As I am writing this post, I have been working as a Product Developer for a little more than 9 years. A lot has changed in these years. Changes as an individual, the technologies that I work on, the size of the company and my role in the team and company. This post is not about how to go up the ladder if you are a Product Developer. It is more about how and what I feel has changed over these 9 years.
When I joined my first job as a Software Developer, I was one of the two college graduates who just joined the team. Everyone else in the team were at least more than 5 years experienced at that time. I had many to look up to in the team who played a role in how and who I am today. The team was very helpful and would appreciate me even if I do a small work out of my limit. Towards the end of my tenure in that company, I was already working independently and doing a pretty decent job.
The main motivation for me to work in my early days were people appreciating me on a job well done and getting to see the impact of the work I was doing. The second point here really gave me a different perspective on how I should look at the work I do.
And here I am today, 9 years later, working as a lead in a startup. On the way to this job, I worked on independent projects and in team projects as well in two more companies. I grew from a role where I was guided by my seniors in the team to a role where I am expected to guide the team. The meme below exactly describes how I feel on some days.
At a very high level in my current role, I interact with 5 different teams within the company on a daily basis. So being a tech lead, does not mean you just lead the technical team or deal with tech decisions. You will end up in meetings with many other teams, ideating features in the product, prioritising work, firefighting on many issues. In addition to this, I work on developing product features, support issues, and people management. With so many things to work on, I rarely get a day where I get to work on what I planned to.
So what has changed in the last 9 years professionally? In simple words, everything. Do I really enjoy doing what I currently do? There is no clear answer to this question. Sometimes, I really feel good to be working in a startup where I get to see the impact of the work in a very short time compared to the other companies I have been with. On the other hand, I feel overwhelmed sometimes with the amount of work and the odd hours I spend working.
Sometimes I wish I could spend more time on working on a feature, enjoy doing it and learn something in the process instead of finishing it in a hurry as we have a deadline coming up. There are times when I look forward to Friday on a Sunday evening! There are times I miss working in a company which follows a process in releasing a feature. I miss the Business trips.
Whether you are a fresher, senior engineer or a lead, whether you work in a startup or not, there are many factors which will make your life working in a company enjoyable. It depends on the individual, the people you work with, the amount of chaos on a day-to-day basis, what you learn in the process of working, is there a variety in the work you do. There should be something good about your workplace which makes you happy to go to office.