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My 2019 Secondment


It's been a while since I've posted here, haven't I? It seems that August of 2018 was the last time I published a post here, and a lot has happened since then. Let's just say that, for the most part, things have been better for my situation: both personally and professionally.

What I do want to let you know, dear reader, is that I've got a new career now. I've found a job that allows me to develop software—websites, specifically—and so far I've been thankful for all the things that happened within the past couple of months.

With so many (much-welcomed) career-wise changes, I'd like to talk about a unique work experience I've had recently: my secondment. Here are some things I've picked up and learned during it.

New People, New Relationships

Reaching out, forming a bond, or even getting to know new people has always been a challenge for me as a socially-awkward introvert. Despite coming off as a zany person to people I'm close to, I'm actually quite bashful and quiet with people I'm not familiar with.

Another thing that doesn't help is that I really, really, really have a hard time remembering people's names. (Full transparency, I've been working with 3 fellow developers in front of me for almost 4 weeks now, and I've literally just learned all their names last week.)

It's also difficult for me to strike a balance between "friendly" and "professional" with new coworkers, but so far I've been trying to do so. I've found some success in keeping in mind the saying, "Keep coworkers at an arm's length." This has somehow improved the dynamic at work because I've found myself talking to my new coworkers more often and with ease.

New Environment Variables

In the realm of software and operating systems, the term "environment variable" is a dynamic value, set outside a program, that affects how a program runs or will function on a computer. The same description is apt for my situation, too.

What I am in is a new corporate environment. They have their own rules, company culture, and ways of doing things. If they have a way of doing things here, it's my job to adhere as best I can.

Recently, I've been getting into Linux and I'm happy to say that I've fully transitioned into using Linux-based OSes as my daily driver at my home and at work. (I use Arch Linux btw.) I was under the impression that we'll be using our same computers to work on this new project; what turned out happening was that they'd be issuing new laptops for us, with Windows 10, with a company-specific configuration to boot.

It has been mildly difficult for me to use Windows for work-related things because I don't have my specific Linux setup, but I've been trying to cope. Windows is, of course, still the most-used OS in the workplace, and I doubt that's going to change soon. So, for now, all I can do is fiddle with the locked-down PowerShell terminal and live without the GNU Core Utils.

Experience Matters

At the end of the day, I'm grateful for what's happened and the opportunity I've been given.

My company doesn't usually deploy or "send us off" to other companies just for the fun of it. My secondment was done at the behest of the company that asked us to do this project. And I was really glad that I, along with a few others, would be given the chance to work at someplace else and to change up my office view.

Personally, having a secondment was a great experience because of all the new lessons I've learned recently. Also, it's a refreshing experience to have an entirely new set of coworkers and to temporarily work at a large organization.

It was fun to work near my old workplace (my first company, and I even got to have coffee with some of my former coworkers!) and to work at the business district again. I have appreciated all of the things that have come my way these past few weeks.

In Conclusion

My secondment has been a joyful and rewarding experience for me. And, with my last week coming up, I can say that I've enjoyed the most of it thus far. Sure, some things could be better, and I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I can always reflect back on them once this is all said and done.

I'm happy to have been taught some things by the fine people there and, hopefully, I'll bring back those lessons and I'll be able to share them when I return to my company. I just hope I can see my old coworkers soon because I'm starting to miss some of them.

Our project is wrapping up, so I might as well try my best to get the product fit for production and fix the bugs the QA team finds. It's my job, as the developer, to make sure that the demands of the QA, client, and UI designer are met and get carried out accordingly.

It might be a tough last week, but I'm sure I'll be ending it with a smile.

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