I am working on a very inventive and bleeding-edge startup, in the exact position that I want to be in terms of company and compensation. However, I didn't write a lot of code in the past year since I am the "support guy" (customer-success role), which feels contra-productive to my career given how I have a CS degree and always worked on engineering.

  • Should I quit my job and pursue another position that lets me code?
  • Who can I talk to about this dilemma? Friends and family can't see past the shiny brand nor the compensation.
  • Is it possible to move from a support role to engineering if I persist in my job?

Thanks in advance for all the answers.

PS: Couldn't write specifics due to off-topic concerns

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    What sort of tasks have you been doing for the last year given that you "haven't released anything or programmed at all"? – Player One Oct 30 at 14:47
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    This question is probably going to get closed as off topic, but if you wish to reach out, my email is in my profile, and I could probably steer you in the right direction. Everything in the strictest confidence, of course – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Oct 30 at 14:48
  • @PlayerOne I basically assist our users to get used to the platform. I am also a bridge between the team and the customer regarding issues, problems and that type of stuff. – anon_pgd Oct 30 at 15:04
  • @RichardU That is really sad, tbh. I have checked meta.stackexchange.com/questions/110852/… and other resources... – anon_pgd Oct 30 at 15:05
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    @RichardU Thanks for offering me your contact. I think I will reach out to you, depending on how this question goes. – anon_pgd Oct 30 at 15:07

You asked several related questions. Unfortunately, they're all fairly hard for us to answer directly, because they are fairly personal choices. Ultimately, you need to decide what is important to you in a job - both in the short term sense:

  • Are you happy with the work in front of you? Is it fulfilling?
  • Do you like your coworkers, your boss, your company?
  • Is the salary sufficient for your financial needs?

and in the long term sense:

  • Does this position "fit" in your overall career?
  • Will this position help you get where you want to go next?
  • Does the company operate in a way that will help you get there?

For different people, the answers to these questions will be different. Some people will be happy doing work they don't like if it gets them lots of money, or if it is an obvious stepping-stone to a job they really want. Other people will only be happy if they are coding in a specific language, or working with specific tools. Others will only be happy if they're given "creative freedom" in their work. And so on.

You seem a little hung up on the fact that you're not developing. That, in and of itself, isn't inherently a good thing or a bad thing. Many successful, happy people started out thinking they would be developers, but then took their careers in a different direction, because they found they were happy doing other work, or good at other work. Often, crossing over from one role to another like this can be a good thing, even if you decide to return to your first career path, because it gives you a perspective you may not have had if you had remained 100% a pure "developer."

So - reflect on what is important to you, and answer your own questions. Determine your goals, see how your current job fits against those goals, and make a plan based on what you find.

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    I truly appreciate your answer, @dwizum. – anon_pgd Oct 30 at 15:06
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    I would add just one more question: Does this coincide with your carrier goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years? – Strader Oct 30 at 15:12
  • @strader That is a little trickier. I don't see myself in a support role at all. However, if this position can put me on engineering (where I was before), then it is indeed aligned. Here is the deal, there is a huge gap in customer success in our company and I am also doing it to see our business succeed. But I fear if this will bring my career to a path where I "lost" 2 years instead of evolving. I don't know, it is a really tough position. – anon_pgd Oct 30 at 15:18
  • @anon_pgd IMHO, this particular excursion can get you to more management / lead position when simply development job. And for the case of "loosing" time - buzzword title can offset it in case positional advancement would not happen – Strader Oct 30 at 15:21
  • New software engineers often get hung up on feeling like they are some how "losing" if they are not always chasing the current shiny object in terms of tech stack. Don't fall into that trap! Some of the most brilliant, successful, happy, and well compensated developers I know are experts in languages that have probably been around since before you were born. – dwizum Oct 30 at 15:26

Do I have a chance to transition from a support role to engineering if I stay in the company? Meaning, how often a company will give the opportunity to "the support guy"?

I've known several people who have made a transition from support to a development role. Basically, you want to start by letting your manager know that you have a degree in computer science and would like the opportunity to switch to a development role. You should ask your manager what opportunities exist and when you might get a chance to do that.

You can, at the same time, see what opportunities you can get on the open market. That should help you compare your options of how to get into a development role fastest.

Should I quit and pursue a job that I can code? Should I just do a job because of the wage?

This forum isn't good for answering "should I" questions.

What people can I talk to that could understand my position and give me advice? Friends and family are kinda biased and they don't see past the shine of the "brand" and the "compensation".

If possible, try to find someone who can be your mentor. Often, people find mentors from among their professional relationships. You want to seek someone who both knows you and understands the industry sufficiently to give helpful advice.

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