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First things first, I'd like to state a clear intention: I am not trying to post a rant, I just want to know if I am suffering some kind of mobbing. Thank you for your understanding beforehand.

I've been working as a software developer for a company since 3 years ago. I think it's safe to say I am a quite respected developer as long as many people comes to me to search for advice, maybe because I gave some trainings about complex areas and solved a few tough developments.

In May, the company placed a new colleague above us. (It might be important to say that it is the first time that this colleague has a management-related role.) Apart from that, a new Product Owner (new in the company) took over.

We're supposed to work under Scrum Agile Method, but:

  • I've been working in just writing business specifications for almost two months.
  • Didn't write a line of code in two months, being my job software developer.
  • My manager assigned me a huge task two months ago, but another manager is constantly telling me to do the opposite. If manager A tells me 'do this', manager 'B' will say 'do that different thing'. (Both managers are new in that job description, if it helps.). Thus, this huge task is a never ending one, so today he come over my desk and have a chat with me, suggesting I was not working properly/I was lazy.
  • I am constantly working on business-related stuff instead of development. (i.e: "let's brainstorm about how can we force users to do this thing related to business.")
  • I am starting to be worried about my coding skills getting lost. I am practicing at home in order to avoid this, but it feels like I am some kind of analyst instead of developer. I spend 5 hours in meetings some days.
    • We are always starting new tasks instead of finishing that ones close to an end. As far as I know, Agile Development is actually the contrary way around.

I am starting to believe that my effort is on doubt, which is quite sad for me as long as I am trying my best in a Product Owner-like job which is not mine, nor am I an expert on it. The following sentence is not objective, but it seems like I have to be a one-man team sometimes. (Is this normal?)

I've got a one-to-one meeting with my manager on Wednesday, and I don't know if it's recommendable to say this.

Anyone with experience in similar situations?

I've been trying to be as objective as I could, but please let me know if I didn't and I'll happily edit the question.

Thanks a lot.

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    What is your goal in this situation? This site is not a good place the exchange experiences; we focus on objective answers that will help other people in the same place. – Erik Sep 24 '18 at 10:55
  • I believe my goal is fairly stated in the title, @Erik – dev Sep 24 '18 at 12:52
  • @JoeStrazzere maybe you've missed the point of the question; I don't expect the PO to write code, as long as he's not good at it. Hence, I expect to work on my most controlled field, software development. Besides, I don't want to orientate my path towards PO, but Software Architecture instead. – dev Sep 24 '18 at 12:54
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    You mention being the rope in a tug-of-war between manager A and manager B. Who is the manager you nominally report to? That manager is supposed to set priorities if you're given too much to do. – David Thornley Sep 24 '18 at 16:01
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    What does "mobbing" mean? I looked up the definition and an alternate is "crowd". Are you saying someone is crowding you? How does it apply to changing requirements? How does it apply to your bulleted points? (Or maybe, remove the slang and speak clearly. Don't use the slang in the meeting). – jww Oct 10 '18 at 22:29
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The one-to-one meetings you have with your manager should be a time in which you're able to raise any issues affecting you / your work. It appears that while you may feel you're working out of your comfort zone and not doing the work you want to be doing, no one is telling you you're doing a bad job. I know the feeling only too well but sometimes an organisation needs people to be flexible and do something new / different for a while.

That said, don't hesitate in your one-to-one to say to your manager something along the lines of

I'm concerned that over the last few months I have not done any coding / development work but am doing a lot of higher level project work which is taking me in a direction I hadn't expected to be heading in. Will it be possible for me to go back to coding soon; or is there a reason I'm being asked to do what I am?

...and take it from there. It might be that there's a lull in your current project load or that management want to give you some additional experience and that's why you've found yourself in your current position.

Likewise the conflict between the two managers. If your one-to-one isn't with one of those two managers it should be easy for you to ask for help. If your one-to-one is with one of the conflicting managers then be honest and tell them

I'm having trouble knowing what to do for the best when you ask me to do a task but manager B seems to then contradict that instruction.

The one-to-one would be a great time and place to air your concerns and find out what's happening with your role and hopefully to start the process of resolving this little conflict :)

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    Yes certainly it's something you want to ask in a polite and nonthreatening manner :D maybe worth adding that "I appreciate the chance to be doing xyz" perhaps – Matthew E Cornish Sep 24 '18 at 11:15
  • Thank you so much for your good answer @MatthewECornish!! I'll wait to see if I get more answers, but this seems like a valid one for me. Besides, I don't think that exposing the truth about a fact "might have career implications". And if it has, is probably not a worthwhile place to work in. This is not about "I only want to be a coder", it's about "I want to be an Architect". – dev Sep 24 '18 at 11:33
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    So how did it go @dev ? – Matthew E Cornish Sep 27 '18 at 6:45
  • I am still working on business analysis stuff, but I am being able to code a little. It seems that many other colleagues are in my same situation, and people it's blaming to the head of PO's. I am starting to feel that my programming skills are getting rusty, and since I'd like to become an architect,I am starting to think about leaving the company – dev Oct 4 '18 at 9:39
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This isn't "mobbing" in my opinion - it actually sounds a lot like the fairly common practice where a more senior staff member is given more responsibility.

That said it doesn't sound like it's in the career direction you would like. What I would suggest is that in your upcoming one-to-one that you discuss this with your manager in a positive way.

I've been doing a lot of work recently that's fallen into more of a Business Analyst/Product owner role. I'm grateful for the opportunity to progress my skills and position but I feel that it would be of more value to the company if I were to take on more of a Software Architect-type role as I feel this would better leverage my technical skills.

If you can give some examples of the sort of things you feel you could do as an Architect and what benefits this would bring to the company.

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I just want to know if I am suffering some kind of mobbing.

No.

You are perhaps being asked to perform tasks that you would prefer not to have on your plate.

But there is nothing here that appears to be mobbing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobbing

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