Hi guys, my name is Anna and I wanted to get some career advice for my situation.
In early 2019 I’ve decided to quit my non-programming job and teach myself coding. In December 2019 i got my first job as a junior web developer. At that point I’ve learned: HTML, CSS, Java Script and React.js.
Whats important to mention is that since the company is relatively small (12 people) I was only the second developer to join. The other colleague is obviously far more senior than me and has been coding for 7+ years (although this current job of 2 years is his first commercial experience too).
When I joined I was assigned with a task to build a company’s app in React Native. I totally loved it, although it was quite a task for a junior person like me! App was finished 6 months later (I’ve build the whole interface and in-app logic and my colleague added the current backend to it). Things were going great and I felt as if I finally got my dream job!
Then shortly after my company hired a new person for UX design. Ever since, my role changed to fit HER needs. My new colleague (also self-taught and this is her first job too) is creating prototypes with the specs up to each pixel and the exact colour tint. I used to enjoy front-end side of things as I am quite a creative person. However, she sends me images with red lines all over (specifying literally each element’s margin-left, padding-right and what not) and wouldn’t accept any other design suggestions. I spend my days transferring it to code. She also constantly changes her designs once i’ve already coded everything. I tried to explain that it’s not very helpful but she doesn’t seem to understand and starts arguing that ‘it’s only a small change!’
Another issue is that my senior colleague has a freelancer mentality where he is a one man team (he actually does freelancing at the same time too) and we literally have no project management in place. All projects are getting handed to me (by that i mean the ux person sends me images via slack), then I build everything and then I have to prepare a doc with screenshots and examples for our senior dev if there are any backend tasks or advanced functionality on front-end. Also if other people found some bugs once I submitted the project, they report them to me and expect me to prepare a clear guide for him so that he can fix it. I feel that it’s quite unfair as its seems like these are my personal projects and he doesn’t work at the same company? Not to mention some mean comments he makes if he is in a bad mood (eg he once told me that i should’t be coding at all because i didn’t understand one bit of code and asked him to explain it). While I was building the app he constantly was being negative, saying how it’s rubbish and not going to work (in front of the bosses) without providing any concrete examples or guidance when I was asking what does he mean by that. Sometimes he wouldn’t reply to me at all (on slack). Important to note that I barely ask him any questions so I am not pestering him at all!! As a self taught person, I use all possible resources until i even dare to ask him something!
Right now I spend my whole free time learning Node.js so I can continue picking up new skills (at least outside of work!). I would like to learn backend and transfer to a more full stack role eventually.
Worth to mention that my boss gave me a lot of praise during the last performance review and generally seems to be very happy with my current role. The bosses are typical business people though, so they know nothing about coding.
I feel like instead of growing in my career everyday, I went a whole level down since the UX person joined. I also feel like I am a freelancer myself and I don’t have anyone to ask for help…
So my questions are the following. What tasks, realistically, should I be getting as a junior web dev (considering the size of my company) and are they similar to what I am getting right now? Am I right to expect some help from the senior developer? Shouldn’t I be getting a bit more guidance? Is it right that projects assigned to me directly and I have to prepare tasks for him with a comprehensive explanation (e.g. screenshots and all)?
I would like to have a perspective of someone from the outside as I am planning to bring this issue with my boss soon.
Apologies for any errors (not a native speaker!)