viernes, 4 de agosto de 2017

How to jump into the void (with no parachute) and stick the landing

A few weeks ago I was in a software development bootcamp in Barcelona, trying to figure out what will I do with my life after that. Then Maria barged into our bootcamp, pitching her company to us. She was gonna change the world*. And she spoke about how she and her team were going to solve the pain that it is to be a bioinformatician and how analysis of biodata was going to be changed by them. Of course, having studied biology, I knew the issues are 100% real, and she was giving us a chance to be a part of that revolution.

I always wanted to be part of something big, change the world around me, explore and research, go were nobody has gone before, do what no one has done before. Of course, I got excited about the idea of being in a team joining two fields that I love (biology and computer science). And not only that, their startup was selected in one of the finest startup accelerator programs in the world. Imagine that, not only working in two fields I love, but in a city I adore. As downsides, I would have to share a flat with all my coworkers (this could end extremely bad), I would have to work as a mule, I would have to abandon my life for 3 months, minimum. Things that I didn't care much about, to be honest.

I am not a senior developer yet, I still have lots to learn and I was not qualified at all to be the main developer they were looking for to kick-start their software. But as soon as Maria left the classroom, I jumped after her "I want to work with you". It was impulsive like that. My guts were telling me to go for it, go, GO!. We connected, and she told me to send her what we talked about as a cover letter and attach my CV. I did that. I waited a week and asked about the selection process. It didn't look good, I was too junior, they didn't have a lot of money, they were going to hire someone more experienced... I replied "I don't need much money right now, I just want the job, I really like this". I waited. Then they contacted me. Maria wanted to hire me, the rest of the team did not. They had another concern: they didn't want to babysit a junior developer. So they proposed a technical test. I had to build a full-stack application in a framework I did not know and in a language I did not know. In one week. If I managed to do that, they would hire me. 

That week I almost lost my sanity, but I managed (mostly) to do it. One Monday I was in, on Saturday I was flying to London. WHAT. It's been almost one week and I can't believe this is really happening. Me, a nerd that has been jumping careers for her whole life, who has struggled on daily basis to overcome tons of shit and always be better, get better. A nerd that had lost hope on what she could accomplish, and was about to settle for just good quality of life. Thanks to an impulse that took a fraction of a second "You want this an you can do this, you are worth it". Now that nerd  has been for a week in London, in a startup accelerator, working with amazing scientists and getting to sit at meetings with Google and Amazon, meeting renowned lawyers, investors and tons of other amazing professionals from around the world. And not only that, the senior developer that was going to be hired, finally was not. So I am the main developer, just under the CTO. He is developing the most complex parts of the technology we are developing, I will be developing the full web application by myself, in technologies that I don't know or don't know that well. Maybe some other senior developer gets hired, maybe not, meanwhile, I have to learn React as fast as Neo learned kung fu. 

I really love what I am doing here, I love the people. I really love the project, IT IS AMAZING. It is based in Nextflow, that it is already incredible, was developed by them, is open source and revolutionary. I can't explain more because it is confidential, but oh, believe me, I would love to. This week here has been intense, crazy as hell. I am so tired, excited, afraid and happy. All at once. Even if I was fired tomorrow, this week here has been completely worthy for me.

I sent pictures to the area and building where I work to a friend and he asked me: "Are you working in the future?!?" Of course I am. 😉

* And she is, she is an amazing woman.

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