Mohamed Najiullah
A Developer's Non-Dev Learnings

A Developer's Non-Dev Learnings

Workplace Culture's Impact on Your Personality

Workplace Culture's Impact on Your Personality

Mohamed Najiullah's photo
Mohamed Najiullah
·Feb 15, 2022·

2 min read

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How has your employer's org culture affected you as a person?

A few years ago, my friend joined a highly respected product company. Soon after joining, he was assigned to a project that was in the process of optimising DB queries. He soon realised that he wasn't getting a lot of help from his teammates to ramp-up despite asking for support. He learned the hard way that everyone was competing against everyone else for performance ratings.

Soon after, he was assigned a particularly difficult query to optimise. After working for sometime, he was able to bring down the execution time from several minutes to less than 10 seconds. This got him a lot of appreciation from his manager.

He also got the attention of several teammates who all had the same request, "Show me how to do it". He realised that these were the same people who had refused to support him when he needed it the most. So what did he do?

He refused.

Why? He wanted to win too.


A lot of IT companies have a bell curve based performance appraisal process. This process pits teammates against each other by ranking them and then giving performance ratings based on it. These companies fail to realise that while this competition culture may increase productivity in the short term, it hurts them in the long term. Teammates don't trust each other, any mistake starts a blame game and knowledge sharing comes to a standstill, all of which will hurt in the long term.

But what saddened me the most was seeing how my friend went from being someone who loved helping others to a person who kept questioning others' intentions.

If your organisation's culture has started affecting you negatively, don't wait too long. If you are in a position to change it, work on addressing it. Or move out. Otherwise you might just lose yourself and not in a good way.

Photo by Magnetme from Pexels

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