Posted on

Left Behind

Resignation is the death of progress.

Unfocussed PHP code by Tobias Mathes, All rights reserved.


I have been frustrated with my chosen profession for many years now and it took me a long time to figure out where these frustration triggers are coming from.

Some of them are attached to the poor management I encountered many times, especially in young start-ups. I am a seasoned developer for many years now, I learned from experience and by reading a few books about management, how to properly manage companies, projects or teams. It's often not bearable for me to deal with 20-somethings who are making obvious mistakes and expecting me to blindly follow their lead. I mostly see the big picture in companies and can spot severe mistakes even before they play out to their full extent.

I have high demands on my own work performance and I tend to apply the same expectations to other people, especially my superiors. This usually leads of course to people not matching my standards and in long-term it triggers frustration. After managing several teams on various occasions myself, I learned to lower my expectations for people working for me. If you apply too high expectations to people working for you, they will always disappoint you and you will never be able to appreciate their contributions to the product, project or company.

My work performance usually is a wide pool of frustration triggers, because I kinda fell of the train some time ago and lacking the motiviation to make a run for it to catch up with it again. My focus mainly changed to project or team management, because I enjoy to delegate and more importantly to plan tasks. I have a broad understanding of technologies and requirements, I can assess which team member is more able to do which task or is enjoying the challenge. I like to put plans together and to solve the puzzle by handing the pieces to the right people. Unfortunately the current market climate in Berlin isn't facilitating positions according to my wishes. I also burned a lot of bridges in my past, which makes the hunt for a suitable position more challenging.

But there is a solution, I need to learn not to take things so seriously. I don't mean stop caring, more like don't try to apply a rating to everything or everyone. I already do this in start-ups to some extent. In start-ups every task is 'super important; must be done in a hurry'. If you redefine this as the default status, then you take the stress out of it and every task just is a 'normal' task. The 'super urgent; have to do now or never' tasks, then will become the really important, a little more urgent tasks. This categorisation also has the benefit of severly reducing the stress-level attached to everything.

I have done a lot of growing in the last two years and I am very different person now. I learned to deal with my 'demons', I learned to identify and solve my triggers. I am much more balanced, mostly emotionally and I know my strength, even if it's hard to see through the fog at times.

After all, it's just A Matter Of Perception and I have to accept that some people are just unorganised and chaotic, that an essential part of my job is 'Trial and Error', that I am left behind and have make a run for it, if I ever want to catch up. I did a Marathon, that should provide me with enough endurance to last in a bad company with an over-demanding 20-something year old boss and a half-decent pay.