I am bloody sick of being on my own.

I was the sole dev at the last few jobs I've held, with the exception of API Guy -- who didn't really help much, and who got fired / quit six months after I started. Every other job I've either been the only dev, or the only web dev. (Exception:My boss at my previous job was a Rails dev, but he has zero time to code, and was significantly less experiened so he could only rarely help anyway.)

But now I'm in a company with a bunch of other devs, and they're all ostensibly senior devs, so you'd think I should be able to ask questions, right? And get answers? that actually help? like "Hey, you built this; how does it work?" No bloody way.

So far every time I've asked someone for help, they've been incompetent. I asked about what a few flags did, and got an answer that basically said "you just gotta know. oh, and the labels aren't up to date, so don't trust what they say." I asked the head of the "product team" about a ticket that he wrote, and he changed what it meant four times within two days. I asked about another, and he said "oh, that isn't reproduceable." Thanks. I asked about mailers, and got two very different, very incompete walkthroughs from the more senior devs (9+ years on this codebase) that didn't help. I asked two people about how users and roles work, and still have no idea what kind of user (there are like twelve?) is what, what roles even exist, or how to check for permissions. `@current_user` is a thing, but idfk what it holds since that can change considerably, and there's an impersonation feature that changes how it works, too. I ask the product guy again about where to link something, and he has no idea. I ask said product guy about what this feature needs to do, and he doesn't know. I ask what the legal team needs, and i get nothing. I ask the designer where the goddamn CSS lives, and he doesn't know; he apparently just puts it wherever he feels like, even if it's a completely unrelated stylesheet. As long as it works, right?

I ask very simple and straighforward questions, and it takes them forever to get back to me saying what amounts to "idk, ask someone else."

This feels like the same crap all over again, except now there are a bunch of devs I can ask that give me basically the same answers as the sales people always did. Always "idk" or a confusing mess of an 'answer' that skips most/all of the important bits. At least these people don't [usually] contradict themselves.

So, @Root is all alone, again.
And currounded by incompetence.

For fuck's sake.
Can't I catch a break?

  • 5
    Want a break? Sure. Just act like you're ill infront of a doctor, get yourself a paper with the sign of the doc from day x to day y and give it to your chief. /s

    Well. I meant that as a joke, BUT think about doing that, if you seriously need some time for yourself immediately and when you have no "holiday days" left.
  • 2
    I feel you. Was the same in my last 2 Jobs. Now it’s better but I’m the only backend dev left in the team (as for now). It i actually like it. I know what I’m doing and front end is happy with my work.

    Get over here and let’s have a few pints so you can forget about it and enjoy your weekend:)
  • 4
    Yeaah im the only non offshore and thus only non shitty dev. Im basically alone too!
  • 2
    God that sounds horrible. You'd think they know their shit but clearly they have no idea whatsoever or they just don't care anymore.
  • 3
    Do they have documentation? If not, or if its a crappy one, write it yourself. It will help future you (and everyone you want to share it with, better with everyone).
  • 4
    Maybe world is trying to give you some clues about how undervalued your position is at this point of your life and career path so you can sit down relax and reevaluate your priorities.
    Good luck.
  • 7
    Root, maybe it's time you sought a position where YOU are the one doing the hiring, even if it's just split with regular duties.

    If hell is other people, then the 'who' who gets to decide the 'who else' is king of the pile.

    Do that, become king. Hire competent people. Rule with an iron fist and become a terror over all the earth.

    Well, over your workplace anyway. The competent people you hire will in turn shower you with gratitude like roses thrown at caesar in thanks for the other competent and sane people they get to work with.

  • 5
    I had an experience in a company with a developper who was like ten years older than me, and he insisted on call me a junior and him a senior without taking in consideration how many apps i did from A to Z and went to production for big companies.
    Besides he only know javascript, while i master ten other languagues and i am full stack while he only code backend.
    Long story short... He was fired, and i got the be the lead developper full stack and doubled my salary (took his).
    And the energy lost with "fighting" and traying to see who has the biggest one, was restored again, and in 2 months (allone) we got in production, vs 6 month "me and him" where we could not deliver. He was so sloooooow, and especially unable to go agile !
    Conclusion: working in a team is a mess, especially when the recreuiter is not a coder !
  • 6
    Things like this happen when the initial lead developer and team did not put any process at all in place and or did not enforce the ones put in place.

    I was the only developer at my company for 3 years. I was a junior and hence no one to look up to. But I read a hell lot of blogs and joined communities like devrant. With that I started to put some process in place.

    I now lead to other developers and I enforce the processes that we use.
    When the other devs ask why we do something in a certain way, I explain to them and also ask if they think there is a better way and we debate which way is better logically and adopt that.

    But, I make sure it is enforced for EVERYONE including me.
    They call me a 'dictator' (jokingly of course) but I would rather that than suffer down the line from the issues that would result from everyone just working randomly and writing 'shitty' code just because it works..

    You can rebel by start putting some things in place and nicely explaining why you do it.
  • 2
    I'm not a senior dev, but here's what I'd do in your place given the info you provided, my 2 cents.

    The environment you find yourself into sounds toxic from a software developer perspective. Even if you tried to push ideas to improve the current situation (suggest people to document stuff, how they might improve the workflow, etc...), I don't know if your coworkers would actually try, it seems like they have been in the current passive state of "shit works, might collapse if I move a brick, too much work, not my problem" for quite some time.

    I don't know where you live, but you gave me the impression of being a good dev with experience. How about trying to lf another job? You could take this oppurtunity to maybe travel to a distant land if such an idea excites you.
  • 1
    @Chrupiter (why can't I edit it anymore... I thought I was within the time limit... oh well).

    There are good workplaces out there, don't lose hope. Maybe hit indeed, linkedin, glassdoor, whatever, sometimes by reading the job description you can get a grasp of the type of workplace (positive, negative, whatever)
  • 1
    @root nice $(pidof stressful_job)

    Have my support.
  • 1
    That sounds like a larger company as well as project (aka. a pile of legacy)
    It seems that quite a lot of large companies have that mentality among people, everything is done in a disposable utility style but manages to stay in production for decades and rarely anyone cares for improvement and optimization unless it prevents usability.
    What helps me are side projects (personal or otherwise). Helps to learn new things, stay focused and in the loop while allowing freedom to do however the fuck I want it.
  • 1
    @nnee If only I had the time.

    I have a paying side project that i haven't even had time to start on. 😕😞 I could probably have it done in like 30-50 hours total, if only I had the time to spend on it.
  • 0
    If nobody feels responsible everyone is guilty. It's your chance for the taking. Senior Lead Developer Root ftw!
  • 5
    @heyheni I've been there -- not the lead senior dev role, but taking over and leading development. It's a crapton of work, and I just don't think I care enough.

    Maybe later?
    Their code could certainly use some love. Everything's dirty, and hacked together.

    There's middleware to compact javascript and remove source comments! Instead of actually minifying and obfuscating everything, it's a bloody regex run per-page given the presence of a magic comment. Everything I've found is like this!

    The webapp supports translations, but only between ('en') English and ('sp') Spanish. Yes, it
    uses 'sp', not 'es' like the rest of the world. Some even wrote a wrapper to speficially change 'es' from apis, etc. to 'sp' instead of, you know, fixing it. The service also ostensibly supports multiple currencies, and even stores a currency like everywhere, but everything is hardcoded to just save 'usd' on every bloody record. There's no way to even tell if it would work with "sp" pesos. It's just a giant pile of hacky.

    For now, at least, I'm happy just chasing a paycheck. but I can't resist cleaning up forever, so. maybe someday.
  • 1
    @-ANGRY-STUDENT- that's what most of the students in my old school did.
  • 2
    Hey, I feel you, I got into a new job, spent there a year now, and I absolutely constantly bump into irresponsible people, who don't really know what they're doing, even though they're "senior architects" and whatnot.
    I am not really sure why many of these people are even still employed. Half of them do pure nothing, the other half does everything wrong, extending on the already-horrible-horrible-horrible technical debt of all the products.
    You may feel alone there, but you're surely not alone amongst us, devs, who are actually trying to make a difference.
    I'm afraid I have no advice for you on how to deal with this - I just spend most of my time and energy making sure that this all gets better. Sure, some of the colleagues don't like me now because I make too much waves, but there is progress. Slow, but steady. So... hang on there, keep on trying, I'm ROOTing for you.
  • 1
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