Winning the professional development lottery
In the whole time I was in the IT field, there were times when I reflected back on the things I did or the companies I work that made me realize that by working there or doing things that way, really made me a better professional or really open my eyes--making the work I do all the more worth-while. If you'll allow me, I like to ask you guys the same thing: would you please share with everyone on JOS Forum some of the key events or employments that really change your perspective. This isn't about awesome compensation or company movie nights--it IS about who, where, or what action change you for the better. Was it a computer club? Making friends at a bookstore? IRC? Joining a world class software company? Starting your own business? Selling software? Looking at the problem from a lateral perspective? New habits? Lifestyle? Any stories would be very much appreciated!
for me it was discovering Joel's writings & this forum (this was before I knew about RSS & aggregators).
(1) Books are forever
Books are forever.... refer also to
Ignore my ignorance
For me it was convincing my employer a hardware distributor to start selling consultingware. It didn't do them much good but opened a lot of opportunities for me as I moved from being a cost to the business to a revenue generator.
Tony Edgecombe (www.frogmorecs.com)
The hypnotist keeling over while he was working on me ...
Just me (Sir to you)
For me oddly enough it was the job I almost got. A little over a year ago I had a dead end job that was not in development. I had completely almost completely given up after months and months of looking for work. I was lucky to have a job but not in what I wanted to do and was ready to give up and accept my fate. I spent almost every evening preparing at least one directed cover letter and resume. One night I ran out of places and on a whim applied to Microsoft. I figured since I was primarily a Java developer and no chance. Well about a month later I got call from a Microsoft recruiter went through a brutal set of phone interviews. While I prepared for the grueling interviews I found JOS! I made all the way for a trip to Redmond. Ultimately, I didn't get the job. I handled every challenge they handed me but I got nervous and said some stupid things when I interviewed with the PM (I am still smacking my head, stupid stupid stupid!) But instead of getting more depressed I was motivated even further. I knew I had what it takes to run with the “big dogs” even if this time I didn't quite make it. I eventually landed a position at a awesome company, a private company that gives really treats their employee's well. I never would have made it to where I am now with out the boost in confidence. Strange, I owe my greatest success to my greatest failure.
Reluctantly I took a management position leading a small (7) group of developers. That is where I realized that management isn't "the next step" of a developer's career, but a parallel career track. The team was dissolved a year later due to new Sr. Management team. But I learned a lot in that year which allows me to be a better Sr. dev/team lead now.
Getting on an embedded project with some other really good engineers, and them being willing and able to let me learn everything I could from them.
Sending my first bill and getting a big chunk of cash money in return. This was an eye opener. It made me realize that I had better know what Im talking about. From that moment on I bagan to really pay attention to the code I wrote and how it worked rather than the "fire and forget" style coding I had done before.
1995, Getting laid off from a Unix and Mac job, I heard time and time again from agents "any Novell?". I didn't have Novell on my CV, and went back to the agency that I did occasional van driving for. They called a day later, and asked if I could temp at a place they normally placed warehouse staff, but this role was in IT. PC and Novell support was added to my CV 2 weeks later, and the interviews started to role in. I turned down an easy job to travel twice as far for no more money, but the oppotunities were a lot better.
Fog Creek Home