I don’t care how good a programmer you are or you think you are: If you’re not reliable, you’re worthless.

Most employers, including myself, are very flexible.  If you say you’re sick, need a vacation, have something special going on, we’ll make accommodations.  If however you don’t show up, don’t answer emails, ignore our phone calls… well that just doesn’t work.

How do you keep your employer (or customers) happy?  Report in.  Your immediate boss (if you have one) should get a status update from you in one form or another at least a couple times a week if not daily.  Situations may vary there.  Your customers or clients: give a status update weekly if there aren’t any hot projects going on and there’s just stuff on the various back-burners.  If a client has a hot project, daily updates should be sent describing what has been done, what is left to be done, and what new items have come up.

“But we have a project management system!”  Doesn’t matter.  Just because a client, boss, or co-worker can log in and see something in there, it’s not the same as an actual communication effort from you.  If that system sends out emails of your updates, that’s half-way acceptable.  Make sure to follow those up with a phone call once in a while.

Don’t be lazy and just not communicate!  It’s the quickest way to make you look like a terrible programmer, even if you’re a good one.

April 5th, 2013

Posted In: HR

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