I asked my manager when I want to extend my contract to give me more tasks and responsibilities as it is going to improve my skills , but he replied I dont have to ask for more and as I am a beginner (1.5 years) and he said to me that people my age in the company have already 8 years of experience so I should not ask for more and just "fly"through the process.

All I asked is do more work and given my studies,skills and my motivation , I guess performance cannot be judged only by how long you are in a company ? am I right ? I felt bad for a while , now I'm confused and I don't know what to do. it is related to software engineering so any advices or comments are welcome

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  • Does "more tasks" mean you have times without anything to do? Or would you like to do more different things than it's the case now? – puck Mar 31 at 11:32
  • sometimes I have days when I have nothing to do, I'm a foreigner in that company , , by asking that , I felt that he thought that I want to 'impress' people because I just want to do more tasks, I just want to work for the salary and for the company and the tasks cannot be complicated as I see others do other simple things .... – user102178 Mar 31 at 11:55

The answer depends on 1) what tasks you asked for (something related to what you do now or e.g. team-leading tasks) and 2) your performance.

My strategy as a manager is to get the tasks done with as few problems/ as low risks as possible.

This means that for someone to get more advanced, i.e. (normally) more interesting, tasks:

  • I need to know they can do things on their current level really well and reliably. Does he have a strong record of a solid performance? Can she do things quite independently, without too much hand-holding from me and her colleagues? Does he have enough common sense to deal with slightly more unusual cases?
  • Is she a "problem employee"? Does he constantly overestimate his skills and ignore good advice from smart people? If he does, the probability he will mess up if he has more advanced tasks is higher than if I leave him where he is now.
  • The experience doesn't normally play a huge role. It can play a role if I have a person with 10 years of experience and someone with just 2, both with exactly the same performance, I would probably tend to offer a promotion to the first one.

What can you do?

  • Have an excellent performance record
  • Be reliable and unproblematic
  • Try to find yourself ways to learn new stuff and improve - normally you aren't dependant on your boss with that
  • If it doesn't work switch jobs.
  • Thank you for your advice – user102178 Mar 31 at 11:56
  • the thing I can't understand is , he told me that I need to study , so the tasks assigned are not that big , but yet he told me you can't compare yourself with the more experienced others.. I don't compare myself i know my position but how can I learn if I'm not given more work ? other skills I try to learn by myself using online courses – user102178 Mar 31 at 11:59
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    @user102178 Thats why many developers have pet projects... To improve their skills – JustSaying Mar 31 at 21:11
  • First thing I would do would be to see if I honestly fit on what BigMadAndy wrote. Then you also have the option of trying to come up with ideas of improvement to the existing projects/products, specially with you implement them. You can also analyse the development process of your company to see if you can contribute with something. And please, start small! ;-) – Quaestor Lucem Apr 1 at 8:49

I remember having a colleague like this, lots of ambition and drive and wanted to be the best. The only problem was when other developers offered tips and suggestions, he shot them down believing his solution was correct - as it did the job fine - I'm not saying that's you by the way.
As time passed, everyone else sideways-promoted or moved into senior roles and he was left at the same position.

Eventually the solution for him was to begin reading other people's code and ask/learn why they solved things in different ways to what he would have done or proposed to do. This was the start of his improvement. You see, the problem wasn't his ambition, the problem was all the things he had not seen before, which all the senior programmers already had, and their solutions were elegant, clean and importantly robust.

One (and a half) years of programming is not much and there is a lot to learn. Ask the other developers who have been there for 8 years, to review your code and offer alternatives to your work. If they believe you can do like they do, more responsibility will come your way, especially if the company takes on more work for profitability reasons.
Good luck!

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