I am having the following situation and would appreciate some feedback how to revolve it:

I have been working for 7 months in a Small software dev team. 2 backend devs, 1 front , 1 senior developer acting AS tech lead.

Development process:

  • Strong code ownership and task isolation.
  • No standup meetings , changing project managers.

I am one of the two backend devs. I have very heavy system architect type of CV but changed to a contractor and now I am developing again.

Since the beginning of the project my tasks are explicitly assigned and related mostly to the legacy applications but not on the implementation of the new business case. Every time I try to engage my colleagues about design or the business domain I am brushed aside. The last occasion was when I first approached a colleague to discuss and work together on the DB design, got a rejection. I am excluded from the communication chains, at the end i receive my tasks. I am two times more productive then my fellow backend developer yet he receives everything related to domain. When I thought that being more productive would allow me to enter the domain. The responsibility for things developed by me was handed over to him.

Normally in a team with shared code ownership this would not be an issue, but this is not such a team. My colleagues from other teams don't even know I am working on this project. Should I ask to be relocated to a different project and how do I do it in a good way?

This is my first project as independent consultant and I am afraid for it to backfire on me.

Update: me and my fellow backend developer started the same time in the company.

  • @Joe Strazzere isn't there an option to change projects. There are more projects at that workplace? – Pesho Oct 27 '18 at 12:05
  • Is the other backend developer also a contractor? – enderland Oct 27 '18 at 12:33
  • Yes everyone is contractor on the team. – Pesho Oct 27 '18 at 12:35

You're a contractor, until you have a lot of experience and respect there you should just be soldiering through the tasks as they are given to you.

You don't get to choose your tasks, and you usually don't get to change projects.

The responsibility for things developed by me was handed over to him.

Take this as a heads up that you haven't yet earned much respect for your abilities. Rocking the boat further may see you changing to project unemployed.

Just because your colleague started the same time as you doesn't mean much, you do not know if there is any history, qualification, experience or recommendation that puts them in a more responsible position. Contractors should not measure themselves against others without full information.


I posted the question and I will answer it myself. My answer will demonstrate that we are all unique and we all find our strategies to deal with problems.

Instead from hiding from the conflict I decided to embrace it. Before entering the conflict I had 20% allocation to doing maintanance on the project. When I saw that I am not doing well within my team I started putting focus on this 20% maintanance and ensured as much as possible people know me. I managed to get visibility , something that the work within my main team was cutting me out from. In reality I spent 50% doing maintanance task this increased my exposure a lot and I managed to work with a lot of people and get noticed.

I decided to embrace the conflict and went all in. My good work on the maintanance side of the project has not remained unnoticed. I build my case and went straight to the chief architect presenting a vision of the component my team is building compatible with his target arhictecture. The relationship with my team went to the point where it deteriorated to the point where it did not made any sense to work more within this team. Fortunatly there were enough skilled people from the other teams and from the architects side to back me up and I recieved relocation to a new team focused on research and development with respect of the target architecture.I also earned respect from a lot of seniour people for standing my ground.

What is the conclusion. The conclusion is. If you believe in yourself and in your skills no one on stackechange is in your shoes and does not have the complete picture of your unique situation. But if you manage to get exposure there is a good chance that if you go All In things may turn out in a positive way. What saved my ass was that I seek exposure all the time, even in a grim situation where my team is cutting me out from exposure. If you can not find the exposure within your team seek it outside. Without a back to hold on you better switch jobs.

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