Long time ago when the grass was green and I was a student, I used a chance to start my development career in a big and well known company.
Finally, after 3 month of work it was a talk with manager and I was fired.
Earlier this experience was like a black label in my hand: I was ashamed of this fact.
But now I see that dismissal is that unique experience that made me better.
Now I want to share some of my conclusions with you. I think it can be useful for young people who are starting their work path. Also it will be useful for managers.
I hope all these notes will help to resolve issues without dismissals.
Let me start with my personal faults:
1. My progress, efforts and blockers were not visible to management. I was focused just on work itself and only the final results played a big role for me. As a result, during assessment my manager had not full vision and it’s made my efforts less valuable.
Recommendations for a junior:
- Setup a regular way (e.g meeting, report or just message in chat) with your manager/mentor where you’ll describe your current activity, achievements and blockers.
Don’t worry if your task is not completed – just share your progress.
Recommendations for a manager/mentor:
- Setup of a clear process to communicate with your subordinate is a part of your work. Don’t forget about it! If it’s not done – it’s your fault.
2. I was too slow. It’s not a real fault: I’ve tried to do all things by myself and books. Copy-paste of others code was for me just as a crime. I was focused to do all things done without support from outside. There’re many reasons why it was so:
- University and school taught me to achieve results based on my own skills and knowledge. As I understand now, we need time to change this mentality to became a team player.
- Internet and sharing of information concept was quite new in this time and I preferred to work with books than internet.
- I have asked some colleagues for help, but they were busy. It was like a silent and unfriendly atmosphere around me.
In general, it gave me a great experience since I’ve made a lot of things by hands and understood how it works inside. But still – I was slow and my achievements was small in comparison with some other people.
Recommendations for a junior:
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help! All current goals cannot be achieved by one person – it’s a team work!
Don’t be shy if you don’t know something. It’s ok! Ask for help if needed. If your colleague is a professional – he will help or direct you to a right person.
- Don’t hesitate to re-use the code of somebody else. It’s not a crime – the whole concept of development is basing on the code reusing. Also reusing of code – is the patter which used in different areas to learn something – e.g. painters.
- Books is a good source of knowledge, but in a time of high speeds you also need to use fast channels of knowledge – communications and internet.
- Internet has a lot of information to solve different problems. Google a lot to became a guru of Search =). It will allow you for find fixes of tech problems faster to be focused on a goal, but not your mistakes and lack of knowledge.
Recommendations for a manager:
- It looks simple, but it makes sense if each junior will have a mentor who can help with answers and gives a right advice. It allows to save money spent on Junior since it will grow faster, and in the right direction. Also, busy colleagues will be not overload with unexpected questions.
Junior should have a Mentor.
- Work to setup a friendly and gentle atmosphere inside the team. It will allow to integrate new team members faster, the team will work as a team, but not individuals.
It’s a goal of Manager to make a team work as a team, but not individuals. Team should support each team member, especially junior.
Probably, I wrote a simple things, but such simple advices can prevent a portion of negative experience.
Also, the company I left used improved their processes and added onboarding and mentorship as processes.
As a summary, I see that all this experience made me much better. Now I see how important to help and grow people. I’m extremely happy if my team members growing and solve complex and outstanding problems. It motivates and gives me outstanding energy to do my work!
Good luck and don’t forget:
Even you’re fired – it will become a good and extraordinary experience later.