*** NOTE: I’m not mentioning surnames of people and any trademarks or company names directly, you have to guess or just know ***
Today is going to be my last day with my current employer. I worked for this company for more than 3.5 years. During this time I worked with many great people and I absorbed unique experience. In this post I would like to express some of my thoughts about these years and to thank to many people surrounding me during my journey.
Don’t read this paragraph! What do I feel about leaving SS? Nothing special, like if this is something usual. But it is not! For some reason cannot believe this is reality and honestly maybe I feel myself bit stupid at the moment, I just had a glass of whisky for kick-off and I continue to write to finish this up. I feel that I will manage this if I continue writing. Definitely! …or I will get drunk. No way! I have code to commit today!
It all started one day at University, when I took part in programming competition. I often took part in such events, because I love programming, but that day was different, not because we had difficult or simple problems to solve and not because we won or lose, but because of banal reason – sponsor of that competition was SS. I even didn’t understand what the hack is software company. They only asked to fill-in simple form and me as “real” student filled it with all the “rules”, knowledge in C# 10 out of 10, VS 10 out of 10 and other stuff and I wouldn't even put 6 now.
Some time passed and I got e-mail in which I was kindly asked if I’m not interested in passing interview for developer position. I just said to myself like good American could have said “Why not?”.
I guess mine interviewer was in good mood that day or either, I was too much emotional talking about the applications I wrote in University about the “game of life” completely written in WinAPI, and especially about the database management system written in C#. Anyway somehow I intrigued him. He asked me what I like the most about programming. I don’t why but I said that databases are great thing (stupid me?).. anyway that answer decided where I spent next 3.5 years.
At that moment I was student and additional 350$ for me was a big sum to get each month (not to say that I had good scholarship, and during master’s year it was about 100$ and I managed to live for those 100$ easily). After I had some conversation with parents. They didn’t want me to work while I’m still student. They were worrying much about my future studying and asked me if I’m not willing to postpone this decision, but nevertheless I was mine decision and in the end it turned to be very and very good decision.
II THE BEGINNING
I was promised flexible time. During my first 3 months I got trainings on the product team was working on (I have to say this product is damn huge enterprise solution to set of complex problems). After 3 months nightmare started I had to work 8 hours a day and I did my best each minute, I was so worrying about completing everything in time. Everything was new to me – source control, team work, issue tracking, testing, and scary super-smart people everywhere. Honestly I was just very scared. I had girlfriend at that time, I’m now married on, very often she was called by me and often I said to her that I simply cannot solve something and I worry very much and that I probably worth nothing, and that it probably cannot be solved easily. I used to spend extra-time on solving something that now looks ridiculous for me.
First real tasks assigned to me were simple bugs and tiny enhancements to existing reports/assessments.
I was given contact to clients at that moment and first person from clients I talked with was Johnathan. In our conversation I was stupid enough to mention that I’m still student, finishing university. But he was wise enough to understand and he said (sorry cannot remember that precisely) “You started a big journey and I’m one to help you”. At that moment I understood that my clients are my friends. Thank you, Johnathan, for this.
I worked hard on everything assigned to me. Not me one, I thought that everyone around is just insane about making everything the best he/she can. I was inspired.
Than New Year came (2009) and we had celebration in some restaurant. I got an award there – “Rookie of the year 2008”. Below you can see me (sorry for my blackness “he-he”) and my manager.
It was my first work award and I’m really proud of it, because at that moment I realized I worked hard for something more valuable than money, I worked for respect of other people and I worked for our clients and for myself.
After that I continued to work for the same company and for the same clients. Sub-projects only slightly changed. I had a chance to work with great people, with people who inspired me even more, especially as software developer. Derik was another person I really appreciate. I learned a lot from him. He gave me many advices that were very helpful and completely new for me from the root. Those advices were, and are, tremendously terrific. Thank you.
I clearly remember Ant as wise and supporting product owner, I learned many things from you as well. Things were more personal and people-oriented not so “techi”, but I want to thank you for this.
I worked with different people during 2009 and 2010, some of them were very smart some not, some were extremely responsible and some not, some people didn’t know what they want from work and life and some knew. I just had been watching all that and learning and learning. I wanted to be like someone else and didn’t want to be like someone else.
During those two years I managed to be promoted twice up to senior developer, I started this blog at October of 2009, I showed myself as responsible, knowledgeable and reliable developer but my learning curve started to be more domain related than technology related. See below.
Black line corresponds to my domain knowledge which continuously grew and red line corresponds to what I learned from tech perspective (at the beginning I got trainings on application along development started and then I started to learn less from technology than from domain). Thus I decided to change something.
IV NEAR THE END
I went to the Mobile team. It still the same company and still the some client, but just another project – mobile solution for same set of problems. But I think this was the best period of me being in this company.
I think Mobile team is the best team I ever worked with. Almost everyone is self-organized, motivated and very responsible. I really see fire in eyes of each person working with me in the “war-room”. We cook the best meat for the end-users which is friendly usable and “sexy” mobile application.
Taras, another TL (not usual team that had two TLs of course), very emotional person who knows his point of view, but always manages his and teams work the best. I especially enjoyed working with you. We had more conversations I had with other guys at SS ever.
Andriy, Olena, Pavlo, Roman, Sasha, Volodya, Yuriy (hope alphabet works this night) you are great people. Each of you has something special, each different, but all of you spent part of your life for this project, each worried about the work you do/did and I hope everyone enjoyed great collaboration we had.
Diana, Iryna, Oksana, Taras, Zhanna and many others who covered the stuff developers created or still need to create. Thank you very much for the great work and contribution. We all can create something brilliant only together.
And of course many thanks to our clients. In reality everyone I worked with from clients side were just amazing people. I know stories from other developers from other companies and completely other teams, they often complain at their clients. I think that you can only dream about clients my “big team” has. They understand you and they try to work collaboratively to produce the best results. Sheryl and Mark Mobile team loves you!
I would also like to mention that I had very good management above me. They are people who think wide, clearly and who see far-far into the future. They are people who kept me motivated and oriented for achieving goals. Vitaliy, Sania and Alex, thank you very much.
Whole “big team” as I call my unit of company is great family. Many people work here for 5 and more years, some more than 10 years. I hope I was somewhat part of this family for these 3.5 years.
I MISS YOU ALL!
I’M PROUD I’M SS!
V THE END
In Mobile team I simply continued to do my best just at another level of abstraction, doing some of the activities as technical leader, performing some bit more complex tasks, that I think could have been achieved by others. Sad, but as per me worst thing about this was this graph below. My red line didn’t grow up above black one.
I’m developer from my very inside. I’m not ready to shift my career to another direction and I cannot continue to learn domain I’m not ready to accept as my native. I want to continue as technical guy, but that is not the whole story.
Of course SS has opportunities for me. I bet they have opportunities to many of you. I wouldn't leave this company if someone proposes me bit more money or bit more interesting project, because all this I can get here. So…
VI THE FUTURE
I cannot say much about it, because I’m not completely confident in its direction. I can only say that I have opportunities in another country (Western Europe) and I will start there as intermediate developer. They looked for talented developer, and I hope I’m such developer. They ensured me that I will have much-much to learn and I’m extremely glad because of this and and also I’m glad that I will have opportunity to live in another country to learn something absolutely different from life perspective. Also if everything goes well I will learn one language more – German additionally.
I didn’t waste my past time. I’m excited and scared about the future, but I’m looking forward it!