I'm a self-taught programmer. Up until now I haven't had too much problems building things I have wanted to. Historically, given an issue, especially one I have caused I haven't had much of a problem figuring it out. This all changed about two months ago, when I was offered my first position at a company whom I became acquainted with after a pull request to a framework they use.
I relocated for the position and I really like the environment, it's a small team of about ten people, and from what I can tell they all seem to be incredibly talented. They gave me a pet project to do in which I had mostly full autonomy over. They stressed that they dont expect developers to become entirely productive and profitable until about the 3-6 month marks and that this project would help them understand where I'm at as a developer. It felt great and after a month I was put on one of their bigger projects on one of their most longstanding contracts.
After switching to this project I felt kind of overwhelmed, it is a LARGE codebase where changes are very visible to our clients clients, as it powers a number of sites. It is also a very complex codebase, while I attribute a lot of my hardship to my lack of experience it was originally a rescue project, syncs everything between two seperate frameworks and has a number of models that do thing I cannot given my experience understand, has no documentation, and a test coverage of 85%. I was originally tasked with making a few small changes, things like implementing honeybadger notifications on mail delivery failures, or rewriting minitest tests to rspec specs.
Then I was tasked with upgrading one of the frameworks that the project depends on. This has taken me an abnormally large amount of time, and I was retasked to something else until one of the senior developers comes back from holidays to act as a support system during the process. The task I was reassigned to turned out to be giving me an equally large amount of trouble.
I had a sit down with my employers and talked to them about this. They stated that it's normal given my experience and that I currently meet their expectations. However, this is the first time in my life I really could not do what I set out to in any amount of reasonable time. Is this a feeling that is shared among others, is it a normal occurrence?
What would be the expected amount of time to become acquainted wit a large codebase of say 50,000 lines? Are there any other practices that I may not know about that could help me become familiar with a codebase faster?