I started a new role as a junior software developer about 6 months ago. I moved to a completely new industry so it's taken this long to get my business knowledge up to speed.

During this time my manager has been assigning me tasks of increasing complexity but over the past three months he has made himself less avaiable for me to ask for clarification on tasks. I feel like I can't talk with him as every time I do he is condescending and I feel like an idiot. This means when I get to the end of tasks I've usually misinterpreted the instructions which can be vague.

It also worth noting I have Asperger's so social interpretation is already an issue for me but he doesn't make himself open to allow me to explore solutions to issues. Today I completely got the wrong end of a stick to what he said, later today my team member sent me a message that was meant to be for my manager. The contents were basically about how it had already been explained to me, my colleague proceeded to send me lots of mesages trying to hide the fact he sent the original by mistake.

The fact my manager and co worker were clearly discussing me without my knowledge has left me feeling ostracized. When I logged on to the computer again the messages from my co worker has been deleted, this would require asking a system admin to remove them.

When I go back to work after the weekend how am I supposed to approach this situation in which clearly my team members think so little of me.

  • Out of curiosity what was your onboarding process like? Was there any training? To be fair, I don't know if it's fair to say that half a year is really considered "new." I'm not justifying their behavior though.
    – Kevin Xu
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 0:36
  • You don't say what your education or training in this field is, nor do you mention which country. Here's the first link that came up when searching for Asperger: autismspeaks.ca/about-autism/what-is-autism/asperger-syndrome - some countries have free classes in social interaction and provide assistance to people in need of it. Try to view it from the other side, if you didn't mention this then you should expect that they would treat you the same as anyone else (which is probably better), you need to do what is being paid for. You're getting a hint, be reliable (in their eyes).
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 5:16
  • One problem as a new software engineer is, you have to really quickly learn that: you have to do everything yourself. (Many questions on here are about this issue. Many new programmers don't realize you have to do everything yourself.) I wouldn't feel bad about it: everyone has to learn this. Now you know.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


This most likely isn't what you want to hear, but if you want to salvage this situation, you need to do what you can to earn their respect.

Right now, you're in the "problem" column. And that's a bad place to be. Your manager and colleagues are trying to minimise the time they spend with you, because they see this as unproductive time, that isn't helping them to solve problems. You need to do what you can to make yourself useful, as quickly as possible while causing as little overhead as possible.

So, I would strongly advise, if you haven't done any or all of this already:

  • Read internal documentation. As much as you can get your hands on. Technical documentation, project specs, etc, etc. Even if it isn't directly relevant, it all helps to get more background on what has been done and where the company is going.
  • Get your own development environment set up, and use it. This is critical. You must be able to try things, to get your own code up, running, and most importantly tested, on your own machine. Do what you can to get your code as good as it can be before you discuss it with colleagues.
  • Read your colleagues' source code. This will help you get a feel for the "house style". Also, many problems have very similar solutions, and you will start to get a feel for how problems can be solved.

I'm sure there is more, but you get the idea. Do what you can on your own, to make the time you do get to spend with your manager and colleagues more productive.

  • 4
    Indeed. Bluntly, programmers who need to "ask how to do something", get let go. The entire nature of programming, the raison d'etre of "hiring a programmer" is to have them figure something out.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 13:59
  • Also, I have a problem with "56 months in new industry". Unless that is writing controller for rockets or cryptography from web developer, or a javascript person writing assembler code for embedded controllers, this is an excessive amount of time for what most industries are essentially: businesses. They may build different things, but most applications still are quite similar from the problems (accounting, warehousing, scheduling). 6 months for basics is "let this guy go" territory.
    – TomTom
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 17:50

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