There is an expression in Norwegian: å være midt i smørøyet. Translate it word for word, and you find yourself in the middle of the butter-eye. Doesn’t sound too delightful, does it? In Norwegian, however, it means you are in the best possible place you can be. That is because when risgrøt (rice porridge) is served, it’s topped with a dollop of butter, and it’s exactly there where all the goodness is.
As far as being able to pursue the things you really enjoy, that’s where I feel I am at Applifting. I wager you’d be hard-pressed to find another place where a developer can start doing HR, only to then turn into a copy editor and 3D designer.
Failure isn’t the end unless you let it be
A little over three years ago, I joined Applifting as a pipsqueak trainee iOS developer. I was given an opportunity to learn under the wings of a more senior colleague, and a few months later, I was able to start work on an actual project. It was scary, but I was happy with my progress.
Nevertheless, not everything gets a storybook ending. The project was intricate and robust, and I was simply in over my head. I put in the effort, I bashed my head against the wall. It took someone else to point out that it just wasn’t working out. Not just for me, also for my mentor, who was my fellow team member. It was a couple of rocky months for us both.
One day, the two of us and the team leader of the project sat down together, and I was told that from here on out, I would no longer be participating in the project. This was a bit of a blow to my confidence, naturally. But it wasn’t the end of the world. If anything, it was a good learning moment: to not give up, to just swallow my pride and keep going. I wasn’t fired, after all, and there were other things I could take a stab at here. With no other iOS projects to hop onto, I started looking around for something else I could learn. Something a bit more junior friendly, perhaps. And then, practically out of nowhere, I was offered a place on the HR team.