I joined a startup startup at an early stage and have been working with them for one year and half. My position could be named something like "devops" or "fullstack engineer".

We met some success and the startup have been hiring people for the past year. I previously had lots of satisfaction to be part in many discussions where I was asked to find and engineer technical solutions to our problems and our needs.

But as more people joined, my technical supervisor discuss with the relevant people in the company about problems and needs, and after a thinking process I'm not part of, he just hands out the technical solution he wants me to implement.

My supervisor is competent and he means well, but my role didn't evolve, in fact it became smaller. Less responsability, less thinking, more execution. I feel like I'm not learning anything anymore and I'm concerned about my evolution in the company. I don't see my responsabilities or salary going to evolve if my role and impact diminish like this. My motivation is also going down as I don't feel beeing part of the "core team" anymore.

As far as I know, my superiors are happy with my work. I had a raise one year ago, but we haven't had a "performance review" ever since.

I thought about talking to my boss about my concerns, but I'm afraid it makes me come out as entitled (I might be?). My boss don't "owe" me to give me more responsabilities but as an engineer, I thought my job should be about finding solutions, not just implementing them.

How do I approach the problem with my boss ?

  • 1
    Could it be that because the company was smaller in the past, there was nobody else to discuss things with so you were included? But now that they hired more, they have a "middle" man who can relay technical issues back to you? Who is going to the meeting instead? Someone from your team or manager?
    – Dan
    Mar 2, 2018 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


The answer is likely to be wrapped up in the growing pains of the company.

We met some success and the startup have been hiring people for the past year

As the need to hire becomes increasingly important the existing team can be taken for granted - to the extent that their soft needs, like 'how we did things to start with' or performance reviews get forgotten as the new normal of getting people in the room becomes essential to deal with the increasing pressure.

I was asked to find and engineer technical solutions to our problems and our needs

Secondly most companies evolve quickly from a startup - if they are to survive - into a place where the staff stop doing everything & start to focus on their core role. So that initially you had what you may consider to have been an architects role & that has now been downgraded - in your eyes - into a more of a developers role.

This is important because if what you consider your core role is different to what your supervisor thinks then you have a decision to make.

ACTION: You need to speak to you supervisor & explain what it is that you feel happiest doing. I don't think dwelling on what your role used to be is helpful - it's all about what you want to do.

It could be that your supervisor simply felt that you didn't like or weren't yet suited to the larger role & that the team expansion allowed you to focus on your core role before getting another opportunity. It could be your prompt will be enough to push you back into the more expanded role.

But if your company cannot offer you what you want or makes you happy or even a timeline to when it might happen - largely because other people want to do the good bits of your job - then your choices are simple; wait it out out & hope for an opportunity or move on.

  • 1
    +1 for the positive suggestion. Don't voice it as a concern, voice it as motivation to do a more challenging job/get a position you might be better suited for.
    – Dirk
    Mar 2, 2018 at 9:31

I suggest you talk to your boss and tell him that in the past he did involve you more in decisions but recently not so much anymore (be ready to come up with an example if he asks). Tell him that you are wondering why he does this.

Try to keep the conversation neutral like an enquiry and not an accusation.

Maybe you will hear an unexpected answer, maybe he will tell you that the other people are more qualified, there might be many reasons. I think at this stage you should keep an open mind and just ask why and that's it.

If he tells you that your past answers were no good and this is why he does not ask anymore then I suggest just hear him out in that moment and don't do anything else. Then think about it maybe at home or over a weekend and maybe then do further steps. But first just collect information about the why.

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