Discussion on: Have you ever worked with an engineer who never leveled up?

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Denis Nuțiu

At my first job I felt the same for almost one year.

I was a junior developer, passed interview and got to work on a massive embedded Linux C project, over 2 million lines of code. The project was also in maintenance, with very few features being added.

My first 3 months were spend writing unit-tests, but management didn't care about the tests or if they were written correctly or not, code reviewers (which were more seasoned developers) didn't care either, all they wanted was to raise the code coverage so they could have a nice tests report, the higher the better...

After finishing with the unit tests I got some dev tasks, extremely boring and unsatisfying. Half of the time I'd triage tickets to send them to another team to fix, and the other half I'd look at a file of 800MB of logs, with very little time spend doing coding. Imagine that you've never saw the code that handles Bluetooth and you get a task complaining that some random phone brand from china can't connect to the device via Bluetooth, all you had was your code and a huge log file.
This has been going for about one year.

Luckily, I got moved in a different team and this is where I got my first promotion from Intern to Software Developer 1. I've began to work closely with a brilliant senior developer. The component on which we've worked did well and got signed off, although the project didn't and in the end It failed.
I left the company about 5 months before the project was announced a failure and right before I left I got promoted to Software Developer 2 for some reason.

Now, I still have friends working at that company, they aren't very passionate about coding and they spend most of the time doing "unit tests" to raise the code coverage. From my perspective I don't think they will evolve if they just come to work, do the tasks and go home. You have to do something extra to improve your skills if your job doesn't challenge you, or else you fall behind.

I think the best thing management can do is to pair a senior developer with a junior developer.