I have recently started work at a company using their proprietary CMS. Unfortunately, there is virtually no documentation for the application, and the source comments are also quite sparse.
Normally, given a particular task - I work down through the choices below, going to the next step if I can't find a solution
1: Consult the documentation (n/a) on how to do task X (i.e. create a page)
2: Read the source code - output variables - generally halt search after digging 4 or 5 steps into class/method chain
3: Ask the existing development team how they might achieve X in their application
4: Read the (uncommented) source again - go "rabbit hunting" - pursue each chain to completion
5: Make tea
On the one hand, my employer is looking for technical capability. On the other, they are looking for speed of execution. They are averse to me asking the other developer for assistance (despite the lack of documentation), yet seem surprised when I've then had to spend an hour (or two) rabbit hunting through their application for the origin of variable or method X. Bear in mind that I've been employed as an intermediate developer.
So, I wanted to get an outside perspective, is my process of elimination unreasonable? I can't imagine anyone writing a Zend Framework app without the documentation (and sometimes they struggle despite that...) - so working on some proprietary app with none is proving somewhat tricky.