Three Years of Searching

So, many folks have asked me how I’m feeling after my work anniversary of three years has passed. Honestly, my initial reaction is, “well, it’s only three years!”. But it has come to my attention that for a lot of folks nowadays, three years is probably the longest they have been at a company.

What I Learned

A lot. That is a good thing; technology is an ever-changing field and if you want to stay relevant, you want to be consistently learning.

Information Retrieval

I was new to the information retrieval space, so learning about indexing and search ranking was such a joy. This may probably warrant its own section, but A/B testing is something I learned quite a bit about since my team tests just about everything.

Programming

I learned Elixir, which was my first functional language. I learned quite a bit about frontend technologies like React and NodeJS. I learned to be okay with pairing; I can’t say that I love it, but I don’t hate it.

Infrastructure as Code

Chef, Kubernetes, Docker were all new to me. Maybe these are a bit rudimentary for some folks, especially if you do not work on infrastructure and only do product work. But, if you like autonomy and work on just about anything, understanding the infrastructure that your code runs on is key for optimizing things.

Peopleware

This sounds cliche, but it’s true so I’m going to say it anyway; the people here are what makes it awesome. When you work at larger organizations, it’s easier to fade into the background. But in a smaller sized company, you’ll be able to find yourself making connections with everyone and knowing what they like, what they dislike, when they’re having a rough day, when they’re thriving and excited to push out new features.

Looking Further Back

The landscape has changed quite a bit. Well actually, a whole lot; we moved offices! I’ve honestly lost count on how many seats I’ve had along the years. But looking at our tech stack and our processes, it’s an entirely different place. I like to bring up the old ways of “deploy days” when someone new complains about our current deploy process pains. Yes, I said, “deploy days”; we didn’t do continuous deployment, we deployed code once a week with an assigned engineer to do the deployment. Things are nicer now, we have pretty decent processes in place and are constantly sending out surveys to find any pain points.

Onward

I think I’ve mentioned that three years is a pretty short time for me. But since folks asked if I was going to write up something, I could not disappoint. I have goals to give more talks and contribute more to the open source community. I also have a goal to write more often and not just focus on code. Crazy right? We’ll see if I can hold myself to that. Onward, cheers!

By Adrian Cruz | Published Aug. 4, 2018, 8:30 p.m. | Permalink | tags: retrospective, software engineering