I thought leaving coding would make me happy and change my life. I was wrong, but let me tell you more about that. Remember when I shared with you the feeling that I didn’t belong when starting studying computer science (link to the article). You might think the feeling had gone. It did for a while, or let’s say the feeling faded. It was still here, but I had made peace with it, and it wasn’t as strong as it was to begin with.
Working made me question my career choice
However, everything changed when I started working. We are sooo not ready to work after studying theoretical things for 5 years. That’s so frustrating. I knew I was a great CS student, but I didn’t know if I was a good developer IRL (in real life). I had learned to code using so many languages, none of them was used in the projects I had to work on. I learned algorithms, graphs, Data mining, Data Science, networks… Very few of these knowledges helped me when needed. In retrospect, I can see that school gave us the keys: the logic, the capacity to analyze and learn very fast. Nevertheless, I couldn’t see that at that moment in my life.
Therefore, after spending a little more than a year working in the first company that hired me, I started dreaming about another kind of job. I felt that I had the capacity to talk to clients, I was friendly and professional. So Instead of coding, I wanted to do something more client-related. I thought leaving coding would be the best thing for me.
I ran away, literally
I applied for a VIE, it is a French kind of contract opportunity: French companies having offices in other countries open some positions for young French graduates, for a contract between 6 and 24 months, they pay for your travel expense, and you have a position of trainee in their company. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this contract, I will talk more about it in a future article. I got accepted for a VIE in the company Sublime, in New York. It’s an ad tech company handling advertisers and publishers. I had the role of frontend integrator, I would integrate the ads on the publisher’s websites. However, my role evolved into a 50% integrator, 50% publisher operations, and later more of 20% integrator 80% publisher operations. That would mean I will handle the relationship with the publishers, emailing, reporting etc… I was happy because I felt it was something new that I will enjoy doing. I learned a lot from this role.
I started to miss being a developer
However, after a while, I felt something was missing. The challenge we face on a daily basis as developers. Being part of a team. Helping each other. Talking code. Having our daily stand-ups, sprints, retrospective. Being stuck for hours on a bug, when you just aren’t compiling the right file. I couldn’t connect with my colleagues, I missed the simplicity and solidarity of my fellowship developers. After all, I belonged. It took me a while to understand that. I had to go to New York and stop working as a developer, to see that I had my place as a woman in tech. I liked being a developer. I liked coding.
When I had to leave New York I had to look for a new job, I had no doubts, I would go back to my field: Development! Frontend please! I won’t be leaving coding anytime soon.