I need some serious career advice as I face total burnout.
I joined a web development team about 6 months ago hoping to learn all about working in a team.
Instead, I've become the senior developer by default for the entire team as almost no one on the team is familiar with the web framework we use.
My team members constantly submit work that I consider to be absolutely unacceptable. Illegible, buggy, incorrectly tested and just sloppy in general.
I take my coding style very seriously and write everything with legibility in mind. I constantly apply techniques to make my code easy to read and easy to work with. My test coverage is almost a perfect 100% where the standard is 80% and this is all easy to me.
However, this all seems to be completely alien to my teammates. Not only is their code illegible, it's misguided and convoluted. Full of unnecessary logic and "reinvent the wheel" type of problems. Most of them seem to refuse to use the framework and have built buggy versions of features that are already built into the framework.
I've tried to improve team knowledge of the framework by posting links to docs, articles, and videos on the team chat which I'm sure only one developer has bothered opening.
My manager constantly interrupts me to request that I "help out" other developers which basically ends up with me giving basic coding lessons to the other developers and basically doing everything other than typing for them.
Sometimes I feel that they know I have no choice but to help.
I'm seriously considering leaving the team either by requesting that I be reassigned or leaving the company entirely. I feel burned out everyday having to spend weeks reverse engineering terrible implementations to add basic features that should take hours to complete.
Have you faced a similar situation? How did you handle it?
Top comments (9)
Unfortunately it sounds like you've managed what you set out to do.. you've learned about working in a team. Sometimes you work with rockstars, sometimes you don't.
However, chances are that the other members of the team have other specialties or are scrambling to get code out the door with an unfamiliar framework. Try and keep in mind that they may feel just as burned out as you. It sucks, but I can definitely understand it. I've been in plenty of jobs where I don't have time to take lunch, nevermind read a bunch of links someone had sent to me.
Perhaps the problem is best addressed by not doing the work for them. Nobody is going to learn that way. Explain, provide a simple example and get back to your own work.
However, first thing you NEED to do is speaking to your supervisor about it.
My final thoughts here would be that if you have a team of 6 and only 1 knows how or can possibly grasp how to use the framework, maybe it isn't the right framework, or it isn't the right team.
Hi, thanks for your response.
Unfortunately, the framework choice was a decision made several steps up and applied company wide.
Whoever made the choice underestimated the effort necessary to get all teams up to speed.
That's how it goes sometimes. Just make sure that those who need to know are aware of the problems before you make a big decision. Maybe something a bit more official could help move things along.
Either way, best of luck!
That is a very well put message, my friend. You spoke a lot of wisdom right there.
Sounds like you haven't been out in the work-world long enough to become adequately jaded. I have, so, what follows will likely sound far more bleak than it's actually intended. At any rate...
What I've found is that, the more places you work, customers you work for, teams you work with, etc., the more you find that each work-context is "broken" in some form or another. This observation is at least doubly-acute if you're a high performer. Further, if you're a high-performer, "broken" frequently takes forms similar to what you've described in your post – that the reward for being good at what you do is that everyone wants you to be their crutch.
Occasionally you'll find teams that are full of high-performers. Enjoy being on them while you can because they tend not to last: most companies can't afford to retain an "all rockstar" staff. And by "afford", I mean more than just monetary terms. Some companies have deep pockets but not necessarily deep reservoirs of interesting problems to solve. So, inevitably, people move on.
Take care to remember those good times. They'll help you survive the not-so-good times by letting you know, if the current circumstances aren't great, you might yet find another circumstance that captures some of the essence of what you enjoyed.
I've read your post a couple days ago. The solution just came to me.
You go to a person who makes the end decisions and demand that they invest in retraining their developers. You demand that on the basis that you take too much load on yourself and it's not healthy for you. Just tell them what would happen if you were to leave the company. That would give them the right perspective in mind.
How they would retrain them I don't know. Perhaps you know some workshops they can go through. I think if you initiate that kind of thing you should have a suggestion in place how that should go.
Otherwise, leave this place, but before find some functional shop (perhaps Elixir, there are a lot of positions in the slack job channel for Elixir devs).
Thank you for your response. I've spoken with my manager and I'll be switching to another team in another division doing something entirely different. I hope it'll be a better experience.
I've been learning Elixir but don't quite feel confident to seek a job as an Elixir dev.
Super. I hope you keep your dev enthusiasm!