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    HELP! What should I consider before firing my programmer?


    Greetings:

    I have reach a point where I feel uncomfortable working with my programmer. He is a talented person but he lacks education and become insulting with words. Because he charges reasonable prices for the work he does, I have put up it with it for quite a while, and because he developed the site from scratch.

    Just yesterday he told me two things I didn't like... I requested him to do some directory changes as per my SEO consultant recommendation, nothing mayor... my programmer to me: "that I cannot be changes things around as I please". He also told he was not going to work on it....(please note he does not have a salary but a per-project-basis)

    At that point I just figure that was it. What should I consider before firing him? He has all my account user name passwords etc. What should I do?

    Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advanced for your help!
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    I would think that if you don't feel comfortable with him and his work, then it would be your job, as his boss, to confront him about the things you don't like or fire him, since you were the one who hired him in the first place, correct? If you do fire him though, and are afraid of what he could do with your passwords, you could change your passwords.
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    Rather than firing you should try out to handle the situation wisely. Try to find why he is reluctant to do that? He might be expecting $$ for extra work.
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    Hi Guys:

    Thank you for your response. I'm comfortable with this guy when it comes to his job, however, he has this strange attitude since day one, but I got to swallow my pride as long as he keeps doing the job.

    Here is the thing, after an analysis of his behavior I came to realize he is always in a defensive state, he sometimes gets offended or takes thing to a personal level. For example, I can say: "Send me an email when you are ready" and he replies: "Don't pressure me!".... I just go huhh?

    Money is not an issue as I always let him put the price for the work he does. He is in another country, I'm in the US, so for him, he is changing a good price, for me, is a bit below US prices. Regardless, money has never been an issue.

    I got aggravated when he told me he was not going to do something I asked for, he also told me he wasn't going to do whatever I want... It also bothered me that I sent money in advanced plus a job he hasn't finish.

    Anyway, I think so far the guy is honest, but he has a very weird behavior. The part that I'm sad is that this guy knows the intrinsic of the site, as he was the one programming it.

    At this point where my site is growing, I don't need some who want to pick and choose the things he likes, and I got tired of his victimized.

    As you guys mentioned, I just change all the passwords, somethings else I need to watch for? just in case...

    Thanks!
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    Well, I would think that, unless he's some kind of vengeful hacker, that changing all your passwords would be fine, if you plan on firing him. You could try threatening to fire him, that seems like it would make him rethink not doing what you asked for. Just tell him that there is a reason he's getting paid: to do what you want him to do. Although that might offend him...
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    I would first talk it through with him once and for all and see if he can fit your work style.

    However, as you have mentioned that your employee is a foreigner, as he is in another country. I would suggest you to see if there is a workplace cultural different which causes the conflict? The concern is that if that actually is the case, then even if you hire another programmer from the same country, chances are you will be running into the same problem!
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    If you do fire him, make sure you change ALL the passwords BEFORE. He could get mad and just completely break your site.
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    I suppose there is not a chance of miscommunication because of language barrier?

    If you try to deal with the situation, by threatening to fire him, do not say "or else you're .... OUT!". Just something in lines of: "These issues worry me, I am not comfortable with these. They are a problem to us, etc.." If the reaction is defensive/arrogant/uncompromising, just fire him.

    And make backups of everything beforehand. And if the guy's personality is reeeally weird, there could always be backdoors programmed. But of course, even if you don't change passwords, and he does some malice, it is illegal.

    Comments on this post

    • jellis1408 agrees
    Gabba Gabba Hey
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    Originally Posted by jst666
    I suppose there is not a chance of miscommunication because of language barrier?

    If you try to deal with the situation, by threatening to fire him, do not say "or else you're .... OUT!". Just something in lines of: "These issues worry me, I am not comfortable with these. They are a problem to us, etc.." If the reaction is defensive/arrogant/uncompromising, just fire him.

    And make backups of everything beforehand. And if the guy's personality is reeeally weird, there could always be backdoors programmed. But of course, even if you don't change passwords, and he does some malice, it is illegal.
    Yeah, I agree with this. Make backups, and if he does anything, pursue legal action.
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    Thank you all for your comments, very accurate and to the point. At first I thought it was a cultural thing but the more I thought about it the less it makes sense. First, I speak the language (Spanish) so there is not misinterpretation. I can give the benefit of the doubt to the first problem (where he told me I cannot be changing stuff whenever I like or want) but the second problem (where he refuse to work on something) I don't see any reason for this to happen.

    Well, I ended up changing all passwords, etc. He never replied back for a few question I asked him, it seems to be it is all over.

    I'm now in the search for a new programmer, this time in the US so he/she can sign a contract, confidential agreement etc.

    Once again, thank you for your comments, it really helped. BTW. Happy New Year 2009!

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