In the previous article from this series, I talked about moving forward until you reach success. My roadmap as a developer and what I learned in 6 months, but let’s talk now about my first job as a developer.
Today I want to share with you my experience as an employee, my first job as a developer was exactly what I dreamed about. All the time I said that time is so important that you shouldn’t ruin it with something that doesn’t matter enough. Having this in mind I choose to work for my dream job instead of spending time on something temporary, like a part-time job at McDonald’s or something like that.
Why is important to be focused only in one direction for the first job as a developer
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that working for something or someone (like McDonald’s above) is bad, but if your only purpose of doing that is to have some money for parties, that’s not so great. If that money is important to pay your college, your rent or your expenses, then sure it’s totally fine. But instead of spending 4 hours for a job, maybe you think to invest in yourself because, in the long term, that will really matter.
I failed few times before to find my first job, but as I always like to do, I moved forward and I had only one target, go above of your condition, learn more and become better.
I got the job as you read previously and I started my life as a web developer. But guess what?! I didn’t improve my developer skills overnight.
In the first days was very tuff because I wasn’t prepared enough to jump in a complex project so I received an old project build in PHP with Codeigniter. Theoretically I had knowledge in this direction, but in fact, I realized that life is more complex than my homework.
The project was very old and what I had to do was to upgrade to the newest version of Codeigniter. But there were 3 versions under the current one, so the task was not so easy, the migration has been done by upgrading from version to version. It was not easy for me and I asked for help and at that moment they realized the complexity of the project and put me to learn WordPress because the company needed that.
I started by doing tutorials and implementing what I saw there I did some plugins and after that, I started a theme from scratch, was exciting, but nothing amazing. I had the feeling that I can do more than that. Something bigger which can satisfy me more. I helped a few colleagues and I did different tasks until one day when my project manager came to me with a project. The client wanted to move from a laggy WordPress full of plugins and really crappy to a custom solution.
My first framework arise
I storied you in another blog post about my roadmap when I had to learn my first framework, Codeigniter. This time we decided to create a custom framework from scratch for my project.
The project needed a custom CMS, a blog section, few static pages and as good as possible at SEO because this was the main reason for moving it from WordPress. I grow with that project because I had to learn how to prepare a framework, I learned about the routing mechanism, about SEO and optimizations and a lot of jQuery which at that time was very popular.
With every step moved forward I remarked how much I have to learn. The web development sector is huge so if you want to be good, try first with a chunk, then extend your skill area. Don’t stop either for 5 minutes, because for sure someone else will continue and you need 5 more minutes after that.
I pushed harder and harder trying to understand PHP and MYSQL. I learned how to replicate a template 1:1. I improved my frontend skills. But it’s true, I felt many times that I need a break and I asked myself a few times if it’s the right time to quit. I never did it, because I filled my batteries every time when I learned or finished a little chunk of technology.
The balance between job and life
It’s really hard to say stop when you’re enthusiastic because you are so curious to learn more or to find a new solution. Your desire to learn more probably push your limits beyond of natural. You need to keep a balance because if you try too hard, you can burn yourself. I had a similar situation when I tried to learn too much: university, job, English and personal projects.
I suggest you keep your time occupied but to don’t step over your limits. I can describe to you exactly what happens in that situation. Your attention will be reduced, your desire and passion will go away, but most important than everything it’s about love. The days start to produce anxiousness and the love for your code will disappear.
I learned a lot from that first job as a developer, but more important than just learning about how to keep a job, I learned how to work in a team and how to manage to multitask.
Move your career to the next level and cheers!
PS: Please let me know how did start your first job.