On Being Laid Off: Some Thoughts | Tiffany R. White Blog

On Being Laid Off: Some Thoughts

Reading time: 4 mins

I’ve been dreading writing this one….

I don’t know if you noticed but I removed where I was working from pretty much every place I am on the internet. The reason? I no longer work there. Why? A few reasons.

Lack of work

The main reason was lack of work for me. It is a consulting firm, and big one at that. Developers aren’t the main priority, and seeing it is a government consulting firm, the budget for devs is tight. This means you must be billed to 100% on projects and if you aren’t you’re gone.

I had gotten down to 20% and no one wanted to work with me. Why? Well…it’s a bit complicated…

My issues

I didn’t get things done on time. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it; the work was well done, my colleagues loved my redesign of a certain government property, calling it slick. It was that I spent too much time on features. You have to move fast in a place like that. I don’t want to get into it much but you can have fast, cheap, or good in software so pick two. We had fast and we had cheap; devs aren’t making what they are in other industries at that company. And I worked with some nice folks. But when you are moving that quickly, spending a couple hours on features before having to move to the next thing, it makes things brittle and it showed in some of the codebases I worked with.

I spent a lot of time working on a nav, trying to track down a bug. My PM for the project was…impatient1 and told me to do this thing or that because that is what the client wanted. I tried to do that. I found documentation on a specific item she wanted me to do and there wasn’t an easy way to achieve it without taking more time on the project.

Everyone was off for about a month because of the holidays and we were behind. Me spending as much time on that feature as I did hindered my progress and the project’s as well. I don’t feel as if it was my fault. We were all behind. But my issue was moving tickets. For whatever reason, I couldn’t grok not finishing something I started, not having something have quality and without major bugs.

Company issues

I loved the people I worked with2. They were kind and I was just getting into chatting with them before they laid me off. But a corporation as large as that one has a politicking problem. All corps do. We had a reorg and we were under a new boss. The lack of respect for frontend devs there was palpable; there weren’t many of us and at the start I was tasked with rebuilding several sites. I was the sole frontend dev on those teams. I could reach out to other frontend devs but everyone was so bogged down with their frontends it was hard to actually link up.

I asked my former boss about hiring more frontend devs. It wasn’t in the cards. And my then current boss laid some stuff on me that just. Man. It felt like I wasn’t a real developer at that place.

What I learned

I learned I don’t want to do government consulting ever again. Ever. It is a really hard ask for a junior dev and I knew that when I went into it.

I also learned pretty quickly how to use my tools and how to debug. I also learned how to think. I learned about software architecture and how to Google.

It wasn’t a complete wash. But now I am unemployed and scrambling for a permanent position.

Freelance

I have a freelance gig right now that pays ridiculously well, so well that I will be able to pay my exorbitant rent for at least another 5 or 6 months out. And I love the stack, the people at the company are really progressive and seem hella cool.

At first when I saw the scope of the project and the deadline I froze a bit. But as I dug into the codebase and talked to the team I get that this is basically just some CSS-in-JS stuff and shipping a JAMStack site. It will be okay. Today, I am no longer scared of working with this project and the things I learned at my last place of employment has really helped with my new found confidence.

  1. She was pretty demanding, not gonna lie. 

  2. For the most part. 


Share

No Ads. No Sponsored Content. Ever.

I've decided that I no longer want to have sponsored posts on this blog. I also, though as tempting as it may sound, don't want ads; even if I got big enough for Carbon ads I don't want them. I want to post free, engaging content for beginning/junior devs. This means that I won't have Setapp posts or affiliates on this blog, though I will keep them on the Uses page. If you enjoy the content, buy me a coffee. Just click the button below.


Coffee Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee


Webmentions 0

No webmentions were found.

Newsletter