Lazy and Inexperienced or Latent Management Material?
February 23, 2010 11:01 PM Subscribe
I am mentoring a college kid who wants to be a programmer. I am detail-oriented; he does the bare minimum
required to get the job done, but he gets things done. Am I right to push him toward thinking about doing project management rather than hands-dirty techie-developer type stuff? Or is he just lazy and needing to be schooled?
posted by circular to Work & Money (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always wished I could be more like this type of person -- doesn't obsess over the details, just powers through stuff and gets it done.
I have been thinking about asking him to start to keep track of projects, and maybe even to help me keep on task and finish the two classes I have left to get my university diploma, which I should have done about 8 years ago. (That simple role alone is worth at least hundreds to me if it could work)
Right now he knows enough XHTML and CSS to make a simple website with very basic graphics. He has also taken a rudimentary programming class using VB and says he liked it.
While he was taking the XHTML and CSS class, he would routinely come over to my house, flip open to the chapter exercises, and ask me for the answers. That were all printed in the chapter in the book.
His error breakdown was about 50% typos, 50% misunderstanding of syntax.
I agreed (to the person who set him up with me, who is MY mentor in an unrelated area) to offer him paying work from time to time when his skills would be helpful. But honestly, at his level, I'd have to deny that work to a 50 year-old recovering alcoholic who I'm also mentoring, who has done FAR more work toward his goals, and I feel the older guy needs the financial help more.
Argh. Answers to the following are appreciated:
1) Is it weird to basically tell this kid, "you are project manager material and maybe let's work in that direction" if that's how I really feel?
1a) Has that been done before?
2) There have been slacker programmers before. But at what point do you draw the line and say, "you need to study harder" rather than "OK you just have no natural talent or interest here?"
Thanks for your help...I need to start doing something because I'm concerned I'm pissing off our mutual acquaintance.
Also, I realize I'm a tad obsessive :-)