This is my last week with Amadeus. I leave the company tomorrow, the 20th of October 2022.
I’m 37 years old and I spent a bit more than 9 years here. In other words, I spent a quarter of my life at the same company.
Is it time to draw some kind of balance?
We moved from Hungary to the South of France with my wife for this job.
She learned French and probably mine also improved. It’s not that I already spoke so well, it’s more about the fact that I’ve been working mostly in an international environment where English is the first language.
We had the chance to travel quite a lot. We visited lots of places in France, we spent a lot of time in the neighbouring Italy, but we also had the chance to discover Japan, Vietnam, the Azores Islands, and New York. Thanks to my work, I even visited India twice, a fascinating experience.
We’ve been enjoying the beaches of our new home, the French Riviera, and the mountains of the French Alps.
Our two kids were born and the bigger one just started elementary school.
Nine years is a lot of time in our personal life.
It’s probably even more significant!
I’ve been working since 2006. I’ve been in IT since my graduation in 2010. Those 9 years represent 56%-75% of my career respectively. And 100% of my developer career.
I’ll always appreciate that I was accepted for a developer job without any developer experience. Amadeus took on the bet and invested in me. Of course, this is not a one-sided story. First, I already had the skills to work in a multinational organization and I had relatively good “soft skills” compared to my age. Skills that are soft, but hard to get. In my opinion, harder than getting programming skills.
Still, I will never forget the opportunity I got.
I’ll always remember my first team. I had difficult times. I changed countries, jobs, and fields. And I started with C++!
Sometimes I was sitting there for long hours when I finally asked for help and Andrey came to add a semicolon, or remove a pair of parentheses.
I had a welcoming team where people took their time to stop what they were doing and explain what I should do and how I should do it.
If I asked, they spent even more time with me and they explained the why as well.
I can thank a lot for Andrey, Samuel, and Xavier (that’s in alphabetical order). Andrey thought me mostly about C++, Samuel about Python and design patterns, and Xavier about general programming concepts such as separation of concerns. If they were not there to help, probably I would have never ended up focusing on knowledge-sharing activities so much.
My first manager, Joel helped me gain confidence.
My second manager, Rubens did the most important thing probably any of my managers did to me. He gave me a book. He gave me Code Complete. He told me that I’m not really a junior anymore - I still think I was - and if I wanted to further grow I should read Code Complete. I did and I loved it. Then I asked for a second book, a third one, and now I cannot stop reading.
My desire to get better was always very deep. Despite being an introvert, I went to an internal meetup about software craftsmanship. We did pair coding. We learned about clean code. I had to communicate with senior people who I didn’t know before. It was another game-changer.
It was a big loss when the organizer, Alessandro, left the company to start a new chapter in his life. Nevertheless, I didn’t lose what I already learned and the connections I already built. I got to know Christian there. Soon, after having spent 4 and a half years in the same team, I decided to move on and we became teammates.
When I joined that team I was looking for more Java projects, but apart from a few minor fixes, I ended up working with C++. Christian was often talking about things that I didn’t understand at all, usually related to C++. Usually when I had already turned off my computer and was about to leave with my coat in my hand… Still, I was grateful. I also decided that I had to learn C++ better, otherwise, I’ll suffer and hate my job.
That was in 2018, and though I already started to write my blog, at this moment it got its meaning. Documenting what I learn, documenting my journey. Thanks to the positive experience with my first team, I wanted to share what I learn. Besides, I also realized that if I have to write things down, I’ll understand those things better.
I spent 4 good years in that team, and that’s where I officially became a senior and later a principal engineer. I had good managers there, but my first senior manager, Sergio was arguably the best I have ever had so far.
He didn’t just talk about open-door policies, he literally tore down the walls of his office to be with us. As a manager he spoke quite a lot - often on the phone - and it was not always that great to have him in the same space, but his action was more than symbolic.
It was also he who gave the culprit to several of us on how to become a senior, a principal engineer, or an expert business analyst. He shared, helped, and always kept his word.
Last fall, I decided to join another team dealing with internal security libraries. I moved in February. I met great people there and an overly supportive management. I feel sad a bit. I feel that I let them down by leaving so fast after having joined, but I tried to make them understand it’s not about the team. First, switching companies after 9 years is perfectly normal. Second, joining such a band, such a company that I’m joining is a great career move. Last but not least, no matter what top management likes to say, money is money and this article about the trimodal nature of developer salaries by Gergely Orosz opened up my eyes.
I’m grateful for these 9 years. I became a developer and I got all the kicks in the bottom to become one who knows what he does. I became a developer who deeply cares about code quality and sharing with others how to get a better developer. And now I’m ready to move on to my next job.
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