13
TheShell
23d

Next week I'm starting a new job and I kinda wanted to give you guys an insight into my dev career over the last four years. Hopefully it can give some people some insight into how a career can grow unexpectedly.

While I was finishing up my studies (AI) I decided to talk to one of these recruiters and see what kind of jobs I could get as soon as I would be done. The recruiter immediately found this job with a Java consultancy company that also had a training aspect on the side (four hours of training a week).

In this job I learned a lot about many things. I learned about Spring framework, clean code, cloud deployment, build pipelines, Microservices, message brokers and lots more.

As this was a consultancy company, I was placed at different companies. During my time here I worked on two different projects.
The first was a Microservices project about road traffic data. The company was a mess, and I learned a lot about company politics. I think I never saw anything I built really released in my 16 months there.

I also had to drive 200km every day for this job, which just killed me. And after far too long I was finally moved to the second company, which was much closer.

The second company was a fintech startup funded by a bank. Everything was so much better than the traffic company. There was a very structured release schedule, with a pretty okay scrum implementation. Every team had their own development environment on aws which worked amazingly. I had a lot of fun at this job, with many cool colleagues. And all the smart people around me taught me even more about everything related to working in software engineering.

I quit my job at the consultancy company, and with that at the fintech place, because I got an opportunity I couldn't refuse. My brother was working for Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wallstreet, and he said they needed a developer to build a learning platform. So I packed my bags and flew to LA.

The office was just a villa on the beach, next to Jordan's house. The company was quite small and there were actually no real developers. There was a guy who claimed to be the cto of the company, but he actually only knew how to do WordPress and no one had named him cto, which was very interesting.
So I sat down with Jordan and we talked about the platform he wanted to build. I explained how the things he wanted would eventually not be able with WordPress and we needed to really start building software and become a software development company. He agreed and I was set to designing a first iteration of the platform.
Before I knew it I was building the platform part by part, adding features everywhere, setting up analytics, setting up payment flows, monitoring, connecting to Salesforce, setting up build pipelines and setting up the whole aws environment. I had to do everything from frontend to the backest of backends. Luckily I could grow my team a tiny bit after a while, until we were with four. But the other three were still very junior, so I also got the task of training them next to developing.
Still I learned a lot and there's so much more to tell about my time at this company, but let's move forward a bit.

Eventually I had to go back to the Netherlands because of reasons. I still worked a bit for them from over here, but the fun of it was gone without my colleagues around me, so I quit last September.

I noticed I was all burned out, had worked far too much, so I decided to take a few months off and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I even wondered whether I wanted to stay in programming.

Fast forward to last few weeks. I figured out I actually did want to work in software still, but now I would focus on getting the right working circumstances. No more driving 3 hours every day, no more working 12 hours every day. Just work close to home and find a company with the right values.
So I started sending out resumes and I gave one recruiter the chance to arrange some interviews too. I spoke to 7 companies in the span of one week. And they were all very interested. Eventually I narrowed it down to 2 companies and asked them for offers. And the company that actually had my preference offered me significantly more than I asked for, which settled the deal.

So tomorrow I'm officially signing with them, and starting next week I'll be developing in Kotlin, diving into functional programming and running our code in serverless environments. I'm very excited!

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