How I got stuck

About the job

It’s been a while since I posted something online. In fact, I have not posted anything for about  6 months now, and the reason is quite simple. I got a little bit stuck, overwhelmed by a few possible choices, unable to make my final decision, and move on. Almost a year ago, I decided to take a leap of faith, leave a banking job that was no longer fulfilling to me and start working on getting into software development. And that journey went very well for me, almost like a real American dream. 

Sometimes, dreams just come true

After just a few months on the job, can keep up with the rest of the team. I am able to come up with possible solutions for the feature we are about to implement and then translate my thoughts into the code. And that is the core essence of software development after all. So far so good. 

Along my journey to become a software developer, I used to write blog posts quite regularly. About the joy and struggles of learning how to code. About the fears and excitements connected to my first job interviews. Then I stopped – I don’t know exactly why – might be that I felt like I was bragging. I was a little bit ashamed of how things went well for me. Of course, I had to work hard to get where I am, but the feeling that I was a little too lucky was simply there. 

ITNOOB.CZ reborn

After some time I decided that I should resume my blog writing attempts. I have realized that I miss it all quite a lot. And I could no longer excuse myself with the initial load of stuff for the job itself… but, after that, I realized I might want to start writing it in English so that I am not narrowing my audience only to the Czech republic. Also if I’m thinking long term, it makes sense, as I expect more technical content to leak into my posts. Well, my English is far from perfect, but it is slowly and steadily improving with every month on the job, so after some more hesitation I decided I will write this blog in English from now on. 

And it might be a bit ridiculous sometimes, sometimes it might be a bit heavy, but hey, nobody has started with anything immediately perfect. 

Our whole life is about continuously pushing our boundaries forward, getting out of our comfort zone, and getting better at stuff. Or at least it should be if you don’t want to be drawn into routine and everyday grey. 

So, welcome reborn. I decided not to change the name and domain of the blog because I actually still find it accurate. I am a newbie. And I will always be a newbie at something, as I decided to embark on the road of never-ending learning and improvement. 

Continuous improvement and my first months

In fact, the idea of continuous improvement is one of the values of 3pillarglobal, my employer, but that would be a topic for some other time. 

Today I want to talk about the importance of working with the right people. When I joined the company, I heard multiple times that they are choosing the people they want in their teams very carefully, because they are building a company that is supposed to work as a sort of a big family. And I immediately thought – bullshit. But hey – our managers are true leaders, my colleagues are all really supportive and fun to work with. And real professionals. 

The first month on the job was really harsh – And I could not make it without all the great people around me. To be honest, I really did not feel very comfortable during my first few days on the job. I was afraid of prejudice. I was afraid that those “real” programmers would look at me and think I am a total impostor etc. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Everybody was just very supportive, professional, and welcoming. 

When you are a junior dev, with just very limited commercial experience in software development, it is super important to find a company where people have enough time for you. To join a company that is ready to invest in you. And you should be prepared for the fact that you will give something back one day. And it might be not only that you will do a good job, but also those extra things you can do. There is a superb article by Daria Grudzien called The one about managing self as a junior. 

The subtitle of this article is “Or how to lower the load on your team”. That was exactly what I strived for – to be able to work independently as soon as possible, but at the same time know when to shout for help and not waste time. And I recommend every junior dev to read it. I had read it before I joined the team and I did the same now –  a few months later. If anything then I consider the article even more valuable. 

Let’s get back to people

When you start at our company as a fresh employee, being junior or senior, you always get a buddy. Someone – usually other dev – who will help you through your first days and weeks to get up to speed and get familiar with the project, our processes, and anything you can imagine. 

For me it was Ivo Horak – and I would like to thank him a lot – as he did an excellent job. And looking back, I must admit one scenario. He likely accelerated my development as a software engineer maybe by months. 

And that start was funny, I even remember that one time he wrote in a review of my code comment:

“Is this a joke?”

…He was messing with me a little bit, in a good way, don’t get me wrong – Ivo is a total professional. The point was that I added some method for a new protobuf message we added to our codebase, and there were like 20 similar ones already – all with parameters boolean b, string s. So, I did it the same way. And Ivo challenged that and asked me a question I will always remember – Was something like:

“So, if you see that someone wrote something 20 times, will you just blindly copy it? Or will you think about the way you would write it? And you should ask yourself – Am I copy-pasting code, that has some quality or not?”

Hey, thanks to you Ivo! I will remember this and many other lessons you gave me! 

So how am I doing?

I think that generally speaking, I am doing well, considering I haven’t been in the business of developing software that long. And I think one of the reasons is, that from the beginning I think a lot about the quality – of work, of code, of the way we are doing things. I identify myself with the opinions and ideas of people like Robert C. Martin. But let’s dive into that area some other time in maybe a little bit deeper and concise article. 

What will come next?

The beginning and the ending are the most important parts of every story, blog post included. This one was a little bit chaotic, I know, but a lot has happened in the last few months and I did want to give you a slight idea at least. 

Next weeks and months I will write more about the way we work, about the things I enjoy doing as a software developer in 3pillarglobal. And also some of my fuckups, because don’t believe that my way is a narrow straight success street 🙂 

See ya later, looking forward to hearing from you – any feedback is welcome, just leave me a comment or message me on LinkedIn, Instagram

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