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Background

I'm currently at a cross section in my career in a corporate. I'm almost a year working as a software engineer; in that period of time I've passed a team straining about the team's back-end and front-end technologies, fixing bugs (while getting help from the only teammate who fix bugs), some refactoring metrics, and a POC of our main project which planned for us this year. Right now, other teammates are working on tasks of the projects while I didn't get so far any task that is related to the project. All what I got is bugs, and the fact - "you're supposed to replace him and take all of the responsibilities of maintenance from him", even though I did in the past months a deep research and built a POC.

My question

How can I ask from my manager to involve me in the project, while they clearly said to me that I'm the "new guy", and somebody must to do all of this dirty work?

  • Write less bugs? – Kilisi Feb 13 at 12:03
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They need someone to fix bugs. It seems that, to them, it is most economically beneficial to put experienced people on new project, and you on bug fixing.

The only chance to change that assignment is to present management with business benefits of doing so. You have to think of arguments that will show why putting least experienced person on new project is not increasing project cost (time, money, technical debt and other kinds of cost) and actually earns them something.

If only argument you will present will be "I'm not happy with bug fixing", you risk they will mitigate business risk by replacing you with someone who is happy to fix bugs.


As for specific benefits, one benefit of having you involved in new project is that you will know it enough to bugfix it later. Also, sending some bugs from older systems to other employees will mean they know enough about these old system to bugfix them if you will ever get sick, killed in bus accident etc. Will it be enough? I doubt so, probably management already considered this. But at least it is a start.

  • 1
    Also you gain a lot of knowledge when working on existing projects. You get to see the code from more experienced developers and learn while working. This is sometimes needed so that you will be the experienced dev in the future, and produce maintainable code for the next new guy. – Sopuli Feb 13 at 12:18
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I think you are looking at this the wrong way.

I started in a company where after some time all I was doing was "bug fixing",not as much in code as it was in business processes, all I did was fix things when people made mistakes, this helped me when I was the one developing the business processes, helped me even more when I started bug fixing the applications we used, which then when I started developing, I already knew the applications well so the coding aspect was a lot easier (SQL) when I knew where the data was anyway.

Take advantage that you are bug fixing so much and learn with it, find patterns and learn with them.

You will get your chance when needed, always seem eager to help, if you are told the project hits a block ask if you can take a look and possibly help. Everyone is needed and at the moment, you are needed in bug fixing.

2

Software development can be remarkably meritocratic. In short, pay your dues. Demonstrate you can fix bugs fast and well. Engage in the development process around you. Learn about internal processes and understand the platform's business model and solve the problem's in front of you with skill and speed. You won't need to ask to work on a project, they'll just assign you a project.

The fundamental truth, is in software you end up doing projects because of either one of two conditions: Either you are good or they are desperate. If you want to build something, either be good or work for someone desperate.

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