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Beginning at the National Indemnity Company

This has been an incredibly interesting 3 months. I was hired at the National Indemnity Company on March 18th as a Software Application Programmer! It was definitely a major shift going from a filled classroom to a corporate environment. I also think I am one of the youngest in the software development department, and I feel pretty welcome asking for help.

For the first month, I was tasked with making a practice project. It was pretty open-ended with its requirements, though I did need to use their particular tech stack. It was the first time I've used Visual Studio, .NET Core, and SQL Server. I was really frustrated not knowing how to use the IDE - especially since I had to scrap and restart a couple days in. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting this.

I knew at some point I'd have to expand what I used, which was obvious since I'm fairly fresh in the web development world. After investing time into reading the documentation and other related tutorials, I was able to show off more of my own specialties. It was a rather peaceful time compared to being put on actual projects.

The bugs passed to me were low priority, since I needed time to read before even thinking about writing any code. I felt flustered, regardless. I didn't know what I didn't know, which made asking questions "too early" feel silly in my mind. I tried following the code's flow from start to finish, but all I got was a headache and a lesson that that is not great in a large codebase. I after getting guidance for my first couple of bugs, I felt ready to take on others on my own.

As I talked with others in my team, I became comforatble talking with them. Of course, my social anxiety was still present, but it was becoming less intense during the next month.

A couple weeks ago, I was put onto a different web project since I was doing well on similar projects. This project was pretty large and heavily used, and to this moment I'm still intimidated by that factor. The same frustration and confusion from being handed my first bugs were re-emerging. It also doesn't help that the bug I grabbed was a tricky one that hasn't been able to be reproduced, so I'm just flustered all over again.

I know that I'll overcome this initial difficulty at least within this month, no doubt there. It's the feelings of frustration and self-doubt that's really getting to me. On one hand, I'm still pretty new, having been with NICO for over 3 months. On the other hand, I just feel like I should be past this by now. Like, I shouldn't pass off all my troubles under the "I'm new" excuse, but the alternative to that is falling back to my imposter syndrome. Regardless, I need to give myself time to adjust and to ask for help as soon as I need it. Working at NICO feels like really good start for me, and I hope to improve and grow while I'm here.