TLDR: I got a SysAdmin/DevOps job at Esokia webagency and I absolutely love it!
What I knew beforehand and my Interview
To be honest, I have been primarily making video games ever since I got into the world of programming. I did tinker with multiple other technologies but I was really far from being an expert or pro in any of them.
In Mauritius, there aren’t many job opportunities for game developers. So, in the first months of 2020, I expanded my skills so that I could be even considered for web dev or SysAdmin/DevOps jobs. This kinda worked and I did have an interesting resume for someone of my age.
After one of my friends got me an interview at Esokia, I began to heavily invest into learning Docker, Ansible, MySql and phpMyAdmin. My interview went quite nicely but as it was my first one ever for a job, I was stressing a lot which led to me completely messing up my French communication skills and goof up at several questions to which I definitely knew the answers.
That week, I had applied at other places too but I secretly hoped to get that SysAdmin/DevOps job at Esokia since everyone was kind af to me and I really liked the work environment. Welp, I did (make as if you’re surprised)!
My first day
I reached job over 1 hour earlier. I continuously wondered if I could handle that position but deep down, I knew that if they chose someone who didn’t have actual work experience and a college degree, they must really believe in my self-learning abilities. After happily reading and signing my contract and filling in any forms, I went to my desk.
I was happy to meet a mauritian colleague; JI. He gave me a CD to install a copy of Ubuntu on my machine and we discussed a bit about the technologies that I’d have to use. Overall, he was indiretly a funny guy but liked to rant. Along with that, my team leader; FG, was really nice to me and I felt way more at ease.
I didn’t meet or talk to many people that day. I was given access to some documents and proceeded to read through them and install required software on my machine. I really liked my first day tho.
I finally made some friends! One guy did his research on me and started a convo in the morning and I kinda got introduced to his ‘squad which’ led to me meeting even more people during breaks we took at the same time. Unlike school where nobody would understand a lot of the tech stuff that came out of my mouth or whatever it was that I did, this clearly wasn’t the case for them.
I was finally given some tasks to do for helping the company itself. I was surprised by the fact that it wasn’t like school, in the sense that people would walk you through procedures or steps to do something. It was literally “you have to do X but please figure out whatever the f you have to do to get there on your own; we have Internet and Google :D”.
And I was there, struggling during 2 days to do a simple task. Each time I finished a step which got me closer to the end goal, I got errors which led to again, more errors and that really pissed me off (not more than GNOME on Ubuntu tho). So, I spent the day feeling like shit because I was given something to do with Filezilla and FTP but I never looked at these ever before, and Redmine which I definitely didn’t even know what it was.
The first question everyone was asking me was either about my previous job or the college I graduated from (or if I knew how to play cards). Oh boy, their reactions when they learnt that I was still 18 y/o, didn’t even go to university/college and that my first job was a SysAdmin one was priceless. They felt I was some kind of a genius or something but I knew that they were far better than me at their positions than I was at mine.
I was still feeling down because of my experience due to the previous day. I didn’t want to bother other people about the errors I was getting or get help from them as far as possible. When JI told me that he’d do the things I was taking hours to do in less than 10 minutes, that made me insecure and sad. I felt I was a burden to the team because I wasn’t being able to familiarize myself with the job and contribute enough. At one point, I even had tears in my eyes in front of my terminal window, itself covered in red text (errors, duh).
I thought about the trust that the company had in me by recruiting me and I didn’t give up. At the end of the day and after having attended a meeting briefly saying we’d try working remotely as from the next day, my errors were mostly gone and I knew what to do to fix the last one I was getting.
Days 4 and 5
Yup, I was comfy, at home, working remotely. I already had everything on my laptop and continued off from the point I reached on the 3rd day. And guess what; the Redmine thing finally freaking worked! I felt proud and suddenly started having more trust in myself. JI was mostly satisfied of my progress.
During these 2 days of working remotely, I got to bond more with FG and as far as I could tell, he didn’t at all feel I was not meant for the job I had and we got to finally have a little casual chat. I learnt a bit about the procedures I had to take and the things I had to do in the position I occupied. I wrote and helped in the making of many little documents to explain common processes for future individuals aiming/wishing to carry out our roles. I monitored some servers and helped in the diagnosis and fixing of some which caused warnings.
I mean, I love Esokia (totally unbiased)! I did mess up at my interview and during the first days. I know there will be harder challenges and while I can’t comment on how much I’ll manage to tackle these, I sure know that I’ve got what it takes.
Esokia has a really welcoming environment and everyone there is really friendly. I’ve got no words to describe the flexibility at which we can take breaks there. The amount of liberty and belongingness that we get makes us want to give our maximum to the company which has so much trust in us and that’s one of the many things that I love about Esokia.