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I am asking around for advices as I am quite lost in this situation of mine. I am working in a CG industry where I first started out as a Roto Artist.

After my first annual review, I was given the opportunity to work as a JuniorTechnical Artist (basically someone who troubleshoots and maintain all the other tools used in Maya, Nuke etc..), as I told them (my bosses) that I have an interest in the scripting since my real interests lies either in Rigging or in those FX stuff (in which both requires the knowledge of knowing Python/Mel)

FYI, my current boss is actually from the RnD dept and he is currently acting in place as our Dept Head until a new replacement comes in...

Just to let you all know, (I did told my bosses too) my last coding background is like 4 years ago in C++ (basic to above average skill and truth to be told, I have almost forgotten it)

And hence, after working for about 6 months now, I am pretty lost as I feel that I am not really up to the position. Reason being that I am struggling with Python and Mel, not to mention that as my company are using their own 'modules' to code and used in softwares. Also the very fact that whenever I am tasked to troubleshoot a problem, I could hardly manage and I would have to ask my boss

So my question would be: Is it a wise idea for me to pop this question telling them I am not suitable for it, or shall I wait for my coming annual review which is due in end Nov/Dec? And if I am telling them this early, will it be a bad impression?

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  • I take it at your word that you are not as proficient as you should be. On the other hand, your level of competence "seems" to be acceptable to your boss since your boss has not said anything negative to you whenever you asked for help. I am using "seems" between quotes because if you are expected to program and you are in any of the outfits I was in, and you can't program, you'd be out the door by that afternoon. This is why I believe that your level of competence is acceptable to your boss. Has your boss given you any signs of dissatisfaction with your performance? May 28, 2014 at 17:10
  • @VietnhiPhuvan Thanks for getting back. In my personal opinion, I have yet to "see" or "hear" any negative from my boss. I have come to realize that almost for all the blocks that I have not been able to solve the issues.There are times where I think it is maybe due to this or that portion of codes. Keyword is "think". As mentioned, I do not have much background on Python and Mel, I have been trying to read and look up for help via Google or thru the StackExchange. Thus you may say I am thinking too much but sometimes it just felt like the situation is eating at me whether I like it or not May 29, 2014 at 2:58

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What is it that you want to happen? Do you want to leave the company? Do you want to work at the same company, just in a different position? Do you want to get better at the job that you are doing?

You first need to decide where you want to go, then work out a path to that goal. If you want to leave the company, get your resume out there and find another job. As soon as possible. If you want a different job within the company, discuss this with your boss and see if there is something more suited to your abilities available. If you want to get better, discuss that with your boss. Maybe you could take classes or get extra mentoring from a coworker.

Bringing up a deficiency that may already be obvious to your boss will show him that you are aware of your own abilities and want to do better. Discuss with him ways to do better for the company. He may appreciate the chance to help you.

One possibility that you might consider is that you are being too critical of yourself. You might be doing better than you think. What bothers you more; having to do something that is difficult for you, or the idea that you are failing in other peoples' eyes?

If the latter, you might want to test that, by telling the boss that you are concerned that you may not be picking things up as quickly as you had hoped, and you want to ask him if this is his impression as well. If he is pleased with your progress, would that solve your problem?

In any case, I have found that dealing with a potential problem before it becomes a problem is the best way. If you wait for your performance review and it is bad, that will be on your record. If you address it now, you may be able to change it.

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  • It's certainly legit to tell your boss "Hey, if there's any education available on topic X, I think I'd benefit from it -- I've been doing some self-study but I think I'd make better progress in a setting where I could ask questions. Or ask if there's someone in the department who can mentor you in these skills -- you may have other skills you can help them with.
    – keshlam
    May 28, 2014 at 21:40
  • @Francine First thing first, I am not considering to leave my company at the time moment. As for wanting a different position or not, I am not so sure myself. As you can see in the above comment I have made towards to Vietnhi, and what you have mentioned, yes I may have been too critical and I feel that I am dragging the team down somewhat and that is bothering me. There may be times when I presume the stuff may be easy but I am taking a big long time to settle it and worst, even after such a long time I am unable to garner any solutions to the issue. I guess that bothers me most. May 29, 2014 at 3:24
  • @keshlam I do think my boss/ colleagues do not mind if I have some questions in mind to ask them. However, it will be slightly difficult to ask for mentoring when first, my department is really very small (including me, it will be 3-4 people) as my current boss is acting in place until my company is able to find a new replacement (have forgetten to state that in my actual post) to guide my whole dept. I may say it is due to the lack of documentation in my company's training page (which is really true and they are really outdated with the last update on 2004) May 29, 2014 at 3:38
  • It sounds like what you are needing is positive feedback. It is unfortunate, but that is often very difficult (approaching impossible) to get in the IT world. I once had a manager who would tell me when I did a good job. I still greatly miss him. He was unique. The truth is that you are expected to put your head down and do your job and take satisfaction from the work you do and the pay you receive. That is enough for many, but not for others. You may never get what you need, I am sorry, you must try to push past it. May 29, 2014 at 15:57
  • As for whether you should keep trying at a technology that is so difficult for you, that depends on how important learning it is to you. Will learning it advance your career in a direction that you want to go? Then persevere. Take classes. Get help from online resources and technical communities. May 29, 2014 at 15:58

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