New job, new me

It’s been a while since a write something in here… Life gets in the way. I’ve been lucky enough to land a new gig, as a freelancer, and I have been tasked with managing a team.

It’s been 3 months now that I took on a manager role, on top of the developer role and I thought it would be a good idea to write down this part of my journey. Not to teach, because I really don’t know what I’m doing, but to record my experiences, organize my thoughts and perhaps learn from them.

The context

Quick word about the context. I have never been, in my 7 years as a freelancer, part of a team of developers. I have always been the only developer. Being part of a team is really something I’ve come to enjoy. This feeling of belonging to a group, working towards the same goal, speaking the same developer language has been a breath of fresh air.

The company recruited some new people, and I’m now managing 2 other developers, who are juniors. I consider myself to be an intermediate level, but I love the idea of spreading the little knowledge and experience I have to help others.

First steps

The first few weeks have been complicated. Obviously, when you don’t know how to manage a team or a project, you have to make mistakes. I’m lucky to have a CTO that is always available to help, answer questions and provida guidance. In that regard, the environment is absolutely perfect.

There are, I believe, 3 things that went wrong for me at the beginning:

  • Not using all the resources at my disposal
  • Not understanding the bigger picture of the project
  • Not trusting my coworkers enough

I’ll touch on the first one here.

To manage efficiently, I must understand what resources I can use. Resources can take different forms, but for example:

  • my team of developers
  • the CTO willing to help me
  • the company financial backing if I need tools
  • the product owners knowledge …

Because of my career being the story of a lonely developer doing everything by himself, I didn’t realise that I should use all of this to achieve our goals. I tried to do too many things by myself, where other people had the knowledge to tell me what should be done, or how it should be done, or even better, if it should be done al all…

So, the first few weeks became a one man show. One manager trying to do everything, because he didn’t understand that the manager’s job is to correctly use the resources at his disposal. To be efficient. We ended up meeting goals for the first month, but it was a grind, that ended with a few 12 hours work days for me and my team.

So that was my first lesson. Understand that I have a whole bunch of different tools at my disposal, and that I can be creative in the way I use them to achieve the goals I’ve been set.

Many more to come.

See you soon <3