How to work with me

3 min readJan 25, 2022

Hello! I’m Ming.

You’re reading this because you are — or will be — working with me, and either you or I (preferably both) want our collaboration to unfold as smoothly as possible. Since we all come from different backgrounds and have dissimilar personalities, it might be easier for both of us to set some expectations before we meet. This article is, hence, my offer of sincerity, my outreaching hand ready for a shake, and my gesture of friendliness.

Let me cut to the chase.

Here are the communication rules I practice at work. I would really appreciate it if you could following these patterns when interacting with me, but I will totally be fine if you choose not to, as long as you also respect my choice of behavior. One example: Don’t just say “hello” in chat. I won’t respond. Always tell me directly what you want.

Except holidays and time off, I expect everyone (that means me myself and all my colleagues) to be working only during 9AM-5PM in their local timezone. I don’t expect everyone to be working non-stop during this period, but I do consider it horrible management of work-life balance if anyone answers email, submit pull requests, or sends messages outside of that time frame.

Use my concentration time wisely. I’ve metered my focus hours for years. The pattern: I can only stay focused for at most 4~5 hours a day. With 4 hours of focus, I would consider it a productive day. 5 hours tires me, and 6 hours amounts to a burnout. Keep in mind that, if you want me to be more than a stop-gap, meetings also count towards the hours.

In terms of the 16 types of personality, I’m an Assertive Advocate (INFJ-A). In short, I have strong opinions and enjoy helping colleagues. Read INFJs at work for details. Here are some takeaways:

  • Mind: 51% introverted, I recharge in solitude, and social interactions exhausts me. I’m also 49% extroverted, which means I need to socialize once in a while to keep my spirit high. The difference is small, so it may mean little to you.
  • Energy: I’m 56% intuitive and 44% observant. This generally means I prefer clean & short code to complex, “smart” ones. For example, I advocate the early return pattern. By the way, I prefer Python to Java.
  • Nature: I’m 68% feeling while only 32% thinking. Do keep in mind that I try hard to be professional at work, so all my thinking energy is almost totally devoted to my workplace. That being said, being nice to me will almost surely carry better consequences than being nice to an average person.
  • Tactics: I’m 76% judging, which means I’m highly organized: I write explainable code and document nearly everything. If you need some help from me and I happen to have worked on it, I will almost surely drop you a link to some Wiki or Google doc. Don’t be offended if I decline to talk over phone.
  • Identity: with 63% assertiveness, I sometimes can come across as conceited. I reason the cause of my trust in myself to my rigorous practice of formal execution and documentation. You are always welcome to challenge my opinions, though. I believe that adequate challenges make us grow.

Hope this document is useful to you, and may our collaboration go well.

(You should write a “how to work with me” doc, too!)