I need some advice to avoid stressing myself out. I'm in a situation where I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place at work, and it feels like there's no one to turn to. This is a long one, because context is needed.

I've been working on a fairly big CMS based website for a few years that's turned into multiple solutions that I'm more or less responsible for. During that time I've been optimizing the code base with proper design patterns, setting up continuous delivery, updating packaging etc. because I care that the next developer can quickly grasp what's going on, should they take over the project in the future. During that time I've been accused of over-engineering, which to an extent is true. It's something I've gotten a lot better at over the years, but I'm only human and error prone, so sometimes that's just how it is.

Anyways, after a few years of working on the project I get a new colleague that's going to help me on my CMS projects. It doesn't take long for me to realize that their code style is a mess. Inconsistent line breaks and naming conventions, really god awful anti-pattern code. There's no attempt to mimic the code style I've been using throughout the project, it's just complete chaos. The code "works", although it's not something I'd call production code. But they're new and learning, so I just sort of deal with it and remain patient, pointing out where they could optimize their code, teaching them basic object oriented design patterns like... just using freaking objects once in a while.

Fast forward a few years until now. They've learned nothing. Every time I read their code it's the same mess it's always been.

Concrete example: a part of the project uses Vue to render some common components in the frontend. Looking through the code, there is currently *no* attempt to include any air between functions, or any part of the code for that matter. Everything gets transpiled and minified so there's absolutely NO REASON to "compress" the code like this. Furthermore, they have often directly manipulated the DOM from the JavaScript code rather than rendering the component based on the model state. Completely rendering the use of Vue pointless.

And this is just the frontend part of the code. The backend is often orders of magnitude worse. They will - COMPLETELY RANDOMLY - sometimes leave in 5-10 lines of whitespace for no discernable reason. It frustrates me to no end. I keep asking them to verify their staged changes before every commit, but nothing changes. They also blatantly copy/paste bits of my code to other components without thinking about what they do. So I'll have this random bit of backend code that injects 3-5 dependencies there's simply no reason for and aren't being used. When I ask why they put them there I simply get a “I don't know, I just did it like you did it”.

I simply cannot trust this person to write production code, and the more I let them take over things, the more the technical debt we accumulate. I have talked to my boss about this, and things have improved, but nowhere near where I need it to be.

On the other side of this are my project manager and my boss. They, of course, both want me to implement solutions with low estimates, and as fast and simply as possible. Which would be fine if I wasn't the only person fighting against this technical debt on my team. Add in the fact that specs are oftentimes VERY implicit, so I'm stuck guessing what we actually need and having to constantly ask if this or that feature should exist.

And then, out of nowhere, I get assigned a another project after some colleague quits, during a time I’m already overbooked. The project is very complex and I'm expected to give estimates on tasks that would take me several hours just to research.

I'm super stressed and have no one I can turn to for help, hence this post. I haven't put the people in this post in the best light, but they're honestly good people that I genuinely like. I just want to write good code, but it's like I have to fight for my right to do it.

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    Don't keep it up to yourself, speak out.

    Let your boss/manager understand that low estimate solutions(hacks) are pure tech debt and if you're continuously developing and maintaining the project/product, it would build up to the point where issuing low estimates is not even an option.
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