Like most people I needed some extra cash during uni, so I proceeded to learn CSS + Photoshop (yeah, I know). Followed by PHP and WordPress.

It can be a very shitty platform until you realize that you can stop combining plug-ins from all over the place with dubious code quality and roll your own.

Anyhow I kept at it until I was able to join a niche company doing a quite popular caching plug-in for WP (yeah, W3 Total) when I suddenly became *very* interested in anything and everything performance.

This landed me a very cozy consulting gig in the Nordics - they were using WP for an elephant-traffic website and had run into a myriad of perf issues.

Fixing them and breaking the monolith awarded me with skills in nodejs, linux, asynchronous caching among others.

I was soon in charge with managing the dev boxes for the entire team, and when the main operations dude left, I was promoted to owning the entire platform. (!) Tinkering with Linux for most of my life really came in handy here. (remember Debian potato?)

Used saltstack + aws cloudformation to achieve full parity between all environments. Learned myself some python and all various tips and tricks which in the end amounted to 90% reduction in time-to-first-byte and considerable cost savings.

By the end of the 2yr contract I had turned myself into a fullstack systems engineer and never looked back.

Lawyers not getting along resulted in us having to abandon NewRelic, so I got to learn and deploy the ELK stack as a homegrown replacement, which was super-fun.

Now I work in the engineering effectiveness department of a Swedish fintech unicorn where all languages under the Sun are an option (tho we prefer Python), so the tech stack is unlimited. Infinite tools and technologies, but with strong governing principles and with performance always in mind so as to pick the right tool for the job.

It's like that childhood feeling when you've just dumped a ton of Lego on the floor and are about to build something massive.

I guess the morale here is however disappointed you feel by your current stack - don't. Always strive to make things better, faster, more decoupled, easier to test, etc. and always challenge yourself to go outside the comfort zone.

  • 6
    "always challenge yourself to go outside the comfort zone"

  • 2
    Wow !!!!! This is really motivational wasn't expecting it since you started the post with php 😂😂😂
  • 2
    @salahChaouch Hahah, guess it's a fortunate case of substance abuse.. :D
  • 2
    Very motivating post!

    You might be interested to know the difference between "moral" and "morale" in English, though: "moral" is a belief about the rightness of something, which stories are often intended to teach, hence, "the moral of the story"; "morale" is a measure of how motivated/enthusiastic someone is. So when you say, "the morale of the story," you are describing how the story feels about doing something and not the lesson to be learned from it.

    (Sorry if that was too wordy. I enjoyed your story and want to help you tell it better.)
  • 2
    @powerfulparadox Lesson learned mate. Glad you enjoyed the rant :)
  • 4
    And this post gets a favorite from me.
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