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To give a bit of background, I'm a 23 year old junior software developer, straight out of university, and I mainly specialize in PHP back-end development. So I've had this job for almost three months now, and was given a project to work on for a client.

I got most of the site up and for the most part the clients needs are pretty simple until it comes to their actual database requirements. They need to use store procedures in SQL Server, so as you would expect I started my research, but I can't find anything of use. I've asked for help on a few occasions to which I got "give me a few minutes", I've been asking for a number of days now and I don't want to get too far behind with my work, when there are real clients that are emailing me asking for results.

What can i do?

  • Since there are tons of resources available on how to write stored procedures, I would suspect the issues is not so much how to write as what to write? If that is true, I can provide an answer on specifically how to go about understanding the database meaning and structure. I have done a lot of training around this issue. – HLGEM Jun 30 '16 at 19:52
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Arrange a meeting with your manager and say something like:

Hi Boss. I'm struggling with the work around SQL Server stored procedures. I've never worked with stored procedures before, and I despite looking around I can't find information to help me. Is there someone I could talk to who would be able to help me out?

You're a junior dev, you're not expected to know everything1. If there's stuff you can't do, then ask for help.

  1. Senior devs aren't actually expected to know everything either, but they're expected to have a broader knowledge and probably be quicker at picking up new things.
  • Yeah I Have done this but due to us being a small company we're always busy. I will have to try and book a time-slot/meeting forit – Tfish Jun 30 '16 at 8:44
  • Not even we consultants are expected to know everything. Don't be afraid to press the issue. – Retired Codger Jun 30 '16 at 18:28
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Advice for future work

I would advise that in any future work, you make it plain to the mentor that you lack experience in major timeline projects, not PHP which you obviously have some experience from your college projects, but simply this, projects that actually need to be used and have a deadline. This means that from the onset, s/he will plan with you the very aspects that you need to accomplish, and s/he knows where to assist you and anticipates to do so, or to assign a resource personnel to do this. As you accomplish more and more projects with someone's help on different aspects of each project that you find difficult, you will be perfecting what you already know, and complementing your experience.

Advice for this current scenario

In this particular case, you now have to do this yourself:

  • List the aspects you had planned to achieve.
  • Tick off all aspects you think you have covered with your work right now and explain why you think so or how s/he can verify that in your own line of thought.
  • Lastly, mark all aspects you think need extensive explanation for you to begin work on them.

As a junior developer, the toughest aspects have to do with tying things together. Better choices are made when you have experience with different options of achieving any goal (like in your case connecting to the database and storing and retrieving data), it's understandable not to have a grasp of better practices straight out of college, and this is the work of experience.

This list then will give her/him a simple way to bridge the gap, it will help your superior know that s/he can trust you with part work, even though you may not have a full grasp of other aspects related to that work, which is a good aspect of team playing.

Right now, the work is to quantify what you have done, and why you think its done, then do the same for what's left and why you think it's not yet done, put it in writing, email this to her/him in good writing, then s/he will be able to understand how to assist you. I hope this helps.

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