Episode 351: Senior hoarding and layabout lead dev


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I’m not a software engineer, so you can stop reading here if you like ;-). I listen to this show every week as the soft skills you discuss are just as applicable to my role as an electronics engineer.

    I have 5 years of experience and in my opinion, the right level of competency to step in to a senior role. I recently started a new job and I’ve been encouraged by my boss to be more proactive in taking on senior work so I can be considered for a senior engineer promotion. The problem is, the existing senior engineers in my team are uninterested in sharing their workload with me. I will try to assist them with their senior-level tasks but it never lasts long as they will carry on with the work themselves after a short while. I’ve also been assigned senior-level tasks by my boss and when I’ve asked for small levels of assistance from the senior engineers they’ve taken it as an invitation to do the rest of the work for me.

    My boss is indifferent to my struggle as he only cares about the output of our team as a whole and not who does what. I know that I’m performing well as I was recently given a good performance review, so I don’t understand why I’m being denied these chances to step up.

    I don’t want to quit as I just started this job and the pay is good. But I also don’t want to just sit idly as a mid-level engineer while everyone I know gets promoted. What can I do?

  2. I am a junior dev and recently accepted a C2H position at a large enterprise company as a junior developer. I work closely with 3 or 4 other devs.

    Over the past couple of months, I have increasingly taken the lead on the project that I am working on, while the Lead Dev (also a C2H from a different agency) has taken a back seat and essentially stopped doing any work. The last time Lead Dev committed any code was over two months ago. Worse yet, Lead Dev is tracking time and marking tasks as “complete” in our work tracking software without actually doing those tasks. Lead Dev also approves all pull requests without reviewing the code, so I have become the de facto code reviewer for the other junior dev’s pull requests. I seem to be the main dev taking initiative on the project and trying to move work forward.

    Our manager is quite oblivious to this situation. They see that work is getting done, so have no reason to put our team under the microscope. I like Lead Dev personally, but I feel like my alacrity is being taken advantage of while Lead Dev kicks back and relaxes, and I feel like I have become a “Senior Junior” developer as a result.

    I think the “right” thing to do is to make our manager aware of the situation, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily the *correct* thing to do. If so, how I should go about doing so; if not, what else should I do? Help?

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