“I Work Best Under Pressure”

I am helping a friend with a project by doing DBA, sysadmin and project management work, because he has 2 junior programmers on staff. I have a lot of patience, so it works out OK. But just to give an example:

One programmer had “10 years’ experience” and when I asked his experience level when I first met him, because I knew my friend had been looking for junior programmers, he got all offended and “hoped” that’s not how he was thought of.

This same programmer said “I work best under pressure.” That really irked me. You know what that says to me? “I cannot prioritize; I procrastinate; I really need pressure to motivate me to get something done.”

Adrenaline is nice, but adrenaline does not make up for well-thought out steps, nor sane development processes.

“I work well under pressure” is great, but I am very suspicious of folks who need pressure to work well. This applies to any line of work — emergency personnel, military, etc. These folks are constantly thrust into highly pressurized environments, but I doubt anyone would say “I can handle saving a life well if I have 30 seconds, but if I have 30 minutes, I’m a lot less efficient.”

Adrenaline junkies need not apply.

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