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#1 » by ItuGlobal (β3531) » May 5th, 2017, 8:52 am

When an employee proves to be a liar, to not be able to do what they're employed for, should I report them?

A software engineer in my team doesn't know how to clean up her computer filled with malware. Should I get my boss to fire her?
I believe she should know how to do such basic things.

If I were your boss and you came up to me with such a suggestion I would most likely:
Fire you.
Fire the person that conducted the behavioral interview and gave you a hire.
Does that surprise you? Unfortunately, it probably does, so let me elaborate.

I read people relatively well. However, it doesn't take a fine people-reader to understand that someone who doesn't have a problem to shallowly evaluate people based on their own beliefs regarding a single thing they believe they should or shouldn't know is, most likely, a terribly arrogant person with a superiority complex. Additionally, I do not read your intent as optimizing the team for the good of the company - I am reading it as "by pointing out other people's weaknesses to my superiors, I will gain their trust and advance quicker at the expense of the misfortune of my team-mate". So, you're basically optimizing for yourself and will sacrifice a potentially fine software engineer in order to do so. I may even speculate that you want to grow a more personal relationship with your boss in order to come to a position where you could do less, or worse, and get away with it.

I would never want to see such immature, toxic, cognitive patterns in my team members. You are there, together, for a reason, and you must be able to rely on each other, for better or worse. If you cannot have the basic trust in your team-mates, or the basic good will to help your team-mates when they are struggling, or, perhaps most importantly, the decency to face them first when you have issues, instead of immediately running to your manager - then you will most likely be the reason that the entire team will fail, when facing difficult times, regardless of your potential engineering superiority. So, I can't have that. You're awesome, man, and you apparently know that all too well, but I can't have you here because you need to grow up and learn how to behave in a society.

One last note - as others have pointed out - cleaning up her machine, installing software, etc. is not a software engineer's job. I have too much of my own debugging to do, so that I do not have the time and I do not want to spend my time debugging anything else, including hardware, OS, drivers, common software, etc. I just call people whose job is to keep machines running well and move on to the next thing on my plate.

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