The blog ofJonathan Pepin

I screwed up (big time)


At first when I tried it for the first time, I was scared. I didn't really know how it worked. I didn't really know how to do it.
People around me showed me. I was totally out of confidence.
Everytime I would do it, I would ask for help to make sure I did it correctly.

But then I started to get used to it. I felt more independant. I felt I could do it myself when I needed it.

I started to really love it. Not only it made me feel simply better, it made me feel smarter and more confident. Better than others.
Also, it energized me and made it easy to keep going all night.

What made me totally scared and unconfident at the beginning quickly made me feel on top of the world. Every line, it got better. I became good at it, quickly, and I wanted to show people I was doing it too. That I was part of their world.

I stopped asking for help. I didn't need it anymore. I could do it myself. I could do more lines at once now. I didn't have to concentrate so much on each, it just became a habit, part of my life. Part of me.

I forgot who I was and where I came from.

I wasn't thorough enough anymore and just acted like someone way more experienced. And then, I screwed up. That one line broke everything. Disappointed people. Let them down while they trusted me. I felt really stupid.

What are those lines I'm talking about? Lines of code of course.

But just like drugs, I got too confident and forgot I was just a junior programmer with only 4 months of experience. So I started to ship code without enough tests, or without making sure everything was working properly. Hell, I didn't even read all the specs.

I guess it's experience sinking in, since I did the classic send email to all instead of the correct audience.
Doing so made some people hurt, or mad, and because of that, made co-workers spend much needed hours on dealing with that.
Also, I made the company loose a little bit of money.
Way to go.

I think everybody makes mistakes, and don't think it was that bad, but I still feel horrible. I couldn't stop thinking about it the whole week-end, and my heart skips a bit everytime I see a bug report email coming in (for real).

So, I think everything escalated too quickly, and I ended up asking for more responsibilities than I could handle. And became way too confident. So obviously, I crashed.

What I learnt from this?

I will be more carefull about the code I write now. Test it correctly. If it takes an extra day, it will.
If I think an experienced engineer would have done the same feature in 1/10th of the time? Well, I'm a junior and that's what we do, so it is OK.