It only really feels like a few months ago that I was writing my one month with Viva IT blog, it feels like the time has really flown. However if I think back to what's been going on over the last year and what sort of work we've been doing, I find myself simulatenously feeling like I've been here ages and also not long at all.
In my previous blog post, I talked a bit about joining the company and settling in while everyone is remote. That is definitely something that proved to be more challenging than I expected as time went on, especially as my competance levels were changing and I was needing different levels of help at different time. Learning when and how best to ask for help when you're not working face-to-face with your colleagues took some getting used to - especially as a more junior member of the team. I'd say that I'm pretty comfortable with things now though, which is a good thing considering that we're now permanently remote!
Coming into the company, something that I particularly wanted to improve was my technical capabilities in general. It's a bit of a 'well, duh?', but I found that my time at university left me with a feeling of 'I just want to get stuck in!!'. I tend to learn best by practicing and doing things, so I'm glad that I've been able to dig my teeth into things basically from day one. Variety is something that I enjoy in my work, especially coming in as a graduate and not feeling 100% sure on the kinds of things I did and didn't like working on. I didn't want to decide straight away that for example 'I don't like front-end' until I was satisfied that I had given things a proper try in a real-world environment. Thankfully, over the past year I've been allowed to have a say in the kind of things that I work on, and I've been able to work on a variety of projects from front-end to back-end, web to mobile and have learnt a tonne of things both technical and about myself and the kind of things that I enjoy. Things such as front-end which I found boring during university have actually been enjoyable here because I've been able to be challenged, but also have the support available so that I'll never get stuck and frustrated at something due to a lack of knowledge or experience.
Around when I started, Kane released a blog post about the Dunning Kruger Effect and it's something that I've tried to keep in mind over the past year. Being cognisant of what it is and what kind of feelings it involves has been beneficial to me over the last year, allowing me to be careful when I knew I was around the Peak of "Mount Stupid", and providing comfort in later months when I felt a lack of confidence and that I was in the "Valley of Despair". Knowing that experiencing the Dunning Kruger Effect is a very normal and common thing has encouraged me to prompt myself to think back over the last year and the work that I've been able to do, and how I have exceeded my expectations I had of myself when I first joined. It is something that's difficult to go through, but being aware of it and that people around you are likely to have experienced it too can help alleviate those negative thoughts and feelings.
I've really enjoyed my first year here, I've been faced with many challenges which have allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone and grow as a developer which is exactly what I wanted out of a graduate role. I'm looking forward to future challenges yet to come!