Overcoming personal expectations

Overcoming personal expectations

by | 4 min read
Originally posted on newsletter.alexhyett.com

I have been on my new job now for 3 weeks, and it is going great. The team is fantastic, the work is interesting, and I have already released several features into production.

The only problem I am currently having is overcoming my personal expectations of how I should be doing.

It has been 4 years since I was last starting at a new job and even then it was at a company I had worked at before. In reality, it is more like 7 years since I was last a new fresh-faced member of a team with no idea how everything works.

I can tell you, it is a humbling experience.

Generally after a few months I understand the architecture and code well enough to make changes at a reasonable speed. It is only really once I have been working on a project for 6 months or more that I truly come into my element and start delivering features at a breakneck speed.

It is easy to forget when you have been working somewhere for several years, what it is like when you first started. The fumbling around trying to get your development environment set up, trying to work out how the architecture links together and picking up the coding style used by the team.

I know part of me used to get frustrated when developers would take a week to finish a feature that I could have done in one morning. I am now one of those developers again, and I am getting frustrated with myself at how long things are taking.

A lot of this is to do with having to learn a new tech stack. C# is still used, but the whole architecture is on Microsoft Azure which I haven’t touched in over 7 years.

On top of that I am learning:

  • React
  • Next.js
  • Tailwind CSS
  • PostgreSQL

I have touched on some of these in the past, but now that I will be using them everyday I need to take some time to learn them properly. I love learning new things, but it is definitely slowing me down a bit.

So if you on a new job or new to software development in general, hopefully it is comforting to know that even a developer with over 13 years of experience can take a while to ramp up to full speed again.

I am currently having to remind myself that it is OK that it is taking a bit longer to deliver features. I will get faster over time and I just need to be patient with myself.

Luckily, with Christmas just around the corner we aren’t looking to ship any big features which gives me a bit longer to learn the ropes and get acquainted with the architecture and data model.

I hope you all get a chance to take your foot off the gas a bit this festive season and spend some time with your families.

❤️ Picks of the Week

📝 Article - Polish Hackers Repaired Trains the Manufacturer Artificially Bricked. Now The Train Company Is Threatening Them - Some companies take it too far when it comes to protecting their products. If the product breaks then you shouldn’t be forced to use a certain company to fix it. That is like taking your car to KwikFit for its MOT and then no longer being able to drive it because it wasn’t done by the dealer.

📝 Article - How Plane, an open-source alternative to Jira, got to the #1 in project management on GitHub in less than a year - I haven’t heard of Plane before but well done to them, and it does look like a great alternative to Jira.

📝 Article - Zero downtime Postgres upgrades - as I mentioned in today’s issue I have been using Postgres more recently. This week I was getting stuck into doing backups with pg_dump and pg_restore. I am sure I will learn a thing or two from this article.

📝 Article - What Will Enter the Public Domain in 2024? - Many people selling things on Etsy don’t seem to care about copyright law. Legally however you can only use something once it has entered the public domain. There are a few interesting additions coming next year including Steamboat Mickey Mouse, A. A. Milne’s “The House at Pooh Corner” and the works of J. R. R. Tolkien e.g. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This does vary between countries though so check first.

🛠️ Tools - Actual Budget - I have started tracking my spending more. I have always kept a budget, but I am never that clear whether I am always spending within it. I have started using Actual which is an open source application similar to YNAB. You can link it with a free GoCardless API to pull down all the transactions automatically. I will do a post next year about how I manage my personal finances as a software developer.

💬 Quote of the Week

If you can dream it, you can do it.

— Walt Disney

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