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Getting Credit for Programming Accomplishments? 148

An anonymous reader writes "I am a college student new to corporate culture. For the last few weeks, I have been working on a very large project: revamping our customer service website with tons of new tutorials and information. Recently, I got an e-mail forwarded from my supervisor of improvements that HIS supervisor requested. I am fine with compliments and complaints about my work. However, I realized in the e-mail that my supervisor took credit for the development of this content. I have been under his direct supervision in this whole process; much of the new content was his idea that I ended up implementing. Is it out of line to request that in the future I get mentioned for my work?"
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Getting Credit for Programming Accomplishments?

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  • Pretty normal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:41PM (#23480890) Homepage Journal
    Its pretty normal in any industry for the supervisor/manager/CEO to take credit for the work of those under them. Just keep chuggin along, eventually you'll get noticed and promoted. You shouldn't do the work for the credit, you should do it for the sake of the company and the greater good. That's when you really get noticed.

    There are some companies out there that have the generosity to credit their programmers (heck, this is why Activision was formed) in their software, but not nearly the majority of them and especially if its not an in house application.
    • Just keep chuggin along, eventually you'll get noticed and promoted. You shouldn't do the work for the credit, you should do it for the sake of the company and the greater good. That's when you really get noticed.
      I disagree, there's still a possibility that he's still overlooked. This is corporate America, after all.

      You're in a position where your boss depends on you. And he's promoting it. Who cares what management thinks. Is your paycheck sufficient? If not, just wait until a few weeks before the next big delivery and tell your boss you've found another job offering you what you think you should get paid. Since he's on the hook, he'll probably try to keep you happy.

      You could ask him to mention your name to the big wigs but what would that get you, really? Are you under some impression that your ability in software development will move you up the chain? Because I've noticed that's not really what does it at most companies.

      No, my suggestion to you would be to keep chugging along and if nothing else, put it on your resume confident you can back what you put on there. Then expand your horizons and call in sick a few days for the sake of a few interviews. If you have no other options, you are probably forced to play this symbiosis of your manager needing you and you needing him despite your perception he adds nothing.

      Whatever turns out, it sure is great experience. If you are certain you can do the hardcore development and provide the functionality your middle management provides, have you thought about starting your own company? That's an option I think more and more about everyday ...
      • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:58PM (#23481188)
        Let's put this in perspective: the submitter built html (or whatever) pages that added tutorials and help pages that weren't there before, but it sounded to me like he didn't come up with the content, he just implemented what the supervisor told him to do. This is a junior level programmer straight out of college implementing someone else's ideas (probably the job description he was given) and wanting credit for it. It sounds to me like the supervisor pushed the project through, did all the work except the actual building, and let those above him know about the project.

        Should the submitter have been given some credit? Possibly, depending on the email and its tone. For most people two levels above the new guy, they just don't care who he is yet and don't want to hear about him unless he's done something noteworthy (which this certainly isn't -- it's his job). Most likely the supervisor didn't even think to mention the submitter's name because, well, there's nothing TOO mention. "My ideas were implemented, the project's done, anonymous coward (the new guy) built it and sally went ahead and photocopied this to send along to you. Also, we couldn't have done it without John at Starbuck's serving us coffee."

        Expect credit when you've done something noteworthy, otherwise you'll need to stick around and get noticed for consistently doing a good job. It's not as fast as having the CEO be wowed by a memo, but if your supervisor starts to rely on you for a good job, then the guy above him will start to notice you and suggest you for promotion.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm the asker, I know it's hard to trust ACs but I speak the truth (see my other response below).

          To clarify, he just told me "make tutorials for x, y, and z program." I then went on to go through the process, take screenshots, and carefully explain everything just in case the user was very new at this. I agree that it's not worth it to ask for the credit, I got some really good answers in this discussion that helped me see the bigger picture. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't merely translating a W

          • by lpcustom ( 579886 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @06:23PM (#23483712)
            I've worked for plenty of people that didn't give me credit even for my own ideas much less implementing theirs. Your best bet is to make the supervisor look as good as you can and spread yourself out to take on possibly more projects from other groups at the same time. Be modest about your work and get him promoted. If you make him look good and are a main reason he got his promotion he may just recommend you to take over his role. If you decide to do the opposite, you'll end up quitting or getting fired. Go demand recognition for your work every single time you do something and guess what, you're going to get on their nerves. The reason being, it's your job. You are only doing your job. Some people these days feel that they have to get special recognition daily for doing the job they were hired and get paid to do. To steal from Chris Rock, it's like being a dad who brags about taking care of his kids. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO. Really though, one of the first mistakes you can make in any job is trying to steal your bosses thunder. Make him look good, if he gives you credit that's great. If not, get someone over you that will. It's much easier for you to move your boss up than move him out. He can find a code monkey anywhere. He wants one that does a good job and helps him look good.
            • Seconded. He would do better to make himself stand out to his immediate supervisor. When the supervisor gets promoted, he'll do his best to keep the people that made him look good close by; so they can continue to make him look good in his new position. That's simply how the system works.
        • Danger! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:51PM (#23483188) Journal

          For most people two levels above the new guy, they just don't care who he is yet and don't want to hear about him unless he's done something noteworthy

          More importantly, he doesn't want them to care who he is yet.

          Trust me, new hires do not (or should not, if they have any sense) want to come to the attention of people two or more levels above them. Bad things will come of it.

          It never plays out the same way, but it always turns out bad for the new hire.

          Trust me, you do not want upper management to know who you are yet.


          P.S. There's an old saying "Whether the pitcher hits the rock or the rock hits the pitcher, it bodes ill for the pitcher."

        • It's common to get 'cheated' out of credit like that. Especially when you're the new guy (as the parent states, most people two levels above the new guy just don't care who he is yet). And especially especially when it's not really noteworthy -- it may be a drag and a lot of work, but not really groundbreaking. Honestly, take a sober look at it -- it's "just documentation". I say this as somebody who's done plenty of the same myself. Documentation, by nature, is good to have but a bore to create.

          Here's a su
      • Yikes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by VampireByte ( 447578 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:03PM (#23481296) Homepage
        ...just wait until a few weeks before the next big delivery and tell your boss you've found another job offering you what you think you should get paid. Since he's on the hook, he'll probably try to keep you happy.

        Nothing like playing poker with your career. I had a coworker who pulled this bluffing stunt only to have the boss reach out to shake his hand and wish him luck at the new job. The guy thought he was an invaluable software developer and had a rude awakening. He finally got a job 8 months later at a help desk.

        • Re:Yikes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Lijemo ( 740145 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:18PM (#23481606)

          Not only that, but even if the supervisor does decide to keep you, the tenor of the working relationship has changed, and not for the better.

          (and if you're working relationship with your boss is already so bad that you don't care if it gets a little worse, then I can guarantee that the "or else" form of salary negotiation won't work in the first place.)

          You won't quite be trusted-- which makes you less likely to end up on high profile projects, and makes you less attractive for promotion.

        • by eln ( 21727 )
          A good manager will wish you luck in your future endeavors. A bad manager will offer to match the salary and then work to get rid of you as soon as possible.
          • depends what you mean by good and bad. a good manager works for the company's benefit, so he would keep the staff member on until bled dry of all useful knowledge and then replace when convenient to the project. a bad manager would allow a member of staff to hold the project to ransom, which other staff would soon learn, and before long the whole situation gets out of hand.
            • Out, damn stockholder! OUT!
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Grishnakh ( 216268 )
              Your definition of a "good" manager only makes sense in a world without ethics.

              An ethical manager would wish the employee luck in his new job, not try to trick him into staying under false pretenses. Just because it might help the shareholders in the short term doesn't make it right. Besides, good employees, seeing a fellow employee treated that way (even if he wasn't the greatest employee) would see that their manager is unethical, and that that could affect them in many other ways, so they'd bail out as
              • (Mod parent up!!) I'm glad to see a growing trend in favor of strategic thinking that *includes* ethical consequences. It's a factor affecting the bottom line just like any other when making a management decision, and can't realistically be left out. Props!
        • by jhoger ( 519683 )
          I draw a different conclusion: this guy either had very little self knowledge or little understanding of his role or importance in the organization. He acted on what he thought he knew and learned something.

          I don't think the lesson is "don't rock the boat." The lesson was that he has a lot to learn about reading people and needs to continue to learn about himself.

          Now he has an opportunity to learn and prove himself at a help desk job. Who's to say that isn't a better place for him at the moment?
    • Yep, pretty normal, but instead of supervisor it was more of a case of senior programmers getting the credit. The best part was: after I left, an ex-co-worker(?) heard the manager thanking me (and the usual senior programmers who never touched the big implementation). They got a paid for breakfast, I got a free laugh (since I voluntarily wasn't in the company anymore).

      Suppose the only advice I could give if you are big on credit, is contribute to open source, or make something big yourself and release it
    • Re:Pretty normal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:06PM (#23481366) Homepage

      You shouldn't do the work for the credit, you should do it for the sake of the company and the greater good.

      No. Go to work for the money. This "greater good", "for the company" bullshit is why so many idiot software people complain about working 80 hours a week for a 40 hour a week salary.

      Don't fool yourself. The company will cut you loose in the blink of an eye when it's in their financial interests.

      Working in a corporation is not about "the greater good", it's about making money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Working in a corporation is not about "the greater good", it's about making money.

        Agreed, but they aren't mutually exclusive goals. Working for the good of the company is, ultimately, what you're getting paid to do. Someone who works for the good of the company is going to have higher wages, better job security, and a higher chance of promotion. If these things don't matter to you, then that's fine. If they do, then working for the greater good is the way to do it.

        As for working 80 hours a week for a 40 hour a week job, well, perhaps they expected to work 80 hours a week and factore

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The good that my paycheck does me is simply incidental from the point of view of the company. They don't really care about that one way or another. Paying me is simply the cost associated with getting me to produce the deliverables they hired me to produce. Similarly, the good my work does the company is incidental from my point of view. Doing good work for the company is simply the cost associated with earning my paycheck and I don't really care about the good of the company beyond how that good effects me
        • Re:Pretty normal (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <slashdot@metasquared. c o m> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:52PM (#23482230) Homepage
          That's a recurring theme I've been noticing with capitalism in general: when healthy, capitalism does not force a choice between individual interests and those of the organization - the individual interests are what make the organization work in the first place, which is why it's such an effective system in general.

          Working an 80 hour week at 40 hour pay is an example of a pathological case, though with the diminishing returns that come with an excessive workweek, I have to wonder whether this is really a good idea for the organization as well.
      • Well, there is always a point when you're being taken for a ride, but there's nothing wrong with being a conscientious employee. Ultimately, yes, you want the money and the company wants whatever you can produce, but these goals are not mutually incompatible. A good company will treat its staff well simply because the staff deserve to be treated well. A good employee will try to do as good a job as he can simply because he feels he should. Not all companies have maximising profits as their only goal.

        • A good company will treat its staff well simply because the staff deserve to be treated well. A good employee will try to do as good a job as he can simply because he feels he should.

          No. A good company treats its employees well because it's in the companies best interest to retain good staff. Training new employees is expensive and its cheaper, to a point, to make the existing employees happy so they don't leave. A good employee does his best because he needs to make sure he's worth retaining.


      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AxMstrLP ( 1289950 )
        That's a crappy attitude that will land you the reputation of "pessimistic bastard" of the organization. It certainly isn't productive for you or the company in the long run. It is true that public companies will not think twice about trimming the fat when push comes to shove (and all the savings goes into the CEO's bonus check). There are two ways two avoid being trimmed fat: 1. be a key contributor 2. be helpful to your co-workers Neither of which require working 80 hours/week. Be smart. Be quick.
    • Re:Pretty normal (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:07PM (#23481388)

      You shouldn't do the work for the credit, you should do it for the sake of the company and the greater good.
      That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Everything you do in your professional life should be geared toward promoting your career and your career interests. Passively letting others take credit for your work is not just a bad way to advance, it's also unfair. Why should others get the credit and benefits due to you for your hard work? The very idea is crazy. Now, I understand as well as anyone that it can sometimes be politically unwise to stop a superior from taking credit for your accomplishments but to state that you shouldn't seek credit for your work is absolute madness. If you don't get credit for your accomplishments how can you expect to be fairly evaluated or fairly compensated? You can't. Oh, and I don't buy that nonsense about how you'll just magically - somehow, in spite of any level of passivity and meekness on your part - one day get recognized for all the good you do the company. That's a fairy tale that nobody who isn't hopelessly naive will believe. We should all damn well at least try to get credit for our accomplishments. After all, we're due it.
      • If you don't get credit for your accomplishments how can you expect to be fairly evaluated or fairly compensated? You can't.

        Agreed! A person doesn't have to be fussy, demanding, or annoying about it, but at least mentioning what your contributions to the company have been will keep your peers and superiors from wondering whether you've actually been doing anything at all. They won't often just notice on their own, especially with regard to small contributions. Even worse, they might be under the impression that one of your peers did that work, or even fail to notice that the work has been done! A great way to do this is to

    • Spoken like a true supervisor.
    • Re:Pretty normal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pestie ( 141370 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @05:34PM (#23482926) Homepage
      Just keep chuggin along, eventually you'll get noticed and promoted. You shouldn't do the work for the credit, you should do it for the sake of the company and the greater good. That's when you really get noticed.

      Yeah, really! Don't work for the money, or the recognition - do it for the Company and the Greater Good!

      Why is it the staunch capitalists of the world insist that businesses should be subject to little or no regulation, doing whatever they can to make a buck, yet an employee who adopts such an attitude is told they they have a poor "work ethic," and that all the good little sheep just shut up, keep their heads down, and work longer and longer hours without added compensation, while the guys at the top pay themselves more and more while cutting benefits and jobs, all in the name of cost savings? The worst of them even run their companies into the ground, losing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, while still getting paid millions from their golden parachutes? Seriously - what the fuck? When did this become A-OK with the general public?

      I wonder how many of them realize how much they sound exactly like communists when they start going on about doing working for the "greater good." How is pointless self-sacrifice in the name of the Almighty Dollar any better than pointless self-sacrifice in the name of The Party? I know, I know... "Government is evil." Well, America's government is entirely run by people from big business now. Everything is being privatized, and the distinction between government and big business is almost non-existent at this point. So someone's going to have to remind me again how government is evil while big business is perfection incarnate.

      What the original poster needs to do is get the hell out of corporate America. Believe it or not, there are other ways of making a living.
      • what are other ways to make a living/earn money without being in corporate least for those of us who live here and like the country? Academic America is no better and may even be worse...and won't earn you a living.
      • Indeed.

        I knew a guy at my previous job, Bob, who was the pillar of the team. This guy knew everything about our system (much better than the official architect), could understand the root cause of bugs "on first sight" (but was unfortunately blind, not that it prevented him from having a very active and pleasant social life) and spent half of his time reviewing our designs and code, helping everyone of us a lot. His annual review: 1 week late on one of his several projects (actually caused by a supplier), 0
  • In a word ... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by EricWright ( 16803 )
    yes. Welcome to corporate America, where the only person who knows your value is your immediate supervisor, and they aren't saying anything about you to anyone.
    • In the OPs situation I think another approach which I've found useful is to attach your name to the work you do. It doesn't have to be conspicuous, but just a note at the bottom of his tutorials saying "If you have any problems with these tutorials please contact Joe Bloggs", gets your name noticed. I tend to stick my contact details on the error pages for applications I write ("You appear not to have entered your name - if you're having problems contact XXX"). This gets me an occasional call to help wit
  • Resource (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:43PM (#23480930)
    You're not special - just a development resource. If you hadn't done it, someone else would have. You can always `reply to all` and point out how good you think your work was, but before you do you might want to think about how it would read if someone had sent you that email. Would you think `wow, yeah - well done`, or `er, why are you telling me? I do good work every day without expecting a shiny badge`?
  • by Petersko ( 564140 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:45PM (#23480968)
    He knows you did the work, and he's probably very happy with it. Is it really that important at this stage of your career to have your acomplishments passed up the ladder? You're a new grad. Don't look upon simple job security with disdain - it's a nice reward these days.
  • Well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Oxy the moron ( 770724 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:46PM (#23480982)

    Out of line? Maybe... it depends on your corporate culture. I would never make the suggestion at my current employer, but YMMV.

    Generally, though, it doesn't make any sense to do so. Even if you're successful in getting your supervisor to mention you, his supervisor is more than likely going to response with "Who?" or "That's nice..." or something equivalent.

    In my relatively short career, I've learned to appreciate recognition when it comes by, but to never expect it.

  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:49PM (#23481036)
    Your team (meaning your manager's team) gets credit for the work you do. You get credit for it later by way of a good performance review and, hopefully, a raise and/or bonus.

    Your manager knows who did the work, and if he's any kind of a decent manager, he'll reward you for it, although the reward may not be readily apparent immediately. Perhaps when your manager moves up (partially because you made him look good), he'll remember that you're a dependable employee who produces quality work, and he'll bring you up with him, or put in a good word for you to take over the department he's vacating. Hell, maybe the guy quits to go somewhere else and ends up taking you with him.

    If you are a good and dependable worker, and especially if you show you are more concerned with making the company better than you are with your own short-term gain, then you will go far. If you show yourself to be the kind of guy who constantly whines about not getting enough credit, you'll be kept down and eventually forced out. Don't be that guy.
    • by sporkmonger ( 922923 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:08PM (#23481410) Homepage

      Don't be that guy.

      And that pretty much sums it up. You're a recent grad, so it's not entirely silly that you even had to ask. But really, this ought to be common sense.

      As a general rule-of-thumb, when in Rome... etc. Watch your coworkers. If they do something and they receive a favorable response from management, it's probably safe to duplicate what they did. Assuming you're also well-liked. Otherwise, wait until you're well-established before doing anything even remotely risky. And if you have to ask, "Am I well-established yet?" Yeah. Not yet. You'll know it when you are.

    • by nikanj ( 799034 )
      Boy, you sure do have an optimistic view of today's workplace..
  • by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:53PM (#23481110) Homepage
    The company you're at is too big. Simple as that. If you want people to recognise your individual input you need to work for a smaller company where people have the time to get to know you as an individual rather than just one of their hundreds of colleagues.

    There are disadvantages to this mind you. If everyone recognises each others input then if you screw up you'll find it hard to pass the buck (technically this is also an advantage because noone else can either). Typically your job will pay a little less and not be as secure either, though in the current economic climate noone is all that well paid or safe. You'll also find it's always you working late at a small company simply because there's noone else to do it.

    I work (well, 'play' would be closer.. :) ) for a company with two other employees. We all know precisely who did what and who should get the credit. I love it.

    The other advantage of working for a tiny company is that everyone can have a really impressive title. I'm "Head of Production". It impresses all the girls.

    Girls? Girls? Hey.. come back. :(
    • by barzok ( 26681 )
      It doesn't even have to be that small of a company. I went from the US insurance/financial services division of an international conglomerate (after the company I originally worked for was bought out) to a much smaller company; maybe 300 people at our central office, a few hunderd more scattered up and down the east coast.

      I see the CEO walking around; he knows my name (came to my desk, introduced himself, and chatted for about 15 minutes within 2 weeks of my arrival). I sit in meetings with another C-level
  • by Maple Syrup ( 27770 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:55PM (#23481138)
    It's pretty common in the corporate world for your boss to take credit for the work that you did. In this case, it's not even that far out of line, as what you did was an implementation of ideas and suggestions that your boss made.

    I'm going to give advice to you based on you being a fresh graduate: I'd have different advice for someone who's been in the corporate world for a few years.

    My suggestion to you is three-fold:

    1) Wait a year and get a feel for the corporate culture before you do anything to get visibility and recognition further up the food chain.

    2) If there are other people on your team that *do* manage to get credit for their work with the higher-ups, watch them closely and see how they do it.

    3) If you are truly excellent, your work will stand out eventually anyway. Again: wait a year and see what your reputation is at that point before you start promoting yourself. You may end up having very little promoting to do.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @03:56PM (#23481154) Homepage Journal
    " I have been under his direct supervision in this whole process; much of the new content was his idea that I ended up implementing."
    So your boss decided what needed to be done, how it should be done, and picked you to do it. He then took credit for it. Gee imagine that.
    You work for him and you did what he said to do. Yes it is his credit to take. If you did a crummy job he would take the heat and then fire you but he might still loose his job if you did a bad enough job and he approved it.
    Any credit you get will be from him. That is the way it really is supposed to work. If you do an extraordinary job then he may decide that are worth praising to his boss.
    • Exactly right. If you'd developed some new idea on your own, with little or no guidance or support from your supervisor and THEN he took credit for your innovations, then there's a problem. If you're a code monkey ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H peon ^H^H^H^H junior web programmer implementing others' ideas, then you are doing no more and no less than what your boss asked you to do. If you did it quickly and competently and showed some interest in your boss' end of the job ("Why did you choose this vs. that tutorial?", et
    • by nightowl03d ( 882197 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:51PM (#23482216)
      Just keep in mind the following rule of the corporate world... Credit goes up, blame goes down
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
        Maybe at a mega corp but I have spent more time taking heat for what an underling did or did not do than I can shake a stick at.
    • So your boss decided what needed to be done, how it should be done, and picked you to do it. He then took credit for it.

      I wish I had mod points for this comment, I'd mod it up.

      As being in a "project lead" position at my small company, I determine how projects go and have the two lower-level engineers implement my ideas. They come to me with questions and I guide them on where to go next. They come up with their own good ideas, but for the most part, the design is mine. Shouldn't I get credit for my desig
  • imo, the only valid form of recognition is in compensation. do your job well. if you feel you are not being compensated adequately for your performance, then take action. good management, whether they appear to take credit for your hard work or not, usually recognizes where the talent lies and will take action to protect their own asses/raises/options.

    welcome to the corporate pyramid scheme.
  • by Uncle Focker ( 1277658 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:04PM (#23481308)
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
  • Somewhere in the code, comment what you did and when, including your name. In a number of companies (including the one I work for), this is required for traceability for changes. If you're company is using any form of version control, it's a good bet that this will make sure your work can always be traced back to you. If you don't end up with some credit/raise/bonus/something by the end of the year, you can always point to this and ask why.

    • With several version control systems, you don't need to comment anything at all to get credit for your changes. You just submit a change and it takes on your identity. Funny how that works.
      • I forgot about that. Completely true. If the file(s) edited have your name in them as well, then a hard-copy of the file independent of the version control system will be all the proof you need. And on the off chance that someone decides to remove your name from the files (happened to one of my coworkers in the recent past) you can always pull up the proof from the version control system.
    • I suggest going beyond just putting your name in the code. Put your name on anything you produce or touch. If you don't put your name on a document, then you are communicating that you are happy to let others take the responsibility and credit for the work you have done. If you put your name on the work you've done, then you are showing that you are willing to be accountable for the quality of your work and that you want credit for your accomplishments.

      You may still find that your work is taken without

  • What is your job? In corporate culture, your job is to make your boss look good. Bosses who look good get promoted, and a good boss will take you along on his ride to the top. (You might have to work a few years before finding a good boss; such is life.)
  • I once asked my father who's now a retired electrical engineer what happened when he finished a job and went above and beyond. Occasionally he would get a pat on the back, but none of that matters. It was his job, and doing it well made him feel good about it. Your pay is the recognition that you've done work.
  • This is standard corporate culture. Credit flows up the org chart, blame flows down. Just remember: you are a commodity. Those programmers in India don't ask for credit, just $10/hr.
    • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
      Exactly why they are more valuable.
    • India & $10 an hour (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If you have ever seen code come back from India- most especially web code - then you know why it's $10 an hour.

      There must be talented web developers over there, but I have never run across any of them in any project I've been associated with.

      Instead we've gotten back code that included ( unapproved ) javascript libraries with CC non-commercial licenses ( did I mention they were working on corporate tools ), sometimes with all the licensing and identifying comments removed... but method names and file names
  • Welcome to the world of PHBs and Dilbert mentality. Congratulations on doing a good job though.
  • Good points here (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:28PM (#23481792)

    I am the original asker. I know it's hard to trust ACs but I speak the truth :)

    I want to clarify this has nothing to do with programming, it's adding tutorials etc. to a website. The programming thing must have been added by editors.

    Many have mentioned how he would take the heat if something bad happened under his supervision. I have definitely seen him do this and can recognize the tradeoff a lot better now. I see what you all mean, my recognition is eventual promotion/raise from my direct supervisor, not some guy who's seen me twice reading my name in an e-mail. However, 7 bucks an hour for this work seems kinda small but that's another story :)

    • by Chibi ( 232518 )

      Another thing to consider is that you are picking up some (hopefully) beneficial skills to further your career. Not just technical skills, but some business skills and learning how office politics work.

      Remember those things (as well as a the bad) when you look for another job. You can try to figure out if your new place will be a better fit for you during the interview process. You don't have to ask the manager if he's a glory-hog, but perhaps you can ask the developers who interview you how appreciate

  • You should figure out if he thinks you are going to help him in his success so he will bring you along with him up the latter. If he is just using developers like Kleenex then you might complain. On the other hand if he includes you on bigger and better projects as well as giving you more opportunities then don't worry about it too much.

    Either way, I would keep complaining about it to a minimum and only at appropriate moments. Managers have avoided whiners even if they have talen of von Neumann. Change
  • However, I realized in the e-mail that my supervisor took credit for the development of this content.

    Piece of cake - Just ask the higher-up for clarification on a few points. You could even argue (humbly, if you like your job) one point by clarifying why you chose to implement it the way you did as opposed to the requested change.

    In the bigger picture, though - Does it really matter? If not a major project for the company as a whole, the gratitude of your immediate boss (and the fact that you got pai
  • Only savvy and/or education will get you out of such a title. Otherwise, your boss is the genius who hired you.
  • I disagree with programming for the good of the company. I would say you should program to further your own knowledge of programming. Once you become knowledgeable enough you will get promoted and receive credit for your code.
  • You see, when you do something good, you get a compliment from your supervisor, which gets compliment for couple of success as equal to your job, and your supervisor's supervisor gets compliments for being a good manager.
    The one who gets the $$ is the big manager, for all the little employs like me and you, that's how it works.Compliment from your supervisor's supervisor should occur once in a while, but for doing extreamly unique job.

  • I dont see it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by p!ssa ( 660270 )
    Wait, what? You say "much of the new content was his idea that I ended up implementing" and you want the credit/atta boy/good job chimp?

    The ideas and solutions are what get people noticed and praised, what you did is no different than sending the spec off to India and having them churn it out. What you did is no different than a McBurger flipper making tha cheesburgers for the manager, why exactly do you deserve praise? You kids these days, unbelievable. Your paid to do your job, if you want praise try comi
  • I'll try to say this as carefully as I can.

    Get used to it. Managment have its own rules and, with a very few exceptions, they live in a different world. You may get promoted if you do your job fine, and you might get promoted really fast if you excel doing it but the really high ranks are usually given to friends, sons, cousins and so.

    There's nothing bad with that (apart form the unfairness of it all and all that shit), I personally like programming too much to give it up for a "management job" (I wouldn't
  • Ask your supervisor what you need to do to become more visible in the company, particularly to people outside of your immediate department.

    If you don't get a satisfactory answer, stick with it for at least a year. Either you'll get a satisfactory answer you want from elsewhere, you'll get it from him eventually, he will be replaced, or it may become obvious you need to look for an internal transfer or a job elsewhere.

    By the way, it may take time, but those who steal credit from others eventually get found
  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @04:55PM (#23482262) Journal

    about seeking the praise of others.

    Getting public praise is like pissing your pants: everyone around you can see it happening, but only you can feel the warmth.

    Something to consider when asking yourself how hard you want to press for this.

    • Getting public praise is like pissing your pants: everyone around you can see it happening, but only you can feel the warmth.

      However, the corollary is:

      Getting karma is like soiling your pants: no one wants to see it.
  • maybe in those documents you can have a version history so that your name pops up whenever some one access it, this also would be good for the documents.
  • Never expect credit for good work unless you "own" the work. If you "own" the work, then you should get credit.

    What's to "own"? Easy. Ask these questions.

    1. Did you come up with the idea?
    2. Did you architect or play a large role in architecting the solution from top to bottom?
    3. Were you the primary technical contact for the project which the business people (read: end users) could reach out to to make sure requirements were met?
    4. Did the work add real value to the company? (read: dollars and cents)
    5. Was there a
  • I doubt that he got credit for doing your work, but rather he must have got credit for supervising/managing/coordinating the development of the website. Mostly supervisers and managers have very different chores than coders do, so it would be strange if somebody thought he actually did your work.

    If you still can't interpret it this way, then find another boss.
  • Telling your supervisor how to do his job (supervise, or rather, interface with the higher ups and ensure the deadlines are hit) is a good way to paint a target on your back. If your work is good, let it speak for itself. Make yourself heard through your ideas, your additions to the team, and your quality of work. If you can't, find a job that appreciates your talent try harder. The economy is slowing down, corporate entities are seeing it as an excuse to clean house. There are four categories that go
  • Embed your name along with a discussion of what changed in a revision list near the top or bottom of each document. You might also put a contact information link for people that have questions on any particular topic you authored, and solicit suggestions for improving the content. This way, anyone who wants to know who wrote it can find out. These are all clearly best practices.
  • I suppose it depends on the culture, but at my current employer it's customary to send an email to his IT superior thanking the team for their effort for the current release. This may depend upon the depth of your organization. In general, non-IT business doesn't give a squat about IT politics. Their only concern is that their infrastructure is producing happy customers and revenue (or maybe just revenue). It sounds like you work for a junior manager or maybe a mid-level mechanical manager. A seasoned
  • Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rantingkitten ( 938138 ) <kitten@mirr[ ] ['ors' in gap]> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:36PM (#23484840) Homepage
    What credit were you looking for, exactly? This is how these things go:

    BOSS: ...and so this is the project our department completed last week.
    BIG BOSS: Ah, good, very nice.. hm, this looks excellent. Good work, Johnson. I'll show the executives at tomorrow's meeting.
    BOSS: Thank you.

    And at tomorrow's meeting, it'll go like this:

    BIG BOSS: And then last week we completed this project here, so that should increase revenue synergy paradigms across end-to-end B2B logistical e-markets.
    EXECUTIVE: Great work, we'll announce it in the press release next week. Nicely done, Smith.
    BIG BOSS: Thank you.

    You get the point? Credit always goes to the person who finally presents it to the next link in the chain, which makes sense, as that person is also usually the one who masterminded the project and managed it to completion. It's a given that he didn't do it all by himself and that there were people under him who did most of the actual grunt work; everyone's aware of it but it isn't necessary to declare each and every individual.

    It'd be like a military commander getting accolades from his commanding officer about some victory or other. The commander accepts it on behalf of everyone -- he doesn't need to name each and every damn grunt under his command, even though they were all instrumental in helping to win.

    Relax, man. It doesn't matter who got credit for it to the higher-ups, who probably have no idea who you are anyway. Your boss knows what you did, and when it comes time to ask for a raise or whatever, he's the one you're going to be asking, and he'll remember.

    (If you'd actually be asking someone above him, same deal. You can still put the project into your "List of good things I've done" when asking whoever and nobody will question you -- or if they want to check, your boss will confirm that yes, you were on that project.)
    • Enough said. The original poster seems to misunderstand 'credit' - credit for any good stuff that anybody achieves in a department is given to the dept. manager by his superiors; and to you by your manager.

      Your manager's manager usually won't have a true picture of who deserves credit, and would (wisely) abstain from doing so in most situations - he'd give you credit if there were really exceptional things achieved (thus, rarely, probably less than once a year for him, or it's not exceptional), and even the
    • by bjb ( 3050 ) *
      For what it's worth, I tried bringing recognition to one of my workers in a past project. Here is the room: myself, my employee, my manager and his manager. Note that my direct manager had a few hundred people under him (through several people) and thus his manager had a few thousand.

      Though the "big boss" was not impolite, it was obviously pointless to bring my employee along since the guy didn't even get so much as a 3 second glance. You just need to understand that they can't know EVERYONE at those leve

  • My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @09:30PM (#23486212) Homepage

    There are lots of replies to this thread and I just noticed it now, so I guess I'm late the the party. Let me offer my take. I've been out of college doing a programming job for 2 years now.

    Is it normal? It all depends on the person. I've done things I thought were relatively simple or not with a lot of praise that my boss has promoted to others/superiors as great work by me. This is both things I thought up and implemented, and things that I was requested to do. I have done other things that I thought were great (including big/obvious things system users noticed) that nothing was said about. The pattern is the same with other people who are above me but not my boss. That's just the way things are.

    But there are some people who are like that. We have one in our company, and as the size of the company you work for grows over 1 person, the probability of running into one starts to approach a sure thing.

    Good ideas mismanaged, bad ideas implemented when much simpler ideas would have worked better, boldly taking credit for other people's work while they are standing there, covering up their mistakes as someone else's fault (bonus points for lying and saying they caught the error and fixed it when it was their fault).

    You'll see it all. It's mostly a personality thing. Depending on tons of things this happens. Your boss may have deserved credit over you in one circumstance for thinking of the idea or great management. You may have deserved the credit. It could be neither of you. You just have to learn to accept this kind of stuff. If you think it's being done on purpose and to take advantage of you... just learn to accept it. We (at my office) except that kind of behavior out of various people (both internal and external) so it doesn't bother us. If someone does it, it's par for the course. If they DONT'T do it, it's a bonus. Also remember that there are two possibilities for your boss when they take credit for your idea. Either they know it was your work and you become more indispensable, or they are blind how important you were to the project and lacking the ability to see that may come back to bight them later.

    It's all in the attitude. In my time in the work world it's crushing/mismanaging of good ideas that seems to bother me more.

    If things are REALLY bad enough, you can call the boss on it. You can try and use it as leverage. You can even just quit. The question is do you care enough to risk all that? Any of those could easily make it harder to get hired somewhere else. But like I (and many others) have said: this will happen everywhere.

  • In my first out-of-college job, I was getting frustrated at the code-compile-wait cycle, so I investigated. I noticed glaring inefficiencies in the makefile for the agency's main project so I (unprompted) tightened it up reducing the build time from 30 minutes to under 1 minute. I then (also unprompted) enabled line-debugging, on-the-fly recompilation and hot deployment. Our department's productivity shot through the roof.

    My boss got employee of the year. I got a $2/hr raise and a free trip to JavaOne... a
  • Your boss is not going to make a special point of giving you recognition. You need to sell yourself. But you also need to know the time and place. Demanding recognition while in the company is not going to win you many friends.

    In the end, your work gets recognized in two places:

    1 - Your resume -- where you make yourself sound super-cool (without sounding like you're trying too hard to make yourself sound cool. It's an art.)

    2 - A letter of recommendation.

    For now, think of your work as earning you

  • It's not your job to receive credit from way up in the corporate tree. Honestly, up there they don't really care about you anyway; you are an interchangeable FTE (full time equivalent). Your job is to make your boss look good and be indispensable to him. He's the one who should become convinced that you are not interchangeable.

    That's how you get noticed by people. Pushing to get credit during discussions with the upper suits is just going to make you look bad to your boss, which is the person you are trying

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake