My Journey After Coding Bootcamp II

My first tech job

The main thing I have learned from starting new jobs, tech and non-tech, is that your experience will most likely rely on your colleagues no matter what the company. The people of the company. However, that is difficult to assess on your first day where all the names and faces become a blur.

I have found that when you start at a company of welcoming people, you will have a far better experience than where everyone sits quietly by themselves. But that’s a strange story in technology. The industry attracts personalities that like sitting by themselves and working on problems with their headphones. I’ve heard varied stories about my friends and other software developers’ experiences about their work colleagues. Some had a chatty group who would go to the pub at lunch and chat, while others struggled to get anyone to interact with them. I even knew one whose colleagues just ghosted them when they tried to arrange a 1-2-1 introduction.

When I started, my group had various personalities that took a while to get used to, but everyone was friendly and welcoming. I felt fortunate as it helped ease my nerves. Though the way the technology team was divided subteams (Developers, Quality Assurance, Business Analysts) would take a while to get used to, I got to grips with the ‘product lifecycle’.

I had already met two senior developers and one member of the Quality Assurance team while I was at Bootcamp. I interviewed with the Head of Technology, who would be my direct manager, so I knew some friendly faces. I was also starting along with another apprentice, so we had gotten to know each other throughout the Bootcamp.

So when I arrived at the office on my first day, we were introduced to HR who took us on an office tour. The tour included meeting other employees at the company and filling out paperwork, so it took a good chunk of the morning.

When the tour was complete and filled out all the paperwork, the HR person sent us to our desks. On my desk was my laptop. My lovely new work laptop! This position was not the first job I had a laptop, but it was the first time I had been allowed to specify which one I wanted. The perks of working in the development industry, I guess!

The whole of the first day was introductions and setting up my technology as I wanted, so it flew by!

Not only are you getting to grips with your new role and company when you begin as a developer, but you are also getting used to the technology.

I will say I felt out of my depth pretty much all the time. It wasn’t so much to do with the company. However, the tech stack that the company used was completely different from what I had been learning in the Bootcamp.

You see, a ‘tech stack’ is the tools which a developer uses to create an application. So while I had learned MERN, JavaScript, HTML, CSS at Bootcamp; when I walked into the office, we needed to be focused on C#. At an elementary level, and to keep things civil, you can see that C# was not part of my learning.

But I will be adding another blog post if you want to hear more details about how those two differ!

I stayed in that job for about a year and a half. During that time, I managed to complete my apprenticeship coursework partially. However, I was struggling to meet specific criteria. The big Coronavirus pandemic then hit us, and I decided to move house. With that combination of issues and some personal things that were happening with my family, I decided to start looking for a new job.

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