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I recently finished around year and half at my first position as a software developer out of college. When I started, I was assigned a co-worker who would act a mentor as I learned to code in the project that I am working on. And this person is the "Development Lead" for this project.

It now a year and half later and I am fairly comfortable taking up reasonably large tasks on my own and delivering on them (with occasional help from this co-worker) but I have noticed that during meetings with business users, upper management and other stakeholders, this person takes credit for my work and neglects to mention me at all. What’s more, he fails to include me in critical meetings with users that impact my work.

So when I have questions, he prefers that I ask him directly and he asks the users on his own. At first I didn’t care too much about this (as some of this actions are somewhat inline with behavior of a dev lead) but I am beginning to think this will affect my career negatively especially since I am in a corporate environment where advancements are heavily based on connections rather than skill. External people almost always considers him to be the contact person even when I know more about a particular question. I feel like he is using me for his own advancement without giving me any credit. I don’t want to confront him directly and risk retaliation - I still need occasional help from this person.

As this is my first job out of school, I am not sure how to handle this situation “correctly”. How can I navigate this situation carefully so as to minimize collateral damage and just get credit for the work that I do?

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    Can you fix this wall of text? – Herb Wolfe Nov 12 '17 at 20:04
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    Possible duplicate of Handling Credit-takers – gnat Nov 12 '17 at 20:18
  • @HerbWolfe Why didn't you just edit it instead of asking the OP to do it? You know that's possible, right? – user1118321 Nov 13 '17 at 3:40
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    @user1118321 of course I know it's possible, however it's not practical from the app, which I was using at the time I saw the question, and am using right now. – Herb Wolfe Nov 13 '17 at 3:44
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    "So when I have questions, he prefers that I ask him directly and he asks the users on his own" - It is not unreasonable to have one clear point of contact for a product. Doing so does not mean he's taking credit. Not being invited to certain meetings also has nothing to do with taking credit. What actual outcome do you want to achieve here? – Brandin Nov 13 '17 at 7:47
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Detail can matter here but there's nothing, as written, that suggests particular cause for concern.

For example, it sounds like he is responsible for the project so I would expect that he would take overall credit for a successful project and be at fault for a failed project.

Now, if he habitually gives specific credit to other individuals at your level but not you, then that is a somewhat different matter. If that's the case then I would raise it with him.

Something on the lines of:

I noticed you gave credit to person X for delivering Y but not when I delivered Z. Is there something I'm doing wrong or could do differently?

Similarly with client meetings. If you're being singled out then you can take a similar approach to the one above.

If, however, it's not practice to take junior staff to client meetings then I wouldn't be concerned. What you could do, though, is ask if you can attend a client meeting, as an observer, for your development. He could always say no but you may get more colour on why.

Finally, it sounds like you've reached a point in your career where you believe you can take on more responsibility. Good for you! I would heartily recommend that you speak to your manager about this.

Keep it positive: you have a good understanding of project now, you feel ready for the next step. That sort of thing. Listen to any feedback and act upon it as best you can. And good luck.

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