Mechanical

"Jackass" is not a term of endearment

Several months ago, we hired a great programmer. I mean "great" in terms of "he's a darn good programmer". Unfortunately, in terms of just about everything else, we've wanted to strangle this guy. He's very good at what he does and he never forgets to remind us of this. It's gotten to the point of discussing whether or not he needs to be let go because of how much he's pissing everyone else off. I don't want him to leave as we can use his skills, but his attitude has become unbearable. I've had to sit down with one of our new programmers and let him know that he shouldn't take this stuff seriously.

This programmer, who I'll call "Bob", has been sitting in on technical conversations for a few months where we've tried to work through a technical problem relating to how we develop software. Bob doesn't approve of how we develop software, so he tunes us out and doesn't contribute. Our newest programmer, who I will call "Charlie", however, did some research and sent a link to an article where a developer discusses how to overcome this technical hurdle. Here's how the email exchange went:

Charlie: here's an article which discusses how to get around the problem we've been having (a link was provided)
Bob: Can you say a sentence or two about why this is interesting?
Ovid: Since we've been discussing this problem for months, it should be self-evident.
Perhaps you haven't been paying attention?
Bob: Perhaps you are a jackass.

Needless to say, that was over the line and a vice-president and our CTO sat down to talk with him. He feels that he didn't do anything wrong. I hate the thought of losing this guy, but this is getting intolerable.

great.
Gotta watch out for those P.W.A.s (Programmer With Attitude). If it were up to me, I would've canned the bastard already.
Re: great.

While I will admit that this is tempting, we're at a critical step in developing a huge software project and frankly, he's a damned good programmer. If he wasn't insulting everyone. If he wasn't constantly telling everyone how to do their job. If he wasn't telling us how things were when he worked for "professional" software companies. What's truly painful is that he's quite often correct, he's just so damned obnoxious about it.

(On a side note, good thing that this isn't on the PIG list or Cedric might have my head on a platter. The sentence fragments :)