Anyone else walked out on a junior dev job?

I worked hard to get my first dev job in the second half of 2016 and was happy to land a junior position at the very start of 2017 so I’m incredibly surprised to find myself handing in my notice 18 months later.

The position was always more of a full stack/PHP based role than I was looking for but I felt like I could learn this over time. However, while my JavaScript improved a lot I never really progressed on the PHP front, muddling through backend work when needed. Recently I felt like I was being asked to complete tasks I have no experience of without any training being given, then receiving non-constructive criticism when I failed.

When one of the devs above me quit (with a lot of his workload coming my way) I considered following him out of the company only for my mind to be made up some weeks later after being asked to deploy a site to a server (something I’ve never really done before) and then criticised when unable to do it.

So now I’m back where I was in 2016, facing unemployment, unsure that I will be able to get a reference from this company and uncertain that I will be able to get another dev job. Has anyone else been in this position? Can you offer any advice? Am I completely insane?

I’ve had other work experiences in tech, not in development, but this should be transferable

You mentioned that your JavaScript improved but the role was increasingly PHP/deployment based outside your scope. This isn’t a slight when looking for work. It means you know your abilities and will be looking for mentors or like-minded fellow developers in a new role.
You can express that’s it’s too bad it didn’t work out but it showed you the importance of management to have a little bit of technical expertise so you don’t have to be put into that position ever again. Companies that don’t hear this aren’t going to be worth working for so this makes your next gig a happier place for you by default and not something to apologize for.

Hope that helps

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You should have not quit and stuck with it. Sorry, but that’s my personal take on this. Never ever quit just because you don’t know something.

What are you going to do if on your next new job the client or your boss asked you to do something where you only know 50% of it? You’re gonna quit again?

As a developer, we will always get handed tasks/jobs/clients where we don’t know 100% everything about it. It’s not the role of the company, or the client to train you. (and if a company offers training, then good for them, but that’s just extra icing on the cake).

A company isn’t a school. School time is over. You want additional training and experience, you seek that out for yourself and do it in your own time. If you need to pay out of pocket to buy some Udemy course or whatever, you do it. If you need to go to a bookstore to buy a book, you do it.

You’ve been there 18 months? Man, you should have known how to do this by now. Either you’ve seen others do it, or you’ve asked others “hey show me we do this deployment thingy” Or you hit Google and research about it. If you haven’t deployed anything even once in that 18months, either the other developers kept this a secret from you, or you just were concerned about the task given to you and weren’t curious about this aspect, or you have the “not my job” mentality.

I’m a solo freelancer, 100% this is my job, and been doing this for 18+ yrs now. If a client asks me for a new feature, a new website that does this and that … my automatic answer is a confident “Sure, no problem!” It doesn’t matter if I know only 50% or 80% of the stuff I need to do what they’re asking… I’ll go research and learn the other stuff I don’t know how to do. I’ll buy books, buy udemy courses, ask on forums, research the hell out of google. But I will learn it. Failure is not an option. – as a developer, you need to be resourceful, and know how to learn what you dont know.

It’s okay to be nervous doing something new, or learning something new and there’s big pressure to perform or deliver. But one thing you shouldn’t do is quit. Let the boss/client fire you if they’re not happy with your delivery or performance… but don’t quit. Never say quit.


Is it so strange not to have deployed anything in 18 months? Sure I’ve pushed code to live plenty of times (or clicked ‘build’ in Jenkins or whatever) but in my time at this company I have exclusively worked on maintaining existing sites, in fact I’m not sure I can think of more than one or two instances in which a new site has been deployed by anyone in my office in this time.

Thanks for the lengthy reply anyway, I think you’ve got the wrong idea about my situation but I probably failed to express it well enough. I’m not sure that clinging on to the point of being fired would have been the right option for anyone, especially in a country where firing someone based on performance is just about impossible but I take your points.