I recently accepted a job offer at Pavlov Media, in Urbana-Champaign. After I finish my degree, I’ll start working there as a front-end web developer. I’m excited to return to my hometown, but I’m even more excited to call myself a college graduate and a professional software developer. These new identities are quite the boost to my ego.

My ego is telling me I’m nearing the end of a great journey. I’m finally graduating, and I’ve landed a real developer job. Instead of this mindset, I’d like to think this is only the beginning of my journey. I want to be humble as I enter the industry. To remind myself, allow me to share two moments where my self-pride as a programmer has gotten the better of me.

I used to help run a website for Cal Poly’s campus radio station. I’d get emails telling me to post announcements and events, and I’d be unhappy when the descriptions for these events were not written yet. “I’m a programmer, but I’m being asked to do marketing”. I’d grumble and hastily write what was needed. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’m sure the quality of my writing was affected by my resentment. Since then, I’ve become more open to practicing non-technical skills.

I’ve also learned not to equate my programming skills with my own self worth. When this happens, I don’t respond well to constructive criticism. During a code review at an internship, I remember being upset at one of my features being cut. Because my feature was deemed unnecessary, I felt unnecessary. But there was really no reason to take it personally. My pride prevented me from gracefully moving on.

I’m will try to take these lessons to heart as I start working at Pavlov Media. Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you all updated on how it goes.

View of Downtown Urbana” by Daniel Schwen is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0


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