0

I have been working at a new job for a short while now, hired as a junior developer for a small IT company.

However, when I interviewed I made the mistake of not probing the support structure at the workplace.

They use a very uncommon language (deluge), with very thin supporting documentation, there is no Senior Developer at the company (I later found out he left because he got into an intense argument with the MD), and they want me to manage this massive convoluted system with no guidance. I have been pouring over the code base to familiarize myself, but the previous developer was very bad at following common coding practices, he never even commented his code.

I understand that a fresh BSc graduate needs to go through a trial by fire and can't expect everything to be easy. But hiring a green junior developer to manage your backend solo cannot be a good business decision.

I'm having a meeting with my Boss tomorrow where I am going to lay my cards on the table, and I am most likely going to be asked to pack my bags.

What are the typical signs that leaving is appropriate, and that I might be in over my head?

I feel guilty because I feel like I will be letting people down if I leave. But as far as I am concerned I need the appropriate mentorship before I take on a role of this caliber. You wouldn't ask a fresh medical intern to perform a complicated surgery unsupervised, right?

7
  • 1
    2 weeks. I realize that it is not long enough to judge the quality of a workplace. I just feel massively inexperienced for the type of role they want me to fill. – Bazilby Feb 7 '19 at 22:53
  • 1
    If it was me I'd stay and conquer that mountain but I'm stupid like that, I have a habit of getting myself into huge challenges. The sensible thing to do is ask for training and weigh up if the rewards of the challenge are worth it. Also voting to close because it is asking for a specific choice which is off topic in this forum, you'll need to rephrase it to something suitable. Please see "how to ask a question" - workplace.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask – solarflare Feb 7 '19 at 23:03
  • 1
    I apologize, I'm new to this forum. – Bazilby Feb 7 '19 at 23:12
  • 2
    @Bazilby no worries, with the edit its looking good. This isn't like a chit-chat forum, it's a knowledge stack so the questions and answers need to be useful for others as well. I've retracted the close vote. – solarflare Feb 8 '19 at 0:49
  • 1
    Throwing a job like that at a fresh-out is the wrong thing to do for more reasons than I can count. – Blrfl Feb 8 '19 at 15:50
8

What would you do, stay and knuckle down, or run for the hills?

It depends on whether or not you feel that the experience of staying would be beneficial to your career. Do you think that you'll learn things which will help you grow professionally, or will the experience be so painful that it won't be worthwhile? Certainly if they're going to expect you to never make a mistake it will be very difficult to make work.

I feel guilty because I feel like I will be letting people down if I leave. But as far as I am concerned I need the appropriate mentorship before I take on a role of this caliber.

You shouldn't feel guilty if you decide it isn't a fit. You need to make sure your career is headed in a direction where you want to go. No company should expect that losing their technical lead and replacing him with a new graduate is setting their business up to succeed. It sounds a bit dysfunctional to me, and I'd personally want to hear a very good plan from my boss in order to stick around if I were you.

2
  • 1
    Not sure why the down vote. This is a great answer. – JonSG Feb 7 '19 at 23:15
  • "It depends on whether or not you feel that the experience of staying would be beneficial to your career." That's a very pragmatic way to look at it. I think I rushed into this job because I wanted to get industry experience, but honestly, I want to do application development, not manage a company's backend. – Bazilby Feb 7 '19 at 23:15
0

As someone who has also experienced this, I would advise that you speak honestly with your manager about any difficulties you are having. They know it is your first experience in the industry, and should manage their expectations of you accordingly. However, if you say nothing, they might not realise that you are having difficulties. Possible solutions would be pair programming with colleagues, setting aside some time each week for self-study, or receiving more suitable tasks until you gain more experience.

If they are not able to provide support to help you gain useful experience, then neither side will benefit in the long term. In that case, you might be better off using the terms of the probation period to pursue a more productive role elsewhere. With that said, there is likely no need to panic just yet, but doing nothing is also not a good option.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .