My First 100 Days as a Web Developer
Last autumn, my life took an unexpected turn. I had just finished the majority of my undergraduate degree at The Master’s University that previous semester studying Communications, and I was taking my first dip into the ocean of adulthood. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I tried being my own boss as a wedding photographer. After about 2 months of loneliness, chaotic life structure, and stressful financial insecurity, I bailed. I knew I needed something else, but I had no idea what is was.
There weren’t too many companies that I knew of that I thought would have a position to fit my degree and experience. I had dabbled in a lot of things, but mastered very few.
I always liked the idea of working at a tech company so I reached out to one of my dorm-mate’s brothers who happened to be a recruiter at a company called Liferay. I found a position in Customer Care that used communication and people skills, so I pursued it. Long story short, they thought I would be a better fit as a Developer Advocate for an up-and-coming product called WeDeploy. They wanted me to start with a three month internship to get my feet wet with coding. I said, “Why not!”, and there it began.
Web development had always been intriguing to me. My dad was a software engineer when I was little, and even though I was too young at the time to learn much from him, I always liked the idea of building things with a computer. Being giving this opportunity to learn how to code in a real-life environment was truly a dream come true!
So yes, it was quite an exhilarating journey getting to the first day, but what came after, I could have never expected.
It was hard. Like crazy hard.
I was always known by my friends as the “techy”, but that didn’t get me very far in a room full of 150 engineers.
I learned very quickly that I had stepped into a whole new world full of APIs, CLIs, and “I wanna cry”s.
But at the same time, I loved it. Everyday I could learn something new. After a couple weeks, I could start fixing some of my own bugs, and now, closing in on almost five months, I’m starting to become a contributing member of the team.
A couple evenings ago, I asked myself why this job has been a success. Is it because I had a bunch of untapped potential just waiting to be unleashed like Thor’s hammer? Or was it because I had mastered the lost Canadian art of ultra-power-learning (I’m assuming this doesn’t exist, but if it did…)?
It wasn’t either of these, in fact, I don’t think it even had much to do with me at all. The thing is, I was surrounded by amazing people. Liferay is an incredible company and WeDeploy is a killer team. Daily I feel both unworthy to sit beside my coworkers because of how masterful they are at their craft, and yet completely welcomed in because of their extended friendship and vulnerability. It’s this kind of community that gives space for discovery, “stupid questions”, and ultimately, growth.
Web development can be super hard sometimes, but if we gather around people who encourage and push us further, we can create something great.