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I am a recent graduate and I've just started at a mid size tech company as a junior developer. During my first few weeks, my team asked me create the requests to get my equipment/software after showing me a few times so I would have things to do. In the meantime, I shadowed others around me.

What bothers me is that it's now been about 7 months and I do not have a computer and have been shadowing people this entire time. I have not completed a single task since I've started and have not contributed to anything. My team knows this is an issue and seem to brush it off as low priority when I bring it up. Even my manager says things like "don't worry, you're doing a good job". Is this a normal on boarding process and should I worry about it?

  • What industry / country are you in? For all we know, this could be normal for them. – user34587 Feb 27 '19 at 15:07
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    Have you reached out to whomever you made the request for the equipment? – sf02 Feb 27 '19 at 16:23
  • No, this obviously isn't normal not to get a computer in more than half a year, especially since you essentially do nothing in the process. Truth is, your team doesn't seem to need you, and when they realize that and you will be let go, you'll have a very hard time talking about your professional experience during job interviews. – Dmitry Grigoryev Mar 1 '19 at 14:10
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If you want a future, you should be worried about this.

7 months is a long time to be learning and gaining necessary skills to progress in your field. If you have not done a task since starting and you don't have a pc in a development role what are you even doing?

You can only learn so much from shadowing, you need to be able to write and debug your own code and problems. This is something you can only get good at through doing.

Maybe for you, you're getting paid and it's easy. But in the future when it comes to getting another role as a junior developer and you can't say what you've done at your previous company, you're going to be in for a long ride.

Remain at your job for now especially if your manager is happy but look for a new job elsewhere in your spare time. You can continue to earn a wage for doing what seems like nothing whilst you find something that's going to help you develop your skills and value.

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    Good point that it's going to be awfully hard for the OP to explain what he did when he hunts his next job. The fact that the company can't get it together enough to somehow get the OP a computer, even a hand-me-down from another employee, after 7 months is a severe red flag. – DaveG Feb 27 '19 at 15:52
  • I would choose to put more pressure on the manager and the team first, to show interest in solving the issue and explain to them the concerns. If it's not enough, this answer covers it all. – Alex L Feb 28 '19 at 17:35
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Welcome to the IT world!

On-boarding is usually delayed by IT related issues like the ones you mention but usually not for this long. As long as your superior is happy with whatever you are doing, don't fret! Just take advantage of learning as much as you can with anyone with more experience.

I know this may be very boring and you may not really be enjoying your work, so...change your attitude and make sure you have a notebook and a pen with you at all times. Ask more questions and make notes, just get all the information you can from them.

You may want to look for a job if you start feeling a massive dive in motivation but I would discuss this with your superior first as well. Always make it sound the reason is that you feel like you are not helping enough as you don't have any of the required tools to carry out your job.

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  • His boss will be happy with what he's doing right up to the point where the company decides to "reduce headcount" and then the OP will be gone. There's no way the OP should be relaxed about not being able to do any work. – DaveG Feb 27 '19 at 16:32
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    @DaveG which would happen regardless of him having a computer or not. I understand your point, don't get me wrong, I understand that it is nonsensical that they haven't gotten their wits together to provide him necessary equipment in 7 months! The reality though is that, worrying about it is not going to solve his problem. Taking advantage of as much as he can learn as possible while looking for a new place is a better option than worrying. – fireshark519 Feb 27 '19 at 16:47
  • I'm not saying he should just worry or fret, I think he should do something. After 7 months, his request has been lost. It's gone. No one else cares. He needs to start working whatever connections he can get to find out what's going on. He needs to befriend some IT people and ask them for a personal favor to push his request to the top of the heap. – DaveG Feb 27 '19 at 17:08
  • @DaveG now that is some sound advice! If you become pushy IT will put in the drawer, if you become friendly you might get someone else's laptop xD – fireshark519 Feb 28 '19 at 9:00
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Onboarding can be a nightmare in IT, principally because you get to play with really expensive toys that can be broken very easily.

While your story is a bit on the extreme end of it, it's still not unheard of. The larger the organization, the more the delays, and the more they stick to protocol, the worse. If the equipment is requisitioned off-site, even more so.

I worked for a major communications company where it took three months, and a bank that took six, so seven is a bit long, but if you're being reassured by your team and your manager, don't worry.

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