Apparently someone took umbrage with the fact that he tends to e-mail questions rather than meeting the person face to face. Apparently he sent 40 e-mails in a month!
And this was a problem?
Even if you look at 20 working days being a month, 40 e-mails is an average of 2 a day.
And even if that was a problem, don't you think that a better solution would be to actually talk to him about it, rather than essentially firing him?
The rest of the stupid stuff that this company does I can write off to inexperience, ineptitude, and a number of other slothful things.
Resorting to termination as a first response to an issue that is so minor isn't something that I can write off so easily. It isn't something that you learn from working in the industry, it's a basic human decency thing. Respect for a person.
However, it goes a little deeper. Of the development team on this project, our little group of five is isolated in a separate building. Anything between buildings, e-mail is a perfectly reasonable means of communication.
So if we assume that the issue was that he was communicating by e-mail with one of our own small team, it narrows the field considerably. Of the five others, there are only three that he had a lot of dealing with:
I like Rakesh. He asks a lot of questions when he doesn't necessarily understand something. About half of them are by e-mail. Many times that is the most efficient way of putting forth information.
His grasp of the english language isn't perfect, but it's a whole hell of a lot better than my... whatever his native language is.
I know that I didn't complain.
Helmut had very little interaction with him overall, and when he did, it was primarily face-to-face. And Helmut is pretty even-tempered.
That leaves Andy.
Andy, who seemed to take a disliking to Rakesh from day one. Andy, who has gone out of his way to be exceptionally harsh to Rakesh in reviews-- unnecessarily so.
Andy who a few weeks ago got fed up with Rakesh's progress on a unit test plan and took it over completely.
(ding! ding! ding!)
I have watched Andy with other non-white developers. He seems to have a special disdain for folks from India and the surrounding area. Nothing that I can nail outright, but more of an attitude.
However, even if I chalk it up to personal bigotry, there is still no excuse for the company to operate in such a manner as to use termination as a first response to any but the most heinous offenses.
I am livid. I very nearly walked out after seeing this, and I'm still considering the ramifications. I have lost any minimal respect I had for this company, and I know that I will not be extending my contract after it ends next.
I am updating my resume for sure. And I think I'll start the job-hunting process early.