How Loosing First Programming Job Helped My Career

How Loosing First Programming Job Helped My Career

Currently, I'm reading "Same as Ever" by Morgan Housel. In one chapter, he writes about how adversity often spurs human growth. This chapter took me back six years, to the time when, after quitting the consulting career path and learning for some time, I got my first coding job and lost it soon after.

I'll spare you the details, but the gist is this: after a challenging six months, my journey with the company (let's call it Company A) came to an end, and I was let go. Company A was looking for junior with some more applicable skills, and I was missing those skills. It was a simple mismatch of expectations, but for me, it felt like a small end of the world.

I was lucky enough that the other company (Company B) I previously interviewed for was still interested and wanted to hire me. Before I joined Company A, I took part in demo day at Company B where I worked on simple tasks with more senior developers. I made a good impression, they offered me a job, but I liked the Company A more and decided to go this way. After Company A let me go, Company B was happy to take me in.

I joined Company B with a completely different mindset to the one I had when joining Company A. My imposter syndrome hit the roof, I questioned my choice to change profession. I exaggerated all my mistakes and lost most confidence in my skills and choices. I was under a serious amount of stress and I could feel it.

At the same time, this challenging period, while tough, was incredibly motivating. Determined not to repeat past mistakes, I dedicated countless hours to learning and becoming self-reliant. I was fortunate to have a CTO who had a great process for training junior developers, and helpful people in my team who patiently tolerated my countless questions. Looking back, I couldn't have asked for a better environment to kick-start my programming career.

Even after gaining independence and confidence in my work, the motivation from those early struggles stuck with me. To this day, I strive to bring value quickly to new teams and make myself useful as soon as possible. I still learn after hours, and try to be better at my profession.

Reflecting on it, my experience at Company A was a wake-up call, a mix of fear and realization. I knew I never want to go through something similar again. I'm aware I don't always control everything, but I'm dedicated to do everything I can to make things work, within healthy boundaries.

This part of my programming journey, though difficult, has been valuable. I'm happy it played this way, it shaped me as a professional, and helped build good habits. It also made me more cautious when interviewing.

If you are going through something similar remember, however tough and groundbreaking it seems, it's up to you what you will do with it. With a bit of luck and a lot of grid, you can come out stronger on the other side.