Click here to Skip to main content
13,893,974 members
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version

Tagged as



1 bookmarked
Posted 9 Aug 2013
Licenced CPOL

Developer Termination: A Respectful Guide

, 9 Aug 2013
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
The true caliber of a company is not how they treat their employees day-to-day; it's how they let them go.

Terminating employees is always a difficult part of business. This difficulty increases in highly skilled areas such as software development. Developers are not oblivious to the rigors of business. They recognize, to varying levels, that they are employed to do a job. Companies have many reasons why they choose to let individuals go. Although this can be a popular debate, it unfortunately masks the deeper, more important conversation. Behind all the procedures, rules, and processes there is a person who will be without a job. This is a common area where many managers and companies lose focus. Far too many programmers leave good companies with a bitter taste in their mouths due to the termination process. The true caliber of a company is not how they treat their employees day-to-day; it's how they let them go.

A point of clarification:

This conversation excludes individuals terminated due to HR or other heinous violations.

Far too many developers have experienced immediate terminations, being fired at home, or received a termination notice delivered with a cold, unfeeling attitude. Each of these options have obvious negative reactions and outcomes. A programmer who has been trusted to develop vital software for a company does not wish to be treated like a criminal when being terminated. He/she expected a reciprocated level of respect. The world of programming is smaller than most realize. When hiring, it's important to acknowledge a temporary crossing of paths between a company and its employees. Although this time can vary, the days of the "one company worker" are fading fast. Additionally, bad terminations have a way of being viral conversations.

How can companies make this process more pleasant and respectable? The following is a list of concepts that will go far in mending fences during a rocky time:
  • Provide an individual with ample notice of his/her termination. This can range anywhere from a few days to optimally a few weeks. A few extra days of budget can go a long way in a respectable termination.
  • Provide an open door for continuous dialog about the termination. Maintain respectful objectivity in explanations and offer any/all support possible.
  • As a sign of gratitude, provide a severance to the employee. This token of respect can help those in a time of need and elevates the individual above profits.
  • Offer to write a letter of recommendation or be an employment reference. In this respectful gesture focus on the positive attributes the individual brought to the company.
  • Provide paid time-off for an individual to go on interviews for job opportunities. This respectfully drives home the importance of the person over the underlying business decision.

One important note:

The previously mentioned "reciprocal" statement is the keystone for these options. If a developer cannot handle a respectful and graceful exit, there is no future obligation required and that individual should be terminated immediately to avoid being a poison to a company.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

You may also be interested in...

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
AJSON9-Aug-13 8:26
mvaAJSON9-Aug-13 8:26 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Cookies | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web03 | 2.8.190306.1 | Last Updated 9 Aug 2013
Article Copyright 2013 by Zac Gery
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2019
Layout: fixed | fluid