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Advice for Feeling recognized in the team, while switching domain (e.g. C++ to python)

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Senior Software Engineer at Taro Communitya month ago

Hi Everyone,

I am a senior software engineer in my company. We are an R&D company who work for the retail industry. I work in the Computer Vision and systems area.

I joined this company as a senior software engineer. Initially, the project that I was hired for had C++ work but that project was scrapped and we worked on a new product where everything was Python and lots of DevOps tools.

Now the problem that I am facing is all my colleagues who are software engineers know a lot about Python and these tools. I have never used them so far. For me, it was exciting that I was using these new tools which were very necessary in the current industry but I was anyways slow and my code quality and the way I designed things never matched the team's ways of things. I know everybody says that the fundamental principles are the same but I found there are some pythonic ways which are way better than a person who is learning it. Additionally, I was a Senior Engineer, so the manager and lead always came to me and said that they expected more from me. I was not contributing enough.

I feel it is normal to expect things from me as I am a senior. The main problem that I face is I don't feel myself important to the team. Most of the development or coding is done by the rest of the team. I even see they are given more design and senior role work too. I am given very small things. Honestly, even I don't know if I will be able to work on designing systems using these technologies. It affects my confidence and so I am never confident in my work, I have a constant fear that I can lose my job anytime. I don't feel proud of my work anymore now. I have learnt the new tools from last 1 year but I am unable to lead the team in any direction. There are some new concepts in Computer Vision world now like Embeddings which is completely new to me I am struggling to catch up on anything.

Our product is going live very soon, so the issues and pressure have started to grow. I am not even able to build any relationships with the real stakeholders in the team. They all love my other teammates and thus keep giving them work. Whenever I try to talk to them about any issues I do not get any encouraging reply, it feels like I am giving very basic suggestions.

Can anyone advise me on how to handle and perform well in the team and above all feel recognized in the team and organization? I am pretty sure many people here would have changed technology and should have faced similar situations , many would have recovered from this situation.

I always have very high standards for myself and have always been recognized as so in my previous companies. Lately, I feel I am not feeling very proud about my work, and I feel that is the main issue. I need some advice to improve in my field and in a consistent way.

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Discussion

(2 comments)
  • 0
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    Fractional CTO, Board Advisor, & VC Tech Advisor
    a month ago

    Do you do anything outside of the job role to bring yourself up to speed with the new technology? There's a couple things I'd consider:

    1. Do you get a consistent push of other work minimally to keep you busy besides tech work? Adjusting into a leadership career now is not necessarily a bad move.
    2. Your coworkers having style guidelines and everything is ok, but have you poked around with anyone else and asked how you can contribute more? You don't know how they want you to react if you don't ask them.
  • 2
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    I don't want to alarm you, but I also don't want to sugar coat anything: I think you may be at risk for a PIP.

    As you have mentioned in your post, a senior engineer is expected to work on big problems, ship quality work, and lead. It seems like you're not getting much of that in your team. You should have an honest conversation with your manager ASAP about your current performance and how you're trending. Check out this video here: How To Work With Your Manager To Get The Performance Review Rating You Want

    If you have more time, you should watch the entire masterclass the above video is clipped from: [Masterclass] How To Work Better With Your Engineering Manager

    When it comes to learning a new tech stack, check out the following thread and follow the attached resources as much as you can: "What is the effective way to understand new repository in order to make the required changes in that repo?"