Have you ever wondered what it's like to switch your career path from the world of spreadsheets to that of code editors? That’s precisely what I did! From a business background to the thrilling world of if-else and for loops, my journey has been anything but typical.
So, why the drastic switch? For me, it was simple. After studying and working in business in my 20s, I had grown bored of it and the career prospects in front of me. I craved something more dynamic, challenging, and—if we are being honest—a tad more geeky. Now, I'm a Junior Software Engineer at Easy LMS.
In this article, I will share with you my journey and what it is like to work as a junior software engineer at Easy LMS. If you are interested in learning more about things such as the culture at our company and the learning path for someone just getting started in software engineering, you’re in the right place!
Get ready to learn more about the good, the bad, and the nerdy of my tech transformation!
How did I get here?
Despite having studied Business and worked in Marketing and Sales, I'd catch myself reading up on the latest tech trends or dabbling with code online, all while wondering how to take this geeky side hobby and turn it into a full-time gig. Not surprisingly, my favorite jobs were those for tech companies or those requiring me to create landing pages for marketing purposes using HTML. Eventually, I decided I wanted to work in a more technical role.
To put what I'd learned to the test, I built three different projects on my own. These weren’t just “Hello, World!” kinds of tasks; they were full-fledged projects that pushed me to apply every coding magic I’d picked up. With the boot camp concluded, I had a shiny new certificate. The next step was finding a company cool enough to allow me to consolidate what I had learned and, even more importantly, allow me to continue my learning path! Spoiler alert: I did! 😄
A challenging but fun start
My colleagues were super helpful
When I first landed at Easy LMS, they were cool enough to bring me on as a full-time trainee, focused mainly on front-end development. What’s not to love about front-end, right? It’s where you see the magic happen right before your eyes! My first weeks were about taking online courses to get me up to speed. The company was super chill about it—they gave me the freedom to pick which courses to do first and didn’t set any hardcore deadlines.
Those first weeks were a whirlwind! On one side, I was quickly progressing through online courses; on the other, getting my head around Easy LMS's code architecture and processes. Plus, diving into the toolbox of dev tools they got here. It sometimes felt like juggling while riding a unicycle, no joke. I was super eager to contribute, which led to some rookie mistakes. Stuff like making assumptions about the code, skipping the planning phase, or not fully grasping the context of what I was supposed to do. And don't even get me started on Test-Driven Development.
My colleagues were super helpful. They were patient, answered my noob questions, provided me with many tips and feedback, and taught me valuable lessons. Let's be honest—software engineering is no cakewalk. One wrong line of code, and you’re looking at a broken webpage or, worse, a crash-landed website.
The reason I could still have a blast despite all the mayhem? It’s because Easy LMS's culture is all about learning. No one expected me to waltz in and deploy flawless code. Instead, they wanted me to learn, explore, ask questions, and make many mistakes. The CTO, Job, introduced me to this great philosophy—aim up, compare down. Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on how far you've come. That mindset is baked into Easy LMS's culture.
I broke tasks into small steps with that support and reveled in each small win. Before I knew it, my confidence was building, I was contributing more to the team, and I leveled up from a trainee to a Junior Software Engineer!
How Easy LMS fuels your growth
Mini-library with game-changing books
Easy LMS has this neat mini-library at the office. It’s not a “you must read or else" kind of thing; it’s more like a “feel free to grab a book when you’re up for it.” One book that I really liked was David Farley’s "Modern Software Engineering.” This book is like the Yoda of Software Engineering! It breaks it down to the core: sound software engineering is about learning and managing complexity. No, you don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia of coding languages; it’s more about wrapping your head around complex systems. Think of it as tiny steps and early feedback. And it’s OK if you forget how things connect; the trick is to code in a modular and manageable way. If you're into coding, read the book; you won’t regret it.
Online courses to your liking
Learning at Easy LMS is like breathing
I was also free to do online courses to fill in the gaps or refresh my memory. Learning at Easy LMS is like breathing; it’s just what we do here. And hey, it's okay to Google stuff or hit up Stack Overflow. Whatever gets the job done, right? The crucial thing is that you understand what you are doing and why, of course. And if you don’t? That is fine; ask for some help!
Get better with the Improvement Kata
Let me tell you about another real game-changer: the Improvement Kata. This is basically a personalized challenge, where you set goals and timeframes and measure your progress. I had a senior software engineer as my coach for this; it was great! We met weekly to track how I was doing. First, I focused on stuff like confidence and anxiety (remember the aim up, compare down thing?), then on adjusting my behavior and taking on habits such as planning ahead and asking for feedback early. This made a big difference!
Lastly, let’s talk pair programming at Easy LMS. It requires two or more people. One person is the driver, controlling the mouse and keyboard, while the other is the navigator, giving directions. Sounds stressful? Nope, it's actually a blast. With different minds tackling a problem, you have some really cool discussions and insights. Nobody’s here to judge; it’s all about learning together and nailing that code.
So there you go! From books and courses to Improvement Katas and pair programming, there’s always something or someone to help you. Learning is just how we roll at Easy LMS! 🚀
Life at Easy LMS
First things first, Easy LMS is super chill. There is a real focus on keeping everyone stress-free, and they actually mean it. There’s a big push for us to keep learning and getting better. I'm talking courses, books, mentorship, conferences—whatever you feel you need to improve at your job will most likely be provided!
Your voice matters
Here, everyone’s voice matters, not just the high-ups. Your opinion is welcomed whether something directly relates to your area of expertise or not. We're all about that flexibility and experimental mindset; we're on it if there's a new way of doing things. Not sure how something is done? Most likely, there is an article about it, and if not, you are welcome to write me once you figure it out.
Anyone can have good ideas
At Easy LMS, decisions aren’t just passed down to you; they're shared, and everyone gets to weigh in. Anyone can have good ideas! We believe in always relying on your colleagues. You can reach out for help, to get someone’s insight, or to share something cool you built. Speaking of which, this is an international crew, so there’s a fantastic mix of perspectives.
Inclusivity is also a big deal for us. Easy LMS lets you be you. We don’t have a dress code or strict office rules everyone must obey. Are you not a Dutch speaker? No problem. We use English as the official language, so you will not be left out!
Foodies, listen up! Every day, there's a healthy lunch table with items we order weekly, and we all eat together. Do you like eating Nutella with Siracha sauce and a boiled egg? A bit odd, but it's OK. Make sure to include whatever you like in the grocery list; it will be there for you to enjoy. Come Friday, we like to celebrate the hard work we did during the week with some beers to kick off the weekend. We also have plenty of games in the office for friendly competition every now and then. We have an entire fridge filled with all kinds of beer imaginable. And guess what? Our barbecue game is strong! CEO Jeroen turns into a grillmaster every few weeks in our cozy garden. We're talking everything from fish and veggies to steak that melts in your mouth.
I feel super grateful to be working here. The support I’ve gotten has made both work and learning a blast. But it's not just a haven for software engineers; it’s an excellent place for anyone to thrive.
As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot since I first joined Easy LMS. Here are some of the most valuable lessons I’d like to share:
- Becoming a much better software engineer isn't just about memorizing a bunch of code and the syntax of a coding language; it's about figuring out how to find the answers you need.
- When stuff doesn’t go as planned, see it as a prime chance to learn and improve. Even the most experienced software engineers make mistakes.
- Ask for help often and early! Don’t freak out if your code doesn’t work.
- Make a plan before you start coding, and share that plan with someone to avoid going off in the wrong direction.
- Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Everyone's on their own journey, learning in their own way. Be proud of the progress you’ve made!
Easy LMS is a great place to kickstart your career! You get to learn, mess up, and grow without the stiff-collared, clock-watching stress. All while building a fantastic LMS tool!
Whether you’re a code wizard or a newbie like I was, Easy LMS is the spot for you. The culture here is all about freedom and leveling up your skills. You’re never boxed into just doing your 'job’. You’re encouraged to branch out, be creative, and become a better version of yourself. And let me tell you, it's a blast working here.
So, here's my call to action for you: if you’re into personal growth, a super relaxed atmosphere, and maybe a Friday beer or a BBQ feast, what are you waiting for? Click that 'Apply' button already and get ready to join Easy LMS!