For context - about 2 years ago, I decided I didn't want to continue in the direction I was heading career wise after finishing an Ms. in mathematics and working for a healthcare IT company. After some looking around for a bit I landed on Python as something that I could merge with my current mathematical skillset at the time, so I started learning.

About a year and a half later, which is this past May, I got a job as a backend dev at a very small industrial-oriented company. I was stoked, and am still much happier to be where I'm at now than where I was previously, but I've quickly realized that this is absolutely not a place to grow, for a few reasons I've outlined below. I like the people I work with on a personal level, but on a professional level it's a different story.

  • I'm in contact a grand total of 3 people on a regular basis - my boss, who really doesn't do development anymore and I've discovered doesn't really know much about writing code other than how to do one-off scripts, and in PHP at that. My front-end coworker, who's a nice guy and tries to be helpful, but doesn't really know how to transmit information. Again he's super nice personally but on the "person to learn from" scale, he's pretty low. Then there's a Data Analyst who I almost never work with, and when I do, she seems generally as confused about what we're supposed to be working on as I am.

  • There's 0 structure. There's no development cycle, 0 documentation for any legacy code, no code reviews, and when I got there, not even any Git or VCS of any type other than manual. I ended up setting the backend code up on Git myself, and had to teach my boss the basics of Git because he didn't know how to use it. When I ask my coworker to take a look at my code before pushing, the answer I usually get is "yeah that looks good". Now, I think personally I write pretty clean code for someone with < a full year of experience, certainly compared to what I've seen at my job and from other code I read when going through my initial curriculum. But I'm not nearly cocky enough to believe that my code couldn't benefit from someone with more experience, and I just don't get much feedback at all here.

  • I would be hard-pressed to find a development job anywhere, at any experience level, that pays less than what I'm making now.

  • Tasks are incredibly unclear. My boss will give these very broad, sweeping statements about what he would like done, and then doesn't really give me any sort of internal direction on how to start. Now, I've learned how to find information on my own both from my degrees and learning to code, and it's actually something I consider myself very good at. What I mean here is internal information that can't be Googled, like where resources are located etc.

Basically, I feel like I'm already stagnating here, which sucks because I really want to be somewhere that I'm being pushed and challenged, but I'm bored out of my mind. But I also don't want to create a situation where my resume looks undesirable because I left my first actual dev gig so early.

Any thoughts/advice are appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • 4
    You already know the answer, you just don't want it to be true. The job search sucks, but it's better than ending up with 0 transferrable skills 5 years down the line Nov 1, 2022 at 16:17
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    Also, use this as a learning opportunity to better vet companies. You could ask them things like "do you use version control", "what does code review look like" etc. Nov 1, 2022 at 16:24
  • We could help if you were missing facts or pieces of the puzzle, but it seems you have a very clear picture and just need to make a decision. We cannot make it for you. It's your's to make.
    – nvoigt
    Nov 1, 2022 at 17:33
  • @RobinClower maybe so...I just know the slog it took to land this one and am definitely hesitant to start that process again. But you're definitely right, it's better than the alternative down the road. Also that's a good thought on vetting other companies, I hadn't really thought about that. Thanks! Nov 1, 2022 at 17:55
  • 1
    General advice: if possible, don't quit your current job until you get a new job offer. Nov 2, 2022 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


If you see yourself in 5 years, what would you be most proud of? Quiting the job asap or waiting for seeing what happens? From my experience , if you something it is not right at the month that it is strong enough signal to quit and find something new. Life is for the brave ones!

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