August 2018 Developer Introspect

For a few months since the start of the year, I have been juggling with commitments laid out to me by work, relationships and life in general. It seems that I haven’t really gotten enough of peace of mind and time to step back at what life has been giving to me on both good and bad ends. Looking through them thoroughly, I would’ve gained more perspective and assert myself with hope and acceptance to keep going. It seems that I have struggled less and lost a little bit of fire in me. Being able to live comfortably, gaining some amount of entitlement and respect are results of learning and experiencing challenges from my past. What I come to realise right now is that I cannot simply accept a feeling of adequacy and complacency in my life. I want to battle it out a bit more and challenge myself more to improve or at least, maintain the work ethic I have always set myself to. With this, I would like to share my sentiments on working with my current company, USTG and how it has affected me positively and adversely.

What can I say, it’s a great IT company, as a whole. There will be times you will get enough credit from a successful deployment and features you’re able to push through production. Behind this, there is a diverse number of teams where you can be part of. I’m blessed to be part of all the teams I have been with so far given the multiple responsibilities you can be assigned to (e.g. development, client-facing, admin, bug fixing, mentoring, etc.). There are also averagely placed processes you must steadily follow that is dictated by the account and project managers. After quite some time last year, I’ve realised that there is a lack of technical depth and discussion happening in between teams. Daily stand ups become a bland routine discussing the TODO’s mostly, but not seeing much value and fulfilment in them. The enhancements become focused in the business part instead of innovation. Moreover, legacy systems cannot keep up with new technologies coming out. I have to agree at some point with the saying, “Don’t fix it if it’s not broken” but that could poison our minds that being average is enough (it isn’t for me at least). On a side note though, if you’re a bit careful, all these triumphs and failures will grant you some humility but might lower your drive.

I started reading my old blogs and saw how technically articulate and curious I had been in the early days as developer in 2015. What is sad right now is that in order to be really successful, you have to be be a better version of your self but that’s not what seeing I am now. I may be deluded by my thoughts since I’ve been working for quite some time there but daily struggles (renting/commuting, pleasing my family/gf, child support) are what has become my main concerns rather than innovating. Moreover, distractions (e.g. social media, tech news, Youtube, material things, etc.) add up to all of that, now that I have become more financially stable. It may also attribute to the salary raise I got which is quite substantial, which allowed me to buy things I want and even treat my family expensive dinners from my own pocket. With that bumped up salary though, I was able to afford living on my own in my father’s invested property and buy a refurbished 2015 13″ MBP which I consider, are so-so achievements; purchasing your own place and turning it to a renting gig while utilising the Mac operating system to build Swift applications and publishing it in the App Store are way way better goals.

But wait, I could think through some side projects I have been doing such as an online shop and a monitoring mobile app. But for some reason, I am still feeling a bit lacking since I’m now using my experience to build it and not innovating enough. Any skilled developer can build or code their own mobile/web app. Maybe completing them could also give a sense of achievement since they can end up as passive income generators. Maybe, I am gaining an entrepreneurial spirit and building something for myself could be what I am looking for at this point. People can change and see more of what they can take from life.

Maybe, I need to make more time in posting here and be able to assess my current situation from time to time. This could act as a therapeutic activity I need to engage in aside from participating in weekly basketball with high school friends.

Whatever it is I am going through right now, I won’t be contented as long as I keep moving and struggling, in a bad or good way. Settling down is also not a good option in 20’s and especially 30’s, unless you put yourself in a good place where you won’t have financial woes, such as winning the lottery. And a lot of younger people now, will start looking up to you and being a nice person not expecting much in return is highly expected of you as you grow more influential to nearby family and peers.

That’s all for now. Let’s all keep hustling.

-G