How to see a Bad Manager

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I have started writing articles years ago in CodeProject and I have written some few ones in CodeGuru and now I only write for Dotnetfunda. Being a writer has opened a lot of opportunities for me in the industry. I have been writing code since the times of jdk 1.2, where we did not have the ide and academically written a lot of c++ code and enjoyed multiple inheritance than implementing interfaces all over the place. In this Article I will help you to make a decision about your career. I don’t say I know everything but I have seen strange things that can make a programmer unhappy for a long time.


I dedicate this article to Sheo Narayan (Dotnetfunda) who stood by me and prayed with me to overcome my unhappy days as a programmer and to Mukesh, Theresa, Lizmari, Louse and not forgetting Karen at ITS Holdings thank you for your support, you have been wonderful.

Using the code

Unfortunately in this Article there is no code to write.

Choosing The Right Position

Choosing the right position where you will express your skills is the very important thing you can do for your career. I have been managed by different people who previously wrote a code before and those who never wrote a code before. A friend of mine once told me that working for a Boss who never code before is not a good idea. He explained and he gave valid points. I agreed with him on the points he raised but I must say I have been managed by seniors who had no idea what I was doing. Who only saw the application and never cared how it was engineered. They were very good managers and they never gave me a problem. It’s important to choose the correct position where you will be managed by a good manager. It does not matter if the manager coded before or not. The most important thing to do is to ask the following questions in the interview.

As a manager you have managed a lot of people and with your experience you have met deadlines and missed some. What do you think is the cause for a programmer to miss a Deadline?

Most of the time Programmers miss the deadline because they were pushed into the corner to give an unrealistic time and if you have a manager who never wrote code before its worse because he does not know what it means to write code and he does not know that programmers don’t know everything and in fact he does not know that programmers use Google more than anyone. We always get stuck and we always Google (research) and another worse scenarios is when you hit an exception that only you have come across. "You will see a lot of this if you work with the latest technology"

If a manager in the interview his answer is, “a programmer gives an Unrealistic time-lines”.

Ask him the following question.

What does he do or say if the time is unrealistic.

If he says he will give you an extra week, then you must know that this is your manager. But if he says to you he will hold you to that. It means get another interview because you will be frustrated there.

What are the primary languages for this position?

If you are not Strong in a language, do not take a senior position, because you will be expected to write most of the code. So be careful, I have never been fired before and I don’t know how it feels, but I think it’s not a good experience.

I know everything and I am always right

If you did not meet this kind of people before, please be prepared and pray that it is not your boss. I have vast knowledge in Information technology but I don’t know everything. When I get stuck with something i always ask. If I was a programmer who programmed in times of COBOL and Turbo Pascal and all the other legacy languages I would look for a young blood that understands this nice new technologies that are available today and learn from them and enjoy to watch them do what they can do best at the same time making clients happy with the quality of the product that is delivered.

But there are people who are the opposite of what I said above. The older they get, the worse they become. If they see a young man with fresh ideas, they think the young programmer is trying to take them out of business. If this is your boss, it means its time for you to attend interviews and let him drawn the company until it looses all its clients. If you are the person that is doing that, then you need to learn from these young developers, because the way we program today will be different in years to come and you will not have power to write any code.

One other thing that you should ask in the interview is this question.

Does the Manager give the Programmer a freedom to develop a solution or he has some personal preferences to develop a solution

This is a very difficult question to ask in an interview, but it might bite you if you don’t ask it. As you can see in the question I included the word “personal”. When the word personal is used you will notice that someone want something to be done to benefit only him. On the other hand he wants the praises for what has been done. Working for a Boss that has personal taste to technology especially the idiots who think if they programmed in C++ they know everything and start calling everything a class and even attempting to create a class in JavaScript can be annoying and a bad experience.

If you can ask these questions before you take a position in any firm, I promise you will be happy. Please note that not all the questions I have raised will save you from companies that have bad managers and the purpose of this article is to help you spot bad managers in software houses.

What can you do?

When you are hired in big companies where your team lead or anyone who you will work with, its important to tell them people who hired you , what you are capable of and what you cant do. I myself , i cant do everythhing. there are many things that i dont know or i cant do. I have been employed before in some organization where the people who were supposed to manage me, did not know what i am capable of, this was a spit on my face, because you will find someone cumming to explain to be the basic of programming. i normally don't say to the person i know that, i just sit and listen and pretend and if i did not understand and now i understand. Within a week i would be in another Job l, but that making sure that the next company will know what i am capable of.

What is the use of being employed in a company if they don't know what you can do, They cant utilize your skills fully, they cant get the best out of you, this leads to a person not growing. Be careful , because this will hinder you from doing a good job from where you left from your previous Job.


All my life I have written technical articles and only two General articles that have nothing to do with coding and this will be my 3rd article and I hope it’s the last one. I dedicated my time to write this article for young men out there who are looking to join companies. Please make a proper research before you join a company, there are Greedy people who only want to benefit at your cost and there are bad managers who think they know while they don’t. I am Glad i have not meet such people and I hope in the future I will not meet people like that.

Vuyiswa Maseko
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About the Author

Full Name: Vuyiswa Maseko
Member Level: NotApplicable
Member Status: Member,MVP,Administrator
Member Since: 7/6/2008 11:50:44 PM
Country: South Africa
Thank you for posting at Dotnetfunda [Administrator]
Vuyiswa Junius Maseko is a Founder of Vimalsoft (Pty) Ltd ( and a forum moderator at www.DotnetFunda. Vuyiswa has been developing for 16 years now. his major strength are C# 1.1,2.0,3.0,3.5,4.0,4.5 and and sql and his interest were in, c#, Silverlight,wpf,wcf, wwf and now his interests are in Kinect for Windows,Unity 3D. He has been using .net since the beta version of it. Vuyiswa believes that Kinect and Hololen is the next generation of computing.Thanks to people like Chris Maunder (codeproject), Colin Angus Mackay (codeproject), Dave Kreskowiak (Codeproject), Sheo Narayan (.Netfunda),Rajesh Kumar(Microsoft) They have made vuyiswa what he is today.

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Comments or Responses

Posted by: Samarmir on: 10/2/2010 | Points: 10
Its was a nice article!
Please do continue writing articles like this.


Posted by: Amatya on: 4/5/2016 | Points: 25
What happen man .. Continue to write articles.Best of Luck


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