Our company structure changed recently, we got the Product Owner and Scrum Master. When I was onboarded COVID came as everyone went WFH and my onboarding was never complete as Team Lead and everyone was busy and Team Lead don't like explaining things and doesn't get along with me well and I didn't get to understand the structure of the project as it was too complex.

Is it wise to let the PO know that I do not know much of the product API's because of many factors and I am in the 8th month of my employment? I am in my extended period of probation as COVID and communication was the reason they had to extend it.

  • 6
    Eight months wasn’t enough time to dig through the API? Somebody else can point you in various directions, but sitting down and grokking the code is up to you.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:19
  • 3
    What have you been doing for the past 8 months?
    – sf02
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:26
  • @sf02 there are other stuff which I was doing like responsive design, testing and other stuff. think of squad. I am in new squad
    – user110973
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:30
  • How complex a codebase is varies wildly. How easy others are to get on with can vary but it's a combination of you and them. Not presuming I'm onto something but some people, like me, need to work at having better patience. If something like patience is your issue then at least the solution would be in your control. Not saying it is. Whatever your situation I wish you success Oct 6, 2020 at 17:46
  • So at this point, are you set up to make product changes, test, commit to the code repository, etc? In other words, is the only issue that you aren't familiar with the code base, or do you still not have a development environment?
    – DaveG
    Oct 6, 2020 at 18:27

3 Answers 3


Just saying "I don't know the product APIs" is honestly pretty bad. You've been there 8 months, you should have taken some responsibility for your own learning by now.

More generally, and looking at your other posts, this seems to be a continuation of a theme where you are looking to blame everybody else for the problems with your employment - you have had problems with at least a junior developer, your team lead and your manager. Going to the product owner and saying "it's everybody else's fault" isn't a good look.

  • 3
    I m sorry If I m sounding like blaming, Whilst it may seem like I am blaming, the manager has taken full responsibility of what happened and it is mostly company fault. His words not mine. my way of expression here might be wrong but I am not where blaming them, they have kept me "because I have bought things together and zoomed in weakness of product".
    – user110973
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:34
  • 2
    In that case, get your manager to explain the issue to your PO, along with your agreed mitigation plan so you can know the APIs soon. Oct 6, 2020 at 13:39
  • 2
    You are spending even more time sobbing “poor me” instead of, say, going and learning that API. Go do it. Now. Instead of spending the time devising excuses.
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:57

Is it wise to let the PO know that I do not know much of the product API's because of many factors and I am in the 8th month of my employment?

Hell. No.

You've already established something of a reputation as being a bit below the company's (not unreasonable) expectations for someone hired as a senior developer. All this would do is cement that reputation further.

An impeded onboarding is unfortunate (and it sounds as though the company has taken responsibility for that aspect) but how long are you planning on riding that particular issue?

8 months is a heck of a long time - I'd expect someone in a senior developer role to be able to get a decent handle on the code base in a self-led manner in a far shorter time-frame than 8 months. To be blunt I've seen a good amount of juniors get up to a decent, productive knowledge level in less time than that.

Look I get it, the last 6-7 months have been hard on us all with COVID and whatnot, and I'm sure that's been a factor in the company cutting you a certain amount of slack. But that slack is going to be finite - it has to be finite, and you've got a choice as to how you use however much of that good will time that remains to you.

You're on your probation period (which has already been extended once) - and at the end of that period there's probably going to be some kind of review to discuss your progress. So what do you want that review conversation to be?

You can have either:

  • A conversation about you not knowing the APIs yet where you do your best to prepare some excuses about how it was the lack of onboarding etc. Maybe they give you another extension, maybe they just cut their losses.


  • A conversation about you taking the initiative to learn the APIs etc yourself and how you've overcome the less-than-ideal onboarding and are now productive in the role they hired you for.

Of course the one of these that results in a better chance of keeping your job is significantly harder to do than the other, but it's not a co-incidence that the one that involves more work is the one that actually reflects what a "senior" developer would be expected to be doing. But it's not all doom and gloom, after all that's why they get the big bucks

At this point it's really your call (assuming time and good will haven't already run out of course), and the only person who can get yourself to that second version of the conversation is you.

Maybe it's too late to turn it around, maybe you think it's too big of an ask given that you are already on shaky ground in this role and you think you'd be better off trying afresh elsewhere.

If you want to do that however then you need to be honest with yourself about whether you are ever prepared to take that second option - because in a lot of senior roles on-boarding is relatively minimal, you're expected to teach yourself a lot of what you need to know while getting productive in as short a time as possible.

So if you aren't willing or able to do that, and you need a bit more of a hand-holding management style then you need to realign your career accordingly and look at more junior positions. There's no shame in that, and there's nothing to say that you couldn't earn a solid senior position at somewhere by being promoted internally/getting raises etc. once you already know their environment inside and out.


Instead of attributing a reason, ask the person/people most likely to have an answer. "Where can I learn more about the Product APIs?" is a perfectly valid question. Certainly they would have documentation, examples of client usage, and of course the code that implements them. Standard expectation in a company is that you could read up on those artifacts and be reasonably conversant in the API ... enough so that you can do first attempt at whatever you are asked to do.

Simply asking "where is the info I need?" - shouldn't be a cause for anyone blaming anyone else - sounds like a pretty simple oversight that isn't blameworthy.

What COULD become problematic is not asking and not making an attempt to learn on your own. I know as a manager, I'd be pretty annoyed with a direct report who knew they needed to learn something and who didn't ask where the information was located.

  • ur right, I do understand but that where problem lies, no one Is willing to tell you about "Lambda" and how we use AWS n how API are masked. I raised this issue with manager and he agree the team isn't playing well. Right after my probation review, my manager decided to leave the company so just doing his notice period. that is how employee rift is in company. Manager has mentioned I learn fast and quick so no doubt I learn n teach with my own R&D
    – user110973
    Oct 7, 2020 at 9:39

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