Hello everyone. Brace yourself for a wall of text.
I work at a corporation that works in manufacturing and at our corporate office there is a small team of software developers that build and manage a suite of 20 or so custom built applications. I started working with this company about five years ago. I had just finished college and getting work was hard at the time so I took a job as a clerk at one of our company’s divisions. As time passed I was officially hired and I then worked in multiple departments over the next four years (Project Management, Purchasing, and IT) I was a jack of all trades and I tried to learn everything I could about the departments I worked in. Working with computers had always been a hobby of mine. I’m a PC gamer at heart so I toyed with my computer at home pretty often, so it was natural for me to take over as System Admin when the previous one left. I went back to school and finished a two year degree in Network Management so I would have some basic education in hardware, software, and everything else associated with managing the network. That year and a half of being the System Admin was awesome. The location I worked at contained an office along with a steel fabrication plant, so one day I might be removing a virus on Jane Doe’s computer and the next I would be installing Wifi access points in the roof of the paint shop. Every day was different and I really enjoyed it. So a year ago I was offered a job at our Corporate office to help with the rewrite of all of our current software, and of course to stay on and support the software we produced. It is a big deal to be asked to moved to our corporate office in this company. The old software was written with Visual Fox Pro and they wanted to update to C# since FoxPro was no longer supported by Microsoft.
So anyway, I was basically shoved in an empty office and told to teach myself C # and start development on a piece of inventory software that I had used in the past. It was difficult because I had never really written code before. Sure I had built websites with HTML/CSS but this was a different ball game. The other developer working with me was a few months ahead, but he was also learning C # ( He has 15 years experience in FoxPro, and he helped write the previous incarnations of our software). So, getting any assistance was always a gamble with my co-worker. Regardless, I finished my first piece of software within a few months and after running it through beta testing I finally polished it off and released it. I was then assigned the project that I am currently on now. It is an estimating program used to price fabrication projects. I have never worked in that department before so I was having to write while using the old code that I could barely understand as a reference.
Anyway long story short, I have become deeply depressed and anxious because I can’t seem to get this project moving. I feel like a total fraud because I can’t program like the other developers. Coding isn’t fluent for me yet, I normally work off previously created work in order to understand what the code is doing so I can replicate it. But the problem is that this project has components in it that none of the other developers have dealt with yet, and I’ve had problems finding the right solutions online. This program has 10X the SQL tables of my first program and it’s a piece of software I have no experience in. My first program I was able to write by using my own experiences with it. I knew what needed to be improved and what needed to stay the same. With this project I am so lost.
It does not help that I hate asking questions. I feel like an idiot if I have to ask the other devs anything, but if I don’t then I get bogged down for weeks. Every time I hear someone talking to my boss in the office next door I am terrified they are talking about me, about my lack of work. I have developed substantial paranoia that rears its heads every day I go to work. I’ve always been told that I am smart, and that coding will be easy for me, but in this case I am failing. It’s not like I don’t like coding, but I feel like I was given a project I was not ready to handle.
My due date for my project is coming up and I am in a blind panic. I’m terrified of being fired. I’ve been seeing a therapist for two months but I am more anxious and depressed than ever before. I am so afraid to let my boss know that I am so far behind; I feel frozen. I want to belong here, and feel like I am good at my job again. I know from reading some of you guy’s stories that some of you have felt this way before. Please give me any advise you can because I’m desperate.