TL;DR I just recently started my apprenticeship, it's horrible so far, I want to quit, but don't know what to do next...

Okay, first of all, hey there! My name is Cave and I haven't been on here for a while, so I hope the majority of you is doing rather okay. I'm programming for 6 years now, have some work experience already, since I used to volunteer for a company for half a year, in which I discovered my love for integrations and stuff. These background information will probably be necessary to understand my agony in full extend.

So, okay, this is about my apprenticeship. Generally speaking, I was expecting to work, and to learn something, gaining experience. So far, it only involved me, reading through horrible code, fixing and replacing stuff for them, I didn't learn a thing yet, and we are already a month in.

When I said the code is horrible, well, it is the worst I have ever seen since I started programming. Little documentation - if any -, everywhere you look there is deprecated code, which may or may not been commented out, often loops or simply methods seem to be foreign for them, as the code is cluttered with copy paste code everywhere and on top of that all, the code is slow as heck, like wtf.

I spent my past month with reading their code, trying to understand what most of this nonsense is for, and then just deleting and rewriting it entirely. My code suddenly is only 5% or their size and about 1000 times faster. Did I mention I am new to this programming language yet? That I have absolutely no experience in that programming language? Because well I am new and don't have any experience, yet, I have little to no struggle doing it better.

Okay, so, imagine, you started programming like 20 years ago, you were able to found your own business, you are getting paid a decent amount of money, sounds alright, right? Here comes the twist: you have been neglecting every advancement made in developing software for the past 20 years, yup, that's what it feels like to work here.

At this point I don't even know, like is this normal? Did git, VSCode and co. spoil me? Am I supposed to use ancient software with ancient programming languages to make my life hell? Is programming supposed to be like this? I have no clue, you tell me, I always thought I was doing stuff right.

Well, this company is not using git, infact, they have every of their project in a single folder and deleting it by accident is not that hard, I almost did once, that was scary. I started out working locally, just copying files, so shit like that won't happen, they told me to work directly in the source. They said it's fine, that's why you can see 20 copies of the folder, in the same folder... Yes, right, whatever.

I work using a remote desktop, the server I work on is Windows server 2008, you want to make icons using gimp? Too bad, Gimp doesn't support windows server 2008, I don't think anything does anymore, at least I haven't found anything, lol.

They asked me to integrate Google Maps into their projects, I thought it is gonna be fun, well, turns out their software uses internet explorer 9.. and Google maps api does not support internet explorer 9... I ended up somehow installing CEF3 on that shit and wrote an API for it in JS. Writing the API was actually kind of fun, but integrating it in their software sucked and they told me I will never integrate stuff ever again, since they usually don't do that. I mean, they don't have a Backend as far as I can tell, it looks like stuff directly connects with their database, so I believe them, but you know... I love integrating stuff..

So at this point you might be thinking, then why don't you just quit? Well I would, definitely. I'm lucky that till December I can quit without prior notice, just need a resignation as far as I can tell, but when I quit, what do I do next? Like, I volunteered for a company for half a year and I'd argue I did a good job, but with this apprenticeship it only adds up to about 7 months of actual work experience. Would anybody hire somebody with this much actual work experience? I also consider doing freelancing, making a living out of just integrating stuff, but would people pay for that? And then again, would they hire somebody with this much experience? I don't want to quit without a plan on what to do next, but I have no clue.

Am I just spoiled, is programming really just like that, using ancient tools and stuff? Let me know. Advice is welcomed as well, because I'm at a loss. Thanks for reading.

  • 1
    Sorry, but that sounds horrible. If it's an opportunity you can pass on, I would leave.

    I worked in a similar role (albeit a few more opportunities to use modern tech) for the first few years of my career. I finally left and joined an agency which used modern tech (No more support for ie6 🙏🏼, which is ironic as the studio worked with Microsoft) In my early stages of this role I felt so inept because of my lack of exposure to modern tech and modern workflow paradigms. Being in that role prepared me for so much more opportunities and made work so much more enjoyable.

    I would not stay in a role where the only path is the legacy software that they use.

    At the end of the day, you want to leave work with a smile on your face and with the continued thirst of developing modern software.
  • 1
    Nah that's alright you want to get away from that. I do agree that you should have a plan first though. Maybe waste less energy at work and put it into thinking what next? Just make a list where would you like to work based on eg what company or technol9gy you like, search for companies that do the thing but are realistic goals for you. Or maybe write something that others would consider a good demo of your skill to make up for the short work experience and try something better.
  • 0
    Why are you doing an apprenticeship and free work when you have 6 years of experience? I have nothing, not even a degree, and it would be foolish even to accept an internship as first job.
  • 1
    @bartmr Originally my intention was to learn new stuff, gaining knowledge I might be lacking, as I only did stuff I was interested in and I was afraid I might have been missing out on crucial knowledge. Turns out that I was wrong, so far I did not lack any knowledge and I could've been searching for a job, matching my interests instead..
  • 1
    @Pyjong Sounds good. I have been working on a little project before my apprenticeship started, and I think it might be suitable as a small demo, just needs a bunch of polish. Hope I'm able to find a job all around Integrations and APIs and such, as that's the place I feel home, thanks for the advice!
  • 2
    @cave 6 years pro or hobby?

    In any cases, leave or set a deadline. You'll burn yourself there.
  • 0
    @Cultist mainly hobby. Will search for stuff the next couple of weeks, hope I will find something better soon.
  • 1
    @cave Please don't forget you interview the company as much they interview you in the hiring process.

    Don't be afraid to be thorough. You should ask for practices in place for example.
  • 0
    @Cultist thanks for the advice, don't want to do the same mistake again!
  • 1
    @cave in which case, once it comes to the point when your interviewer is happy, maybe ask if you can take a peak how their code looks, what tools they use. Usually they appreciate interest and questions. On the outside every company looks good.
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