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I have been working as a developer for 9 months and I’ve never programmed before except for when I was in college. I am having a lot of struggles, but somehow I am managing to complete tasks even though it takes me hours to complete. My work environment isn’t very supportive. I work under a boss who is very hearsay and the team lead I work for is moody. I always feel like I am walking on eggshells.

Well now my boss told me he will have to let somebody go due to budget cuts and have me replace them. The problem is that the person he is going to let go of has years of experience as a developer. I only have 9 months. My manager is expecting me to be almost at the same level as someone who has years developing working with big data. I don’t feel I am ready to replace a dev with that much experience as I am still struggling. I don’t think I am doing to well on my managers eyes, but sometimes I think it’s the work environment and the stress I have now that is making me have a negative view on things.

I really like what I do in my department that’s why I have stayed here this far, but I feel my managers expectations are a bit high for me. I worry that I might being setup to fail.

Any advice for a junior dev working under my conditions?

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    How can you like what you do when this whole question is about how bad your working conditions are? – Kilisi Dec 17 '20 at 7:46
  • "Any advice for a junior dev working under my conditions?" What type of advice are you looking for? – Tymoteusz Paul Dec 17 '20 at 8:25
  • @joeStrazzere yes the same dude who labeled me with the learning disability. – Zara Z. Dec 17 '20 at 20:42
  • You say "My manager is expecting me to be almost at the same level as someone who has years developing working with big data" but I very much doubt that this is what your manager expects. Don't let their problems (losing an experienced developer) become your problems. Other than that, keep doing what you're doing and you'll get better at doing it. – Aaron F Dec 18 '20 at 14:11
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I don't think you're being set up to fail intentionally and perhaps your manager has more confidence in your abilities than you seem to as you say you're completing the tasks you're given.

It's normal for a junior developer to take longer to work things out and even after many years as a developer you may still find yourself out of your comfort zone often. You'll always have challenges and opportunities to learn new things no matter how long you've been doing the job.

Having said all that I would probably be concerned to hear that there were layoffs ahead and not only that but hearing it in that way from your manager is not good, you seem to know who he is planning to lay off, does this person know they are going to lose their job? If not you have to accept that the same thing could happen to you some time in the future.

Also from what you've said it sounds like this isn't a particularly nurturing workplace but you have gained 9 months of valuable experience - If I were you I'd be starting to look for another opportunity but I don't think you're in any immediate danger of losing your job so you can search at your own pace and find somewhere that's right for you.

Best of luck.

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  • yeah, my confidence is pretty low at times. It’s hard and crushing almost intimidating when u are working right under very experienced confident people. I’m hanging on just a bit to build on what I’m learning. But this env at work is very rocky for me. – Zara Z. Dec 17 '20 at 22:33
  • @ZaraZ. Hang in there and polish up that resume, the experience you've gained will help you to find a better job with a more supportive team. – Old Nick Dec 18 '20 at 12:26
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my boss told me he will have to let somebody go due to budget cuts and have me replace them. The problem is that the person he is going to let go of has years of experience as a developer. I only have 9 months. My manager is expecting me to be almost at the same level as someone who has years developing working with big data. I don’t feel I am ready to replace a dev with that much experience as I am still struggling. I don’t think I am doing to well on my managers eyes,

Your manager is expecting you to work at the level you're currently at.

Your boss will have already spoken to your manager and they think your current level of skill is good enough. Maybe not as good as your co-worker, but it'll do.

If your boss or manager is expecting you to work at a senior level with only 9 months experience, then you're better off leaving.

I question the real reason why your co-worker is being let go. If his work is good, then I doubt it's because of budget. Why not cut the less experienced developers first? (rhetorical)

I really like what I do in my department that’s why I have stayed here this far, but I feel my managers expectations are a bit high for me. I worry that I might being setup to fail.

You don't have to accept a promotion. Is this a promotion?

A guy leaving and you taking on his work (or a pay rise) is not a promotion. Just continue working at the level you're at.

I would also suggest talking to your manager and raise the concern you have. With your co-worker leaving who is going to take on his work. If they really are expecting you to, you can say you don't feel comfortable taking it on and would rather not. Then it's their fault if you fail.

If they insist, then ask:

  • Who's going to take on your current workload?
  • Why do they expect you to do the same job (as your co-worker) for less money?
  • What they are offering in return?
  • Are they going to provide any training?

It's possible this is all a misunderstanding, but it's worrying. If they are letting the experienced guy go because of budget, that means there's a cap on your salary too.

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    "Why not cut the less experienced developers first?" Because junior programmers are cheaper than senior ones. – Simon B Dec 17 '20 at 21:35
  • @SimonB It was a rhetorical point. No way of us knowing, only speculating, so something for the OP to think about. ---- But to me that still doesn't make sense. - Cutting a competent senior will end up costing more long term. -- Short Term, cutting the Junior is still likely free up enough funds to pay the senior and have enough left over to spend on other things. --- I don't really disagree with your point, it's equally likely, but in my experience Juniors have always been cut first when a company is struggling financially. – flexi Dec 17 '20 at 21:50
  • I've been through the opposite; rounds of redundancies where managers and senior staff were let go, but all the junior staff were spared. Years of low recruitment of junior staff led to projects where everybody was being paid senior rates. In an industry where the contract goes to the lowest bidder, that's hard to sustain. – Simon B Dec 17 '20 at 22:03
  • The developer they are letting go off is a contractor. I don’t know yet who she or he will be. I think my manager wants to keep his full time employees and let go of offshore contracts before considering letting go of his full time employees. – Zara Z. Dec 17 '20 at 22:30
  • @Flexi It’s an offshore contractor, don’t know who it is they will lay off. I think the boss prefers to let go off contractors first, but u bring up some very good questions that I still have to think through. – Zara Z. Dec 17 '20 at 22:37

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