I really need to vent. Devrant to the rescue! This is about being undervalued and mind-numbingly stupid tasks.

The story starts about a year ago. We inherited a project from another company. For some months it was "my" project. As our company was small, most projects had a "team" of one person. And while I missed having teammates - I love bouncing ideas around and doing and receiving code reviews! - all was good. Good project, good work, good customer. I'm not a junior anymore, I was managing just fine.
After those months the company hired a new senior software engineer, I guess in his forties. Nice and knowledgeable guy. Boss put him on "my" project and declared him the lead dev. Because seniority and because I was moved to a different project soon afterwards. Stupid office politics, I was actually a bad fit there, but details don't matter. What matters is I finally returned after about 3/4 of a year.

Only to find senior guy calling all the shots. Sure, I was gone, but still... Call with the customer? He does it. Discussion with our boss? Only him. Architecture, design, requirements engineering, any sort of intellectually challenging tasks? He doesn't even ask if we might share the work. We discuss *nothing* and while he agreed to code reviews, we're doing zero. I'm completely out of the loop and he doesn't even seem to consider getting me in.

But what really upsets me are the tasks he prepared for me. As he first described them they sounded somewhat interesting from a technical perspective. However, I found he had described them in such detail that a beginner student would be bored.
A description of the desired behaviour, so far so good. But also how to implement it, down to which classes to create. He even added a list of existing classes to get inspiration or copy code from. Basically no thinking required, only typing.

Well not quite, I did find something I needed to ask. Predictably he was busy. I was able to answer my question myself. He was, as it turns out, designing and implementing something actually interesting. Which he never had talked about with me. Out of the loop. Fuck.

Man, I'm fuming. I realize he's probably just ignorant. But I feel treated like his typing slave. Like he's not interested in my brain, only in my hands. I am *so* fucking close to assigning him the tasks back, and telling him since I wasn't involved in the thinking part, he can have his shitty typing part for himself, too. Fuck, what am I gonna do? I'd prefer some "malicious compliance" move but not coming up with ideas right now.

  • 7
    Easy malicious compliance: take all the things he says extremely literally, even when you know they will be bad. He didn't mention implementing a feature? Don't implement it. When management gets mad about shit not working right, I suspect it'll come down on you. That's when you say that he's been doing such a good job as lead with all these detailed backlogs that, while it seemed questionable, he must know what he's doing as he was made lead instead of you. And since he did this all through detailed writing, you have the proof you need.
  • 6
    Try talking to him
    If he still ignores you, then do what @pk76 said

    Don't assume that he's doing it intentionally or something

    Tell him what you can do
  • 2
    This is an idiot, as a team lead i always build everything with my team.
    Architecture, engineering, customer meetings, i include my team everywhere as they are the ones who do the job.
    As a human being, i know that we are more productive if we are included deeply in a project as we own it.
    Plus it is always better to have people share and agree on issues/propositions.

    Your seinor shall retire 😤😤
  • 2
    @gitlog but still, it is common sense at this point.
    Our friend here isn’t a code monkey
  • 2
    @pk76 lol, beautiful! Thanks.

    @gitlog I agree. For now, I'm assuming in his favour that he got used to being the only dev too much. Or something like that. I'll calm myself down and have a talk with him.

    @workabit this is exactly the way I'd like to work. Thanks for being a great team lead and the reassuring words!
    Yeah, I'm having a hard time seeings things from his perspective.
    He might be oblivious to how much damage he's doing. He might view me as "incompetent until proven otherwise". Worst case, he might consider it perfectly normal that the more senior you are, the more you're "entitled" to the interesting parts of work.
    Well, like I said, gonna have a talk with him.
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