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New Beginnings

It's been two weeks since I started my new job as a Software Engineer at Medical Decision Logic, Inc. and it's been a great experience so far. I am extremely lucky to be part of a team that values potential over current skillset and to have an opportunity to work as a Rails developer despite having a limited experience with stack. I have to admit that I was a tad nervous at the beginning but the team has been extremely encouraging and I am already finding out that with the help of pair programming, I can still pitch in and make small contributions despite limited experience.

I was working on an implementation of a user story with another memeber of the team today and it was jQuery heavy. Having never used jQuery and only used JavaScript for basic form validation back in 2005 for a web programming course, I had my work cut out. However, I realized that I was still able to think clearly about how the DOM works and figure out an the function that we had written was not working because it was being called before the element was being loaded on the page. Granted that this is probably common knowledge & not that exciting for most people, it still feels great to have contributed.

With that said, I am under no illusions that I can get by with just this. There are tons of things that I will need to learn but the experience so far has already exposed me to important areas that I should focus my attention on. Having a specific problem to solve definitely helps and it's that much easier to experiment with ideas when you are confident that the test suite will catch most mistakes in a matter of minutes. The fact that I was able to make my solo commit on my second full day at work (the first four days of work was attending RailsConf!) was made possible because people before me put time and energy to build a solid test suite around the app.

I am still pretty new to TDD but having specific user stories & bug reports to work on also helps in guiding me to write tests. There is something beautiful about writing a test to reproduce a bug and writing just enough code to make it pass!

Outside of Ruby, Rails, TDD & Agile methodologies, I am loving being able to walk to work. I "ran" my first 5k and I'm hoping to conquer the course in the coming months and actually run it. I'm loving the pushups after daily standup as well. If I can continue the daily walking, running & pushups, I have a chance of actually getting somewhat close to being in shape.

Starting this weekend, I am planning on doing a weekly reflection & use that as a way to keep my focus on learning and identifying areas that I need to improve on. I may finally be able to not ignore the MercuryApp emails and actually put it to proper use :).

Get it working before you make it better »
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