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Need to rant / maybe some advice.

Working remote is hard.
New company, remote on boarding. I feel like my coworkers are robots, and I'm being tossed into the deep end with minimal guidance.

The codebase is so unnecessarily complicated, its impossible to read. I've been trying to figure out how things work for a whole month, still not sure.

My mentor that is supposed to help onboard me is a robot, and answers questions in a somewhat acceptable manner, but it still feels like a lot of "figuring out" is still left for myself.

My other work partner that is also a newbie like myself is also a robot - doesn't talk or ask many questions whenever we have a sync up meeting.

The codebase is huge and feels quite overwhelming, I don't feel like I got a team "with my back", I don't enjoy work as much as I have before, I barely do any coding (mostly reading code and trying to understand how everything is working by setting breakpoints and debugging tests that take foreeeever to run), and some days I'm seriously considering cutting my losses and jumping ship just to save my sanity.

Am I paranoid? Am I just dumb? Should I just suck it up and be happy I have a job? Is this how Remote work is supposed to feel like? Why does it feel like my soul is dying?

Anyone in similar situations, or who can give some insight/advice/etc, I would highly appreciate it.

And this is supposed to be a good company too from the reviews. I don't know how it can be so crappy in reality. Did I make the wrong choice joining? Should I jump ship sooner rather than later? I've only been here about a month or so, and maybe its too soon? Halp!

Comments
  • 1
    Maybe you need to figure out how to figure things out on your own
  • 0
    Sounds rough, I remember when covid first hit and everything was completely locked down... I almost lost my mind 😅 Luckily my office opened up again, so I'm lucky in that regard. Honestly, when I was going through that time, I wish I had brought up how I felt to my team. I've always maintained a very strict division of business and personal issues, but we're all human, it's rarely ever so black and white. If they're not actually robots, they'll understand where you're coming from.
  • 3
    Just cash the checks and see how you feel on a few months. Ideally wait til you have a year and then bounce to something better if it doesn't improve.
  • 1
    actually I enjoyed a bit working from home. Yes I have same issues like you that when stuck help literally means no help or figure out yourself so nothing its just sleep late at night and yeah figure out yourself :P
  • 1
    I know how you feel. I was in the same situation. I can suggesgt you to break stuff in smaller units and try to understand each of them one by one. When the base is wrote shitty this can take really long. If that takes to long then, search for a important part of the application and try to back debug the whole processes, for example you come to the point where you see the end product of some calculation that is important? Try to find the part in code that is responsible for this result. Then go from this point backwards, look for the stuff that calls this function and then try to get the information that was sent to the part where you see the actual result. That helped me a lot to understand the codebase. Trust me, you will be in an simmilar situation again in future. Understanding code that other people wrote is a very valuable ability. Often you will have to do it without further instructions.
  • 1
    Are you my coworker?
    Do ducks mean anything to you?

    This rant seriously sounds *exactly* like my situation.
  • 1
    Sympathies! But remote work is not always like that: have essentially the opposite situation going on for me (and it's all good).

    Huge codebases are always going to be tough, especially if you haven't had much experience dealing with them before. If you can work out, or get someone to diagram, the broad flow of information through the code, it will help structure your investigation.
  • 1
    Remote onboarding is hard, both for you and the employer. The normal "sit with me at my desk and walk me through stuff" type onboarding obviously isn't possible, and doing it over a conference call is never really the same.

    The bad news is that this is likely to be the case, to some degree, wherever you go. Real world code bases are complicated and often crappy, and dealing with people remotely often makes them seem robotic.

    The good news is that most good places are aware of this, and they're not expecting you to get up to speed in days or even weeks. There's also strategies you can take to improve things, such as:

    - Set yourself small, meaningful goals for the day, and work as much as you can out by yourself in that day. Make a note of all the questions you need to ask someone.
    - Try to have calls once a day where you can ask about anything you're stuck with.
  • 1
    I started a new job just before 'rona hit, and the difference between remote and at the office is massive when you're new.

    My colleagues are great, and my boss is absolutely following up, but it does sometimes feel like you're talking with walls and get left on the deep-end a lot, probably because you can't just poke your head to your neighbor and ask. Chats, though a lot less formal than emails, still have a certain formality to them that poking your head at your neighbor doesn't have I feel.
  • 1
    - Try to pick simple tickets you can work on, or can try to work on. I often find they're a much better way of learning a codebase than randomly looking around it.
    - Take loads of notes, and then write them up on a wiki / confluence somewhere for other new starters - this is a great exercise for you, but something the rest of your team will likely appreciate too!

    There's no magic bullet here, and the advice doesn't mean it's not tough, and not hard work. But it is usually possible to get there. While you can jump if it's really bad, I wouldn't so so on a whim, as you may find you're then just starting over with the same situation somewhere else.
  • 3
    fun fact: our team chatroom went more quiet with remote/home office.

    Minimum of jokes, almost no discussions about current events, 40 ppl in the chatroom essentially dead. One might object, that people avoid posting non-work related stuff when on home office to avoid accusations about not working. But this is a trend I'm noticing past couple years. Amount of fun within the team diminished every year and the mass home office essentially killed the remaining communication.
  • 2
    It doesn’t matter if this company good or not in reality. All that matters is your personal feelings. If you personally have a bad gut feeling about this company, you should quit. There is no need to stay and try to make them better. Doesn’t worth it, there is plenty of fish in the sea.

    There is no organization on earth that can return you your mental health back in exchange for money. It doesn’t exist.
  • 1
    if the codebase is huge, don't try to understand it whole. just take a task, trace the logic/flow thread related to that task, modify it as needed, and move on to the next task.
  • 1
    @carboneum the first step would be to break your comment to smaller units to understand it
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