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Re: Convincing co-workers to learn Perl

by adrianh (Chancellor)
on Mar 26, 2003 at 15:16 UTC ( #245951=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Convincing co-workers to learn Perl

I'd just sit down with your co-workers, explain all the above (which makes sense), and agree to start a study group (and ask management to give you time for said study).

Have your co-workers raised objections to learning perl? If so what? From the description you've given of your work situation lack of time would seem the only sensible excuse...


Comment on Re: Convincing co-workers to learn Perl
Re: Re: Convincing co-workers to learn Perl
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Mar 26, 2003 at 15:33 UTC
    adrianh,
    Thank you for that piece of sagely advice. There is no direct objection. Time is a factor. I honestly believe that management would allow for such a study group, but while in the office - there is always something hot. I am afraid that if they are not willing to give up their lunch break or stay after hours, this just isn't going to work. I am willing to make those sacrifices, how can I convince them to do the same?

    Cheers - L~R

      Go to work at a non-profit or social-justice organization. Those people stay after and work extra without getting paid. Everyone else just goes home or eats lunch.

        diotalevi,
        Point conceded. I would certainly solve my problem by changing environments. I would like to bring change from within before I consider such a drastic measure. Thank you.

        Cheers - L~R

      I doubt that you can (or necessarily should) convince your colleagues to give up their unpaid hours to learning perl to benefit the company, though it might be possible you could convince some to do so to benefit themselves - for the sake of having perl on their resume, or just to become a more effective programmer, or for the fun of it. But the people who would be swayed by such arguments would likely already be twisting your arm for a study group.

      Talking to management is probably not the best first step (though this depends on the company), since it may result in management imposing your suggestions on reluctant colleagues, who are unlikely to thank you for it.

      So I'd start by talking to your colleagues: do they see the lack of peer review of your code as a problem? Would they be happy to learn perl by going on a course? Would they be happy to learn from you inside work hours? Having learnt perl, could they imagine using it in the future, in another job? The answers to questions such as these would help clarify what to suggest to the management, or may convince you that you should do nothing.

      Another approach is to teach by stealth: if you ever do code walkthroughs, try walking through some examples of your perl code, pointing out bugs and explaining how to fix them, and just describing what the language is doing as you go.

      Good luck. :)

      Hugo
        hv,
        Very wise words. There are some jewels in there I will try to polish.

        Thank you - L~R

      If you're management isn't going to allow some personal development time they're shooting themselves in the foot. They'll be heading towards higher staff turnover or poor quality employees in the longer term.

      Giving up lunch breaks and staying after hours is a sacrifice. Personally I like to use them for eating lunch, seeing my partner and walking the dogs :-) Unless somebody is interested in perl for its own sake they are not going to sacrifice personal time. I don't think you can win that one.

      I realise that this can be a hard problem to solve, but I think that your time will be better spent lobbying your management than your coworkers - that's where the problem is. You may be surprised. Asking works more often than you would expect, especially if you have sensible arguments for how the improved skills will help the company (as you do).

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