I have always grown up with the belief that everything happens for a reason. Getting let go from my last job is not an exception to this belief. Considering everything that I have learned about myself during this time, I might even argue that this could be one of the better things that happened to me. I believe that this is something we call “a blessing in disguise“. After being knocked off kilter for the past four years, I sort of felt this time, despite the stress, somewhat refreshing. It has been a time of discovery, dedication, and renewal. It has also been a time to determine the direction that I want to take myself, in regards to my software development career. Having been given the gift of rediscovering who I am and what made me, it is now time to get up and move forward, taking that identity with me.
What Got Me Here
I’ve discovered that in order to determine where I’m going, I needed to figure out how I got here. Not in some cosmic “meaning of life“ type of discovery, but more or less the things that I have done and the mistakes that I have made which have brought me to this point at which I am writing this. What I discovered from my last blog post, was not only that I love to code, but why I have this love of coding. I discovered what gets me really excited when it comes to coding. I have been using my down time to sharpen my skills and broaden my toolsets, such as working with Node.js and Angular, which I found gave me a deeper passion for code. I was even able to put that love of coding into creating some useful music utilities, in the form of pattern generators based on Euclidean geometric algorithms, during this down time.
So, with all that said, how did I wind up in the position that I’m in? Well, looking at all of the things that I have discovered about myself, I think the reason that I got in this position is very simple: I wasn’t really coding. Yes, I was writing code, but almost all of that code was more maintenance in one form or another. To me, that’s not really coding, in the software development sense of the word. Yes, I was finding challenges patching some major security holes, but it wasn’t really an execution of that daring to dream type of code. The consequences of it was that I felt a certain detachment from the rest of the team. So, honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was mentally checking out long before this happened. I had experienced it before. It was one of the main drivers that caused me to leave BlackBerry. I had stopped being a programmer, and was more of a juggler and a bug fixer. If anything, I was repeating history. The last few weeks had me being more creative than I have been in the last few years. As simple, or as complex, that the code that I had written for Logic Pro X was, I was being creative and filling a need, I was also answer my own code challenge. It was challenging me to think. More importantly, it was challenging me to visualize data in a more creative fashion. It taught me to see beyond the numbers within the algorithms, and use my Asperger strengths and recognize patterns and how to program them. Between all of the coding challenge is that I have done for prospective employers, and the coding challenges that I came up with myself it was very obvious to me that the type of coding that I wanted to be doing, I was not doing in the past few years. So yes, well this time is very stressful, I am grateful that it has given me the period of self-rediscovery and has allowed me to reignite my passion for programming. As hard as it is at the moment, in a way I have become far better for it.
Knowing what I know, it’s now time for me to be determining where I am going with all of this information. I certainly have no desire to repeat history for a third time. That would not be a good use of everything that I have learned. This has taught me to be more diligent of the questions that I ask prospective employers during the interview process. If anything, I found myself being able to walk away from certain interviews with a sense of satisfaction, and from other interviews that made me wonder if I was going to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. This to me is a good thing, because not only is a company interviewing me, but I am also interviewing the company. While they’re looking to see if I will be a good fit for their team, I’m also looking to see if their team is a good fit for me. I am looking for a company that will keep me engaged, feed my passions for programming and challenge me to dare to dream.
The bottom line is this, the reason that I am rather anxious to get back to work is more because I want to code. And knowing what I know now, I am certain that once I am in that place, you can probably bet that I won’t be in this place again!