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I'm an 3rd IT student in development doing a "hybrid" course. To be more specific I spend 50% of my time in school and the rest in a company. They do pay me (around 80% of the minimum wage in my country) and they do pay my training (school).

Since I started to work in my company (September 2016) my skills in programming were sufficient and if I had any difficulty I always managed to succeed at my tasks by learn on the web.

Since few days I'm getting really stuck on my web project using AngularJS which I perform alone. My training course does not include this language so I can hardly ask them for a technical support. My colleagues are doing a huge Sprint on their project so I can't ask for a support at the moment.

I begin to get worried about my situation. Specifically in AngularJS which I consider quite hard, complex and very different from what I've learned from here.

How should one proceed in facing early career technical challenges when support is lacking?

PS: English is not my native language and I apologize for any grammar/spelling mistake.

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    Get a book or tutorial on the language you need to learn, and work through it. I prefer beginner books, even though I wrote my first programs in 1967, because they teach the right mind set for the language. Learning programming languages is a much more durable skill than any particular language. – Patricia Shanahan Jan 24 '17 at 21:09
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    I would try to get out of this project as soon as possible. And I wouldn't think of it as giving up. I would think of it as being responsible for knowing my current limits. Benefit-wise, I think both your boss and the client would benefit since then they would be able to re-assign the project to someone who would be able to complete the task in the time allotted. (Cont'd.) – Teacher KSHuang Jan 25 '17 at 7:33
  • (Cont'd.) But keep in mind, I'm generally pretty forgiving, especially if I see that the person is really struggling after having made an effort. I don't know if this is the case for you and your supervisor as well, so you really do have a tough choice ahead of you. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 25 '17 at 7:36
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    @TeacherKSHuang It may be a little too early to give up and I'm not really a "giving up" guy, I did best I could do in Angular (Interface with data-binding etc..). I don't want to go in detail because it's not the appropriate place but it kinda get complicated. I think I'll wait for a qualified colleague to give me a help, I also want to progress. Plus I still remain an apprentice! – Matieu Jan 25 '17 at 9:07
  • @Matieu, I understand. Just because you give up the project doesn't mean you have to give up the apprenticeship, though. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 25 '17 at 9:28
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If you are stuck on a project because you are lacking some required skill then you should tell your manager that you are lacking that skill, and it is up to your manager to decide what to do. Imagine you have a colleague who is in exactly the same situation, but you have the skill that he is lacking and he has the skill that you are lacking: Your manager will just swap the tasks and everyone is happy. If you don't tell your manager, you and your colleague both suffer and waste lots of time achieving nothing.

The obvious choices for your manager are to either give you some other task, or to tell you to learn the required skills, knowing that this will take some time.

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You might be spending much time to find the answer that you might spend to learn the language. Step back and spend a weekend or your few evenings and try to complete some courses end to end. It will get you going and you going.

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First raise the issue with your manager and colleagues. Your manager would much prefer to know sooner rather than later that the project is having problems so tell them now, not just before the delivery is due. Just because your colleagues are busy, don't assume that they won't be prepared to help you. May be someone will be prepared to work a bit of over time to help you out, or they'll do your code reviews much more quickly etc. You won't know until you to talk to them.

Secondly, look for support outside work. There are plenty of forums where you can get help with specific problem so make use of them.

If your having problems with some of the concepts rather than specific programming problems, do some simple sample projects to help you understand what's going on. You'll probably have to do this in your own time but it will help you get up to speed. For example when I was learning Angular, I wrote a simple page that would calculate how many rolls of wallpaper you would need to paper a room.

Finally evaluate if there is a different technical approach you could take. For example I found Angular a lot easier once I stopped having to rely on my terrible JavaScript knowledge and used CoffeeScript instead.

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I begin to get worried about my situation. Specifically in AngularJS which I consider quite hard, complex and very different from what I've learned from here.

It is also extremely thriving, popular, community-driven, and with a huge amount of literature on it.

Find resources that work for you and keep looking!

Try:

  • Udacity, Khan Academy, Coursera, etc.
  • Buy an O'Reilly book or similar
  • Read a bunch of different tutorials on it
  • Find sample projects on github, read their code and modify it
  • Read articles comparing it to what you know an excellent SO article
  • Google lots of specific questions and read up until you solve it
  • Both focus on getting very specific tasks done anyway possible and learning more of the theory that makes the framework work
  • And so forth...
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You should be treated as a programmer, and told what to do and how to do it, or the code quality will decrease, but consultancy companies usually want you to learn by yourself. You will allways have to learn by yourself, and the best way is to use google to find the solution. If you are stuck with something, just notice your project manager the problem and they will have to evaluate the risk, and maybe assign another person for that task.

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    "You will always have to learn by yourself" well in fact yes and no. I'll learn by myself loads of things but Google is not the solution of every issue. As said previously by Erik and Patricia books could be a solution, but also trainings (in my company they are quite common). Sometimes Google is not enough depending on the complexity of the project. But I'll notice my manager as soon as possible, thanks for the tip! – Matieu Jan 25 '17 at 13:05

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