Warning: Steep Learning Curve Ahead

Warning: Steep Learning Curve Ahead

Not too long ago, I was a fresh arrival at Nearsoft. A bit too fresh, if I may say. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to experience quite a lot of professional growth in an unexpectedly short timeframe.

What made it all possible was the amazing help I got from my team.

Relying on Teamwork

It was in October 2014 that I joined Nearsoft as a backend Java developer.

In all the time I’ve been at Nearsoft, I never ever really worked alone. From day one, my pair, fellow Nearsoftian Edgar Perez, helped me tremendously. I was glad to have him by my side because the platform that I was working on was quite large and Edgar played a major role in my full adaptation to the client’s stringent specs.

What I actually do at Nearsoft is not just my work, but our work. It’s a team effort.

Initial Challenges

Just as I was getting comfortable with the way things get done at Nearsoft, I was about to face a larger challenge: working on my first Story.

The timing was not the best either, since all this happened during Christmas. Most everyone had gone home on vacation. It was going to be challenging to work on this by myself. Fortunately, that was not the case.

side-learning-curve-ahead

Everyone in my team was there all along for me. As a result of our collective effort, the Story was finally completed.

We pulled through!

Caution: Learning Curve Ahead

The challenges kept on coming, and they got bigger every time.

A humongous story came in, so big we had a month to resolve it. This story was about enabling online payments. To make it even more problematic, it was not very well defined. It was so big that we ended up needing more help than just the two of us.

So we asked other members of the team how we should go about it. We ended up splitting the story in two parts: backend and frontend. Edgar and I focused on the frontend part, and other people helped us with the backend.

We still didn’t fully know the technologies that we were working with. A large chunk of the client’s platform, and the foundation itself, was written in Javascript. However it used a framework that was heavily tweaked for the specific requirements of this application and, to be honest, it was a bit alien to us. Just like learning a new language.

Being willing to learn new things would be key in avoiding potentially stressing situations in the future.

No Pain, No Gain

There are plenty of moments that I could label as painful. Yet they have taught me a lot.

During Christmas I picked up a Story. I understood the goal, but the amount of work was so large that I felt overwhelmed. I could not understand all the frameworks or much of the code—there was so much of it.

I didn’t know how to start. I felt stuck, and it was painful!

Luckily, my pain would soon fade away. I was working shoulder-to-shoulder with Edgar, who always encouraged me not to worry unnecessarily. As he said, no one really knew the whole system in its entirety, only part of it.

However, when he took off on vacation I found myself alone again. I thought I’d challenge myself and dig deeper into the code. This proved to be a wise move. I gained a lot, both in technical knowledge and in self-confidence.

Remarkable Moments

Despite these sometimes large stumbling blocks, I was never really alone. Every time I got stuck, my teammates were there for me, even if they were on vacation. They were always present, always open to my questions, and looking after me.

These people love their jobs and they love helping others!

There are plenty of other examples during my time at Nearsoft in which I’ve found myself not knowing how to do this or that. But regardless of the circumstances, there have always been people who were willing to help me.

It has been remarkable.

A Final Word

I am aware that I still have a long way to go in my learning curve. But there’s no question that have learned a lot from folks at Nearsoft. I learned the techniques and ways to get things done. And I’ve grown with them.

In contrast to the way I felt when I first joined Nearsoft back in 2014, I feel I can handle whatever comes my way.

So the next big challenge: bring it on!

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