I am a fresh graduate from a degree which is kind of a combined degree in business management plus programming (so 50-50). To be honest, our programming curriculum was a complete disaster. I didn't try to study programming on my own either so I know I was wrong too. I didn't even know about the most common coding platforms such as git or Stack Overflow until I was preparing for the interviews. Right now, I am working in a company where I have to work with Japanese people. I've been learning Japanese for 5 yrs and I have confidence in my linguistic ability.

The interview - I was not even asked one single question about coding. My year end project was a team project where my part was little and mostly front-end. They hired me solely based on my language ability is what I think.

The current condition - I am working in a company as a junior software developer, doing full stack web development. I am currently working in PHP, JavaScript, Laravel framework, MySQL, APIs, etc. to build a website like Uber, with live tracking and graphs. It's kind of similar to the GPS data app on the Play store but also enabled with live tracking.

Right now I am done with a 3 page front-end, and I have done some basic backend tasks which for me were pretty hard. But I feel very overwhelmed by everything. Also, I am the only one working on this project: no team members. So when I get stuck I ask my mentor. He is cool and kind to help me but not many times because he also seems to have a lot of work pressure. So many times even if I tell him that "I am stuck here", "can you please help me on this task" he will simply say Google it, which I know programming is all about; I am already doing it. But even after trying everything on my own, if I am stuck for more than 5 days I think he should help me. Also I have to constantly work on my improving my Japanese as well and learn programming at the same time.

I know I should have spent more time doing programming in my college years (I am 21 by the way. So I don't have a post grad in CS or anything like that sort), and now I'm making lots and lots of effort to improve. I have caught on to the frontend pretty fast I guess (still have to learn a lot) but backend still is very scary. I have not developed any logic on my own. I am Googling and asking for help from my current class teacher (I have joined for a class to learn PHP, JS, Laravel, etc. on weekends).

I already talked with my teachers and some relatives who work in the IT field. But nothing has helped me so far.

What should I do in this situation? I feel very exhausted (I am working from home so no colleagues to talk to also I am developing this website alone). Every day I feel like quitting. I have learned more than in these 6 months than the 3yrs of college but it is not at all enough to keep up with the work I do now. Since the last 3 months I feel so overwhelmed that I cry daily. I have hobbies that I am pursuing outside working hours but in the back of my mind I am constantly thinking about my job. Nothing seems to relieve my stress.

How should I handle this? Should I just tell my mentor and boss to assign me simple tasks? Should I quit?

  • 1
    thank you for the comment @JoeStrazzere.what you said is true.Now I have decided to talk things with my boss.Beacause like this I am wasting their time as well as mine.And I am tired of this imposter syndrome.Hopefully I will find right path.OOps I liked my own post haha
    – geo
    Jan 18, 2022 at 6:36
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    I train developers for a living, but I also volunteer to help people get into coding. You're missing basics, but that's OK. You can learn them. Have a look at roadmap.sh for a general idea of the kind of skills you need. Then go and look for them specifically. See if you can attend online meetings where someone can mentor you. codebar.io is great, I help out at their meetings from time to time. Doing this on your own is not ideal, but it's possible, and it will help you in the long run. Good luck! :)
    – simbabque
    Jan 18, 2022 at 12:36
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    Let me just say this. A "mentor" that says "google it" and then does not follow up a few hours later by saying "so, what did you find, could you solve your problem, show me" does not deserve that title. It's not meant to be honorific, to be a mentor, that person should be actually mentoring.
    – nvoigt
    Jan 19, 2022 at 13:59
  • As long as you are learning, your efforts are not wasted.
    – M_dk
    Jan 20, 2022 at 9:49
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    Please PLEASE do not quit. Struggling coders who know that they are struggling coders are the rarest and most divine resource in our business. As long as you are a little better today than you were yesterday, you should keep going. Dec 9, 2022 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


First of all, pro tip: Care less.

Jobs are different than school/university. In an educational setup, it's possible to get everything 100% right, there IS always a way to get it right. In a job, not so much. Relax, you are doing a lot to improve. Spending your weekends on coding is in no way "expected". This shows a lot of dedication!

Most probably the problem isn't you, but your manager being bad at onboarding juniors. To fix this, you need to proactively give feedback to the people who can improve your situation. Start by requesting weekly (or even daily) meetings with your direct supervisor, and talk to that person about the bigger picture, Not just technical questions. Ask how your supervisor views you. Is the work you are doing right now acceptable? If not, in what are you lacking? Show that you desire to improve, but also make clear that you burn out in the current setting.

To answer your direct question:

"Should I resign?"


Never resign just because you think you aren't good enough. If you really aren't good, they will fire you anyway. No harm done in staying and getting that paycheck a little longer. If your supervisor only gives negative feedback and you get the feeling you really aren't up to expectations, I would start to look for a new job. Don't let yourself down, I'm sure you find a company who values your dedication just fine!


I'll answer this from the perspective of someone who is also non-Japanese whose first job out of university was for a large company in Japan who had a similar experience to your own. So I understand a bit about where you're coming from (in my experience, I believe I was hired exclusively because of my race and language skills, I am a White Canadian Anglophone (who also speaks conversational Japanese), and not for any other reason).

This work environment, which sounds not dissimilar from my own experience, sounds terrible. Googling things is helpful, but when someone is VERY junior, such as yourself (and there's nothing wrong with that, we've all been there at one point or another!), Google doesn't help. It's like asking someone to write a book report on War and Peace when that person doesn't even know the first word of Russian. Yeah, sure, you can learn to read Russian, but that's not really going to help you (at least not on a reasonable timescale). You're not alone in thinking this, and this is your senior's responsibility to help you to at least get over the first few humps to get you to be a bit more productive. In my limited experience (I only worked for 1 company in Japan before I moved back to Canada), Japanese companies are really bad at this type of teamwork.

That said, it's also on you at least partially. Your programming curriculum was a disaster and you are aware of that, to the point where you consider backend services to be "difficult". Individual backend frameworks can be difficult; for example, my Japanese company used Spring Boot extensively, which I later learned was awesome, but at the time I had no idea how to deal with. However, I already knew Java, so once I understood how Spring Boot worked, and how Maven worked, and how associated libraries and repositories and so on worked, it was not difficult to get into it (as I learned, not at that company, but at subsequent ones). That said, if you don't even have a solid background in any backend language (to the degree that you can write a nontrivial application in that language without a framework), you're kind of up a creek, to the point where you may want to consider a different career path. Again, this is like trying to read War and Peace without knowing the first word of Russian; you can try to learn Russian, but the far easier path would be to read a different book in a more familiar language.

At the absolute least, I think you may want to start looking for a new job. As my experience in Japan matches your own, I can't be of particular advice as to where to look or how to find a job that is more accepting of your lack of expertise, but what I do know is that continuing to bang your head against this particular wall is not going to be productive. You may want to look for a position that is more focused on things you are more familiar with, such as frontend technologies rather than backend or "full stack". Without knowing the precise things you're having trouble with, I can't say whether or not you're truly a lost cause in terms of software development entirely, so it's possible that once you find a more nurturing environment you'll be able to overcome these obstacles, or it's possible that's not the case and you should find a different career path. But at the absolute least, this company is not the company for you.

  • thankyou for sharing your experience. Yes,I think more guidance and in this company it seems hard. As I am in R & D dept so here you are supposed to find answers on your own.For now I will talk with my boss & see how things go.
    – geo
    Jan 18, 2022 at 6:39
  • I've got about 40 years experience now, and in my experience, asking someone who can give you an answer in five minutes, or just asking for a second opinion, can save hours and hours of work.
    – gnasher729
    May 4, 2022 at 9:13

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