So I asked this question yesterday:

How to handle senior developer shirking his work and giving it to interns instead of doing it?

And while some people tried to actually answer my question, most of the people are spending their time trying to tell me that I can't be right about what I'm saying because I'm an intern.

Should I have phrased it another way or is it just that you're not supposed to ever question what a colleague does if you're an intern on The Workplace? Where did I go wrong?

  • 4
    it has stuck in hot-questions for about 20 hours now, meaning it as usually attracted (and will keep attracting) garbage answers from careless Stack Overflow passers by willing to just have fun. If this bothers you much ask moderator or 15K user to protect it, this may help a little
    – gnat
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:18
  • @gnat Well I should indeed do that, but how do I contact a moderator or 15k user since there is no mail box or message box on Stack Exchange (at least none I'm aware of)? Should I just tag one in a comment of my question?
    – sh5164
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:28
  • comments to the question looks like a reasonable way. Alternatively you can use The Workplace Chat. And in case if you can make a compelling explanation of your question abused by HNQ lemmings in 500 chars you can even flag for moderator, but that's harder (eg I clearly see 3 or 4 trash answers in your question but can't figure a text of flag message solid enough to justify such an explicit demand for mod help as flagging)
    – gnat
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:32
  • 1
    I've protected the question for you.
    – Jane S
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:51
  • @JaneS thank you very much !
    – sh5164
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:54
  • Besides being "entertainment" the HNQ is a bit of a mixed bag, it sometimes brings in new people to the site who make amazing contributions (and in particular, write good answers to the HNQ in question), and it also brings along hordes of passers-by who don't know the difference between SE and reddit or even 9gag. You should accept the thorns with the rose in such cases.
    – Masked Man
    Jul 28, 2017 at 10:08
  • @MaskedMan I guess so, still feels pretty annoying to argue more on wether you're lying on the situation or not rather than trying to find a potential solution though.
    – sh5164
    Jul 28, 2017 at 10:10
  • If you see rubbish answers to a reasonable question, first check if your question was on HNQ. The age of the account posting rubbish is also useful info. I wouldn't worry about rubbish from a random passerby who may have created an account (or a so-called unregistered account) just to post a comment as answer and will probably never show up here again. Forget about it and focus on the good answers you have got. PS: I wish I had protected the question earlier. I am habituated to seeing HNQ being already protected (usually by @enderland ;)) before I even open it the first time.
    – Masked Man
    Jul 28, 2017 at 10:11
  • Honestly I thought your question was perfectly fine and you didn't do anything wrong in how you asked it, and alot of the flak you recieved in comments was uncalled for and says far more about the commenter than it doesn't about you IMO. As others have commented it was mainly a result of the lemmings that get attacted to HNQ so I wouldn't worry about it.
    – motosubatsu Mod
    Jul 28, 2017 at 10:16
  • Thank you all for your advices and comprehension. @gnat, you should put what you told me ("protect your question") in an answer so that I can confirm it.
    – sh5164
    Jul 28, 2017 at 11:46

2 Answers 2


I think your problem was more that you assumed the senior was acting in bad faith by doing what he was doing in your question. Questions are best recieved when they come from a neutral tone, state facts rather than opinions and thoughts, and have a clear goal. Yours lacks all of these. And your question:

How can we make him code without burning bridges?

Is very very slanted. It reads like a rant. If you want to be taken seriously just spell out what is going on, then say what your concerns are, and what you want to achieve by asking the question. If that goal you want to achieve is reasonable you should get good answers. If you insert your opinions into the facts of what is going on it looks bad.

The problem is that instead of coding, as our manager told him to before going in holidays, he keeps just telling us to code things saying "he's too busy to code", most of which are easy things to code that would be perfect for him to familiarize with the code.

There is nothing in this paragraph that is factual except that he says "he's too busy to code" all of the rest is full of your opinion of what the manager told him and what you think he should be doing. None of this makes for a good question. Your whole question is full of places where you inserted your opinion into the issue instead of just telling us what is going on and what you would like to see changed. That makes it feel very ranty.


I think it is odd that any manager is going to give this much information about a senior team member not doing his job in front of other employees. It's normally done in private behind closed doors. The fact that you are an intern makes it even more suspect.

Up to a point, I could see that you were told to do your part and the boss may have even mentioned that the senior member was told to do his part, but mentioning this has been a problem before should have never been mentioned.

We're all human and sometimes we hear different things, assume others and fill in the blanks when possible. As an intern or when you are new to a company or position, operate as if you don't know everything that is going on until you do. Make sure you know what is required of you, but be careful how you question the actions of others. They're called rookie mistakes for a reason.

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