Working alone is bad for me

Teamwork I haven’t written in a while here, I know, I’ll try to amend this in the future. But the reason for my lack of writing is quite simple: I switched jobs and moved to another country. So you can imagine I’ve been quite busy and simply hadn’t had the time (+ I had to wait for more than 3 months to get broadband at my new place, but that’s a different story).

So now, after 4 months at my new job, I finally have the time and a reason to write something.

I was working at Popcom for over 5 years, alone. Utterly alone. Only now do I realize how much that robbed me of many experiences I could have had if I was working as a part of a team. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot, like really a lot. But the thing is, I never knew if what I did was actually any good from an engineering point of view. Sure my software worked, sure it scaled to support thousands of users. But, like I said, I never knew if it’s actually any good. Off course I never quite realised that while working there.

Only now, that I’m working at Caplin Systems, in a team of about 20 people (developers, QAs, technical authors, project managers, release engineers, …), which in turn is a part of a company roughly 130 people in size, do I realise this. There is so many people to learn from, so many people to ask questions (it’s no coincidence that my participation on StackOverflow has dramatically declined since joining) and many people that I can teach something too. It just feels great.

Maybe things aren’t moving as fast as I’m used to. But I do know that everything I produce goes through so many people, that at the end it will be better than the thing I wrote initially. Which means somebody improved it and I got to learn something new. It’s really great, I get to improve my skills almost daily.

I’m sure this is painfully obvious to most of you but it took me a while to realize it.