Before I start to write about my experiences in Tech- and Internet Companies, I want to introduce you to the "real world", just to have a comparison.

Years before I built my first website, I had jobs like teaching children how to swim, mystery shopping, being a paperboy or helping out in schools for disabled children. I was an unpaid intern for photographers. I even started an apprenticeship as a carpenter. As you can imagine, I worked for some really old-established companies and employers. With angry bosses, very low payments, and hard physical work.

Me working as a carpenter in 2009

You may know this strange habitat from your parents. "Everything was better in the past". They went to school, got an apprenticeship, then got a job in a factory, as a craftsman or in some office where you work every day from 7 am to 4 pm and everyone is paid by a pay agreement. The better your graduation, the better your payment.
If you were really lucky, you got a job in a bank. Or, if your parents had the money and you were really that smart, you studied and got a job as some low level manager.

And then? You worked until you got your pension.

Change the company? Pfff, no way kid! It's hard to get another job. And it's too risky. Also the new employer could ask unpleasant questions why you left your old company. And it's also not good for your CV. Stay in your company and go the safest way!

This or something like this is what I describe as the "real world", because this behavior is still a big part in our modern times and it's the picture of the world I had after I left school after my graduation.

Why do I write this? Because I want to make something clear. To be honest, 99% of all the problems you face as a developer are a joke to what you would face while working in the "real world". A bugfix that lasts four hours because of a missing semicolon is nothing in comparison to a 75 kilogram roof-slope-window which you lift to the sixth level of an apartment building, without an elevator, while you slice your pants on the sharp edges of the frame, just to recognize it has the wrong window size and you have to bring it back down... . Holy cow, that was a really bad day.

The point is, working as a developer isn't usually that hard. So whenever you getting mad because of "bad code" or "syntax errors" or "your coworker changed your code while you were on holidays, and half of the layout is broken", take a deep breath and think about a craftsmen scrambling on a roof in winter to fix a tile. He is working since 5 am, that's the time you are awake for 3 minutes to go to toilet and then sleep for another two hours.

Of course, after years of working for Tech- and Internet companies, sometimes I forget the problems of the "real world". I remember raging about people who are using Internet Explorer, or how backend developers use z-index and position relative unnecessary often. But then I remember the old days and realize that what's making me furious isn't actually a big deal.

So if you're fresh from the university with a master degree in informatics and you never really did a job outside the school system, then you maybe should check out the "real world" for some weeks, just to have such an adventure on your done-list.

Next post: Chapter 2: The Application


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