The Disinterested Developer

Transitioning into the realm of developers, we continue the Development Project Archetypes series

Though you will usually see the Disinterested Developer working diligently whenever you walk by, you also notice she has a well-known social networking site constantly minimized on his desktop. Over time, you see a pattern: social networking tools when no one is thought to be around, development tools when there is. During meetings the Disinterested Developer is looking out the window or checking her mobile phone. She doesn’t engage the rest of the team on a technical level. She answers only when required and delivers the minimal amount of work necessary to keep the project manager happy. Her heart either isn’t in software development or she’s bored with the project.

The Disinterested Developer isn’t necessarily a bad person. Not everyone is as keen on software as you are (right?). But care should be taken to ensure she carries her weight. The last thing you need on a brownfield project is a team revolt because she is perceived as getting special treatment. Your best bet is a heart-to-heart with the developer to see if there is a reason behind her ennui. Give her every chance to turn things around. It may sound mercenary, but if there is no improvement, don’t discount removing her from the project as an alternative.