I'm a junior back-end developer. I'm currently working on a pretty big project that myself and two other senior developers have been working on which is due in on Monday at 10 am.

The main bulk of the work is finished but the two senior developers haven't shown up. I've been left to finish up most of the work which is harder than anything I've ever done before and i'm not sure what I can do.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Talk to your boss. Even if only to register the facts, but also ask for advise. – oɔɯǝɹ Jul 15 '16 at 10:48
  • Yeah I tried to do that and he kinda brushed it off as ''well it just needs to get done" so i'm stressing a little! – Tfish Jul 15 '16 at 10:49
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    Can there be a clarification on what "haven't shown up" means? You mean they called in sick today? Why is it that their work can be done in a single day for a project? Why couldn't they do it earlier this week? Why the sudden time constraint? – Dan Jul 15 '16 at 12:36
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    @TomFisher Honest advice is that if you do cram for this and manage to pull through and you gain no praises or recognition for it, I'd recommend locating a new position. It sounds like the management style at your place is completely whacked and no doubt blame you for any failures. – Dan Jul 15 '16 at 14:20
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    fake an illness and join the other devs at the pub – Ewan Jul 15 '16 at 16:25

First, nobody can reasonably get angry at you for not finishing the work till monday.

Secondly, nobody can reasonably demand that you'll now spend all your weekend to finish this project.

The only thing you'll really need to do now, is to calm down and decide for yourself, if you want to put in the extra energy. The main question here is: Are you working for a company where this commitment will be rewarded or atleast valued?

After all it's your boss job to manage the resources in the company. If the project is in a critical state and nobody is there to fix it, it's his fault and not yours. You just owe the company what you are paid for; (most likely) 40 hours a week and the expertise of a junior-dev.

So just calm down a bit and if you think certain things are impossible to achieve in a given timeframe you'll just have to give this information to your boss. By definition, it's his job as a project manager to find a solution to that and not yours.

If you get a snarky reply for passing this information (like "well it just needs to get done") you just have to ignore it and stick to the facts, after all it's mainly important that you notice him as early as possible about serious problems like an unachievable deadline. As soon as you have given this information to him you effectively freed yourself of the burden to find a solution to the problem solely by yourself.

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    Yes. The salient piece of information here is about the missing senior devs. Why are they missing? If this "just needs to get done", then why are they not doing their bit? Who was assigned the remaining tasks, especially if they are beyond the capacity of the junior dev? There are lots of management fails here. – Jane S Jul 15 '16 at 12:47

Having a deadline can be stressful, you will need to make sure you do/did your best to achieve it. However; the people that support you (your boss) will need to make sure that you can achieve this as well. That is their job.

That can be done by throwing yourself at the work (if you have the confidence that you can actually finish it), but sometimes the best result is that you remind people of the agreements made when starting the project.

If the agreement or understanding is that there will be 3 people working on the project, then your boss cannot reasonably expect you to finish on your own within the same timeframe.

If you have practical concerns (I cannot achieve X within time or by my self), then state that to your boss, and expect to be helped with it. In scrum terms this would be called an 'impediment'.

If you are not sure were you're standing, ask your boss for assistance in validating it / determining what remains to be done, and give your estimate if it is possible to do so.

And on a personal note: chin up, take a deep breath, give it your best effort and try to have some fun while you're at it.


You had some senior devs just not show up and a deadline on Monday. Is your boss aware of the no show? CC your boss on the email.

Make a list of what is left and how long you think it will take if it is just you. If you cannot finish then just tell your boss. If you cannot finish then even less reason to stress. Just take a task one at a time.

  • 1
    +1 It is especially critical to make sure that you have told them in writing of the problem and shown what is left to do and an estimate of how long it would take you to do it, so they can't say they didn't know it was impossible to finish at this point. – HLGEM Jul 15 '16 at 14:27

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