Context: I work in a big company, I moved to this new department 4 months ago. At the beginning I had to take care of a legacy system meanwhile we built it again. Just since a month a new team was created and I join this team.

The team has another dev who has been working in this department for a long time, so knows the technology, and all the products.

The team has to develop a system that is related to the other products that this guy worked on.

The team has a manager who and a product manager who use to work in the department.

The situation is that he is taking all the new/nice tasks for him, and since he knows the technology and the products he can be fast and the manager trusts him.

My issue is that I am having a problem to take nice tasks, I just have to take care of the old system, and he doesn't involve himself there.

I talked to the manager, and after that he took couple of very simple tasks in the old system.

The old system is critical so any bug I have to fix, otherwise the impact is bad, and I will be hold accountable.

I feel very frustrated as I am not doing the tasks I would like to. I need time to learn the new technologies and the product domain, but the old system is taking all my time.

I am afraid I will be perceived that I don't participate in the new system because I am busy fixing bugs in the old system.

2 Answers 2


I am afraid I will be perceived that I don't participate in the new system because I am busy fixing bugs in the old system.

If those are the tasks you are being assigned to then you have nothing to worry for as long as you do them.

Perhaps you would prefer to work on the new system, but currently seems the tasks assigned to you are with the old system. Right now this is the job you are given, so you doing those tasks and fixing those bugs is what you should continue doing.

You say that you need to learn the technologies and product domain of this department. Taking on legacy or currently-used projects is a good way to learn these things, so this is in fact a chance for you to bring yourself up-to-speed with the new department.

Finally, don't feel "bad" that this other coworker is taking all the "nice" tasks. He's been there for a long time, and knows very well the generalities and details of the products and projects. This is most likely the reason why he's given those tasks (he's already got the chance to "prove" himself, and thus why management trusts him).

I am sure that if you keep up the good work, and also integrate well with your new team management will start to trust your work more, and will likely start assigning you other tasks of your interest.

  • Thanks for your answer, You had one wrong assumption, the old system is in old technologies, so my keeping doing the old system, means I stuck to the old technology. In fact, the manager told me that we "should" split the work, but he is not doing it, he just choose couple of easy/simple tasks, plus, he knowing the technology makes him the better choice to build the new system. Here I am loosing a learning opportunity
    – user108501
    Sep 2, 2019 at 22:50
  • @JackThomson I see. Still, those are the tasks assigned to you, so there is no need to worry as you are actually doing your job. I know you would prefer doing other tasks, but sometimes one does not get what one wants. If you feel you are losing a learning opportunity I suggest you tell it to you manager and ask him to suggest what you can do.
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 2, 2019 at 22:51
  • @JackThomson and yes, it may be older tech, but it's still product domain, which is transferable knowledge that will help you in the near future.
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 2, 2019 at 22:54

If you are the only person who actively works with the legacy system, this becomes a business risk. If you are sick, quit or otherwise unable to work, there will be no-one able to take over.

I recommend you raise this concern with your Manager so they can assign someone else to also be trained on the old legacy system. This serves two goals. The legacy system is more secure as more people know how to handle it. And it free's up your time after the second person is trained, so you have more time to learn new tasks.

The same argument applies to your colleague. If he is the only one working on the new system, it poses a business risk in case he is unavailable. Ask your manager to be involved in the process (either through reviewing code or active participation) and once you have more free time, you should be able to take on the new tasks without interfering too much with your colleague.

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