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My first job as a programmer


My college major has nothing to do with programming, but I have always been curious about the Internet, so after I graduated and tried several jobs, I decided to try a job as a programmer.

When I was interviewing for my first programmer job, I could only make some small modifications to the existing web page and could not independently create a web page. But my boss saw my enthusiasm and allowed me to try it. This is a small start-up company. Its main business is the company’s Taobao rebate website. The company already has one programmer, and I am the second one.

This job opened up a corner of the programming world and made me discover that the difference between computer enthusiasts and programmers is so huge. Before this, I thought that as a computer enthusiast, I had many years of experience in using computers, and I already “know” a lot about computers. However, when I entered the field of programmers, I discovered my previous ignorance. Because programmers are people who “understand” computers, application based on “knowledge” and application based on “understanding” are completely different things. The former can only use various software and functions, while the latter can create its own software and functions based on rules. .

The shock brought by this “understanding” immediately captured me and made me obsessed with programming.

However, after the one-month probation period, my boss fired me decisively because my work ability was not good enough and my work efficiency was too low. This is also the only time I have ever been fired.

When I resigned in recent years, although I was relatively depressed at the time, it was difficult to close the door to programming once it was opened, so I simply taught myself programming at home for more than a month. After the Spring Festival, I successfully found a new job as a programmer and started from there. On the “point of no return” for programmers.

In addition to my first programmer job introducing me to the world of programmers, being unemployed also made me realize the fragility of the job itself.

Nowadays, many people are struggling to get into a big company, and after entering a big company, they are struggling to climb up, but they rarely think about the risks involved.

There is an example in “Antifragility” about a pair of brothers living in London. One of them is an executive of a large bank and the other is a taxi driver. Their average annual income is very similar, but their daily income varies greatly. Bank executives receive a fixed salary, so their daily income is constant, while taxi drivers’ income fluctuates, and sometimes they even have no income throughout the day. On the surface the executive was financially sound, but when the financial crisis hit, bank layoffs eliminated him. This not only ended his career, but also plunged his entire life into a huge crisis: as a man of about 40 years old, he not only had parents and children, but also had a mortgage. The impact on taxi drivers is only a reduction in income.

The book calls this risk for executives “Extremistan” and for taxi drivers “Meanstan.” The performance of “Extremistan” is that it is highly stable before a crisis occurs, and it is difficult to determine when the crisis will occur, or even realize that the crisis exists (can you guess the cause of the next financial crisis?) . And when a crisis occurs, it will have devastating effects in a short period of time. “Mean Stan” has high daily risks, but overall it is very stable.

The reason why I like the Internet industry is that it is a relatively “average” industry: small companies close down and are established every day, but the overall situation is very stable and even developing rapidly. During the 2008 financial crisis, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the U.S. government spent considerable energy and financial resources to prevent the U.S. financial industry from a chain collapse. In the Internet industry, if Microsoft collapses, it is difficult to imagine that Google and Apple will be hugely adversely affected. On the contrary, they will benefit from it.

But even so, it is still difficult for large Internet companies to withstand a major financial crisis because their expenses are very large. Once there is a problem with profitability, there will be a risk of avalanche. In fact, it is very common for large companies to lay off employees, and it has nothing to do with the economic crisis. Each layoff ranged from hundreds to thousands of people.

In addition, according to the cases I have observed, most people who work in large companies, due to their stable income and high sense of security, are basically living on paycheck to paycheck or have little savings. After all, the benefits of large companies are so good (I am also jealous of this).

From a personal growth perspective, the biggest problem with working in a large company is that it makes people rest on their laurels. Because large companies have everything perfect, you only need to follow the personnel promotion standards, and you can get closer to the position you want step by step. And usually, because there are many people in large companies and fierce internal competition, not only do you have no time to pay attention to Ivory The world outside the tower, and it thinks it has made significant progress. Until those black swan events hidden in the dark suddenly appear, pushing you out of the ivory tower and falling to the ground.

This is also the reason why I have been working in small companies and do not want to go to big companies. There are almost no sufficient resources in a small company, so you have to figure out everything yourself, and you can intuitively feel changes in the market and company finances.

This kind of working environment not only makes your abilities more comprehensive and your perception of the market more acute, but the key is: when a crisis occurs, you are not only not afraid of it, but also have the ability to benefit from it.

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