I work for a (german) Startup. We are live now for almost 5 years, several successful projects, no signs of trouble. I was the first programmer employed, now employing four programmers and some other employees. This is my first full-time major employment. My Boss is top-notch, spending insane amounts of work succesfully acquiring projects. I value him highly.

I now want to terminate, because I studied EE and this is a Windows API programming-only job. I crave for more hardware. Because of reasons specified earlier, I want to minimize impact.

What do I have to take care of? These are my Ideas so far:

  • I have given a decent amount of time as preliminary notice (Emailed the boss that I want to talk to him how to quit properly). Timeframe is > 6 months. In all likelihood, I will comply with the demands made.

  • I am prepared to document my code. It is, unfortunately, some 100k lines out of a 200k repository. Are there good recommendations for literature that could help me here? I am not really doc writer, and I understand that writing docs is similarly hard to writing code. There are some specs I've written very early on. Any Hints how to turn these into good docs?

  • What else is there I can do to ensure a sound future for the company? I'd like to give him good recommendations how to proceed when we speak about it, but my limited experience cannot yet tell if there is anything I've missed.

  • Am I overthinking the whole ordeal?

Thanks for input. Have a fine day.

  • are you resigning without a new job? is that a good plan, given it seems like you want to transition into a new industry? have you discussed time for job hunting about 3-4 months from your end date?
    – bharal
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 0:54
  • Hi, antipattern. Just dropping in as part of the community review. While I think The Workplace Stack Exchange would definitely benefit from a question like this, please note for your own benefit that there are also Tech Stack Exchanges which may or may not also provide the answer(s) you're looking for. Please note that this comment is not personally directed at you, more of just an FYI. Meanwhile, thanks for your question and welcome again to The Workplace Stack Exchange! Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 10:48
  • 2
    Before spending hours and hours documenting your code, check with your boss that that's what he wants you to do. Your time is still a company resource as long as you are still working there. Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 11:19
  • Thanks for comments. I have resigned without a new job, because I believe I live to work and not otherwise. Also the economy will provide me with good employment, i've made sure of that - In my country there is a shortage of proper programmers. About documenting - thats really good input - I will check with my boss, but I'll bet the main priority is that he wants good docs. I have a feeling here, which rarely let me down. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 0:56
  • My Question is mostly how to create highly useful docs from the usual doxygen stuff, considering our code base is 200k + lines and any new hire would need (not all, but most) of those informations Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


First, I'm assuming you have a new job you are resigning for? That's important.

Anyways, since you already told your boss: I think you've already done what you need to do, which is talk with your boss and determine a timeframe for you to transition out of the company. You should make sure you understand your contractual obligations to your company and work with your boss to pick a date for your last day at your company. If this is longer than your notice period, great, but make sure your boss and you determine this. Don't give a "I'll leave whenever we feel it's good!" as this will complicate things.

Something which is probably obvious but worth saying, don't just stop working or caring because you are leaving. This is the #1 thing you can do to make the transition frustrating for everyone.

What else is there I can do to ensure a sound future for the company?

Work on delivering what your boss asks of you during your remaining time.

Ultimately, that's all you can do, when you've already given them sufficient notice and are actually interested in working through the details with them.

Am I overthinking the whole ordeal?


If you are as attentive to detail and sincere as you come across here, you will do a fine job of helping your boss with the transition.

How to do documentation

One thing that will help you especially in the future is to make a practice of documenting things as you create them. Or at least having some level of documentation during the process. It's fairly easy to add a short docstring or comment when you are writing code compared to years later.

The specifics of how to do this isn't really on topic here but I would suggest researching libraries/projects that have good documentation and following them. And of course, talking to your boss to see what he wants you to do.

  • Well, what can I say, Thanks for confirming my instincs. Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 23:25
  • Because I could no longer edit: About the Boss, he does not want to go into the details, which I fully agree with. We have a interim technical lead which I will be discussing the details with. Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 23:33

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