Dev Retro 2022: Everything I've Learned
Table of contents
No One Cares About Your Career as Much as You Do
This year I've learned that my career is 100% my responsibility and that it's entirely up to me to make the right choices that will lead me to my desired career outcomes.
Managers are responsible for the team's performance and ensure the team works towards the company's goals.
There may be some good managers out there, but remember that, in the end, you are the owner of your career.
Hobby Coding Is Different From Work Coding
Hobby coding is entirely different from work coding.
Knowing how to create a small game in your own time has nothing to do with the ability to:
Read, write, and debug existing code.
Build, design and deploy software using several different tools.
Dealing with office politics.
Dealing with tight deadlines.
Communication Is a Precious Skill
Communication is, in my opinion, a special skill and one of the most transferable.
By "communication", I mean:
The ability to explain complex topics using simple words
The ability to present without losing your audience's attention.
The ability to persuade people.
The ability to deal with uncomfortable situations.
Tech Burnout Is Real
Unfortunately, this year I suffered from burnout.
I often heard and read about burnout thinking it was a fantasy and something I would never experience.
I was wrong. This year it got me.
Briefly, what is burnout?
Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.[MayoClinic]
I understood I had burnout when:
I was anxious every day, weekends included. I dreaded scrum standups, and opening the work laptop felt like a chore.
I was struggling to sleep.
I was losing interest in activities I regularly did.
I was feeling disillusioned about my job.
Burnout is awful, and I don't wish it on anybody. It has a toll on your physical and mental health.
Helping the Community Is Heart-Warming
Helping the Community is one of my favourite activities to do. This year I had the joy and pleasure of being one of the facilitators at the EY Foundation's "Tech Futures" event.
It was a workshop where teenagers had to create a sample application to tackle the cost of living crisis in the UK.
At the end of the event, they would pitch their ideas to a board of judges.
It was fun, and I'm looking forward to doing something similar in 2023!
Relationships Are More Valuable Than Money
This year I've learned that relationships are more valuable than money in the long run.
I firmly believe that networking and having a community of people around you can save you from being jobless (as well as other problems, such as loneliness).
This year I've found myself in difficult situations multiple times, and I reached out to people on all those occasions. Not objects, not money, but people.
There Is No Job Security
Mass layoffs within Big Tech companies have marked this year.
Meta, Microsoft, and Twitter have laid off thousands of their employees. And there may be more layoffs happening next year.
Even software engineers, though well-paid, can be laid off. You earn 70k one day and 0 the next day.
Job security is not something your company can guarantee.
Job security comes from the fact that you can always work somewhere else as a software engineer.
This year has taught me to:
Stay humble and keep adding skills to your toolset.
Have at least six months of salary set aside.
You Don't Always Get What You Deserve
This is a lesson that I learned the hard way.
There are people out there that are less competent than you, earning more money than you.
Why does this happen?
They know how to sell themselves and negotiate at the interview stage.
So, do you always get what you deserve? Not all the time. Often, you get what you negotiate.
My 2022 has been full of lessons. I wouldn't say it's been my best year so far, but overall I'd say that I've made some progress in most areas of my life and am happy about this.
What has been your biggest lesson in 2022?
Let me know in the comments.
Until next time!