Can a slow engineer succeed? I think I am going to be fired

New Fqxt67
Jun 19 53 Comments

I have been working at my new company for 2.5 months now, I am currently in my 10th week. I came from a systems software job and I am doing backend work. It is an entry level position. My manager rips me apart in code reviews, which is a good thing. But I am majorly fucking up everywhere. I feel incompetent, all my coworkers so are much smarter, even the others who have joined after me know what they are doing. I generally enjoy writing software and do it as a hobby. I know I can code coming from systems software background. I just feel completely out of my element joining a different software industry and going into pure software. I studied leetcode and system design and passed the interview

I’ve been assigned tasks and a good portion of them my boss or the senior members on the team had to step in to put out the fires that I could not finish coding correctly given we have deadlines at end of Q2. I ask for help and guidance, but seems like at my new company I am expected to figure it out on my own and the entire big codebase with it. I am failing very hard and wonder if I made a mistake moving into pure software even if I got a big boost in TC.

After this week is over, I’m going on a month long unpaid vacation with my wife to Europe. I have a feeling I will be fired when I get back. I don’t know who to turn to or what to do so I am posting on blind for advice. I just feel like I made a tremendous mistake trying this new field out as failing hard despite the TC boost

YOE:6 TC:155K

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 53 Comments
  • Yeah apply for jobs
    Jun 19 0
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    Wow you got some balls to go to vacation under the circumstances. I applaud your millennialness
    Jun 19 3
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      I was unable to get a refund. Did not want to waste money but feel as if I made a mistake.
      Jun 19
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      I think you need to prioritize. Whether it’s work or a few hundred bucks and good time with wife etc. I feel that wife will understand and not give you hard time if you decide it’s work that is important. I know I’d pick work over vacation but it’s just me growing up seeing what poverty does to spirit
      Jun 19
    • Apple / Eng wambam1234
      This. There’s a cost to losing your job too and having to find a new one. It isn’t a clear price tag but weigh that against your vacation cost. Maybe then the flights will seem like something you can totally swallow.
      Jun 19
  • Yep, sounds like you’re gonna get shitcanned.

    Good news is that it’s survivable. Get a gameplan together. You’ll be fine.
    Jun 19 2
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      Do I put this experience on my resume? Coming from systems software, I wanted more TC. Could I leverage this experience at my current company before getting fired?
      Jun 19
    • Honestly I wouldn’t, anything less than 6 months isn’t mentionable. You could if you’re willing to roll the dice and say they happened to reorg right when you got there. Might work.
      Jun 19
  • Wellington Management hmm19
    Think about it this way - in a team where you’re the shittiest programmer you get a lot of opportunity to improve yourself by code reviews and hand holding. Depending on the company and the role (senior and more) beyond a point they would start expecting you to pick things up and atleast not repeat the same mistake twice. Being new to the field you would also need to spend some additional time to improve the skills in the area you currently are working. And yeah vacation at this time is definitely a bad idea! TC is not everything, improve your skills and TC would start taking care of itself beyond a point!
    Jun 19 1
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      Have been doing coursera, udemy courses to try and learn the basics. They are using Golang. But even then basics are basics. Jumping from the basics to production level code is different. I booked this vacation long back, couldn’t get refunds so I am going
      Jun 19
  • Cisco webecisco
    Everyone thinks they can be a software engineer. Not everyone can be successful at everything. People also think the big money is only in writing software. That’s just not true either. Learn as much as you can while you’re there, make a game plan, figure out what you’re good at that is more than just a hobby.
    Jun 19 7
    • Cisco webecisco
      There’s nothing wrong with average. In fact, most SWE I run into, who think theyre rock stars, suck. Sure they can solve some problems. They can’t see the bigger picture and our customers suffer because some rogue idiot pushed code that makes the company look bad. That’s the software developer that should be fired. Happens all the time in fact. The ability to get high TC does not equal talent. Also be careful with yourself. There is a fine line between being honest and being hard on yourself. Let me ask you. Are you on a PIP? Has your manager had certain conversations with you that make you think all this? Or because you are “average” and failing you are somewhat manufacturing this?” Forget what anyone says, go on vacation and come back renewed. Do your best, show you are doing your best, ask for help, coaching, don’t stop asking and learning.
      Jun 20
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      I have not received a PIP. Manager hasn’t had any conversations with me. I just think the level at where I’m currently at and the level where they want me to be at this point are so far off. I don’t even think I’m in that level or close to it.

      I am trying my best, showing I am doing my best trying to learn the system putting in extra hours. I try to ask questions as much as I can but feel like I don’t want to bother as much
      Jun 20
    • Cisco webecisco
      Realize that some may be true and some is in your head (based on my own experiences where I learned some are unfounded doubts planted in my head). Don’t feel like you are bothering people. Some of them will make you feel this way. That is their issue not yours. Head up, learn and consume as much as you can.
      Jun 20
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      So I had a talk with him today. I was quite surprised. He thinks I’m actually doing really well, for going into a new domain without much guidance or help and solving things as I don’t really have a mentor and I’m doing things by myself. He told me to go on the vacation and enjoy myself
      Jun 21
    • Cisco webecisco
      Nice. Enjoy your time off
      Jun 21
  • Snapchat Shelzough
    Looks like Amazon
    Jun 19 1
    • Amazon mfm
      Managers doing code review?? No way it's Amazon.
      Jun 19
  • Cisco kFzr25
    To make you feel better, I got 200 PR comments on my first PR request. It’s in Golang as well. I think you would be better than me 🙂
    Jun 19 6
    • Cisco kFzr25
      I did work in Golang for a year but we never followed any coding standards in my old company. over here standards were little high and I was ripped apart in PR. As someone said below pair programming helped me a lot in learning golang. If that’s not an option you have to do it hard way. Do you work in micro services development?
      Jun 19
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      I wish I could pair program, but it is not an option as the other senior engineers are remote in Seattle and NYC. Only my manager is in SF and he is the head of engineering who does technical work as well.

      I am working in micro services development, but do not have prior experience in it
      Jun 19
    • Cisco kFzr25
      Then it should be fairly easy to crack it as they almost follow same pattern, only the functionality changes. Try to understand one service others would fall in place. Get to know the design patterns used(factory design patter would be predominantly used). in golang usage of interface and go routines should be the ones you should master. Every body struggles in their new team, not all of them are stellar engineers. If you don’t repeat your mistakes more than one or two times then that’s fine. Better take your vacation and after coming back take your Manager head on 😁
      Jun 19
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      So I had a talk with him today. I was quite surprised. He thinks I’m actually doing really well, for going into a new domain without much guidance or help and solving things as I don’t really have a mentor and I’m doing things by myself. He told me to go on the vacation and enjoy myself
      Jun 21
    • Cisco kFzr25
      It seems you underestimated your abilities 🙂
      Jun 21
  • So first of all, you’re doing it right. If you’re scared, you’re on the track to success.

    I’ve felt the same way often when working on some new tech. But each time, you have to stay hungry, stay curious.

    Read and understand your codebase. Draw lots of diagrams (lots and lots of diagrams and maps) to help you understand the concepts. It comes naturally to people who’ve been building large systems for years, but if you’re new, the learning curve is immensely steep.

    The chances are that the team “expects” you to perform badly, being entry-level and all. No one hires entry-level expecting amazing results. They hope that you’ll grow and that their collective experience will mentor you.

    You’re 10 weeks into an entry-level position — so probably overreacting. If you had said 10 months, I would be worried. (That being said, explain your worries to your boss, and also explain you don’t feel good taking a vacation but can’t cancel it and feel you need the time with your wife or something.)

    Good luck. You’ll be fine. Stay hungry.
    Jun 19 3
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      I hope so. Thank you for encouragement
      Jun 20
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      So I had a talk with him today. I was quite surprised. He thinks I’m actually doing really well, for going into a new domain without much guidance or help and solving things as I don’t really have a mentor and I’m doing things by myself. He told me to go on the vacation and enjoy myself
      Jun 21
    • Awesome!!! Congratulations and enjoy your vacation :)
      Jun 21
  • Clover Health vPrI23
    Have you had a frank convo with your manager about this? If so what was their response?
    Jun 19 1
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      Not yet. Will this Friday
      Jun 19
  • Cruise Automation dammann
    Talk to your manager. If things aren't looking good then you might as well not come back at the end of the month, and knowing this beforehand will put yourself in a much better psychological place so you don't have to worry. if your manager is willing to invest in getting you to improve then you'll just have to work hard and put your trust in the team.
    Jun 19 1
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      I am planning on speaking with him this coming Friday, before I leave. I’ve had imposter syndrome... or guess I really am an imposter. But I’ve had the fear of getting fired since day 1 due to my background.
      Jun 19
  • Facebook Haggle
    Yeah I think one issue is definitely that vacation. I mean the ramp up time is rough but after a half year of good hard work you should start to be comfortable. Taking a long vacation so soon is very awkward
    Jun 19 0
  • Pivotal / Field Ops
    blonde guy

    Pivotal Field Ops

    PRE
    Oracle
    blonde guymore
    Looks like you're not setup for success in there. Ask to do pair programming with someone experienced in there to get your skills up. This will help them keep on delivering and you learning.
    Jun 19 6
    • Pivotal / Field Ops
      blonde guy

      Pivotal Field Ops

      PRE
      Oracle
      blonde guymore
      That's fine. Remote pairing takes a little more discipline, but works just fine. Setup a zoom session, share the screen and you're good to go.

      It sounds like you're supposed to be doing microservices in Go. Did you have any experience with Go or microservices before you joined?
      Jun 19
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      No I did not. I had zero experience developing web apps before this, as I was in systems software. Did some udemy courses but those are the basics.

      I did well in interview. I got a call from company a month later asking if i was still looking and was offered the job
      Jun 19
    • Pivotal / Field Ops
      blonde guy

      Pivotal Field Ops

      PRE
      Oracle
      blonde guymore
      So basically what they really needed was a unicorn as finding someone with that skillset is either extremely hard or they have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
      They can't blame you for these problems as they knew exactly what kind of person they were hiring and ripping your code apart in code reviews and expecting you to deliver within deadlines after just 2.5 months just doesn't work.
      It sounds like they have people already on the team with those skills and they need to figure out a more hands on way for you to learn from your peers.
      And btw, the fact that you're on a distributed team just makes this harder and once again, that's not your fault.
      Jun 19
    • Pivotal / Field Ops
      blonde guy

      Pivotal Field Ops

      PRE
      Oracle
      blonde guymore
      And btw, if you're able to survive this and can put Go and microservices on your resume, your value is going to increase significantly as those skills are hard to come by.
      Jun 19
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      So I had a talk with him today. I was quite surprised. He thinks I’m actually doing really well, for going into a new domain without much guidance or help and solving things as I don’t really have a mentor and I’m doing things by myself. He told me to go on the vacation and enjoy myself
      Jun 21
  • PayPal Main
    Can your wife go by herself on the vacation while you put out the fires here ? Maybe have a good conversation with the manager before you take a decision about the vacation.
    Jun 19 2
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      Will have a conversation with manager. Wife can’t go by herself and won’t
      Jun 20
    • PayPal Main
      Then your best bet is to gauge the situation before the vacation else you won’t even enjoy the hard earned vacation if this stress eats you up.
      Jun 20
  • eBay itrbScv
    A month long unpaid leave from startup, after joining for short time? Did you inform them about it before you join?
    Jun 19 2
    • New Fqxt67
      OP
      Established mid size company I would say, but team functions like a startup. Yes, I notified them beforehand during offer stage
      Jun 19
    • eBay itrbScv
      Hah.. every team says they function like startup - it doesn’t mean anything except we don’t have any documents 😂😂.
      They are just messing with new guy.. don’t play chicken
      Jun 19
  • Pinterest WvKE50
    What is systems software?
    Jun 19 1
    • Reliable Software / Eng :)(:
      I guess stuff in c or cpp. Like embedded systems maybe
      Jun 19
  • 4 weeks of vaca, wow.
    Jun 19 0
  • Oracle / Eng sofakinghi
    Care to share the company? May want to steer clear of them.
    Jun 19 0

Salary
Comparison

    Real time salary information from verified employees