Quest to be a Senior Frontend Engineer

After working for two years at Xero I think I’m ready to really focus on the next step of the career ladder and become a Senior Frontend Engineer.

What qualifies someone to be a senior frontend engineer seems to be a bit arbitrary. My first order of business will be to define what I think the qualifications for someone to be a senior frontend engineer are and write them up in a document.

My first year as a profession web developer

Today, the largest piece of software I’ve ever written was pulled from its release for the second third time and I felt ashamed and embarrassed over completing my first year as a full-time web developer.

Thus concludes my first year as a full-time, front-end web developer. I’d love to say a started the year as a relatively, new developer and finished the year as completely badass but that wouldn’t be true. If I’m being honest with myself I’m probably the worst developer on my team and if I don’t put in a lot of effort in the next year it will probably tear me apart. I refuse to let it. So it’s time to learn from my mistakes.

“If we experience any failures or setbacks, we do not forget them because they offend our self-esteem. Instead we reflect on them deeply, trying to figure out what went wrong and discern whether there are any patterns to our mistakes.”
― Robert GreeneMastery

It’s hard to honestly, assess my current skill level and determine what next best steps for me to take should be.

First and foremost, I only blame myself. I’m not sure where this word vomit is going to go but while I may mention why I think I’ve made the various decision to get this point and feeling, I fully believe that it’s my own fault and responsibility. With my hedging out of the way, let’s get it to the details.

I started at Xero after a two-month vacation through Europe. Prior to that vacation, I worked was a WordPress developer for the marketing team of a tech startup. I was a “marketing engineer” for two years before I transitioned to the development team. I was on the development team for 6 months and it was one the most stressful and in retrospect rewarding experiences in my professional life. I was overwhelmed with the issues I saw in the business, as well as the number of things I needed to learn in order to do my job adequately. I spend 60-80hrs every week for about 6 months reading trying to learn software development best practices, Agile, JavaScript, Python, AngularJS and how the rest of the stack was put together. I pushed myself as much as I could. It wasn’t until two weeks into my vacation in Europe that I realized how burnt out I was.

Aside from helping a couple of my old coworkers out, I didn’t code for two months. This was a huge break for the newsletters, blog post and podcasts I was listening to before. For the first time ever I won my fantasy football league and read a handful of books.

I write all of this merely because I think my first year at Xero, my motivation pendulum swung the opposite direction…

The life you want to live

Is everyone else living a better life than me?

Looking through Instagram, YouTube probably Facebook why does it seem like a bunch of people have found a way to live a life free from the “grind” of a 9 to 5. How does this happen? Do they just have the audacity to try?

I enjoy my current job. It’s easily the best job/company I’ve ever had the pleasure working for.