Dev Retro 2022 - My Journey As A Developer

Dev Retro 2022 - My Journey As A Developer

Hello, everyone! It's been quite a few months since I wrote my last article but here I am with a new one to reflect on my 2022 developer journey.

New Year, New Job

Yes... New year, new and first ever job. I started my job hunt in early January, applied to several companies, got only 1 interview, failed it then thought I would never make it. After that, I found a React Developer position that caught my attention on LinkedIn and I sent my application. After almost 2 weeks of the selection process, I received an offer even though my hopes of passing were practically null.

My first day was on January 24th and it marked the beginning of a 1-week training period in which I was required to learn TypeScript as that was one of the several technologies I would use in the project I was assigned.

I was so excited about this new journey that I shared this tweet highlighting the goals I met which I had mentioned at the beginning of my #100DaysOfCode challenge:

Once that period ended, my team (6 other engineers) and I went through the onboarding process. We learned about Agile methodologies and Scrum, which I initially didn't understand and thought I would never do... Also about the workflow, what we would work on, and the tech stack we would use (React, TypeScript and AWS).

AWS? But I've never used AWS nor have I done any back-end before...

I was a little scared because that one interview I had had before applying to this position, required AWS knowledge, which I didn't have. So, that was the main reason why I was rejected.

However, in this case, I was confident I would learn to work with the services as I got assigned to do tasks that required their implementation.

My first back-end task... 😬

My first back-end task was creating an AWS Lambda that would send a Rollbar notification if any error occurred in the front-end of the web app.

When I was assigned this ticket, I didn't even know what Rollbar was. So, I obviously needed a hand and thankfully, I got it from someone who already had a lot of experience...

This one ticket made me realize that communication is the key to everything and that it is totally okay to ask for help when you are stuck with something as it won't make you a bad person or anything like that and not knowing it all is completely normal.

A few PRs later...

Before I got the job, I had already made several pull requests to a project that wasn't mine. It was during the 2021 version of Hacktoberfest and I remember that feeling of fear and all those moments of doubt where I would just wonder whether they would accept my contribution or not and whether it would be a valuable contribution to their codebase... Many negative things were going through my mind.

Anyways, time passed until I had to make my first PR to the codebase of the project I was working on at the company, and you might already imagine what my thoughts and feelings were at that moment. I just couldn't believe I was going to have my code reviewed by a Senior developer, my Tech Lead, Alexander Granda (shoutout to him)...

So... a few PRs later at work and this became something cool that I shared this tweet in March 2022:

From coding to giving a talk 😨

I remember back in 2021 when I was just starting to learn how to code, one of my goals, besides getting a job as a developer, was to become a speaker.

There was a virtual meetup held in May by a GitHub community from Latin America which I attended and at the end, the hosts said there would be another one in September. So, I saw it as an opportunity to open myself to this world and I sent a talk proposal but... it was rejected 😕.

However, in July/early August, a friend of mine, Luis Porras, wanted to bring back to light a local meetup called BarranquillaJS, so he invited me to give a talk on the 23rd of August. I was extremely excited and nervous about this because I would be speaking in front of a lot of people and I would just remember those times in high school and college when I had to do presentations in front of my classmates and how nervous that used to make me feel. Anyways, my motivation and support from my girlfriend were stronger that I ended up standing in front of +30 people that day.

I spoke about what it is like to be a self-taught programmer and how not to fail in the learning process, all of this based on my personal experience. I also gave my honest and polemic-free opinion about college vs self-taught 😁.

You can take a look at the pictures in this LinkedIn post I shared:

From no AWS background to being an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner 😶

Many months of using the Serverless framework, creating Lambdas, Step Functions, implementing Infrastructure as Code with CloudFormation, S3, SQS, and much more, made me like working with AWS up to the point of wanting to get an official certification.

I registered to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam on November 29 for which I bought the Ultimate AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner - 2022 Udemy course by Stephane Maarek to get better preparation in those services I have never worked with.

I took the exam virtually, so I was monitored through camera and audio. This was a fearful experience because I was required to avoid many things, otherwise, they could have my exam suspended without an opportunity to retake it and I would not have my money refunded 👀.

With all the fear, nerves, and whatnot, I was notified right after I finished the exam that I had passed it.

Main takeaways of this amazing year

  • You'll learn much more at work than when you're just starting your journey. So, try not to learn every single technology and just focus on one stack that can open the doors to you in the industry: I had only worked with React, Vanilla JS, HTML, CSS, and SASS before I got my job. After 11 months here, I have already worked with Golang, PHP/Laravel, AWS, Microfrontends, TypeScript, and some other technologies that I never thought I would use.

  • Failing is part of every process. What is important about failing is to learn from it in order to achieve success: As mentioned in the beginning, I was rejected by several companies, then only 1 of them interviewed me and I failed it. So, I considered quitting and continuing my boring life, until I got this other interview which I passed. If I had quit after that first failed interview, I wouldn't know what it is like to spend hours debugging some JavaScript code, not knowing why the code is not working until realizing it is a freaking typo. Yes, that's the definition of mixing happiness with anger 🙂.

  • It is better to ask for help than to stay stuck for hours. Don't feel embarrassed for asking but also, do your own research before doing so. And... please, don't ask to ask, just ask (this reading will help you understand what I mean).

  • Get involved in the community. Attend meetups, no matter if they're virtual or in-person, no matter if you give a talk or just go as an attendee. Just do so and connect with the people.

With this, I'm wrapping up my reflection on my 2022 journey. I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for taking the time to do so 👏.

Also, have a happy new year 🥳!

You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.