I'm in a bit of a pickle at my first Front-end Dev Job. I was hired as a junior Frontend Developer at a start up. While other technical teams seem to be established, the Front-end team isn't. in the GUI team, We have myself and one other senior dev who is a full-stack JS dev. Our app is 99% legacy jQuery code, which I am sort of familiar with but I am more used to using react and really I am the only react FE dev here and at times it's a pain to inject react code to make it work with our old code base. So there is some frustration there. Whats more is that in my 2nd month, I am working alone on a complex react FE app, and my senior dev worked in a rush to build the BE api for it, before his 4 weeks leave. I was briefed 30 mins about the api that was presented in google docs last min before he left for his leave. (I expected to be shown a demo on PostMan or Insomnia).

I tried working with the the BE APIs and can't seem to get basics to work and it's not easy to figure without the person who made it being around,
I also think, best practices weren't followed and isn't followed in FE/BE dev processes. Everyday it kinds sucks when I can't get back-end stuff to work which should be straightforward. I can only ask other for help so much as they may be kinda familiar with FE code base but even they are generally always busy with their own work. Additionally, the app that I'm working on is in the spotlight with the senior leadership team.

I feel like in coming months I could get under the radar as someone who is not capable at work. I've never been so troubled in my previous career to stick with the work, and I really want to get a years' worth exp before I move on elsewhere.

How can I improve my situation and what are your experiences?

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    Welcome to the Workplace Stack Exchange site! Please be aware that this is not a software development site. Most of us won't understand what any of your jargon means (FE/BE; GUI; jQuery...). Can you please rephrase your question in a way that all of us can understand and find useful in other contexts? – David Sep 5 '19 at 10:12
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    This comes across as rambling venting without an answerable question (what are your experiences? is not suitable for this site). I think you need to edit this to remove the tech stack specific stuff and to be more specific about what you are trying to achieve. Remember this is a site for definitive answers not general conversations. – user10399 Sep 5 '19 at 10:39
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    I think that your manager is much more suitable to answer these questions (and all the others you may have) than a bunch of random folks on the Internet. In general he should be the first person you ask if you have any trouble about how the work is organised. As per legacy code...welcome to the workplace, to deal with that will teach you invaluable skills and approaches you'll use throughout your entire career. – Adriano Repetti Sep 5 '19 at 11:13
  • Front-end is a wide concept. Did you speak during your interview about what languages/techniques would be used? And is someone else available to help you out with those API calls? – Edwin Lambregts Sep 6 '19 at 6:22

As a junior developer it is expected that you will have tons of questions and may need assistance completing some of your work tasks. if your employer hired you with the expectation that you could work completely autonomously on any tasks then that is on them. hopefully that's not their mentality but if it is it probably means they were looking to squeeze a dollar instead of hiring the experience level they truly needed.

Regardless, take comfort in knowing that even if you do decide to move on you can likely get a 20% pay increase at your next job so it'll be their loss. I'm a senior developer and in my experience nothing ever takes just a half an hour to hand off.

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I am going to skip the technical aspects and answer assuming you have exhausted your options for testing the API server.

Have one of the other developers look at your code as a sanity check (if they're anything like me or other developers I've worked with, this should be a non-issue). Apply any fixes that are identified, and test again. The important thing here is that if a more experienced developer also struggles to connect to the API server, then the issue is unlikely to be you and more about configuration or design of the API server.

Alternatively, post a question with an example of the code in one of the Software/Development channels, though I strongly recommend your colleagues as they have better knowledge of your development environments and methodologies.

If the endpoints are failing no matter how you test them, then you want to talk to someone that can retrieve the logs off the hosting server as your next port of call. If these exist then they will hopefully provide some insight as to whether the issue is how you are connecting to the endpoints or the API server code.

If the logs indicate that the issue is on your end, you can fix it (sometimes everything is structurally sound, but a value is being passed as the wrong type).

If the logs indicate that the issue is the API server code, post an issue ticket with the relevant information. Set yourself up with a fake data-source (e.g. a nodejs + express api) and continue developing the front-end.

Of course there could be some more subtle issues, such as CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) or authorisation errors that aren't being logged, but someone would need to check the API server code to identify if those are the issues and you would need to modify your front-end deployment and/or code to address those.

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