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Background

There seems to be very little empathy where I work. Resources to adequately ramp up new people to the job are sparse, yet we are still expected to perform like a well-oiled software engineer. This results in numerous people having technical debt and more mistakes because people keep hitting roadblocks that they didn't know existed. At the same time, not following the process, even accidentally, is met with vitriol comparable to if one got a Security Violation. And the people in charge of managing the process never give clear answers to questions.

At the same time the way speak to each other in person and on code reviews is very toxic. "Why can't you finish this faster?" "It is unacceptable that you serialized the code in this way."

In addition, even if we need to make a small change, you suddenly become responsible for the entire file, even if someone else wrote the majority of it or did the legwork on this file. The is true even if the person is still at the company.

All of this has really led to a lot of stress and cause toxic behavior in me. I am already actively applying for jobs and learning some more C++ now, but in the interim I still have a job to do and want to do it well.

Question

Given the situation above, how to I learn to do my job fast (and right) in a toxic environment?

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  • To be honest, this doesn't sound like a toxic environment to me, just like an environment you are struggling in. Technical debt is the norm in software development, and fast growing companies cannot spend much time on onboarding everyone individually. I'd rephrase your question to focus on one area you are struggling with and the aspired outcome of the situation.
    – Helena
    Sep 2 '20 at 16:41
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Given the situation above, how to I learn to do my job fast (and right) in a toxic environment?

You don't. You walk around being pleasant and ride it out until you can leave.

Once you have one foot out the door, you don't let anything stress you out. It's already past history! Focus on where your career is going.

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But also ... "An environment full of jerks?" "Really?"

Maybe it's long past time when you should request a private conversation with your manager – he-or-she being the person who is specifically tasked with initially dealing with issues like this.

But also, be prepared for this truism: "anytime I pointed one finger at someone else, four fingers were pointed back at me." Yes, you should immediately talk with your manager. But at the same time: "be prepared to shut up and listen."

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    “ anytime I pointed one finger at someone else, four fingers were pointed back at me.” Love this! Sep 2 '20 at 3:09
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    I've heard it before, but I've always heard it's 3 fingers, not 4. Sep 2 '20 at 9:33
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    If you work somewhere that everyone has five fingers and a thumb on each hand there attitudes shouldn't be you top worry.
    – Skeith
    Sep 2 '20 at 13:21
  • If I worked somewhere that everyone has five fingers and a thumb on each hand, my top worry would be, "Why does this place only hire people with rare genetic mutations?" Sep 2 '20 at 17:01

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