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I've been working as a software developer for half an year in a small company in Germany. My manager (and company owner) is from USA and everyday he gives us tasks, bugs to fix and new features to implement. Since this is my first dev job out of school, I've been hired as a junior.

However, I noticed an unconsistent way in which my manager assigns tasks to me: sometimes I get a simple bug to fix, then to implement a complex backend of a new feature, then another simple bug etc. I've always did good and on time, however, last week I got accused (in a subtle way) by him that I solve/finish less tickets in quantity than at the first few months. This did not have any sense.

I tried to explain that this things can't be tracked as linear, and it depends from task to task. He seems to have technical background, but just can't seem to understand that complexity varies. Because of this, I started feeling demotivated since I know I did a good job in terms of performance and code quality, but I still got accused by him and didn't receive any recognition/positive feedback.

Few of my colleagues acknowledged the good implementation of my features, but I do not understand why they do not say that infront of my manager so to confirm my progress?

I'd like to know if there is any way I can help him track my real progress (I feel that I've progressed a lot in the last 7 months) or it would just be a waste of time?

  • Do the tickets you work on come with some estimates for how much work they are? (Estimates made by the technical staff? Any others aren't very useful) – Erik Mar 18 '18 at 19:22
  • @Erik no, he assigns them to us based on direct communication and priority (eg. please work on this today). – birdybird03 Mar 18 '18 at 19:24
  • Then how do you measure that you used to do them "on time"? What metrics are being used? – Erik Mar 18 '18 at 19:26
  • By 'on time' I meant based on client's needs, not on technical complexity. Sometimes this means doing overtime or skipping breaks to finish a task 'on time'. – birdybird03 Mar 18 '18 at 19:30
  • I think Erik is asking the right question. You and your manager seem to disagree on your progress, but it is not clear what the "official" goal you're aiming for is supposed to be. Do you and your manager agree on what it means for something to be "on time?" Is there any explicitly defined standard against which your performance is being measured? – dwizum Mar 19 '18 at 13:24
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Go through this exercise with the before (month he thought you did more) and then after (the period of time you production decreased) on your own. You may discover that you are not getting more tickets done even by weight, so this may indicate you may be spending more time on other tasks: documentation, email, talking to clients on the phone, etc.

Then you can have a conversation with your boss with hopefully some objective information about the amount of work you're doing. If there is a drastic discrepancy on the amount of weight your boss would give to a task, you may find where the problem is.

However you go about it, you and your boss need to discuss this in more detail.

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If you're not explicitly being asked for time estimates, provide them anyway as part of your response. That way, you're reporting back how long things will take upfront and there's a record of it (and he's led to implicitly accept those estimates).

Of course, for the larger tickets, you won't have a good estimate, but you can communicate that you have to analyze before providing an estimate.

  • It seems like the manager would look at these estimates and claim they are longer than previously. How should the OP respond? – user8365 Mar 20 '18 at 15:38

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