Joined another big tech company as sde2, being put to dev plan for underperforming.
The company I'm in is toxic I can admit and I get nearly no help at all. I go to ask people for some domain knowledge, they tell my manager I didn't dive deep (Leadership principle), and so on. I never said anything bad about other people and even helped new ng hires to debug their code several times per month without telling my manager.
In an environment like this, is there any way to survive? How do people generally improve their ability to figure out things themself?
I'm planning to change jobs. Any advice I can follow?
sometimes, leaving is the only fix. My last company, in over a 2 year span, my so-called manager only gave me about 2 total hours of his time. The one expert on the whole project (wrote it from scratch decade+ ago) was helpful but we were supposed to minimize asking him stuff, and asking anyone else anything was a brick wall. As a work from home guy, across the country from the core team that had been together for years, they interacted at the office but I was all but ignored when they forced me to visit twice a year for their social stuff. Top it all off they had requirements chaos, asking for stuff and when you gave it to them, didn't want it after or didn't realize how it affected other stuff and so on. Once every quarter my 'manager' would go out of his way to give me 5 min to tell me everything is fine, keep doing what you do... then out of the blue I am underperforming and terrible etc and let go for no discernable reason other than that I was remote, easy to cut me loose without losing one of their buddies. I knew it was coming, they were stirring all the pots and I didn't have the social defenses nor the tenure to be safe, but it was still insulting to be treated this way.
All you can do is move on... sooner rather than later. But just note that finding something better is a crapshoot. Big companies you are just a number and worse, probably a D&I label as well while small companies you will be the odd guy out, sometimes for many years or until several more new people come along. Big and small both have problems and finding a team, company, and product you can work on and enjoy being with them and working on their stuff is a rare blessing.
Before I provide my answer of how I improve my programming skills over the years I must mention I am not now nor ever been a professional programmer. I am first and foremost a self-taught programming hobbyist. Have been since before C++98 was formalized. Any code I write is for personal satisfaction and enlightenment.
Now, onto the question and my answer.
How do I improve my programming skills over the years?
1. By reading online and purchased book resources. Not just a particular language, but also "how to" resources.
2. Code, code and more coding.
Because I am self-taught what I don't know is quite a lot. I don't need the breadth and depth knowledge for work purposes. I learn what interests me. So I don't need to know all the nooks and crannies of what C/C++/WinAPI has to offer, I know what I need to accomplish past and current interests.
Before I became forcibly "retired" due to disabilities I have worked in toxic work environments. But not for long. A couple I was fired from, the rest I walked away without looking back.
From a personal standpoint walking away is better than being fired. Walking away didn't provide a work related resume reference. The positions I was fired from were negative references.
If you find working such a burden you should consider moving on, looking for new employment before you walk away. Should a prospective employer ask why you want to leave your current position tell them you want an opportunity for better career growth. Turn a negative into a positive that tells the HR people you are an asset that needs to be hired.
Just remember no matter where you go you will be dealing with some people who are toxic even in the best company environment. Accentuate the positives, downplay the negatives. After all you are in charge of how you react to others, they aren't.