I am a developer in a one of the Big 4 tech companies.

I used to be very good technically, then I joined my current team, which is using a totally new tech stack. I am learning it and I am doing well.

My manager knows nothing about coding.

They think that I am ready to be nominated to a senior developer position.

I am not confident yet, I know I am doing good, but I also know that I not 50% of control in the new tech stack. I have been experts in other stacks and I know exactly how it feels when you know all ins and outs of it.

The seniors in my company are so strong, I just don't see myself at this time at their level. However, I have the motivation to be one of them.

How can I tell my manager that I am not ready yet to be nominated, without putting myself down?

  • 1
    Is saying "no thank you" when offered a promotion not an option?
    – Aida Paul
    Oct 18, 2020 at 22:10
  • 5
    @TymoteuszPaul It’s possible that that might result in the OP never being considered for promotion again- I’m not sure about the Big Four tech companies, but I know that’s what happens if you decline a promotion in the military.
    – nick012000
    Oct 18, 2020 at 22:20
  • I wonder how the other "seniors" would feel about your nomination?
    – Neo
    Oct 18, 2020 at 23:43
  • 1
    Are you concerned that your nomination will ultimately be rejected and that it will look bad or are you concerned that your promotion will actually go through and that you won't do well in the higher role?
    – BSMP
    Oct 19, 2020 at 3:29
  • @nick012000: What is the sense behind such a rule?
    – guest
    Oct 19, 2020 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


Very often senior positions are not just about being exceedingly good in doing your task, but also in being able to lead your team and the organization in the direction you want them to go.

That you are no five stars expert in a certain stack has nothing to do with those leading ability. You even say that your manager has no coding experience, yet they are your manager!

And, though it might sound like prepacked advise, don't be afraid of moving out of your comfort zone. There is where the magic happens!

You are working with a stack you didn't know, and you say you are doing well. So, move on to yet another challenge.

  • And according to the Dunning–Kruger effect, thinking that you don't know might be a sign that you know more that you think. Maybe you're a victim of the impostor syndrome.
    – f222
    Oct 19, 2020 at 6:56

How can I tell my manager that I am not ready yet to be nominated, without putting myself down?

There's no sense in which you'll "put yourself down", but the manager will just be plain confused.


"Thanks but no thanks! I'm only 55% on tech stack ABC so far!"


"Huh? ABC might be gone tomorrow. 90% of programmers are 55% on whatever they're stack they are stuck with that month. I don't know what you're talking about. Do you want the promotion or not?

Enjoy the promotion.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .