Along my professional path I have sought out and read other developers’ stories about their experiences to understand if my thoughts were a symptom of madness or if there were others like me out there.
That’s why I want to share with you what I think about the “invest in yourself” mantra.
If you’re considering a change in your career, it might be worth reading this story to find out if you’re the only one who’s crazy or if there are at least two of us ?.
Becoming a Laravel certified developer in 2018 gave me a small opportunity to think about myself and how “investing in myself” is improving my professional life slowly but constantly.
I truly believe that I would be in a very different situation if I had continued on in my old ways.
When I started my first job as software developer, it seemed that everything was going in the right direction.
I’d graduated in Software Engineering and my career had begun at Ericsson,one of the biggest technology companies in the world. I left my home in Sicily and I moved to Naples, one of the best cities in Italy.
Develop software applications that other people use always gave me a very good feeling. It was just like when I developed a booking web app for football match reservations as a kid, and my friends and I imagined that the software would take control of the world by turning off the hot water while people were in the shower… ?.
I was excited to work at Ericsson, and I wanted to learn as much as possible… but if I have to be honest, nothing happened.
My time at Ericsson marked the beginning of the only period of my life where I stopped investing in myself. The context was completely different from my expectations. And my doubts soon arrived.
The company was really old. Old work tools, very high average age and a big pyramid of middle managers.
In two and a half years I never heard the term “design pattern” and the best discussion on innovation was on a new smartphone bought by a colleague.
After 12 months I asked my boss: “Send me abroad or this is the end for me!”
And so it was. I moved to Paris for a job at Bouygues Telecom.
Paris was a superb experience. Bouygues Telecom is a company where my managers were my peers, with the goal to upgrade the entire company’s infrastructure to the next level. Here, design patterns, SOLID principles, and UX became my daily bread.
During a coffee break with my team leader Gregory, I found out that Bouygues were paying Ericsson 450 euros per day for my efforts.
Certainly this value came from the Ericsson brand, but it started me wondering … How much could I earn by selling my skills on my own?
For the first time in a long time, I thought, “What can I give to the market? What can I do to find valuable solutions for the people’s pains?”
Today, I’m back in Italy. I left Ericsson and re-started my path from scratch. Now I’m the owner of a software development company in Italy that works with modern tools and methodologies to build a SaaS sustainable business.
It’s a challenge every day of course, but I learned on my skin how serious could be if you go in wrong career path completely disagree with your personal needs. Better to challenge myself than to pretend that everything is ok.
And what about Ericsson today? They planned a layoff plan for more than 1,000 people in Europe.
The morale of this story: Invest in yourself.