Probation Review

So I’m at the end of my 3-month probationary period.

The last time this was the case, I was bored still doing data entry in a so-called web developer role. I do, of course, accept that in any job role, especially in a small company, one may have to muck in elsewhere. But there was not even any hope of doing any web development by the end. Just repeating the same thing every 5 minutes. Working in a pea factory would have been more intellectually challenging.

I think my two bosses had forgotten that my probation was finished that day. I hadn’t. I knocked on their door and asked to discuss my future, knowing the likely outcome.

An hour later, I received the expected outcome. It felt like failure but it was a relief. I couldn’t wait to go buy some beer and gravy to celebrate. My manager did say one thing though that pained me a tad, “you’re a great guy, but you might just not be cut out to be a developer – some people are born developers, some people learn to become a developer – I don’t think you are cut out to be a developer”.

In fact, they had tried to work out how they could keep me within the business in a different role. Or so they advised – I had no reason not to believe that.

My initial reaction to that comment was one of “I’ll show you”, but as unemployment went on, I did start to have some doubts. Maybe he was right.

But I’m a stubborn sod sometimes. Often. And I wasn’t about to give up my dream.

Apart from death and the death of loved ones, I always believe that bad news can turn into good news. It took a while though. I came second in quite a few interviews. Then I fell on my feet after a slightly quirky interview process at Lovespace.

I did my research on my interviewer, and made sure that we would have a personal connection in the interview. I had a written coding quiz for the first part of the interview and apparently got the best score ever of any applicant. I didn’t have much time to talk about myself, before the technical director then came in and introduced himself and explained more about the company. Then I was asked whether an aeroplane would take off on a giant treadmill, which took at least half of the interview.

Baffled as to whether I had done well or not, I then set about completing a coding challenge that was set for me. And waited. And waited. And interviewed elsewhere.

Then I met the CEO. Warm and keenly interested in what I could offer, slightly reminding me of a young Tony Blair (leadership/communication aspects) – it seemed as though he was looking more to see if I had an appropriate personality.

I had no hesitation in accepting the job, and was warmly welcomed. At first, it was a bit slow work-wise, but I found my feet after a few weeks, got into the process and found myself with a large project to tackle, which is still keeping me busy now.

It often isn’t like working. I sit here in a pleasant environment, doing something I enjoy – coding. Occasionally it is frustrating, occasionally repetitive. Mostly it is challenging, and mostly I am succeeding.

Thankfully, my manager agrees. He is impressed with how much of the work I have taken on, my understanding not only of the code but the business, and how I am communicating with others.

Which, yes, means I have passed my probation period and am now a fully-fledged permanent employee.  I am a web developer.

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