My dilemma

  • I apologize if I am posting this in an incorrect spot, but I am facing a dilemma and I want/need advice. the people who frequent this site seem to be not only generally intelligent but also brutally honest and I think that is what I need right now.

    I moved across the country 6 weeks ago for what had always been in my mind a "dream job". I have almost completed my fifth week here and am still finding myself with no real work to do when I come in every day.

    The first project I was assigned was to assist another developer with a web-based application where he is insisting on doing all of the back end work. I have completed the front end work I was asked to do and am to a point where I am waiting for him to complete the back end work so I can properly test what I have done. Unfortunately, he has been out of town for two weeks (including this one) of the time I have been here for.

    When I first mentioned that I didn't have anything to work on, I was sent to another developer who had a list of enhancements he needed to make to an existing application. I had three one-hour sessions with him to get familiar with the application. After the last of these, he gave me the list of enhancements. He then told me that he was going out of town and he didn't want me to start on any of these until he got back. Unfortunately, he is going to be gone for SIX WEEKS.

    So, again I mention that I do not have anything to work on. My third project I get assigned to is in it's planning stages. I am told by the primary developer that he has to figure out exactly what the requirements are before he can decide what to have me work on. I ask how I can help. He tells me to just be patient and he will get the information. That was two days ago.

    I am at a loss. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I am no "seasoned veteran" developer but I am no hack right out of college either. I have been here for 5 weeks and I have basically written code for a single webpage. 

    Any advice? 


  • I have no suggestions, other than this:  See if you can get permission from your superiors to shop yourself around to other managers in your department.  If you get work that way, you'll become familiar with more code all around the department and could quickly become a very valuable member of many teams.  That has its ups and downs, though.

    This is the correct place for this kind of discussion.

  •  I don't understand why your workplace allows developers to tell other developers not to work on something until they come back 6 weeks from now.  However, I think as you make your place there and people start to trust you and know that you are a good programmer it will get better.

  • Sounds like my place.  I don't have any helpful advice other than to keep asking for more work, and maybe tactfully tell your boss how each developer keeps putting you on hold.  (Just in case it looks like you're dropping the ball on the assigned tasks.)  This is a really hard environment to work in because sure as sh*t, all of those tasks are going to become "un-held" at the same time and people will be pounding on you to get them all done at once.  BTDT a jillion times.  It sounds like management is not scheduling the labor tasks but leaving it entirely up to the developers.

  • My personal experience is that I always have a hard time getting enough work to do in the first few weeks I'm on a new job. Five weeks is a bit extreme, however. My advice is to keep asking nicely for more work. I'm sure it will get better soon.


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