactions I’ve never been sure.

I’ve always found it sad that people feel the need to present themselves in this fashion - teams always work a lot better when people are open in their conduct and work. Drop egos and the friction often seen in teams disappears. Having peer review and code qualification in teams is important - but people will begin to fear that process if the arsehole developer is the one doing the reviewing. Team members are going to feel less comfortable submitting their work and pull/merge requests in a team environment because of the known attitude and friction from the arsehole.

I eventually began to pick on who the arsehole developer was pretty quickly in new situations. There were plenty of telltale signs which exposed them. I think an interesting question on this subject is how the rest of the team can stop this behaviour and create a better environment for all.

I do truly believe that with a little education on how their behaviour is damaging the team, the team will recognise that they can all be more successful if the arsehole ceases to be.

It certainly changed this arsehole.