1 month ago for day 43, 2020 with 524 words.


Sometimes I find it hard to be properly recognized for my work. It's not that I'm being paid unfairly or my accomplishments are being ignored by the higher-ups, but a lot of people who work in the same industry and similar roles seem to have a different value system when it comes to attributing accomplishments.

I'm helping a new team member onboard and a lot of my time is spent unblocking them. Finding tickets they can work on. Including them in conversations. Checking in to make sure that they are busy enough and have the space to learn. And the more I do that, the less I have time for more technical tasks, which means I get less experience with them, and my skills are not as developed.

There is only so much work I can do during the day and it sometimes feels uncomfortable when I give away a thing I already figured out how to do for someone else to finish off. That my name is not visible in my contributions and the only way to get recognition is being thanked by my colleagues who understand the cost of supporting them.

My company has decided to start using a tool for checking how many commits, pull requests, code reviews and other quantitatively measured activities each of the engineers works on. While I agree with the need to make data-driven decisions, I also feel somewhat uncomfortable, given I have a history of contributions more focused on the "soft" skills that don't translate that easily into statistics. And that the colleague I'm unblocking or pairing with is going to have more contributions under their belt, even if they wouldn't get there without my support.

I wonder what's a good balance between supporting others and my career growth. For the past few weeks, I've mostly been in support mode, taking over less important tasks to help the team move forward. As their timelines keep slipping, I'm starting to feel like this is a never-ending story of me extending the support week after week, with no time to focus and make sure I get opportunities to code.

Today I had an especially bad interaction that made me question my technical skills. I've been debugging a confusing issue in an app with someone and while they were away for a bit, asked two other co-workers to be my rubber-ducks. One of them kept bringing up their own ideas and researching on the side to solve the problem, without thinking about my need for support. It seemed more important to them to solve something and be the first to publicly post about it, than to support their team mate.

I know the Canadian way of looking at it is assuming positive intent, but I can't help thinking they did it to boost their presence on the team. And while my position is not in any way hurt by that, I miss the fact that they didn't make sure the work I put into solving the problem got recognized, instead of posting what amounts to a "first!!!oneneoene!" comment under a YouTube video.


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By Alicja

drawsplainer, ukulele player, immigrant

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