After college I worked at one company for 6 months, and I've just now joined another one, bringing the grand total in my career so far to two.
So the first company had a few hundred thousand lines of code, maybe, across a couple hundred files. There was absolutely no introduction to where to start learning the organization of the code base...just, "Here, go find the source of this bug."
It was horrifically intimidating. I did slowly start to find my way around the front end, but 6 months in I was only just starting to be introduced to the server-side code. I was really happy to leave the company...I was relatively terrified of trying to find my way around the back end, which was by far the larger part of the code.
(I'm a front end developer whose work occasionally requires me to make minor modifications to the back end.)
But this new company...it's a big one, focused around a website...think Amazon. 2000 employees. I would estimate millions of lines of code but there's no way for me to know for sure. One of my coworkers showed me a 3-dimensional graph of the file dependencies...I almost fainted. It looked like this:
The coworker was chuckling fondly as he rotated it and zoomed around.
Yet again, there is no guide, no introduction, just....here you go, get coding.
I am horrified and very stressed. The job seems great in every way besides this, and I am quickly starting to worry that I am not competent as I seem to be the only person who finds this intimidating.
What are other people's experience with this scenario? Is it just me? What have you done in the past? How long does it take you to get a firm grasp on things? I have asked my coworkers this question and they said "a couple weeks." A couple weeks to learn a thousand plus files, hundreds or thousands of lines long each? Am I incompetent? Just say it.