Lifeway Christian Resources
One Lifeway Gathering
I am blessed and grateful to have been hired by Lifeway Christian Resources as an Associate Software Engineer.
Technically, my first week on the job involved traveling to Nashville, TN and visiting headquarters. A gathering of coworkers that felt like a gathering of Christian friends, I was brought to my knees in gratitude of fellowship and worship. Thank God for His divine plan that has led me here.
Because of the nature of a fully remote environment, I am grateful that my first week involved meeting my team in person, and seeing the faces of other key players in the company.
I quickly gained the reputation as the relationship builder by asking questions about my team members and stimulating conversations about faith and personal life. No one should be surprised by this, and if you want to know more about me, check out my blog post here.
“I imagine this field is going to feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs – ebbing and flowing between really feeling like I’ve earned my role and really feeling like I should just quit now before they find out they wasted their money on someone like me.”
First Technical Week on the Job
One of the first things that arrived as a work gift from my company was my new ergonomic office chair! Shortly after, came my Macbook Pro, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and plethora of cords. It was all fun and games until I realized I had to set my computer up (in order to code) from scratch, a process I did once during bootcamp as our instructor held our hands. As I set up my new home office and finally configured my computer (had to Google how to set up my SSH key in Github), I thought to myself “look at me – I’m a software engineer now!”
It wasn’t long (less than a day, I’d say!) until that feeling faded, and the imposter syndrome set in. I imagine this field is going to feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs – ebbing and flowing between really feeling like I’ve earned my role and really feeling like I should just quit now before they find out they wasted their money on someone like me.
If you haven’t stumbled across it yet, there is plenty of comedic relief on the topic of being a newbie on the job, and I recommend you seek these out and have a good laugh. Because, it definitely doesn’t feel funny while it’s happening… But, it’s actually hilarious.
Self-worth is hard enough when navigating life in general. Coming into the technology field and diving into an ever-changing environment is hard. You’ll quickly be surrounded by others who have been in the field for a long time. But, that’s the exact point! These people have experience, exposure, time on the job, time witnessing the process… And you are new! And they still hired you.
There must be some secret… It must be like they know that we’re not going to know what we’re doing right away. Maybe that helps us, and maybe we still feel like we’re stealing money from them… But if anything, we can at least feel validated and normalized in what we are going through.
Advice for your first weeks (months)
I struggle with this still, but ask questions even if they feel too simplistic or “dumb.” If you need to ask “what does Lamda mean” do it the first time you hear it and not a few weeks later (not speaking from experience or anything…) Advocate for yourself by asking the questions you need to clarify what is going on.
Be a Creep
Not in the way that will lead to an HR complaint… Duh. But be a lurker. If the experienced engineers are having meetings about the code and you have no clue what they’re talking about, join the Zoom call anyway and just trust the process of osmosis. Even if you’re just picking up words here and there.
Make a Study List
Start a list of some sort of words or phrases that you can Google/YouTube search later. It doesn’t mean you’ll get to them quickly but just start by compiling a list and then, perhaps you’ll revisit the list later and realize that you already figured a few of them out without having to do any research!