I work in the Language Resource Center on my campus. It's a relatively small lab, and our job is to help students, not code software. Being a Computer Science student, I took the initiative to start coding useful utilities to make our jobs as lab assistants easier.
Recently, Google declared a shut-down of our data storage mechanism, so I decided that it was time to completely rework the entire system that I've built (alone) over the past year. I have more experience now, and I want to do it correctly with the (better) tools that are now available to us.
There is another CS student that works with me in this lab, who will continue working with me for one more semester (e.g. a 4-month period). I never asked him to contribute to the original project because I started it last summer when he wasn't scheduled to work.
Again, this is not a required duty in our positions. I enjoy coding things to automate menial tasks, and to make our jobs easier. It was never a requirement.
There is a hard deadline of mid-August, when faculty will start submitting requests to us again. The old system has to be rebuilt (some parts retrofitted) before then.
My boss suggested that this coworker of mine contribute to the new project to speed up development. I worry that my coworker (and boss, for that matter) might take it as a slight if he doesn't help develop this system. On the other hand, there was a 9-month period where he could have contributed to the previous project, and a 4-month period that he could have taken over management of said project (I was in France) - he has never shown interest in actively contributing to the previous project, and I have no problem with that.
I'm concerned because I feel that helping him learn HTML, CSS and JS, as well as Google's API and toolset will really slow things down. We essentially have two months to re-construct the old system, and I feel that the time it would take to get him acquainted with the tools and languages used in this project, I could have built it myself.
Is there a protocol?
I've come up with the following as my options in this situation:
- Just start working on the new project alone, assuming that my coworker does not want and/or never wanted to contribute.
- Ask my coworker if he wants me to help him learn HTML/CSS/JS and start showing him the previous code base as well as the current project's plan.
- Ask my coworker if he has any interest in helping with the new project (he doesn't need to have an interest, but would he take that as You must work on this!?)
Is it worth the time/effort, given the deadline, to have my coworker work on this project with me? Or would I detriment progress by having him co-develop?