First Day..

My first day as a software engineer
life soft-skills

Why am I writing this?

I’m hoping one day, I can look back at this blog post and remember the excitement that I feel at this moment. Sure, it’s nice to have a job, but my journey to this is not an orthodox one. From Haiti, to growing up not well off, to military life, and now a Software Engineer….

Am I really here?

That one question kept repeating through my mind as I parked in the parking garage of the fancy office building in Melbourne, FL. Of course, I’d been here before for the on-site interview. It was a bit more daunting then; the building was more imposing. Now, after accepting the offer, it was time to join the team. Excited? Yes! Nervous? You bet.

Before I could actually meet the team, I had to go through the gatekeeper, also known as HR. This one was friendly, and came bearing gifts. After I signed some paperwork, well a lot of paperwork, I was rewarded with a new 15” Macbook Pro; That was a very pleasant surprise. To be fair, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Meeting everyone and the wizard

Once I was done with HR, I finally got to meet my new team mates. I’m not sure they were as happy to meet me as I was them. I had so many questions for them, like what’s their favorite mechanical keyboard, or which editor is their favorite? Those questions would have to wait. Everyone was friendly and interesting, and it would be great to get to know them in the coming months.

I’m not sure anyone was interested in which editor I preferred, but I was tasked with reading our wiki and setting up my machine. After setting up everything, I was then asked to get ‘familiar’ with the codebase. Well, where do I start? When you’re nervous, a large Java codebase can look like gibberish. Where’s the entry point? What are these Builders for? Was this thing written by a wizard?

After some time, I built up the courage to ask for help in understanding what’s going on. It felt like I let all my professors down. The first engineer I asked told me that to get a real deep understanding, I had to go meet the guy who wrote most of it. I would soon find out that the wizard was real. In fact, the wizard was one of the people to interview me. I remember walking out of that room having learned so much. Meeting with the wizard didn’t expose any tricks or pull back a curtain, but it did get me closer to figuring out what was going on. There was so much thrown at me at once, all I could do was catch what I could. Hoping, I wouldn’t make him repeat himself. Before I knew it, the day was over.

A good first day

Well, I found today to be very exciting and very humbling. It was pretty exciting to meet everyone, but also humbling to find out how much more I needed to learn in the future. Good thing I love learning new things!

Thanks for reading :D

-Pachev

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