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I am on a team of people that only has two software developers left when notionally our goal is to be a tech driven department. That is because they cannot fill the other 10-15 positions, a combination of it being Canada and Canadians being prone to whine over change to the new market where developers can work remotely, low retention due to bad/no promotion/raise processes, firing people for projects going over budget (which one of them didn’t even know there was a project budget), and wanting to hire seniors first but being unable to do so.

I also want to get the one remaining junior out of here (I am an intermediate and no seniors are left). He is treated as the whipping boy for project failures despite him not really being responsible (a junior who has never worked with a technology before cannot be asked for to the day estimates of how long something might take) and needs to work with seniors if he is to have a decent career. There are places I can get him into and he is interested.

We are at the point where most deadlines are delusional and many projects simply not possible for lack of experience.

I think it is obvious why I want to leave.

But the problem is that my departure and the departure of the other guy make delusion an evident impossibility. There will be nobody who can write code here if we depart and we are nominally the technology consulting department.

How does one resign under these circumstances? Us leaving is going to basically shut down project work until they can hire new people. I also have the last admin passwords for a lot of things.

I intend to be the last one out and let the junior guy go first.

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  • 12
    I understand wanting to be loyal. I don't understand wanting to be loyal when not being treated well.
    – jcm
    May 31 '21 at 11:16
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    "I intend to be the last one out and let the junior guy go first.". I think you mean well but this comes across as patronizing. Let the junior guy do what he wants to do: it's his life and his career. You can him them privately that you are on your way out but then focus on your own departure and let him make his own choices.
    – Hilmar
    May 31 '21 at 12:12
  • Not an answer but management had an opportunity to treat this as a retention crisis at many points ahead of now and didn't. This is a clear example of a somebody else's problem because it's clearly not yours. You can leave with a clear conscious knowing you didn't create all the organizational policies that lead them to this point.
    – Myles
    May 31 '21 at 14:23
  • @LaconicDroid The insolvency registers are also full of failed companies. I think the OP's employer could be joining them. May 31 '21 at 15:34
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    "Canadians being prone to whine over change to the new market where developers can work remotely" We Canadians have a word for statements like this, and it's "Bullshit, eh?" May 31 '21 at 18:22
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Is it your problem? By what you write, there was plenty of time to recognise for management there is a problem, but they didn't. So what you do is simple: You document what you did so somebody else can pick up, and then you leave.

If you had a capable manager he would ask you 2 right now how you feel and what he needs to do so you stay and are preferably even happy. If they don't do that, they will likely blame you for not speaking to them first, but they have only themselves to blame

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That is because they cannot fill the other 10-15 positions, a combination of it being Canada and Canadians being prone to whine over:

Your position on this is somewhat odd. These markers are all strong indications of a workplace that has caused its own lack of staff availability, but you somehow represent it as if it were a "cultural whinging" based on your locality. Which, to me, is weird, because you seem to be, at the same time, blaming the work culture in your country (thus blaming the employees' mindset), while at the same time using it as a justification for why you don't want to work there either.

  • Change to the new market where developers can work remotely

Specific example aside, any workplace that refuses to follow the market and modern standards is inherently making itself outdated, and (unsurprisingly) people are generally not attracted to outdated concepts, especially when the outdated nature comes at the cost of the applicant themselves (remote work => work/life balance).

You're not going to catch flies with vinegar.

  • Low retention due to bad/no promotion/raise processes
  • Firing people for projects going over budget (which one of them didn’t even know there was a project budget)

These are both red flags in terms of how the company treats it staff. They are not being valued (by a stifled promotion process), and they are even made the scapegoat for project failures, which the company should be managing.

Your company treats its staff as discardable and replaceable, and it's no wonder that there's no new application ready to sacrifice themselves to be treated this way.

Certain lack of career valuation while employed, yet uncertain future employment. More vinegar to add to the pile.

  • Wanting to hire seniors first but being unable to do so.

This is just an example of the flies not coming to the vinegar pot.

Companies with employee valuation like yours tend to float on the wide availability of juniors who lack enough of a standard to object to how this workplace operates, but seniors are much too experienced to accept this. Not only will they have statistically have worked at places with much employee-friendlier environments, they tend to also be well aware that senior development positions are much more of a buyer's market than junior positions, which enhances their ability to both pick the employer of their choosing and demand better compensation.


The reason why I mentioned and provided feedback to the above points is to point out an underlying trend with your company (among many others) whereby they forget that employees work for their own benefit, not that of the company.

Given that you seem to mostly be on the company's side on the mentioned bullet points (given that you blame the local employee mindset), I suspect you too have forgotten this.

You don't quit a job because it benefits the company. You quit a job because it benefits YOU to do so.

That is not to say that you can't find a happy medium when it is possible. For example, you could offer an extended notice period to give the company ample time to replace you.

However, cutting into your own flesh over this is not good for you.

There will be nobody who can write code here if we depart and we are nominally the technology consulting department.
How does one resign under these circumstances? Us leaving is going to basically shut down project work until they can hire new people.

The company dug its own grave. It is not your responsibility to keep them from falling into it. You need to make decisions for your own good, and the company should face the consequences from the choices it made.

The company chose to not adapt to modern expectations. They chose to stifle employee growth within the company. They chose to punish employees over project failures. They chose to create the kind of workplace where no one wants to come work, and which you now want to leave.

Look at it this way: even you, who clearly are willing to consider cutting into your own flesh for the company's benefit, wants to leave them. That is a significant red flag on just how badly your company has been run.

You are not in a position to manage the company. You cannot steer the ship away from the iceberg. The only choice you have is whether you jump ship or not. And it seems you have already decided to jump ship, which I would personally also have advised, given the workplace culture as you describe it.

Furthermore, given the company's track record of blaming the employees for its own project failures, what makes you think that even if you did everything right, that the company wouldn't turn around and blame you for abandoning them anyway?

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How does one resign under these circumstances?

As normal. There is nothing special about this.

Us leaving is going to basically shut down project work until they can hire new people.

Your company mismanages this, it loses support, it goes down. That is called capitalism. And I think in general we are all pretty happy with it.

I also have the last admin passwords for a lot of things.

Write them down, hand them to your boss.

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  • Yes, nothing special about this situation. Just resign.
    – Kilisi
    May 31 '21 at 13:37
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That is because they cannot fill the other 10-15 positions, a combination of it being Canada and Canadians being prone to whine over change to the new market

Canadians have a very passive culture when it comes to just working mediocrity. Big 5 and RoBelUs prove that. We also very much have a culture of not rocking the boat too much and I think that is playing a role in why you are so hesitant to leave when with all the problems your organization faces.

Just leave. The mess is not your problem. In the same way that the typical Canadian gets less from Big 5 and RoBelUs because they won't switch, you are getting less than you can for the same reason.

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