I am a software engineer who joined a new company about 2 months back. I've been given small tasks here and there and usually was given little to no context. In those tasks, it was easy enough to figure out what to do, and usually I just did my own research and clarified my understanding with the team after the fact. I completed these tasks successfully.
The company is a well-known big tech company and tends to have a "figure it out/read the wiki" culture.
Recently, I was given a task, and unfortunately it interacts with a ton of different internal tech that I'm unfamiliar with. Whereas other tasks I've done were usually 1-2 unknowns, this task is like 4+ different unknowns for me. I'm struggling to even ask the right questions because the task is that vague. I've gone through some docs for those different techs, but the tech has so many different use cases that its hard to narrow down what to do for my use case.
I am sure that once I learn how to do this task, it will be much easier for me in the future. But right now it feels very overwhelming. And I believe I need guidance/pair programming with someone with experience doing this who can help guide me in the right direction, or even just someone to bounce ideas off of.
I feel nervous asking my manager though because the company is notorious for being tough on engineers and I don't want to give him a bad impression of me. Is there a way I can approach this while not seeming incompetent?
FWIW, I did explain to him that in other tasks I was given little context and I still figured it out, and he has acknowledged that and said I did well on those projects.