My boss tells me to work at home

Dec 18, 2021
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I am a very fresh junior web developer. I got out of school earlier this year. I've been studying web development.

I am currently at my first job. I have been here for 4 months now.
The company I work for is a very small company. We used to be 4 developers, now we are only 3.

The problem I have here is that my superiors are dissatisfied with me.
Because they expected alot more of me, they said that within 6 months, they expect me to just get a project and do it pretty much all alone. Now I need alot of help. And to get a project and simply just do it, probably wont happend within the next 2 months.

I believe that they expect the skills of an experienced developer, from a newly graduated one.
I cant do more than what I am physcally capable of doing.
I understand that this is a small company, every penny is worth alot. And when 1 of 3 developers doesnt provide as much money, it starts to fall down. I totally understand that. But why hire a unexperienced junior developer if that is the case? My guess would be to save money with low saleries.

But on top of that, they say things like I really have to start coding in my free time. Sure I have some projects that I want to do, and I will do it once I get more experience.
They ask me to get the project from work and pretty much work in my free time.
They want me to push to unhealty work hours, I feel like they dont really care for my mental health as long as I start providing money to the company.

I qoute one thing my boss said to me which really gave me anxiety
"What do you really do? You are single, you have no family. What else do you have to do? You need to spend ALL of your free time on this, in order to get good. Maybe you have thoughts of leaving this place after 2 years and think you have learned all that you need. But I tell you know, it will not happend, it will NOT happend... if you keep doing what youre doing" (Not working on my free time)
And I dont believe that a developer need to spend all of their time on programming to get good.
I mean.. I spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. How does the little free time I have left, help me become good? I dont understand that logic.

To say those things in a bad manner to their employee, is if you ask me, just bad leadership. Not very motivational at all either.

I dont believe that the amount of hours you spend every day is the key, I think the key is to be frequent about it. I mean, their are studies saying that if you study too much, you will just forget about most of it because your brain simply cant process all of it.
But to do it shorter periods of time, but more frequently, helps alot more with learning.
Maybe I am a slow learner, maybe a late bloomer?
But I am here to ask you, is this how it should be?
Is this right?
I think it is like this because.. well, its a small company, they need money, it is more important than their employees mental health.

Please, give me some advice. What should I do?


Mar 3, 2021
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Yeah, get outta there quick.

If you want a project to "just get done," done well, and by one person, you're looking for a senior dev. And even that code should be designed and reviewed by at least one other. They're just too cheap to pay for one. They're looking for the one-in-a-hundred that has been coding in their free time since they were a kid that is worth more than entry level but they can still (unfairly) pay entry level salary.

Family and other obligations or not, telling people to work in their free time is wrong and dumb and, as you said, often counterproductive. And, frankly, they can't make you. "Bad leadership" is putting it mildly. But, it doesn't sound like your time at the company is gonna last too long either way.

I will say, though, that coding in your free time is likely to actually help, but only do it if you actually enjoy it as a hobby. The risk of burning out and not wanting to code even at work is pretty high. But, it can build a lot of the muscle memory and you can get experience in fields other than the ones used at the office.

You're likely not a slow learner or late bloomer. You're just out of school. It wouldn't surprise me if you had less than a couple hundred hours of coding under your belt by then. Keep at it and ask good questions and you'll never stop learning and you'll never stop getting better.

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