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I'm afraid of asking questions when I don't know how to start a new ticket - How to get over the fear?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community7 months ago

Every time I'm assigned to a new ticket. I feel really anxious and afraid of asking questions because I don't know anything about it.

This led to procrastinating and making zero progress during 2 - 3 days.

Has someone else experienced this? How did you overcome it?



  • 6
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Dropbox
    7 months ago


    If you don't have any context on this ticket or anything to get you started, there's no way for you to finish this task. No one is gonna judge you.

    Ask around in slack channel, or book a quick sync with the domain expert on this issue, or even a quick chat with tech lead can help you get a clear clue on where to start.

  • 5
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    7 months ago

    You know what's 10x scarier than looking "silly" asking questions to figure out your team? Getting PIP-ed. And if you're spending 2-3 days spinning your wheels on every new ticket, you will frankly be at huge risk for a PIP. This is especially true as you're a mid-level engineer, and at that level, you are expected to be an extremely consistent and solid deliverer.

    Look, you're inevitably going to ask a question you probably shouldn't have asked, the kind of question where after you ask it, your teammate gives you those confused eyebrows and is thinking "You should probably know this by now". And guess what?

    That's perfectly fine.

    One of the best ways to learn is through making mistakes - The shame will force you to get better and ask better questions, doing more thorough research before putting it out there. If you ask enough of these "silly" questions, you're going to rapidly get to a point where every question you ask is genuinely enlightening and impressive.

    Take the leap of faith and trust the process. As Zoe perfectly put it: JUST ASK.

    Here's some resources around how to ask great questions as well, so you don't need to go into it #YOLO blind style: