My background: Computer Science Engineer with around 4 and half years of experience as a programmer.
In the last one year I have changed 4 programming jobs and it includes companies of size both big and small and both product and service based and in the end I have quit all four jobs. The following are some common issues that I face and how can I improve my situation in the next job?
Experienced programmers are expected to get on board and start implementing features even when I haven't fully seen how many classes are in play. Of course I do understand being experienced I cant take a long time to get hold of the project but literally asked in the first few weeks to start giving status updates.
Project managers almost always say or at least claim that they have been coders from a different technology sending out 2 messages at the same time. One being that they too have done programming in the past and second one that they cannot really help me out with the current project's technical problems.
The big challenge the project is currently going through is directly thrown at the new comer. Although new comer is not expected to solve it straight off but at least is expected to give plausible solution which the original team is struggling with for I don't know how long.
Programming is treated as though people just have solutions right off the head and the fact that almost everything in software development needs lot of research is completely ignored.
One more major common observation is that every project is somehow complex in its design and the code is slightly messy to begin with . If it is pointed out that the project needs redesign and cannot continue like a POC, it is often perceived by managers as though I am an incapable resource when design change was a must for the survival of the software itself . Most managers are simply not interested in hearing No as an answer for anything and they just want some hacking done so that they can report progress to their senior management.
Overall I found that all the four jobs felt like the same sweat shop with different people with almost the same kind of complexity and stress. While talking to other team mates about the way I feel, they tell me that's just the way it is and we have to put up with it.
I was looking forward for some suggestions on how I can improve my current situation and also if changing career path to management might help?