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Michael De Abreu
Michael De Abreu

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Being Senior is not just technical knowledge

This is a personal post, about my experience, as such results may vary.

I've been working in programming for a couple of years before I finish college. I remember the first job I took, back then I was very excited to work in the industry and I have hopes of working in a Game Development related project. So, when this project came, it was about creating a simulator using Unity, I fell realized. I worked before with Unity, I have some experience with the Engine, but all I did was for me, to learn. This was the first job I had.

High hopes, no clue

I remember having this emotion about working within the field I wanted. But I had no clue, about how many hours I'd supposed to work, the salary I'd ask, or how I could know if the job would be something for sure. I wanted it to be, but I just didn't know for sure. So, I just did what I was told to do. I remember to have another person to be in charge of, but I didn't know how to do that either. How do you manage people? I know now. At least, I fell confident.

Long story short, I did the job. I finish the POC. It was cool. I did one scenario, and use NodeJS to create a little WebSocket server. Then, I was asked to learn Erlang, and I didn't want to. I wanted to be a game developer. I quit. Not just for that, but because I was in college, and I needed to develop my final project.

What does it feels like to be a Junior

I finish college and start looking for a job. I was confident that I could find a job according to my experience, back then my experience was limited to Unity, AngularJS and some Node, and I was living in Venezuela, where most of the programmers are expected to work with PHP. And I didn't want to learn it. I wanted to be a game developer.

I fell so insecure about what I could offer to a company, AngularJS was something old back then, because React had already gained popularity and Angular 2 was something to happen as well. Then, after some months looking, someone call. It was a startup, they were looking for someone with SPA development experience because they wanted to migrate their PHP system, to RESTful services. I did well in the interview, and that's how I got my second job.

Still, I didn't know what to ask for salary, didn't know what to expect from the team, or how to narrow my responsibilities for my role. Also, I didn't have enough experience in time estimating, and I was required to do so. Most of the time I just randomly set an estimation that I ended up passing, of felling through. I didn't know what I wanted in 5 years, I just knew that I should work in the field. When writing code, I feel like I didn't know what to do, and I had to search for almost anything I wanted to do. So, I familiarized myself with StackOverflow and Github issues so much I even made my Github my favorite social network.

How do I fell now

It has been a couple of years since then, I'm about to finish my longer collaboration in a project and I'm also applying to be promoted as a Senior Engineer in my current work. And suddenly I notice that if someone asks me today to join their team I know what I want.

I know how much I would ask in terms of salary, and emotional salary. How I want to do things and how to know ask for those things. I feel more confident now, and I have a clear perspective of what I want in the future.

The important thing

All the things I know now, I know because of both, my achievements and failures. I know how much I want now because of the job I got where I feel mispaid. I know that emotional salary is important, and what to expect from that because I had an amazing job that gave me the opportunity to grow, and somedays brought pizza. I know that if I get a job in my field, I should be good enough to tell where to go if I'm asked, as I know I can work in other fields if that's something I would like to do.

A message for you if you are just beginning

I don't know if you are as insecure about what you do as I was when I started into programming, but if you are, don't worry too much about it, just learn. And not just technical issues, but personal, and emotional. You'll be better, you will improve, and you will know.

That's all folks!

Thank you for reading. I hope you have enjoyed this. I don't think I will make a post like this again, but you never know. Something I know now it's that it is easier to post something that you really want to write. Have a great weekend.

Top comments (1)

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

That's really what I felt when I started out in my journey.

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.