When we are new Software Developers, we are really glad just to get the opportunity. Companies often give a grace period where they know we won't necessarily be shining stars overnight.
About 1 year into the work, we find out that there are some bumps along the road, we want to shine in the worst way, but we just need a bit more time to figure out the massive amount of code already in place.
We don't yet feel much different than the first day, but we also know a lot more about what we're doing, things we don't know and those that are gliding along living full productive software developer lives. We want in the worst way to be like those that make things happen. We double down and work harder, stay focused and study, study, study.
By 2 years in the job we've reached a normal daily expectation, and we are much more familiar with how bugs are created and their impact to the company. In fact as we are not yet senior we may be put on Bug duty, which is to fix known defects. To some, the opportunity is still a positive to others, "We don't want to work on no stinking bugs".
We succeed in bug repair and progress to take on the unsolvable bugs. The ones that have been around forever. We start digging in and we understand why they're not fixed. We are now aware of extreme complexity and inter dependencies we had never imagined. Yet we are going to do this! We are going to fix it, dang it!
After getting our Master's in Bug#2199, we are not able to solve it, but time has run out, we must refocus on other work. A little disappointing, we just move on. Lost time? Well it depends on how we look at it. We did learn some tricks in debugging though and that makes us happy.
At 3 years we are entrenched firmly into our daily routine, at first it's so cool to be up and running, feeling confident. We notice, however after about 6 months we find a lot of repetition, we become sick of not being able to do simple things (CSS). The pressure of getting the project done only increases. Our Scrum masters like us but are not happy with the progress. We reach out to mentors who often help and make us feel better, but time marches onward, pressures increase.
Still mostly loving our jobs we find at 5 years, we feel pretty confident and are offered a new job with a large salary increase. We are on top of the world because now we can afford our apartment, food and car bills. We take the job only to find our immediate boss to be, well; a bit unreasonable. We try to work it out, only to find it's a bad deal. We stick to the job for the benefits, and we kind-of sort-of like the work. By 8 years we've had it and move on.
10 years into the work we have our 3rd new position and everything is great. Except for one thing, we are now seeing the team lead gig as being responsible for other's work. This forces us to shore up processes and well, be more concerned with process than people. Because, dang it, I'm not going to take the blame anymore.
12 Years into the work, we think we'll be good managers. Even through we've heard only 2 in 10 are good at it, by golly I'm a 20 per-center. What we didn't realize is that our first love, technical work morphs into performance reviews, inter-personnel disputes, inability to determine Salary outcomes, buying other's lunches out-of-pocket, and that being a 1st line manager is the hardest job to have. But it takes us 3 years to get out, because well, we were not a 20 per-center.
15 years, we go back into technical work and are willing to take less than leading edge work because of our diminished skills. We go to tech meetings and cannot understand plainly what they are talking about. We do eventually get the jargon; but it takes 6 months, which is the max amount of time for grace at our experience level. The pressure is immense because we want to shine, but have huge learning paths in front of us. The stress however is good in the sense, it pushes us to new territory.
25 Years into the job we've decided to take some risks. We enter a new job market where it will totally stretch our skills, after all, we have over 20 years of learning how to learn. The problem is, we're not totally sure how other environments operate. We get hired as Super Duper Staffer, but we're not really Super Duper in many areas. That's because there is no way to know it all, but by golly we're going in for the prize. The road is bumpy but after a year or two we know we've kind-of sort-of made it.
30 Years into the job and we're somewhat less worried about staying in a high-pressure coveted job. We've seen a lot of fickleness in the industry and know that change is going to happen. So we attempt to work only in those areas we love. We have more flexibility because we are more mature and further along knowing who we are, where we fit and how to handle just about all situations.
We have to have the attitude that our Victories are an internal thing and not external. The software industry is tough, fast paced, and always something new. We can never do enough, and the customer always wants more. We cannot realize other's dreams and aspirations but we can achieve our own. Just don't count on too many outside Victories, because they are rare in Software Development.