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I used to work at a printing company as their only developer. I was often pulled from doing any development work, and instead would be printing documents, posters and postcards. One time I was printing and developing at the same time for a 12 hr shift. I fucked up over 30 thousand printed pieces of double sided postcards, where the front and back didn't align properly. So it was impossible for the guys to cut them. I left the job about 2 weeks later, and found myself a job that's doing only development, and was working as part of a team of very talented developers. I still have a good relationship going with my past employer though, despite that incident. My supervisors were very nice people.
@Owenvii made a post over at (https://devrant.com/rants/2359774/...) and I want to write a proper response.
The biggest thing you have to look out for as a new dev is the jobs which you accept to begin with.
This isn't minimum wage no more, this is "big league", well, maybe not apple or google big league, but it's not $9.25 an hour either.
Basically you don't want to work anywhere where 1. your labor will be treated as a highly disposable commodity. 2. where the hiring manager doesn't know how to do the job themselves.
The best thing you can do is, if you're new, and just breaking through (and even if you're not), is ask them common questions and problems/solutions that crop up doing the work. If they can answer intelligently that tells you the company values competence (maybe), enough to put someone in place who will know ability from bullshit, merit from mediocrity, and who understands the process of progressing from junior dev to a more involved role.
It also means they are incentivized to hire people who know what they're doing because the training cost of new hires is lowered when they hire people who are actually competent or capable of learning.
Remember, an interview isn't just them learning about you, it's your opportunity to interview *them* and boy, you'll be making a BIG mistake if you don't.
Ideally you want them to ask you to pair program a problem. If your solution is better than theirs then they aren't sending their best to do interviews, and it tells you the company doesn't fire incompetents. The interviewers response can tell you a lot too, if they critique your work, or suggest improvements, and especially if they explain their thinking, that is an amazing response to look for, it says the company values mentorship and *actual* teamwork (not the corporate lingo-bingo 'teamwork' that we sometimes see idolized on posters like so much common dogma).
Most importantly, get them to talk about their work and their team. If they're a professional, it'll be really difficult to pry anything negative about their co-workers out of them, but if they're loose-lipped and gossipy thats a VERY bad sign, regardless of what they have to say.
Ask to take a tour and do a meet n' greet of who you will be working with. If they say no, then it's no thank you to a job offer. You want to take every opportunity to get to know everyone there, everyone you'll be working with, as much as possible--because you'll be spending a LOT of time with these people and you want to rule out any place that employs 'unfireable' toxic assholes, sociopath executives, manipulative ladder climbing narcissists, and vicious misery-loving psychopathic coworkers as quick as possible. This isn't just one warning flag to look out for, it's the essential one. You're looking for the proper *workplace culture*, not the cheesy startup phrase of "workplace culture", but the actual attitudes of the team and the interpersonal dynamics.
Life is really short, and a heart attack at 25 from dipshit coworkers and workplace grief can and will destroy your health, if not your sanity, the older you get.
Trust and believe me when I say no paycheck is too grand to deal with some useless, smarmy, manipulative, or borderline motherfuckers at work constantly. You'll regret it if you do. Don't do it. Do you fucking do it. Just don't.
Take my words to heart and be weary of easy job offers. I'm not saying don't take a good offer that lands in your lap, I AM saying do some investigating and due diligence or the consequences are on you.1