Team: test automation developer

Position level: (lowest level, I would say entry)

Note: I am by far the least experienced on my team in terms of education and working years. Also, I believe that perhaps English being a second language for all the members, may play a part in this problem (we work in a country where English is the first language)


I am mainly confused about the differences of responsibilities of the team lead and the amount of delegation happening on my team. I am a junior but, it feels as though I am partially managing/on an island just doing my work. Reading the full problems experienced below, I believe/feel as though my team does not pick up their slack and only portrays that they are doing something to other people within the company.


This started about a year into my job. I had been put on a project that none of my other team members had experience in (neither did I). I would reach out for support from my team lead but, received virtually no help from my lead (excuse being that they have never worked on this before and have no prior experience, they still haven't read any of the documentation or they are too busy right now and need me to remind them in a few days again to look into this).

Eventually, I started attending all the meetings for the project, asking the right people for help, doing research in the codebase to understand the architecture and design of the product, reading the documentation and standards to understand the needs and wants of the project. It seemed as though I HAD to do this, given the fact that my lead would then pressure me to complete things (even when I had made it explicit that I was blocked on a few things since I did not have answers for them).

When the above started happening, my team lead essentially 'gave up' on that project. The behaviour of my lead had drastically changed. My lead had stated they would automate two tests while I was on vacation (for 2 days). This was not completed for a long time as the deadline for the project was approaching, my lead then delegated this work back to me. My lead asked me to send them questions through email. The questions never got answered even after asking my lead for a follow up for weeks consistently. Eventually, my lead stated they would not get back to me on my questions. My lead refused to read any of the documentation associated with the project which, results in me repeating information. It got so much worse when I had to dictate an email that was being sent by my lead to the owners of that project.

Since my team (only me mostly) has to perform continuous testing for that project, my lead still insists on having their hand held throughout the whole thing.

Now, this behaviour has somewhat permeated to other projects. My lead has not reviewed most of our MRs in weeks.

Another annoying habit that is just present in my team is, my code is barely ever reviewed/merged now (especially related to the project that the other members insist on having no clue about). Their nonchalant attitude of 'you'll figure it out, you'll get it done,' is unacceptable in my opinion. I don't see a point in communicating or collaborating with these people if their attitude towards me is to just have something done while, they have no problem asking me questions and asking for my help. My concerns and requests for support are dismissed because of the blanket excuse of 'I've never done this before or so and so is busy.'

It just feels like the team is technically off the rails or there is barely any management happening.

I have tried everything: documenting in code, writing detailed MRs, communicating and explaining the same thing over and over and over to my other team members, corresponding with other people to get things completed and most importantly, conveying this information to my lead.

This has lead to extreme frustration when working with other members on my team and interacting with the lead. Unfortunately, I cannot switch my position/company yet due to some personal circumstances right now.

I would like to explicitly ask for responsibilities that our team has (especially my lead's), without offending them, to confirm that the above behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and eventually report this to upper management.

Note: The owners of the project are actually very pleased with me and my work. They have a good opinion of me and appreciate my work (they have made it verbally explicit).

  • Is English your native language ? Is English the team lead's native language ? Does everyone (the team lead, you, and other members) communicate well with others in English ? --- Some people, whose English is not their native language, still can communicate well enough in the work places while other people may not. Commented May 11 at 7:02
  • No, english is our second language (this statement is true for everyone on the team). The only proof I can provide that my english is relatively fine, is my IELTs result and the fact that I have no problem communicating my concerns or ideas with other teams. However, I do feel that their english is.. just alright? Given the fact that I know their IELTs score and that they typically choose to communicate with me in their native language. IELTs is an english proficiency language test. Commented May 11 at 7:06
  • Of course, I agree with you that people whose native language is not English can still communicate and read at a level close to people whose native language is English. However, the project my lead avoided to great lengths, required a more nuanced approach to understanding the conditions and standards. This is just conjecture then. Commented May 11 at 7:09
  • Why are you still there? Commented May 11 at 11:00
  • My personal situation isn't allowing me to change my job/position yet. Commented May 11 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Somebody in the management chain no longer cares.*

Since, despite good practices a project can progress without current automated testing, your team isn't being managed/monitored.

*Why do I say "no longer cares", because of the lack of accountability.

The expecation is to have automated testing, but no one is actually confirming that it is happening.

  • The testing team should have a clear mandate - nope.
  • The testing team should have clear metrics - nope.
  • The testing team should have clear method to know what to test - nope

For career growth, consider asking to transfer to a different team since the project owner likes you and your work.

From your description, it sounds like the automated test team is there to satisfy a checkbox on a project requirement rather than perform an actual purpose.

  • Thank you for your response. I would like to add that I am able to meet the requirements for the automated testing that the project needs but this is due to my own due diligence rather than my lead managing the project on our side. Since this is my first full time job, I was unsure the above was normal or just horrible practices and abuse. Commented May 11 at 14:19
  • 1
    @pumpernickel from what you are saying that just reinforces that transferring to a better managed project would help your career and skillset growth. I don't recommend changing companies until all other options have been tried. There is nothing worse for someone starting a career to be stuck in a poorly managed project.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented May 11 at 15:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .