I am a software engineer with about 3.5 years experience. I was hired 9 months ago with the understanding that I would do fullstack work. However, for the entirety of this time I was stuck working on the frontend although , within my first week I did express my desire to work on other parts of the tech stack.

Instead, I was told that there would be opportunity to do so in future, and additionally, I was labeled as the "frontend specialist" by my supervisor, and I ended up having to guide my colleagues heavily on frontend related work (which made up the majority of tasks), by reviewing their code, providing programming help for difficult and easy things, coordinated their tasks so they wouldn't keep undoing each others' work with poorly merged conflicts, and all the stuff that I suppose a real tech lead does.

As my other team mates seemed to do poorly on the frontend (one of them continued using the excuse that he is new to React, although it has already been 9 months), I suggested to my supervisor that perhaps the next hire should have some frontend experience, to complement the team's skillset and so that I would not be their only frontend-capable dev. This suggestion was shot down without any reason provided to me, and my boss said something like "life goes on", that I should live with it. Okay, sure.

Regardless, I was happy to provide my limited technical leadership, there is some satisfaction in helping others and I felt that my skills in working on frontend applications, and as a leader improved. but recently I began to feel unappreciated and that my work (technical and as a leader of sorts) is invisible. For one thing, the management doesn't seem interested in the frontend work, instead they are focused on the more amazing work being done by my other colleagues on kubernetes using operators. Furthermore, since we take turns doing the demos (team decision), I only present it from time to time despite handling the bulk of it. There is little 'optics' for me, as selfish as it may sound.

The more disappointing thing is my own supervisor, seems to think that I only do styling on the frontend, making pages conform to the design system and prettifying things. I say this because he said, that it is a waste of time to write tests for the frontend which has no logic (I corrected him), and recently when I brought up my desire to work on the backend, he pointed to one of the tasks involving the use of a frontend react library for dynamic forms and said I could work on that. It seems that anything with logic or involves code = the backend (to him), and frontend = html and css only.

Another incident happened a few days ago. One of my colleagues presented an application that I had worked on with him. I had chosen the framework, provided the general design of the implementation, did the bulk of the work on top of helping him with his tasks and bugs. but in the end, he presented it and was the one being praised for the work delivered. There was no acknowledgement of my part. It hurt me and also reminded me of an incident much earlier on, when one of my fellow devs presented my work during the daily stand up as though it was his (furthermore, why did he feel the need to show off work during the stand up?).

So currently, I am feeling disappointed and a little sad that I let myself be shoehorned into this role, and the recognition is being unfairly given to others. My questions:

  • How can I proceed from this, in terms of correcting perceptions of my work contribution, is that even possible or should I just look for a better work environment?
  • How can I stop feeling so resentful? Is there a different way to view this that I am not seeing?
  • 1
    Appears two questions above - pigeonholed, as well as lack of appreciation/recognition. Which is most important, curious? Side note. It appears as a lead front-end engineer you excel. From what I know, and what I just checked, lead front-end engineers pay well.
    – paulj
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


Visiblity when someone else does the presentation

Who does the presentation should be irrelevant. The presentation must include the information "who did what". As you are something like a team lead, I suppose you could introduce that culture yourself. Make it a process that in every presentation there must be acknowledgement of authorship.

In the case your colleagues don't correctly disclose who is resposible for what change, there is nothing wrong to talk to them about it in private. Its beneficial to everyone if that information gets across.

If you are having 1:1s with your manager, that person should be in the loop what you are doing anyway. If not, start them. Taking some time to praise oneself in those meetings is not forbidden ;)

Fullstack VS Frontend

I think there is a little misunderstanding in the definition of "frontend" between you and your manager. Maybe you should clear that up, what you define "frontend". And, if only doing frontend work is a deal breaker for you, make that clear. No sugarcoating. "I don't like that work! I would be happier with XY- type tasks!". No manager wants an unhappy employee. Maybe you can agree on some timeframe, when you will be assigned other tasks, too. If not, you need to decide if you want to quit over that.

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