How I learned to love my job

I’m a software developer by trade and have been so for 6 years.

by Percy Bolmér, July 19, 2021

By [Maxwell Nelson] on Unsplash
By [Maxwell Nelson] on Unsplash

I’m a software developer by trade and have been so for 6 years. It’s a job that I love, a job that I spend time on even outside of work hours. This isn’t how I started though, in the beginning, I struggled hard.

I started my career as a junior developer using Java and PHP, two big programming languages. I learned a lot during these days, but it always felt like I was working uphill, always struggling to reach the end of day. Many concepts were hard for me to wrap my head around. Every time I started programming I was afraid of making mistakes, or doing it the wrong way. I always chased senior developers and bothered them with questions about what the “correct” way of doing things was. They were very helpful, but also very opinionated.

I never felt like I knew how to code, and I always spent much time trying to uncover the best ways of solving a problem. Always asking others how they would handle it. I probably bothered others more than I actually worked. I was insecure and afraid.

Tons and tons of XML later, any Java developer knows what I mean. I was presented with the opportunity to start my own project, for the first time.

At the time I had been developing for 2 years and I was considering if developing was a bad career move for me. I didn’t enjoy it, and I wasn’t very good at it. One last try I guess , If I could succeed in fixing this project by myself, maybe I wasn’t as bad as I thought?

I wanted to do a good job, so before starting coding I felt that I needed to research the most appropriate solution. I was of course going to use Java, that was how I was taught and trained. I spent a whole day researching what frameworks I was going to use, Spring, Struts, Hibernate etc. I did a ton of research what others with similar troubles did.

This was my time to shine, I needed a plan and I needed a good one.

By accident, I met a fellow CO worker at the Coffee machine. The best meeting place in the world if you ask me, rapid, spontaneous knowledge exchanges. He told me that he was trying a new language at home for fun. He was impressed by it. I left and didn’t really reflect anymore about our talk, back to my office where I was forging my masterpiece of a project. It wasn’t until late evening when I had gotten no closer to a structure for my project, I decided I needed a break. I felt hopeless, confused about what direction to take, I was too junior a developer for this.

I did what I always did, I called one of the senior developers to ask him, yet again, how he would have handled it. Some what tired of my endless questions he actually gave me the best advice I’d gotten during my whole career.

Do it however you want to, as long as it work —Wise Senior developer

After the call, I was yet again paralyzed, stuck, clueless how to proceed. It was with his comment in mind that it suddenly struck me. I had never taken any bigger decisions on how to solve a job myself. I had always relied on how others thought the best solution to solve it would be.

I took a long needed break. It was during this break that It occurred to me that I could take a quick peek at that language the co-worker mentioned. What was the name again?

Something with Google, so I googled.

I found A-go-tour , a web-based tutorial, which is probably the only reason I kept looking at it. I came there wanting to see the syntax, but ended up following the whole tour. And boy, it was a tour.

It felt so easy, so understandable, modern, and beautiful. It compiles into a binary, it compiled super fast, and I didn’t need Maven. I have XML nightmares just thinking about it.

Everything just felt too good, what’s the catch?

The giant leap

I took the leap, if I was going to continue to develop as a career, I needed a change. I needed to make my own decisions and start using my own ideas.

I left Java and went full out on Golang. Even though it was a new language for me, everything felt so natural. The project which was going to take weeks was done in a few days, and It wasn’t at the cost of quality. Actually, it was a lot better than if I had used java. I had fun doing it, at it showed.

I was at the top of the Hill, from here work has been downhill, in a good way. In the way that each work day feels thrilling, exciting and moving fast.

My career blossomed from here, not only because Golang is a beautiful beast. I now enjoy working, no, love it! These 5 years with Golang has been super exciting, and I still feel excited every time I sit down to develop.

My development speed has skyrocketed. I no longer need to run for advice, I do it the way I feel it should handled on. I still seek advice every now and then, I can still learn more. But I now dare making my own decisions , not afraid that one line of code will be laughed at.

I’m still searching though, remember the catch I was looking for? It still haven’t appeared.

The conclusion

This is the story of how I turned my job into something I love and enjoy doing. I’m not saying using Golang is the solution for everyone. The solution is to do what you find interesting and fun. We shouldn’t be afraid to use our own ideas and try things out. Sometimes it will be bad, sometimes there will be failures, but It will drive our knowledge forward. If we all only did what was considered the “correct” way by the majority, we would stand still in evolution. We need people to try new ways, new ideas.

Don’t let anyone stop you by telling you its the wrong way of solving it.

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