I was hired as a junior for my first software developer job 11 months ago and when I arrived in the company, I received no training whatsoever. I was basically left on my own, in a non-hierarchical team where I had the same authority of my team members, and I didn’t receive any mentoring from the senior (except that he was answering my questions, but I had to figure out myself how to invest my time).
I received also no feedback for 11 months except for when my contract was renewed, and the feedback from my HR manager was positive so I assumed that I was performing well. Also, nobody told me what the company was expecting from me, I was just thrown in the middle of a team.
Now I realize that it was a big mistake not to ask myself for those things (e.g. training, feedback), but it’s also true that when you are a junior and it’s your first job you don’t question those things. My company is a small startup with a poor structure (e.g. no official job profiles, lack of documentation).
During this time I assumed that my primary goal was to be productive from the beginning, and I didn’t invest enough time in more important things like:
- Understanding the tasks
- Communication with my colleagues
- Thinking about the broader picture (e.g. what happens if I commit this code to solve a bug? do I break something else?)
- SCRUM skills (e.g. giving the top priority on the first task in the sprint, getting things done mentality)
Being that I didn’t focus on the above mentioned skills, I had some shortcomings which I didn’t realize because I thought that my quality as a programmer was only given by my ability to code.
After 11 months I am suddenly receiving negative feedback and I am being told that if I don’t fix those shortcomings, I will not have my contract renewed after 8 months (and as far as I understand, it could even happen that it will get terminated prematurely).
Now I understand that I made a lot of mistakes and also many wrong assumptions that led me to this situation, but in my opinion I had to receive some training/feedback and it was up to my senior colleagues/manager to indicate me the right track.
I am confident that I can work on those shortcomings and that I have good chances of making it, but at this point the question is: Would it be better to search for a more structure company? How common is it for a company to throw juniors in the middle of a team without any instruction/feedback? Should I take it a sign that my company is not offering me enough instruments to grow and search for another job?