Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash
What I have learned in my first 3 weeks as a developer
Lessons and mistakes from my first 3 weeks as a software engineer
4 min read
2 weeks ago, I started working as a developer in a big company, with a really small developer team. The dev team consists of 5 people, including me.
We are mainly using Microsoft low-code tools, with a lot of configuration and some smaller coding projects here and there.
The main reason they hired me is because they are developing a new app for employees working within our company.
Well, how do I put this. My boss is a direct, honest, fair person with clear boundaries. He told me that straight out, that if I didn’t deliver results, then I was out. He said, and I quote:
I will throw you in the deep water your first day, so you need to learn fast. I will have 1 finger under you, to keep you from drowning. But only 1.
And I totally understood where he was coming from. It’s only business, and he obviously don’t want to waste money on someone who can’t produce results. He said that he understands that I don’t know everything, and that’s okay. But I have to show that I can learn fast and grow, that’s the most important thing.
But it still made me pretty stressed in the beginning. I really was on edge, and tried as best as I could to keep up and contribute to the team. I even put in some hours on the bus home, and in the nights at home. All to try to live up to the bosses expectations.
At the start of the first week, the boss told my that I will showcase what I have done to the team on Friday. And he gave me the assignment.
The thing was, it was really and easy assignment. I had 5 days to complete something that only took me 2 days. Then I was able do even more than the assignment was, to impress even further.
I was still stressed the whole first week though, because I still didn’t know what the boss would think of my work. Did he just test me? Was the assignment actually just a 1 day work, and he wanted to see my reaction?
Showcasing my work
Then Friday came, and it was my turn to show what I had done. I had prepared a lot, so that made the nervousness better. But still, how would he react?
Well, it all went good. He liked what I had done, and was satisfied. Perfect. First week over.
Second week - getting better
I got some bigger assignments to complete, and was expected to be part of daily stand-up, dev ops, user stories. Basically, do the smaller tasks that everybody on the team should be doing every week. I felt more part of the team. I liked that.
And I started to be more comfortable at work. I started to know the routines of the job. I got to know the people I worked with, and actually managed to not be so stressed that I could joke around.
I got better at the job. When I got an assignment, I actually knew what it meant (kind of). I knew how I was going to find and solve the problem, even though I didn’t know the technical solution yet.
At the end of the week, I again showed what I had done. And again, I went perfectly fine and the boss was not disappointed.
Third week - Sharing knowledge
The third week was even better. Everything is starting to fall in place, and I am comfortable with being at the job. This feels really good, and I am happy to be working here.
Now the company just hired two new developers, and they are going to work on the same thing I have been working on. Because of this, I got tasked to get them up to speed on the project.
This was a really good experience. First of all, it’s always feels good to help people. Second, it will solidify me knowledge, as teaching is the best way to really understand something.
And third, as my goal for the future is: junior dev -> dev -> senior dev -> tech lead -> architect.
Then becoming a leader who shares knowledge and takes responsibility is someone I have to become. And helping new dev getting up to speed is one of many stepping stones I will have climb to achieve my goal.
This is what I am getting better at.
Tech skills/hard skills:
- Dataverse and basic database structure
- Power apps/Portals/Model Driven App
- Basic Liquid
- Communicating directly
- Presenting my work
- Drinking coffee
- Teaching others
- Structuring my work/tasks
- Taking ownership/responsibility
This is all a work in progress (especially the soft skills), and they will be for the rest of my life. But I am moving forward and learning, and that’s the most important part.