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I am brand new to a programming language and a job that knew I had to learn this programming language when I joined them.

I am feeling like the senior guy is expecting that I should already know everything there is to know about this programming language and get the work done on my own. That could not be further from the truth, especially when its a very custom application that is designed according to the senior engineer's design, in other words, I cannot just go out here to the community at large and ask for help, he is the only one that knows where he wants all this to go.

So, anyway, I feel like I need to have a conversation, but not sure what conversation to have or how to have it, so come deadline I am not just thrown under the bus and that its clear I need more help if we are to turn this work in on time.

Can anyone help on how to approach this?

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  • Well said @thursdaysgeek. Without understanding the program or how the senior guy would like for it to be done , without communicating with him that you are still trying to understand it then he will most likely would not be inclined to think you do not know how to do it. Being honest and upfront about the problems your having doesn't mean that you are lesser qualified or unfit for the job, but more leaning towards you are willing to learn more and understand exactly what he wants, and with that knowledge you show initiative in growing with the company more as then just collecting a paycheck. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 22:47
  • Does this answer your question? I'm completely lost in my new job Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 21:48

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When you're new to a job it's always good to ask questions. One approach would be to ask for what the senior guy would consider very small and simple fix that you can do. He'll know you're new to the code, so even if you were very familiar with the language, you'd still need help figuring out where everything is.

Ask for a small and simple fix. Ask for where the source repository is, check out and in processes, documentation, anything that can help you. If you're stuck, then ask for some pair programming: ask him to guide you through this fix, with you doing the work but him giving you directions.

Then ask for another simple fix. As you do more little fixes, you'll learn both the code and the language. You'll be slow, but that's to be expected - we've all been there. As long as you're both willing to ask for help and willing to jump in and figure out what you don't know, you'll do fine.

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