I've been working at a software company for 6 months now (first job) and am a junior coder. I've been responsible for maintaining and developing a particular system by myself for 3 months but most of what I've done to date has been bugfixing and adding some non-major new features. My code quality is okay - sometimes I write fairly contrived code (mainly when I end up having to do frontend stuff because I'm only a backend developer and until recently there were no frontenders) but sometimes I come up with really nice ways to do things. On internet scale the system experiences a miniscule but high-value throughput of users. It has been down twice (for about 2 hours each) since I've started - one time was my fault not long after I inherited the project, and the other time was person A's fault just before a demo but I didn't draw much attention to the fact it was her fault and probably got more blame than I deserved.

Last weekend we had a company night out and person A got drunk and started talking to me about how much I enjoy the job and I was saying that I love it and that it's much more interesting than I imagined work could be. Then we started talking about her job history and she steered the conversation to our future jobs but then I looked over and my project manager was giving her the stop-talking-now face and I didn't dig any deeper because I thought he didn't want her to talk about her leaving. But now I'm wondering if the reason it was a secret is because it's me that's leaving?

I looked at the company calendar and she's already booked holidays 5 months in advance and she's the most well-paid of the non-sales or management people (though this company pays a fair bit less than the going rate, and I make about 35% more than minimum wage), but the company has quite a high turnover of people (mainly who leave on their own accord) and she doesn't seem to enjoy the job very much. They're honest to us about finances and we're (just about) making a profit, after taking on 2 new sales people and 1 new frontend person (before this there were 2 sales, 0 frontend, 4 backend, 1 data analyst (person A), 1 PM and a CEO). I have a good work ethic and I stay behind when something needs doing and I offer help to others if they need it and if I am capable but that's not very often because I'm the least experienced developer. In conclusion I take my job seriously and I work to a good standard, but I'm not the fastest or best.

So tell me, am I just being paranoid, or should I start jobhunting?

  • 6
    If they were going to fire you, it's unlikely anyone would know about it before you did except your direct superiors. Commented May 26, 2015 at 20:49
  • 1
    @starsplusplus The smaller the company, the greater the chance that OP would be the last one to know.
    – Kent A.
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 21:30
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    If you are not sure how your boss perceives your performance, go talk to him about it. Tell him that you want some feedback on what you could be doing better and what it will take to get promoted or a pay raise. Don't wait for an annual review or to be fired. Then is too late. You can fix a problem when it is small or just starting but not after they have decided to let you go.
    – HLGEM
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


You are a developer, you should always be job hunting.

I don't mean that you should be sending your CV out or searching on Monster, but you should be honing your skills, networking, keeping an eye on what is happening in your area.

You can't be sure what the PM and Person A were saying or not. A lot of the time such things are nothing to worry about, people can be very precious about information.

The face could be "Don't encourage Jack Barclay to leave, he is doing 2 peoples work and we are paying him peanuts", it seems just as plausible given your description.

Now how about the question "Should you be looking to leave"?

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