I’m having some difficulty at my new job as an entry level software developer. We do a lot of pair programming - usually 7 hours out of an 8 hour day. We use teamviewer with skype and there are usually between 3-5 programmers on the call. I think I have aspergers and I have social anxiety. So I do not talk very much.
I have been working at this job for 5 months. I can not do the stories that we plan out in sprint planning on my own. I need help to finish any of these. I don’t know enough about how the programs I am working on function along how things work. Because of this - I am dependent on pair programming.
I think part of the problem is that I do not get the opportunity to do very much programming so I am not getting in much practice. I would say 90% of the time I am watching other people program in these 3-5 programmer groups. The 10% of the time I am the one driving - the other programmers are telling me what to type and sometimes it feels like I am transcribing rather than programming. When I do have something I can work on without much help, the other programmers observing get bored and have side conversations. Along with the other people talking around my cubicle it makes it difficult to concentrate, along with the pressure and stress of having other people watch you code.
I might learn better if I could get a programming assignment to work on my own that was within my reach. Than I could stop to think about things, navigate through the code, digest the concepts, and go through the process of figuring it out. I think that would help me learn. There is not much time for any of that when you have other people waiting on you in pair programming.
I have a difficult time speaking up and asking questions. I do not know where to go from here. I’m stuck pair programming with the work that we have to do because of my inexperience and that is sort of the way it is done there. I don’t feel like I am picking up experience because I’m watching other people program the vast majority of the time. Sort of a catch-22. I have enough difficulty just working full time due to my autism.
One of the reasons this job works for me is because I can live with my parents and commute to work. I think I would have difficulty trying to live on my own. There is not much other opportunity within commuting distance.
I could say a lot more but I don’t want this post to get too long to read. Thanks for reading.