I started my first full-time dev job at BTI360 (and my first “real” job, in some sense) in early July. For interested family and friends, and for journaling purposes, here are my thoughts so far – on the whole, they’re very optimistic.

Stuff I Like

  1. My teammates: I really did not want to work with other recent graduates when I got out of school – the less I can be around other millenials, the better (there’s a running joke that I’m a 50 year old man). Nonetheless, my three teammates and I all graduated within the last year and a half, and they’ve blown me away with how fast they learn and work. BTI360 is intentional about who they hire, and it shows.

  2. My managers: Both the CTO and CEO are in the office infrequently, but they always stop in to ask my team how our project is going. This is something I value a lot. We chat about a wide range of things: our specific project, book recommendations, our workflow, best practices, etc. I genuinely enjoy all of our conversations.

  3. Company culture: Everyone is easy to talk to. We value best practices and actually use them. We help each other grow. Just about anything you would expect a good team to do, we do.

  4. Work hours: I can start at 6am if I want. And I frequently do (#0445club). This is one of many reasons people joke that I’m 50 years old.

Stuff I Dislike

Minor technical complaints…

  1. Frontend development: I’m not a huge fan of building websites. Constantly checking on the look and feel of the site and wrestilng with browser compatibility are, while not terribly difficult, not my cup of tea. I definitely prefer backend (server-side) development; it’s logic only, none of this “make it look pretty” business.

  2. CSS: seriously. This stuff should, in Lincoln’s immortal words, “perish from the Earth.” (That’s what he was referring to, right?)

My Strengths So Far

  1. I can work fast: when there’s a deadline or a feature I can handle easily, I’ll plow through it. On a short-term basis (two days or less), I enjoy putting a lot of pressure on myself to get something done. Sometimes it’s just plain fun too.

  2. I can communicate better than I used to: during my interview for this job, I was asked what a weakness of mine was (I’ll never forget that question; no other company asked). I said that I didn’t usually communicate my ideas to teammates or teachers; I often sat in silence thinking about a problem for several minutes before offering a complete solution. I think this was partly my introverted nature, and partly the universal desire to not be wrong, but both of those have changed.

  3. I’m curious: I read a ton, I love podcasts, and I enjoy my side projects. I have no idea how many software related blog posts I’ve bookmarked from Twitter. One day I’ll stop collecting them and start reading them…

My Weaknesses

  1. Working too fast: in the bliss of working fast, I sometimes do stupid things; it’s a problem I’ve always had (I remember getting countless lectures from my parents on this). Usually they’re easy fixes, but I commit mistakes, ignored tests, or broken code more often that I’d like to admit. Having our team’s workflow written up on the wall helps though; I’m getting better about it.

  2. Working around other people: One of the reasons I get to work so early is that I do much better work when I’m alone. Even if there’s no talking or other noise, or even if I have headphones, having other people in the room is a distraction. I wish it weren’t the case, and I’m trying to figure out how to mitigate that (suggestions are welcome).

Those are the biggest points for now. On the whole, I love this job, and I can’t wait to see what my future with BTI360 has to offer.