|Hello, I hope I'm posting in a place that is ok with discussion and not just question/answer. I know my question will receive some opinionated responses but not necessarily and regardless, it is something I really would like to ask people who are already working in the field.
I got into a developer's position a few years ago and it has been quite stressful for me. I feel I'm an intelligent person, I like technology, video games, programming etc. I have a passion for programming although sometimes I find it fading but I try to remain optimistic.
When I was interviewed for this position I made no effort to oversell myself. I was very upfront and honest about what I knew and didn't know. I provided code examples of what I had worked on and took a test that was assigned to me all before being hired. The position was supposed to be more of an entry level position.
At first I was really excited. So happy to finally be a developer. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I didn't necessarily want to stay with the company but I was happy to have got the position and wanted to learn all I could while I was here.
Problems soon arose and it's from these problems that I'm trying to get some insight into the industry to see what the job life is like for programmers outside of my little world/company.
The company I work for is a fortune 500 company, they are huge, all over the place, international, they're everywhere and you know them I promise, I prefer not to say though for privacy reasons. That being said, I was happy to get into this "entry level" programming position in this huge company cause I knew it would be a great learning experience.
I soon found out that I was being relied upon quite heavily and with very little guidance. My position, although I'm required to be in an office location, is virtual. Meaning, every programmer is at a different location, including my supervisors and management, and some (especially management) work from home.
One of my pet peeves is that, although I have a company laptop, and there's little to no collaboration taking place, I can't work from home myself, I have to carry my laptop with me and plug it in at the office I work at. While this irritates me alot, I can totally cope with this if the rest were ok.
My biggest gripe is the lack of collaboration, guidance, communication, and give a *@!$. I am given projects, with little to no background information, most the time via email, and that is it. I am told to ask questions if I have any. The majority of the time, my entire time spent here is one big question.
I'm trying to figure out, is this how it is where everyone works? Is it normal to hire entry level programmers, provide them with little to no guidance/training, and just assign them tasks to see if they'll still have their hair by the time it's all said and done?
This is something I'm really honestly curious about. I've been doing this for about 3 years now. I've learned things and manage to complete all of my projects on time but it's the process and the way things are managed that drive me nuts.
There are also long periods of time where I won't be assigned anything. I'm virtual so I come into an office that has nothing to do with me and sit. Sitting and waiting has been a large majority of my duties. My work life is a bit of a roller coaster. There's a very slow incline and then I'll get a project with no information or guidance and then it's a steep drop till I reach the end...
Half the time I feel it's just me, the rest I feel that it's just this place. That is why I'm on here to get an idea of what a programmer's daily job life is like.
Do you often find yourself with no resources or feel like you're kind of just there lol... I laugh but this has been the strangest and not so funny situation I have ever been in.
I also find patterns among people, ways of thinking among management. Things seem to be severely lacking. My idea is that the grass is greener on the other side but I'd like to hear from you all to see if that truly is the case or if I just need to suck it up and enjoy it somehow.
To give you an example, I was given a C# project recently, as I have many times in the past. I'm fine programming and figuring stuff out, I enjoy it, but there are times you just want to ask someone a question.
The person that was working on this C# project is no longer with us and I just found out I'm pretty much the only one that has any experience at all with C#... So me, an entry level programmer that had hoped this position would be a great learning experience is now more of a dreaded daily nightmare...
I do my best to accept and deal with the situations at hand and try not to panic but it can be hard at times. My thing is, why does it have to be like this and is it like this everywhere?
I'm not a dumb person, all I need half the time are some simple questions answered but I can't rely at all on the group I work for and it seems like they simply expect me to be Albert Einstein or something.
Then there's the guilt I feel for not knowing or feeling like I can't complete a task that gets assigned to me and fear of failure... It's just ridiculous.
Just to elaborate on the sitting and waiting. There are times I'll be assigned something, complete it, and I don't hear from anyone about anything for days or weeks. This feels like a giant waste of my time and I know it is.
Sometimes I won't be assigned anything at all so I'll email my supervisor and just say "Hey if I can help with anything let me know" and I may or may not hear back for who knows how long. I kind of stopped doing this though because now, I kind of enjoy not having anything to work on cause it tends to be stressful when I do.
My next steps are dealing with this a bit longer and spending my free time doing some coding of my own, brushing up my skills, and finding a new job. This is another reason why I ask this question because I want to hear what I may be getting myself into.
If you've read all of this thank you and if you have anything to share please do.