Episode 221: Current boss reference and getting paid to do nothing


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. I’m in the process of quitting my job. I’ve been a developer here for a few years and made amazing friends. I love the people here but I am looking for a new challenge and a pay increase.

    I was discussing my references for the new role with my partner and she said I should ask my current manager. I stopped hard in my tracks and said “absolutely not.” She works in healthcare and said she wouldn’t get a job unless her old manager gave a good reference. I dismissed this as not applying to software engineering. But the thought has stayed with me.

    Would use your current manager as a reference? Am I wrong to not do this? At what point do you tell your current manager your looking to leave?

    My manager does not know anything yet and I thought it would be “mean” to tell him I’m leaving and also ask for a reference. I do believe he would give a good reference though.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. Hey guys,

    Should I stay at a job where I get paid to do nothing?

    I took a new job as a data scientist a few months ago and since COVID-19 blew up I have had absolutely nothing to do at my job. I’m supposed to be working remotely but our team doesn’t get a lot of business and we’re mostly keeping a facade of being busy with “internal projects” and “training”. This was nice for the first few weeks but at this point I’m concerned about my career development.

    Also, the job is more business-oriented than I expected while I would rather focus on building things. I would like my next job to be a machine learning engineer or a software developer role in some other domain. I’m worried that my “hard” engineering skills are deteriorating with every passing week.

    All of this is made more difficult by the disturbed job market at the moment and the fact that if I stay at my role for another 7 months, I will receive a sizeable retention payment.

    What should I do?

    I love the podcast. Keep up the great work.

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