Changing Teams in a Tech Company: The Struggle is Real
5 min read
Hey everyone, I'm Shad, and I work at Hashnode. I have been taking care of building the Hashnode mobile app for a little more than a year. I got into the Platform team at Hashnode recently, and this blog post is all about that change.
You have to wear many hats when you're working in a startup. Changing teams is one of the experiences where your world is twisted upside down, and you move out of your comfort zone. Changing teams can be both an exciting and daunting experience. It definitely comes with opportunities to learn new skills and grow in entirely new areas but it also has many challenges. Let's explore my experience and struggles of transitioning into a new role.
The Adjustment Period
One of the most essential things in your career is recognizing and moving out of your comfort zone. I have been building apps for a long, and even though the challenges never end, I started to feel comfortable. I've worked with web and mobile apps and wanted to try something new.
I got lucky, and a perfect opportunity knocked at my door. Hashnode was building a new Platform team, and I got to be part of it. My responsibilities require working with AWS and GraphQL and ensuring the product team can access everything.
This is scary because I didn't know AWS or GraphQL at all. Hashnode has extensive documentation and video tutorials on how to get started with AWS and GraphQL. These resources have helped immensely to get familiar with the codebase.
Huge shoutout to Sandro Volpicella and Jannik Wempe for their time and efforts in building docs and tutorials for onboarding new devs. Special thanks to Florian Fuchs for answering my silly questions during this time.
AWS is vast and has a ton of topics with so much depth in each of them. I'm still not familiar with a lot of it as it's not long since I moved to this role. It always feels like I need to contribute more and do things as they should be done. You must keep reminding yourself that it's always like that when you start something new, and it's a transition process. It is supposed to take time to adjust and start contributing as it is meant to be.
Getting used to a new team's dynamic and processes can take a while. It can be overwhelming to learn new tools, systems, and procedures. I'm glad I have smart colleagues helping me in this transition.
We all have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in our careers but overcame it as we grew. New roles don't only bring new opportunities, but it also brings a new range of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. You might be doing pretty well and have many achievements in your previous role. Still, the feeling of inadequacy starts hitting as soon as you start getting challenges you can't overcome alone. Moving to a new team can trigger these feelings again, especially if you're starting in a new role in a different stack.
Working with AWS made me feel like a fresher again. It requires a complete shift in mindset from front-end development. Building infrastructure requires knowledge of multiple building blocks, and as someone new, you have to start from scratch. Even basic stuff like checking logs is different and needs to be learned.
It's important to remember that imposter syndrome is a shared experience, and it's okay to feel this way. Focus on your strengths, be kind to yourself, and seek support from your team members. It's okay to struggle at the start; it has always been like that for every new thing you try. Just remember that it gets better like it always has.
The Fear of Failure
What do you do when learning something new outside your comfort zone? You fail! When you're working in a fast-paced startup where you have to move fast and deliver quickly, the pressure to perform well and meet expectations quickly can be paralyzing. This pressure can often lead to fear of failure and make you lose your focus.
It's natural to compare yourself with other team members and try to do better. It can be pretty difficult to digest that you're not performing up to the mark amid the umbrella of failures. It's crucial to remember that failure is a natural part of the learning process, and making mistakes is okay. It would be best if you focused on learning from your failures, seeking feedback, and improving your performance.
Look at your past experience when you failed and failed again but got success in the end. Things have always turned out fine in the end. Few words that I often tell myself "You have done it before; you can do it again. You have it in you."
Take failure as just another sign of growth. If you're always succeeding on the first try, you're not learning anything new, and that's more harmful to your career.
Changing teams in a tech company can be a challenging experience but also an opportunity for growth and development. It's essential to give yourself time to adjust, be kind to yourself, and seek support from your team members.
Remember that imposter syndrome and fear of failure are normal experiences, and making mistakes is okay. You have overcome such challenges before; you can do it again. Anything that comes when you grow outside your comfort zone is the real growth your career needs.
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