A Few Things I’ve Learned

Losing your job affects you. It makes you question your comfort, your skills, it makes you ask is this type of job right for you, whose fault was it, what can you do better next time?

I’m a confident guy, I’m not perfect but I am the perfect example of someone who believes they’re Superman and cannot be harmed.

But when Databanq let me go, I was rocked and it took me several weeks to figure it all out and then soon after starting the job hunt again MindComet found me and it’s now been over three months. Here are a few things I’ve learned from MindComet and about myself.

  1. I am a decent programmer. I’m no John Resig, but I am pretty good. This is the first thing I questioned after I lost the job, I asked myself if I wanted to be a programmer, if I wouldn’t be more happy working directly with people in some sort of sales or service role, and after a few weeks of soul searching I decided that programming was indeed my choice profession.
  2. Web development is web development. I’ve split the line in what environment I did web development. Two of my programming jobs have been in ASP and ASP.Net and two have been in PHP. The fact is, whatever language you develop in, the essence is the same.
  3. Asking for help is a key to success. It’s dangerous to be a cocky programmer. If you don’t ask for help, or even communicate with your team members, if your code falls behind schedule or goes over quota then you’re the one who’s in trouble. I’ve thankfully always been one to ask for help rather quickly, and it’s proven a very good habit in the sometimes stressful MindComet Dev team.
  4. The hours don’t matter. The fact is that if you’re in a job that’s the right fit for you, the hours really don’t matter. I don’t mean for you to work too little, I mean that you accept and actively take on the extra time. I don’t do a great deal of overtime right now, but that’s because of the projects I’m on. Two weeks ago I stayed late three days, last week I stayed in two days, and everyday I’m at work at least a half hour early. I don’t say this to toot my own horn, I say this as something to look for in a job. Obviously no one wants to pull extra hours, but the question is whether you’re willing to or being forced to.
  5. We all have off days. In development you have a range of days in terms of productivity, you have the decent days where you meet quota, get things out the door, and life goes alright. You have the days we all dread where you’ve got four meetings and are already booked for twelve hours of work, these days make you want to commit seppuku. You’ve got the holy grail days where no one bothers you, you find your stride, and sometimes you miss lunch because you’re in the zone knocking out code. Not every day can be gangbusters, accept it and move on. But if you have too many off days, something’s wrong.

So through all this, I discovered I am doing the right job, and that even better than that, I’m good at it.