by Naomi Kokubo, Editor of Founders Space
Good question for Founders Space.
I know this is difficult. I’ve been there before. But you have to take action now. First off, no one is indispensable. You may believe you can’t live without this engineer, but you can. You’ll be able to find someone else who can learn the code and get the job done. My advice is to clearly let this engineer know that his behavior is unacceptable, and he either needs to work with you or you’ll have to find someone to replace him.
That said, I realize how difficult and exhausting this type of situation can be. I was in a similar position, and it took us a long time to come to that conclusion. Once we did, however, things got much better. In fact, we wound up letting the person go and things improved. It was not a big morale hit to the team, like we feared, and the other engineers, although less experienced, stepped in and did an excellent job.
Just don’t delay. You’re only making a bad problem worse by waiting and hoping things will improve. You must take decisive action. The sooner you do this, the better for your business.