Why I Made the Switch (Part I)

Let’s review my background. I am twenty-three. I graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in computer science. I worked for eight months at a software company in the consulting division writing software for monitoring large computer networks. The application itself was cool, but I became discontent for two reasons: the tools and work environment.

By tools, I mean that we were using C, a low-level programming language, to write a large windows application. To write simple features took weeks. Bug fixing often involved tracking down numerous memory leaks and other outdated tediousness. Of course we leveraged a multitude of libraries that provided functionality obtainable in higher-level languages, but these were proprietary libraries. A newbie like me had to figure out what was there and how to use it and then come to terms with the fact that this knowledge would be useful nowhere else. I wanted to learn how to use the latest languages and libraries that allow for rapid application development and a more frequent feeling of accomplishment.

Second, the work environment was not stimulating. Everyone worked on their own feature and communicated only at weekly meetings or when a question arose. Maybe that makes sense. We had a job to do and we were doing it. But I prefer a more intense and interactive environment, like that perhaps of a startup company where you are constantly going back and forth and looking over each other’s screens while rapidly putting together an application. Additionally there was no flex time benefit and the Internet was filtered such that certain sites (like email or cnn) could not be reached. Is this kindergarten?

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