First Month In A New Software Development Job

First Month In A New Software Development Job

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In this post I’ll try to share my thoughts about starting a new job as a developer. This is the first time I change jobs in the software development industry, and after 4 and half years at WiseStamp, I started to work at Fleetonomy.

Before Fleetonomy

So I decided to leave WiseStamp somewhere at early November. This was one of the hardest decisions I have made. I thought about it for a month, and the main reason is that I was looking for new technology challenges. I can say that in WiseStamp I had my comfort zone, I loved all the employees (I swear, you can’t find family feeling more than that). I considered myself as a senior developer as a lot of times members of the team (not only developers) came to me to get solutions or advises to certain problems. I gave my best to end this period in my career delivering my best contribution to the code base.

First few days

Long story short, it is pretty terrifying start a new position where you have absolutely no knowledge about the technology and stack. You find yourself to be the one that depend on other developers to get some help. This is not always a pleasure to bug other people because you miss something, but fortunately the guys at Fleetonomy are so welcoming that I stopped feeling bad to ask for help. So after few days I was already familiar with the overall architecture, and now asking for help dropped to 2-3 times a day. I found slack is a good platform to ask for help without bugging too much, if someone is busy he/she can postpone a little bit the help session.

This phase is the hardest, I know. But you certainly can make it much simpler, those are the points that worked for me:

  • Remember every body was a newbie, you have to be a starter first in order to be a pro. Most of your position won’t be building things from scratch. You need to know that you will get into large complicated systems often and it can take a few months and even years to master.
  • Try to achieve little goals, and it’s OK to give yourself a pat on the back. By conquering small hills at a time, you eventually conquer the whole mountain.
  • Get a co-worker who is a nice person to ask questions, and ask questions, if needed ask a lot.
  • Write notes. Open a notebook or some other tool (I use Dropbox Paper) to write points that could save me time at the future, things like how to run the program, a little bit about the architecture, how to spin up the containers or namespaces in kubernetes, etc.

The rest of the month

Grace days are over now, I have to deliver in time within the current sprint. Here you start to feel pressure, but of the good type, it is that feeling that you actually do something. Things of course still won’t come easy, but the feeling of delivering a feature when you see all your tests and code review pass is so good. Here are few more tips regarding this phase:

  • Take notes from code review. This is something priceless, when someone reviews your code you are more careful, you are trying to deliver your best code quality, you check yourself 1000 times, and the most important, getting important tips from other developers.
  • Estimating is always an issue. It is a hard thing to do, but practice at estimation, this will help you taking more control over your tasks.
  • This is not a tip but rather some conclusion I came to lately. I do more back end than front end. This is the opposite of the previous position. Somehow back end considered as harder, but let me tell you, it is not harder, it is different. there are so much challenges nowadays at both layers that you cannot tell what is harder. This twist in my daily focuses is something I looked for.
  • Sometimes you might feel that you have been downgraded from senior to mid level developer or even junior, but it’s OK, everybody feels like that when they are new. Try to focus solving small problems and knowing the system (and the networking between services in the system) better.
  • Write tests that cover your ass. A lot was written about it so I won’t be discussing it too much.