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My own journey (Part 5)

Axel Martínez
Mexican software artisan. Eternal apprentice of web technologies. Insatiable learner. Father of 3 gorgeous little people. Beatle fan. Host: http://mytypeof.dev/
・4 min read

First project on the new job

It wasn't actually that bad, with the few things I already knew about AngularJS and my super hungry brain I made it work somehow. Since the family wasn't with me, I spent my evenings studying real hard, taking notes and reading a lot.

I remember not watching many videos, I was mostly reading now that I think about it. At the time I was also super interested in Meteor and this is one of the first things I kind of wanted to document in a video format. There is only an installation video on Windows I got to record but since I didn't have an editor software or anything, I only did that and left it behind.

Wait, this doesn't look right

After I finished my participation on that project I got another one (this is just how nearshore works) and things were interesting in there: I was still using AngularJS and kept learning a lot about it. I did notice though that some things weren't being done "according to what I had read" both on the actual framework side of things as well as how we were calling things "done".

So I voiced this and luckily (we'll see about that) I was heard. Maybe not a ton of things changed on that particular project, but they would in the following one.

A good dev must surely be a good leader

Another project was coming our way and I was picked to lead it. Of course! I had shown that I could take work seriously and work hard to get things done. Since I was studying all the time I was able to learn a ton of things and actively participated on my projects not only on my directly assigned tasks but suggesting ideas and trying to make a difference.

Someone noticed this and decided I would be a good fit to lead this new project. In retrospective it was a rather simple one, but the gotcha here is that the entire team was inexperienced and you can probably guess what happened 😁.

Disaster struck, and I did terrible. Some more experienced devs had to be brought in to save (or try anyways) the mess we had and the project was delivered on time, according to requirements for the most part but leaving a truckload of lessons learned for me at least.

That was only the first year at the company

Something interesting that happened was that I was brought in into another AngularJS project (my experience has been to always use at least this as the primary technology and I am pretty glad because that way I could get better at it) and I was starting to learn other things in there, included TypeScript and a very neatly organized way to develop software. That client account was really good.

Sadly, they had to end the project and there I was for the first time without a new client assignment. So what did I do? Keep studying of course!

This only lasted a couple days because now I was brought in yet another project with AngularJS (lucky me, again) but with another approach at building the product, and this one I liked because it also felt organized, but the team was smaller and I had more coworkers who were also contractors from the company.

Sometimes you fail, sometimes you do great

Later, when that project finished I was now interviewed to be assigned to a new client. I failed that interview in a rather interesting way: I was literally told that my answers to the theoretical questions were so on point that not a whole lot of people had answered them like I did. I felt pretty good about that to be honest.

But then came the live coding part, where they would present a problem and I had to guide them through my solution. They wanted me to ask questions and to get a feel for how I would do as part of their team. That's where I failed. I did not understand the problem that well, but didn't ask the right questions either. I was distracted with the environment they had set up to do the interview and trying to wrap my head around the problem and trying to make sense of it but without communicating it. So they passed on me.

That didn't feel good as you can probably imagine. I was feeling real bad when another client interview was setup. So I took that one and surprise! there wasn't a live coding challenge involved. 😁😁😁

What's more, this was a new company but my former team, the one I was originally hired to work with, was involved. They were part of this new client that was starting to do business with my employer. Someone I didn't know interviewed me though, but we had a great chat and I never felt like I was being put to the test, or that he was trying to prove himself smarter than me. I loved that interview.

I greeted the people I knew from before, and I was so ready to work with them again! They trusted me and I trusted them, plus I was better at a lot of things now and was able to contribute in more meaningful ways now that we were back together, that felt really awesome. So we can say that in a way, failing that one previous interview opened the way to be able to succeed in getting back to my old team where I actually felt comfortable.

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