From Student to Employee at PMG
Exactly five weeks ago today, I started at PMG. I had been a student all my life with some internships along the way, so I kind of knew what to expect as a software developer. But what PMG offers is completely above and beyond what I thought possible in the business world.
First of all, let me get this out of the way, PMG is an amazing place to work in any position. The culture is about growth, the employees, having fun, and collaboration. Now, specific to the development team, the culture is internally focused on collaboration and learning from each other and from the industry at large. We use technologies that are used throughout our industry, we give back to the community through open-source projects, we have a daily stand up meeting each morning to talk about our accomplishments of yesterday and the goals for today, and have just a quick little bit of fun to start the day. And, what I view as extremely important, is that I am using the pronoun “we” in these previous descriptions because I truly feel I am already a part of “us.”
My expectation for starting in industry is that it would take a couple months to gain an important and definable role on our team, and possibly even longer to learn all about the technologies they use and get in on the lingo. What was really stuck in my mind was what all of my professors and the alums I knew had told me in school, that “What you learn in school is nothing compared to what you learn in industry. At your first job is really where you start to learn stuff and figure things out.” Because I had heard that sentiment so many times in college, I was very anxious to start working and be “in the real world.” And I guess I’m hear to say that I was right and wrong at the same time. I was wrong in my estimation of how long it would take and how difficult it would be get started at a company. But it is true that you really do learn a whole heck of a lot at your first job. I know I have, and I also know that there is much more down that road for me to pick up. For example,
I now know what it’s like to have a real code review – it’s humbling and rewarding at the same time.
We use git and GitHub exclusively for our source control, and it has been awesome to improve my git skills, close some issues, and already see my code in production.
Work in an agile development environment with nonstop improvements to our code and process.
Write meaningful tests that pass (and fail), and understand the importance of TDD.
Teamwork. Like real teamwork, not just writing code “separately, together” in different dorm rooms across campus.
How to write a blog post on a company website 😉
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but it shows off the most important things I’ve taken away from PMG in my short time here.
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So, aside from all the things I’ve already mentioned, this post is a little like a letter to my past self – a small, but hopefully helpful, piece of advice to anxious college students looking for jobs (especially in the Computer Science industry). As much as you may think it’s daunting and scary, it really isn’t that bad. I was always so scared to start in industry having come from school my entire life, but once you find something you enjoy, and once you find a company you love, the fear goes away, and it’s actually quite simple. I have found all of that at PMG – a place with cool projects, a great team, and enormous opportunities for growth. And if you’ll allow me to bookend this post with rhymes, PMG is a great place to be.