Throwing Under The Bus

Throwing somebody under the bus (ref) is a cowardly act, and one that particularly irks me. Nobody likes to be humiliated in front of others.

I’ve seen this happen countless time when a developer will point out a bug or error of another developer and use it as an excuse for not delivering on their own work. “I couldn’t load the data because of a bug in Johnny’s code”. Bullshit. If you were a team player then you would have pulled up a chair next to Johnny and tried to fix the bug so that the project could move forward.

When a co-worker points out somebody else’s error it makes it hard to trust that person again. It’s even more difficult to resist the urge to respond, but I’ve learnt that the conversation quickly deteriorates into a bickering cat-fight when the other developer speaks up in her own defense. Such discussions exacerbate the blame culture instead of nurturing a team spirit.

I willingly accept the responsibility for mistakes made by members of my team because I am ultimately responsible for the code they produce even if I didn’t physically code it myself. If necessary I will raise the matter in private at a later time, but I make a point of never publicly shaming another developer.

Throwing somebody else under the bus doesn’t help anyone. You lose the respect and trust of your co-workers and you look like a crybaby to the manager. Management don’t want to hear excuses, they just want to hear that you’re working to solve the issue at hand.