Some intense months later, here am I with some fresh ideas and happenings. Secrets follow. Well no, not really, but I’ll put everything in a list to make things easier to digest.
1. Getting in is hard, staying in seems even harder
When the commercials go out, the movie starts: the interview and then the orientation do not prepare you for the environment you’ll be swimming in once you start your daily work. On my path to illumination I realised that kitchen personnel, the people that cook that good food for you 3 times every day, are likely to be evaluated on par with the people they are feeding. At the end of the day, nobody is getting any free meal.
I’ve also found out that the photos floating around the interwebs with colourful interiors, pool tables, arcades or pinball machines straight from the ’80s are true. What I have also learned is that an unhealthy balance between productivity and time spent having fun in the games room or sleeping in the library will lead to a PIP (performance improvement plan) before your 1st anniversary. Failing that is obviously your ticket out, but some people choose at that time to leave on their own terms. For the company the outcome is the same, though: a “no rehire” stuck in your file, possibly for life.
Let’s assume you went against my advice from a few months ago and you actually secured that job. That’s actually quite an achievement, but it’s not what I intend to write about. What you leave behind is, most of the time, more significant than what you think is being set in front of you.
Most likely your current job does not compare with the likes of Googamazbook. That’s OK. Or you feel that you did not get to achieve everything you hoped for when you signed up for your current, soon to be previous position. That’s also OK. Let’s walk through some possible frustration points:
1. Promotions (lack of)
You do feel you deserved more and you were passed on for promotions due to unclear, maybe non-professional reasons. Most likely this is true, but it does not always have to be about you as an individual; it’s about the way companies work.
FOSDEM is an annual event for software developers, focused on open source software, happening in Bruxelles during the first weekend of February.
The event this year was the 5th FOSDEM conference I attended, starting from 2010. During the years I have seen it evolve: as the presentation focus moved along with the industry, some topics faded out and got replaced by newer things. Many of these newcomers did not actually gain traction over the years and also faded out at some point.
One of the main transitions I have noticed was the one from abstract or too general things (e.g. discussions on the Linux Kernel or performance tricks in C/C++) towards end products and getting (soon to be) mature technologies applied in order to get clear outcomes.