It has been almost 4 years since I graduated from university, and some recent event allows me to start to explore being other than an Android developer. And it’a about a month in, so I want to write down the random thoughts in my brain, hopefully at the end I will have a better vision of where do I see myself in 10 years.

What’s new

For the last month or so, I have started to pick up the task of temporarily leading a team of developers in Zalando. And just to be clear, I am not here to discuss the internals of my company, or what exactly I am working on (but you should definitely stay tune).

So what do I do now? Well, just like other types of team lead, you became the middleman between your bosses and your team, which mean you have to

  • Forward useful information to your team
  • Gether information to your bosses
  • Ensure your team is clear what is our goal, and how are we planning on doing
  • Help unblock my team members whenever necessary

And on the contrary, it also means I have a lot less time & energy to code 😢

What’s my impression so far?

So far my impression of the role is “it can be worse”. I still don’t see myself as a so call “people person”, and being in a position where you spent so many time talking to other people (via the internet) just feels really really exhausting. Right now I don’t know if it’s because of the environment, this particular network of people I am working with, or just the fact that this year has been a really fucking downer (or all of the above). But so far this does not feel very sustainable, because I am not necessarily happy about this.

To clarify this a bit more: I am not happy because work feels really exhausting, when I think it shouldn’t have been. Again, not getting into details, just saying that compare to my (handful of) past experiences, there are a lot of efforts to be made before real work can start. To be fair, it’s the first time I work in company of this scale, and there are definitely good reasons to not act like a rackless startup and just do whatever I want. But still, my brain is still taking it’s time to adjust my expectations. Afterall, this is the first time taking on such responsibilities (not counting the week in the old company where all the bosses are sick/injured/vacation and somehow it becomes my turn to pick up admin tasks for a specific feature).

So do you see yourself staying in your current company?

In short term (let say 1 year), yes. There are a few reasons

  • This is a very unique opportunity to start to think about what I want to do in the long run
  • There are still great things about working here that I want to treasure.
  • I don’t think it’s fair to the others if I get up and leave (so I am guilt tripping myself I guess)
  • To be fair, I am getting pay quite decently
  • Also it’s 2020, a stable job is a lot harder to ask for

Which means in 2 week, it will officially be my longest lasting job 🤣 i.e. first time work in a company for more than a year.

But do I see myself to continue to lead a team of people in the next year? Honestly I’d prefer not to, at least not right now. Like I said above, I feel like the way we work is not efficient, and I am not really in a position to change it (to be clear, we do have feedback channels, it’s just that it’s unlikely/unfair/unrealistic for me to say “hey I start leading a team a month ago and here are all the things you should change ASAP” and have it adopted, no matter if you are at Zalando or Google or whatever medium/big tech companies). At the end of the day, I am still very much a nerd, I have a tendency to buy in to the latest hype of the “hottest” framework/language/feature/trend/unnecessary gadget/ways of work. I would prefer to do something that can leave a reasonable amount of time & energy for me to do that, and “having 6 hours of meetings in an 10 hour day” is just not gonna cut it.

So now do you know where you see yourself in 10 years?

It’s still not clear, but at least I have started to narrow things down a bit more

  • If I want to stay as a developer, I have to be working on things that I really like, from both a feature/impact perspective & technical perspective
  • If I want to take on more managerial role, it mostly likely wouldn’t be any type of big company (at least not join company to become manager)
  • If I want to have my own company, I still have no fucking idea what I want to do, but that door is technically still open
  • If I don’t want to work in tech anymore, based on my YouTube history from this month, I would most likely to pick up metal working (I just found The Old Tony and I am basically binge watching it right now). Jokes aside, some type of crafting that still can be easily be linked to programming
  • The most likely scenario is WW3/even worse global pandemic/alien invasion/all of the above. And I am probably not gonna survive for long

Pretty sure nobody cares about this so I am just gonna post this onto my blog and call it a day. Good morning, good evening, and good night!

Where do I see myself in 10 years?