My question/problem is kind of an extension of my previous question.

For the ones, who do not read the previous question, I can briefly explain. In my team, I am working under two seniors, who are working for the company since more than 15 years and they have a very good domain knowledge. However, except for these two guys, nobody has any idea of what we are doing. My work is tied to their life and convenience.

These guys are also very relaxed and they are slowing me down drastically. For example, when I need help and got stuck becase I need a company specific knowledge to be able to continue, they say, we do not have time now, (one of them say) I will come to you but I am waiting for hours and no chance. It is very uncomfortable for me to go there several times to be able to get help, I am learning something else in the spare time but I do not feel good when I don't work.

What would be your suggestions?

  • Why do you only have one thing at a time to work on? Would this be resolved by multi-tasking and having multiple projects/tasks you can work on concurrently? – Lilienthal Mar 9 '17 at 9:13
  • @Lilienthal This may be my mistake. Because when I got multiple tasks, I am completing them by working 10 hours a day and at the end of the day, I remain with a single task or no task at all. – Ad Infinitum Mar 9 '17 at 9:19
  • Have you tried talking to your manager about this? If you're continuously either getting impeded or working overtime to be able to finish everything you'll need some help managing your time and your manager should really have a talk with the two seniors to make it clear that they can't just abandon you to your fate. – Cronax Mar 9 '17 at 9:26
  • @Cronax Our team consists of 24 people and there are 4 subteams. I and these two seniors are working in the same subteam. The manager of the whole team means that my managers are these two seniors and he seems that he does not want to intervene the subteams and additionally, they are working together since 15 years. Complaining them will certainly have a bad effect. – Ad Infinitum Mar 9 '17 at 9:31
  • they have a very good domain knowledge. What's the reason not to learn the domain knowledge? You should not let it go on forever. – scaaahu Mar 9 '17 at 9:31

First of all, track everything you say to them. Always prefer sending them emails instead of calling them directly.
This way you're covered in case your manager asks you why you're taking so long do develop something.

Second, ask your manager.
If you have a problem you think can't solve and still haven't said that to your manager, do it immediately.
Chances are he can tell them to give you what you're asking, or give you something else to do in the meantime.

If your colleagues don't cooperate, the only way you can remove that bottleneck is by acquiring that company specific knowledge yourself.
Copy the repository on your machine and delve into the code, try to refactor methods and understand how and why certain things are done, add or remove functionalities, mess around untill you're confident on how everything works.

  • 1. I have tried to send e-mail instead of going to their room personally. Everything is much much slower, if i send everything written. Because they are answering the email in two hours. Sometimes not at all. 2. They are also my manager. 3. I cannot acquire the company specific knowledge by myself because nothing is documented. Everything is in their head and when they are not sharing, there is nothing to do. in your last suggestion, I would make it better. Yes, i can work more on the code. Thanks. – Ad Infinitum Mar 9 '17 at 9:04
  • 2
    @AdInfinitum I upvoted this answer because the advice the only way you can remove that bottleneck is by acquiring that company specific knowledge yourself which is pretty much what I would say if I answer the question. Either you delve into the code and learn the domain knowledge. Eventually, you will become another domain expert. It's your decision whether to invest your time and energy to do this. Or, find another job as soon as possible. Your choice. – scaaahu Mar 9 '17 at 9:40
  • @scaaahu Yes, I think it is the only way to do that. – Ad Infinitum Mar 9 '17 at 9:43
  • @AdInfinitum If they're also your managers you just have point 1 and 2 merged into a single one. They know you're working and if they complain you're accomplishing nothing you can just point them at your unanswered emails. If you still can't understand business logic without their help, there is a plethora of other questions about "I have nothing to do at work", and I'd suggest reading those. – BgrWorker Mar 9 '17 at 13:02

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