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I am an embedded software engineer/ Firmware engineer. I feel really comfortable working on the lower layers of code (I have four years of experience in firmware engineer). I just had my first day at a new company which hired me for a team which is developing a new product and is expanding.

However, on my first day my manager pulled me aside and told me that all the firmware (the stuff that I’m really good at) for that particular project is being outsourced to another company. Apparently the upper management has no faith in my team because it mostly consists of application programmers. My manager hired me specifically because he’s trying to build a team with my skill-set, but from the sounds of it I’m not going to be able to use those for a long time (the team I joined is going to be working on this project for a year).

I was hired as an embedded software engineer who will not actually be developing embedded software and is instead working on application code.

How could I navigate this situation where it seems my area of expertise is being outsourced?

  • We can't give you advice, because we don't know you or your situation. If you have some concrete questions, I'm sure we can help, but as it stands this will probably be closed. – Erik Jun 27 '17 at 5:53
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    Isn't this a fair general question regarding how to approach a possibly drastic change of role brought about by outsourcing? – morsor Jun 27 '17 at 5:58
  • @morsor not really; for starters because there's no actual question. It's just a description of a situation. – Erik Jun 27 '17 at 6:08
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    @Erik: Is the question better now post-edit - or are there additional concerns? – morsor Jun 27 '17 at 9:28
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    Hey Erik, sorry I'm so late to respond, but yes the question is better now post edit. Thank you for time, I do appreciate it! – Houman Azemati Jun 28 '17 at 1:44
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Even when outsourcing to the very best partners, someone at the company needs to verify that the deliveries live up to the required standard.

In addition, when outsourcing - it often turns out that some aspects of the programming for a variety of reasons are best kept in-house.

In a perfect world, this could end up with your company outsourcing the mundane parts, leaving you with the parts you finding particularly interesting.

So, the question could be whether you are qualified for and would appreciate such a role.

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Your Manager Values You, AND...

...your manager is also giving you a casual heads up.

Even though your manager may have the idea of building out a team based upon your skillset, it appears that your manager has lost the battle to do that with higher level folks.

This is your manager's way of letting you know that all may not be perfect in your world. That being said, they're also not going to fire you or lay you off right after hiring you. You are still valued.

However, it does mean you that should look for a new job, but due to your manager's willingness to be open and blunt, you can leisurely begin to look for a new job - while at the same time keeping an eye on your current one to see if it turns into something better.

As you are not in a hurry, you need not take just any old offer - you can wait until you find the perfect match. And, who knows? Perhaps your current position will eventually pan out during your job search time.

But, no matter what, you should be looking for new work at a leisurely pace to ensure your personal security and happiness going forward.

  • In your opinion is there anything that I can do to help turn this job into something better? (I feel like its a catch-22 in that you cannot have faith in someone accomplishing something unless they have proven they can do it, but they cannot prove that they can accomplish it unless you give them the chance to prove it). – Houman Azemati Jun 28 '17 at 14:26
  • I don't know how well it would go over, but, what if you asked your manager if it would be ok to do a POC project to prove to upper management that you are very talented and can do this - and then counter-bid the outsourcing company to keep it in house? – user45269 Jun 28 '17 at 14:45

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