Because of “salary too high”! Dismissed after being owed for three months, the programmer deletes the database to retaliate

Founders of non-technical companies often don’t understand the value of developers. If their products are technological products, then developers are the company’s fuel. I heard this story from a colleague. The protagonist of the story is called Xiao Ming.

Joined a startup as the only developer

When the founders started the company, Xiao Ming was the first developer hired by their team. Later, within a week, they hired two other developers, and Xiao Ming was the team leader.

Why would Xiao Ming join a newly established startup company? My colleague said that Xiao Ming encountered some problems in his previous job and he needed to find a new job within a week, so he accepted the job.

The founder of the company is very young and completely inexperienced. Being young is not a problem, and in some cases it is an advantage. But the problem is that some young founders think they know everything, are very conceited, and don’t listen to persuasion.

From the very beginning, Xiao Ming encountered such a problem. Xiao Ming repeatedly suggested that they invest more in technical construction, but they couldn’t listen. They always say that the company’s funds are insufficient, but on the other hand, the company is hiring new employees (marketing, sales, and other executives) every month.

Xiao Ming has nothing to do. Although he was unhappy, it was okay, because he was paid a lot.

Problems started to occur after a year

Xiaoming worked very hard and completed the product within ten months. After completing the product, the founder reduced the number of developers by half. In this regard, Xiao Ming was very upset. He told the founder that reducing the number of developers would put more pressure on existing developers, who could not continue to maintain the existing time plan.

If you are a developer and have worked in a startup, you will know that the timetable given by the startup is very strict, because they are always non-stop.

However, when the founders laid off some developers and Xiao Ming could not meet their expectations, their attitude towards Xiao Ming changed. They suddenly stopped paying Xiao Ming and told him that the company had encountered some financial crisis.

Xiao Ming liked this startup very much, so he endured it and said nothing. But then he heard from others that all other employees were paid. So Xiao Ming asked them to make a theory on this issue.

They said that Xiao Ming’s salary was the highest, so they couldn’t pay him. Three months later, they fired Xiao Ming because he could not pay his salary. The founder did not understand the importance of Xiao Ming: He held all the keys and passwords, including all the source code.

There are two reasons why Xiao Ming is very angry:

  • When dismissing Xiao Ming, he did not give two months’ notice.
  • There is no money to pay Xiao Ming, but other departments have been hiring new people!


Xiao Ming can access all the company’s source code. After being fired, the first thing he did was to go to the Internet cafe, delete the user database and some other important database information through the Firebase management panel, and save this information in his Firebase account.

The company does not have any backups. As a result, all customers crashed when they tried to enter the app. On the same day as the incident, Xiao Ming received a call.

The founder knows that Xiao Ming did it (other developers made a small report), but they don’t have any evidence. They can sue Xiao Ming, but this is a long process. If the current situation is not improved, the startup will be in trouble. Xiao Ming knew that he was taking advantage of this.

They called Xiao Ming that day, but Xiao Ming didn’t admit anything. But he said that if they can make up for three months of unpaid wages, plus two months of compensation (because they did not notify Xiao Ming two months in advance), he can find a way to solve the problem.

As a result, they paid a full five months’ wages that day, and Xiao Ming solved their problem within an hour.


Xiao Ming said that even if he asked for a 12-month salary, they would give it back, but he just wanted to get back what he deserved.

These startups often don’t understand, and developers also need to feed their families. In my opinion, Xiao Ming’s approach is a just act. But I don’t recommend others to follow suit, because this may lead you to a legal whirlpool!

If you encounter this situation, please try a legal way. Although it takes a certain amount of time, it will not put yourself in danger.


In fact, the reality version of “deleting the database and running away” incidents also occur from time to time, but for the developers themselves, the most sensible way is not to act impulsively, because this will even lose their entire career. In this regard, netizens They also expressed different opinions:

Comment 1

In this story, Xiao Ming is actually in a very bad situation.

We will not discuss related legal matters for the time being. He took a big risk here. If other developers knew that Xiao Ming did this and the founder filed a lawsuit, then Xiao Ming would be in trouble. It is not difficult for investigators to determine what happened. Guess what will happen next?

Xiao Ming’s professional reputation and integrity were ruined. For a long time to come, Xiao Ming’s career will be affected, and no company will ask him to write code. Yes, many times developers (and all other IT staff) are underpaid, undervalued, and generally not respected by employers, but these are not legitimate reasons to damage our personal and professional integrity. The correct way: If you don’t pay my salary, I will sue you. I can definitely win because you broke the contract. I will also spread this story in the community, let everyone know about this startup company, and see if they can get the investment and if they can recruit good developers.

Comment 2

Xiao Ming’s decision was wrong! If he didn’t get his salary from the beginning, he should contact the Ministry of Labor. They will close this company, and quickly! They will use the company’s assets to pay their salaries in arrears. Or, Xiao Ming only needs to check the phone number of the Ministry of Labor (it is easy to search on the Internet), and then memorize it to the boss, and he will write the check obediently.

Comment 3

How can there be “no evidence”? Any operation completed in the cloud environment can be traced back. Although the boss of this company is not authentic, Xiao Ming is undoubtedly causing the flames.

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