Seeders and Leechers

This is a follow up of my previous post Nice Guys, do you finish first?

I got to know the term seeders and leachers from the Torrents. The term leeching is very common in the computing world,  but is it relevant in any other context?

Yes it is relevant in other contexts as well, I keep observing these in my workplaces. Some of the workplaces I have seen has very rigid written performance expectations and assessment criteria. The performance evaluation is nothing but a way of identifying the leechers and removing them from the system. The key problem in this setting is that the cause and effect might be very spread apart and it is easy to find ways to comply with every word from the expectations set and still be a leecher. Lots of tools and methods at the workplace evolve at a very rapid pace which makes it hard to keep the expectations at a written form and convey to people.

Who is a seeder? Is someone who comes to work delivers the job as per requirement and goes home a seeder?

A seeder is someone who not only does her job but also makes sure the peers need not rework or struggle in the coming days as result of her job. If a team contains lots of seeders then there is effective communication, on time delivery and a good balance of work and life. The team can pretty much handle themselves without a need for a supervisor. On the other hand if the team contains lots of leechers, then there is a need for a supervisor to keep a check on the delivery and try to remove the leechers out of the team.

Any example of a leecher? What happens if we dont remove them from the system?

Let us take the example from the documentary Nice guys finish first, the social setting of a group birds is such that each bird removes of the ticks from the other birds. Each bird is groomed by someone else to be healthy. In this setting it is very easy for a bird to get groomed and get away without returning the favour. The bird which exploits the social setting is a leecher. If we dont remove the leecers from the system then the overall advancement of the system is very limited and will encourage selfish behaviour.

Unfortunately it is not so easy to find leeching in self organized teams, the reason is that leeching might be involuntary through unconscious incompetence. The individuals might not realize that they are over grazing the resources and soon going to add pressure on their team mates. Timely facilitated retrospectives, reflections and corrective actions without penalties will help improve the well being of the self organized teams.

Image: africa /

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