Having an online presence was very important, if I wanted to become a developer I should be where the community was.
Codecademy helped me, in the beginning, to learn the basics of web programming in a fun and engaging way.
Learning by doing has always been my motto, and trying new technologies the best way to keep me motivated.
At the end of the year, I quit my job to go all-in and pursue my dream to become a software engineer.
The beginnings are always hard and being completely new to this sector finding clients wasn’t easy. But I had the goal and vision clear so I kept pushing forward.
I started creating most of my freelance projects in WordPress because of its approachability and because it fitted well within the requirements of my clients.
I almost by accident came across Gatsby which lead me to React. The declarative nature and the component-based approach got my attention so I went back to learning mode.
With my little experience, the few projects I received were not enough to support me economically so I started a new part-time job.
Until this point, all the projects I developed were basic WordPress sites or simple experiments. This was my first product launch of a React app used by thousands of users.
If I wanted to be successful I needed a place to showcase what I could do and the work I had already done for others. This is why I rebrand my freelance work and launched a brand new site.
At the beginning of the year, I started to apply for full-time front-end positions in Barcelona. Surprisingly for me after just a month I received my first offers and in April I started working.
I had always worked by myself, so working within a team and in a fast-paced tech company was a challenge. Agile methodology, pull request, code reviews, retrospective meetings, user stories, production, sprints, staging environment, DevOps, a new concept to learn every single week.
Before Covid-19 I almost never worked remotely but now we had to learn how to keep working together as a fully distributed team.
Apart from working remotely we also launched the new application for xceed.me during the lockdown.
At the end of the year, I started looking for a new chapter in my career. A different path to keep growing and trying different roles, and also new challenges to never stop learning.
At Immfly I worked remotely from the beginning, which was a challenge for me as I work better when connecting with my teammates. I learned the importance of seeing each other, the informal conversations and meeting IRL.
Because my team was working in an external product, we had very little to say in its development. Also, the particularities of the industry made it really difficult to see the result of our work in the hands of the users. I felt very disconnected from them and far from being a product engineer.
After just seven months, I decided to leave Immfly. I enjoy when being in a product-centric team where I can participate in its development end to end. I am not just a developer who codes some predefined tasks, this was not for me.
I reflect a lot when I need to take big decisions, and seeing that my last one career one was a fail hit hard on me. I needed time to think what should be my next path.
After the summer I started working at Gigapipe an early stage start-up in the big data field. There were a lot of challenges ahead, new concepts and technologies to learn about, and a small founding team to growth alongside. This could be my path to becoming a senior engineer.
With the clock ticking and no MVP into production, I learned the importance to deliver fast and with short iteration cycles. Also, how a key factor is to have metrics to understand what your users do and want.
As a developer in an early stage start-up, your job is not just to write code. You need to assume new roles: helping in the team building process, defining a work system and implementing agile methodologies, leading technical decisions thinking in the DX and speed for now and the scalability in the future, etc.
During the summer, the company decided to pivot, and we basically throw away the MVP we have just finished. It was time to refine a new product, design it, architect it and start building it fast.
The work during the latest months, and the job mentoring and leading the team, helped me realize that I was ready to step-up. I could consider myself a senior engineer.
I learned the hard way that it is not possible to change everything at once. If you encompass too much, you will fail, just focus on the battles with the biggest rewards and save your forces for later.
Being part of an early stage start-up in the current economical context had a risk. This became evident before summer when everyone in the team was laid-off. I took this as an opportunity to learn on what we did wrong, what decisions leaded us to this moment and what could I have contributed to avoid it.
This time I didn’t feel I failed by deciding to join Gigapipe as the causes of this situation were outside my control. Despite that, I decided to take the opportunity to recharge and give me time to choose my next path.