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I am employed as an Android Developer, that was the position I applied for and the official title on my contract. I am in my current role 9 months.

Over the 9 months I have gone from pure Android programming to helping out/maintaining an iOS app. Developing another project in HTML/CSS/Javascript (Cordova). All these skills I know. Now I am being forced to learn C. I have a colleague with many years C experience and is our iOS Developer.

Along with this, little is being given to me in the way of opportunity to develop extras for my "core" Android work. I'm talking about such things as Unit/Integration testing and automated builds and a rock solid build/release process.

I am annoyed at this generalising of my role. I want to focus on Android development and try and level up in this area. Not just utilise my basic skills in other areas that I have knowledge in. I certainly don't like the idea of being forced to learn C. That really annoyed me the way it was assumed I would just learn this and be thrown in at the absolute deep end.

How do you guys deal with this type of situation? Quite frankly, i'm annoyed and has made me disinterested in this role in a relatively short space of time?

Thank you.

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    One thing to note is that a certain degree of this creep is inevitable in almost any role. Yours sounds excessive, however – Jon Story Oct 8 '15 at 8:29
  • Why the complaints about C in particular? I thought this was basic knowledge of all developers (every college program I've heard of covers this). – Brandin Oct 8 '15 at 9:44
  • Not really. I didn't learn C in College. Not sure why tbh as I would have liked to. The reason I'm not happy is (a) I don't want my manager assuming he can force me to learn a language just because it suits them and I wasn't hired for that. (b) It's not really part of my plan. – jim Oct 8 '15 at 9:53
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    @conor I think you've got to phrase your complaints more in terms of the company interests. Instead of saying "I wasn't hired to learn this" (too negative and self-focused), say "I could learn this, but I'm worried that the quality of what I produce won't be up to our standards." – Brandin Oct 8 '15 at 10:03
  • @Brandin Sure, I'm trying to figure out what to do here. I definitely don't plan on sounding self centered. I want a mutual recognition of the issue and consequences for the company/product also. – jim Oct 8 '15 at 10:28
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I would inform my manager(or a senior in-charge) or the HR about the problem.

These kind of situations, mostly lead to lack of job satisfaction, and finally forcing to let go of the role at the company.

So, inform the manager ASAP, before this problem gets bigger.

You can write a mail which can go somewhat like this:

Dear XXX,

I appreciate that I am being allotted projects, outside the scope of my designation, owing to my knowledge in the technologies involved in those projects.

However, I would like to inform you that I would like to concentrate on the projects which come under the scope of my role(and designation) at the company, as I believe being focused in my mainstream projects would help me get better at my current role.

So, I hope you would consider my request and let me concentrate on the projects in my area of expertise, which would help my career and my skills in the particular domain.

regards,

XYZ

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How do you guys deal with this type of situation? Quite frankly, i'm annoyed and has made me disinterested in this role in a relatively short space of time?

For many companies (particular smaller shops), it's pretty common that developers are asked to do more than one specific technology. While it would be nice to be able to focus solely on just the work we would prefer, sometimes business needs dictate otherwise.

You should talk with the only person who could change your situation - your boss. Explain your feelings and ask if there are alternatives. Ask if it is possible to remain working on the technology you like, and avoid the technologies that you don't. Then listen.

You might find that this is a temporary thing, driven by business needs. Or you might find that your boss mistakenly thought you would prefer to expand your horizons, rather than being cast solely as "Android".

Either way, you learn more about your current situation, and can discuss your future. If that doesn't meet your needs, then you can decide what you would like to do about it, including leaving the company. But at least you'll go into that decision with a solid basis for your feelings.

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If you really want to remain type-cast as an Android Developer, and only an Android developer, Dawny33's answer is good.

However, it may not be the best long term career move. If your employer's business shifts more towards the IOS side and away from Android they will keep the IOS developers and flexible developers, but lay off pure Android people.

An alternative is to enthusiastically embrace opportunities to add skills your employer needs now or is likely to need in the future.

  • I understand. But pure Android is not my long term career goal. It is however my goal that in my current role to focus on Android and become senior in that over a 1.5/2 year period. I have an idea of what will be on the cards next and it isn't mobile. I plan on focusing on Java EE Backend dev so I can get a role in it in the next 2-3 years. – jim Oct 8 '15 at 8:42

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