Junior at Hackages

Starting at a young and small company as a junior is a tough choice to make. There is a higher sense of responsibility for a person with your experience.

Junior at Hackages
Oliver O'Brien
Software engineer @Hackages
June 23, 2021

Starting at a young and small company as a junior is a tough choice to make. There is a higher sense of responsibility for a person with your experience. Aside from the challenge this opportunity provides, why would one begin their career here?

My higher education gave me a whole set of skills, I left college as a Jack-of-all-trades. Creating responsive, intuitive and attractive websites was one of my preferred directions I wanted to specialise in. As a developer I always wanted to provide a service that would benefit the community in some way. Hackages provided me a place to work on a project that would fulfill those wants, Hackjam. It is an educational platform that provides developers a test-driven environment to acquire new skills primarily in the web-design field. It provides businesses, who want to improve their employees knowledge, as well as individual developers a better practical way of gaining new skills.
Hackages welcomed me with open arms. Although I did have to find footing in the frameworks that were used, namely Angular and React. 

Into the deep end I went! With the help of our Engineering manager, Davy, and two of our Developers, Nicolas and Fabien, those frameworks became second nature to me. First I was given smaller tasks to learn the ropes and the Hackages work culture. After, help on the main-platform was needed, and so I was merged into the team.
Although Hackages provides you with support in learning new skills, You are still required to learn through self-study and reflection. We were given a few courses on Ultimate Courses to improve our skills. Access to all previous projects are given to learn all of the legacy code. Ofcourse, Google and Stackoverflow are always at your side.

Aside from the projects, the social work culture has given me many people who I can call my close colleagues. We host a bi-weekly event where we all get together to banter and discuss. Of all of the completely frustratingly complex projects I have worked upon during my brief period at Hackages, none was more challenging than being a social ITer! I set to work by directly wishing everyone a good morning, every morning. Some, understandably, took it as an ice-breaker to ask for a favor of some sort! I persisted, and now many people even message me when I forget to bid them a wonderful morning in more creative ways. We have also hosted a few game weeks. We played video games, most notably Among Us, and socialised through Slack. It really helps to loosen the weight of young company stress.

The pandemic also strained the young company. Though we were all confined within our little homes, we kept the work up! I merged into the group in the middle of it. And so I am only used to working from home. The only colleague I have had the joy of meeting in person was Nath Others I have had the pleasure of meeting through the internet. For many the most notable change was now all communication was through Slack channels and webcams. This distance only afflicted productivity in the sense that questions to seniors could pass unnoticed for sometimes hours. But Stackoverflow and Google did solve many of those issues.

Four months have already passed since Hackages welcomed me. They were often tough and long (over-)hours, with few moments of respite in between, though the experience has taught me a myriad of new skills. Angular and React skills are still in their infancy, though I do believe through my colleagues at Hackages, that I will grow into a stronger ITer.

Hackages is an educational platform with the mission of improving developers and businesses' skills and helping them acquire new ones.