A Mentor I wish I had when I started my career

A Mentor I wish I had when I started my career

My name is Siva and I live in Hyderabad, India. I started this blog around 8 years ago to write down the technical stuff I learned so that I can refer it later and may be helpful for others also. Since then I was blogging mostly on technology related things only.

Though rarely I wrote few opinionated posts like My Life as a Software Developer in India , Can MicroServices Architecture Solve All Your Problems? , A Developers Perspective on Spring vs JavaEE they too are technology related things only.

My experience told me that most of the problems we, software developers, face are not related to technology at all. Most of the times the real challenges are dealing with people, understanding the working environment, understanding why things are happening the way they are happening, realizing what is important in life and what is not.

Am I going to give tips on “How to become a great programmer? NO.

This is not about programming. I am going to talk about life. It is about finding answers to the questions we have over the years.

Ok, let me ask you something. Did you ever feel any of the following?

  • How come that person who is good for nothing became “Employee of the Year”?
  • How come that person who don’t know the difference between Class and Object is earning far more than me?
  • Why I am not happy even though I got a wonderful salary hike?
  • Why I am not really happy when everyone around me is praising for my achievement?
  • Why am I not really happy when everyone in team is celebrating the success of project release?
  • Why the interviewer is smiling when you say I am leaving current company because I want to work on latest technologies
  • Why my manager try to find problems in my work from September to November every year?
  • How your colleague who is the winner of laziest-person-on-earth award is able to get things done?
  • Why my team lead convinced me to withdraw my resignation saying how great the current organization is but he left after 2 months?
  • Why can’t people stop watching those shitty 24X7 news channels though they know it is just all-day-bullshit?
  • I don’t know when I lost the interest to impress the world with my skills.
  • How to explain to my American friends that I am not here to steal your job? I am just trying to make a living without taking money from my parents.
  • Nothing is motivating me now. Money, fame, onsite…nothing is motivating me.
  • Why I am not able to finish my pet project? I am always leaving it in the middle and starting a new pet project?
  • I thought I will have same energy and passion for technology forever.
  • What are those abstract thoughts that are constantly telling you that you don’t belong here?

The list goes on and on.

I didn’t know many things about how things work in IT organizations when I started my career as a software developer 11 years ago. So I had to learn it the hard way, by making mistakes and learning from them.

But I am not entirely out of luck. I got a couple of friends/colleagues whom I consider as my gurus who helped me to get through the struggles and understand the things through out my career. Among them one identified my passion for technology in the early days itself and always encouraged to do better things. The other one, the philosopher, taught me about the IT culture (dark side of IT) and importance of living my own life.

Two books that made me think

When I was 6 years experienced software developer my life was filled with Technology, Passion, Java, Spring, debugging, clean code, pet projects etc.

One day I was traveling to my home town and I bought the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari written by Robin Sharma. It is a fantastic book to read, it made me think about the way I am spending my life but of-course I didn’t buy everything he said in that book. But I clearly felt that there is more to life than technology, passion and code.

After a while I started reading Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus book which actually ignited the curiosity in me to understand why people behave the way they do.

And then I read several other books which try to tell World is a wonderful place, Positive thinking brings positive results blah blah blah which I don’t really agree with by looking at the way things are happening in IT offices.

Then I came to know about Ayn Rand and read some of her books. After reading her books I started looking at things differently. I started understanding things logically with reasoning instead of reacting emotionally.

Timely advice matters

Many people learn things eventually, but if we know few things a little early we might have a better career and better life. Many times I felt like if I had a mentor teaching me things that I learned hard way I would have more time to plan my career in a better way. But one thing to remember is there will be certain things that you can learn through personal experience only, nobody can teach or you can’t understand them in theory.

So, I thought of writing about the lessons I learned throughout my life which may be….may be….helpful to someone else too. I am not going to tell any “8 tips to become a great programmer” sort of thing. It is to make you think about more important things in life like Family, Health, Your Happiness.

You need to understand one important thing though. Whatever I am going to write is based on my perspective of life which obviously depends on what I am, where I came from, the environment I grew up, the people I live with, the people I work with, from whom I get inspiration etc. Your life might be totally different, your perspective on things might be different, so take my opinions with a pinch of salt :-).

Ideally the person who is knowledgeable and works hard should become successful. But we are not living in ideal world. And things don’t happen just randomly too, they happen for some reason and it is my attempt to explain those reasons based on my experience and perspective.

I would like to write about some of the interesting things happened in my career and life and what I learned from them as a series of posts.

More on this soon. Keep reading!!!

Siva avatar
About Siva
I am a student of life learning new things everyday
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