Humbling Moments

Dec 11, 2019 306 Comments

What are some humbling moments of your careers? How do you best use these events to propel you forward?

For me it's going to interviews with little to no preparation thinking I might be good to go with the knowledge I had in my head, as it's been about 3 years since I've last prepped seriously for an interview.

Next time around I'll need to make sure I'm serious before attempting anything like that. I guess I just wanted to see where I stood.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world.

TC - 280
YOE - 5


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TOP 306 Comments
  • New MWYL07
    How bad was it?
    Dec 11, 2019 15
    • Bloomberg Mike2020
      "It's not that I am so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. " - A. Einstein
      Dec 13, 2019
    • Groupon GreenMeow
      Although research shows grit is a large predictor of success, ignoring the role of genes in success or failure, in certain fields at least, appears to be as uninformed an opinion as saying luck has no role in life.

      My kid, for example, is on the autism spectrum. On the one hand empathy is a concept that is really hard for him to internalize and on the other hand he taught himself to read a couple of weeks before the age of 2 by watching phonics videos on YouTube. To say that either of these traits won’t impact his success in life or can be neutralized by grit feels like a stretch IMO.
      Dec 14, 2019
  • Google / Eng cloudy sky
    My first system design interview.
    Dec 11, 2019 6
    • Microsoft iamletired
      Oh yeah, that's a deep dive.
      Dec 12, 2019
    • Facebook / Eng

      Facebook Eng

      I had 6+ years of building scalable distributed systems and a google interviewer asked me to implement web search. Did not go so well :)
      Dec 12, 2019
  • Unity 🍥~🍥
    A really friendly, new coworker died suddenly in his sleep a couple weeks after joining the company. He sat right by me. Super nice guy.
    Dec 11, 2019 7
    • Uber / Eng LqMz66
      Jesus, how old was he? That's terrifying
      Dec 12, 2019
    • Northrop Grumman anon0110
      Sorry to hear that, it can remind us that life is short and to make the most of it
      Dec 12, 2019
  • EPAM Systems hdhYdbw
    For me it was when my former manager (and now my employee) shamed me publicly in front of an audience for brute force searching a sorted array.
    Dec 12, 2019 13
    • Uber slid0
      Guy for sure deserves a punch in the forehead
      Dec 16, 2019
    • EPAM Systems hdhYdbw
      I know, right
      Dec 16, 2019
  • Well not a single experience per se, but me thinking I knew a lot early/was a badass in my career early on. That was 10 years ago and the more you learn, the more you see how little you actually knew.
    Dec 11, 2019 3
    • Microsoft


      Microsoft, VMware, Boeing, DDB, Publicis
      This is IT right here. The older the get, the more we realize how much we don’t know - about anything.
      Dec 12, 2019
    • Facebook whoad00d
      Makes me giggle at some of these new grads. I’d love to see them again in 15 years when they’ve realized how much they actually had to learn.
      Dec 12, 2019
  • Amazon LolBoss
    Taking care of my mom as she died from cancer. Watching my sister battle cancer.
    Dec 12, 2019 6
    • Symantec tonks
      How did you cope with the loss? I lost my mom to cancer a week back. I am finding everything pointless, I don't even feel like working. Just feel like staying at home and take care of my dad
      Dec 13, 2019
    • Amazon LolBoss
      @tonks - it was awful and very difficult. Luckily I had strong support network with family friends and co-workers. Time has helped (she has been gone Four years now) but still think about her everyday and miss her especially this time of the year. Also finding an outlet for the grief - for me it was volunteering and also exercising.

      @BigRock - this was also professionally humbling as it made me rethink priorities and made a major career change.
      Dec 13, 2019
  • Bank of America TorukMakto
    I feel kinda humbled right this moment, after i realized today that all i have been doing the past 15 years is just face, solve or escape crisis-after-crisis while my career and personal finances have gotten no better as i had previously aspired before finishing college.
    Dec 11, 2019 6
    • Bank of America TorukMakto
      ^^ This ^^ I don't understand the obsession. Why does "not built for FAANG" have to translate to - "i want it, but I can't get it"? Why is it not, "i don't believe a job in FAANG will resolve all my career related hassles. SWE at FAANG is the only true testimony of a programmer"?
      I don't intend to refute. I only want to understand the logic behind this herd-mentality.
      Dec 13, 2019
    • Cisco blackgirl
      It's not herd mentality. FAANG is the best out there. If you get in, it means you're one of the best out there. It doesn't mean everyone else who isn't at FAANG isn't good enough though. There's a reason why these are the top tech companies. And that reason comes down to their employees. It's ok not to want FAANG though. He was just trying to cheer you up. You're being rude by insulting someone who tried to help you.
      Dec 13, 2019
  • Infosys BRY47
    Career Wise: Failing my startup, had huge hopes going into it and it was a wild 2 years.

    Interview rejection is also humbling but not as much and you definitely don’t learn as much from it.
    Dec 11, 2019 6
    • Medallia koKT00
      Failing at building a startup is actually great education for the next time you do it, hopefully successfully
      Dec 12, 2019
    • Infosys BRY47
      That’s the plan koKT00. I am not done with the startup world, just retreating for a little bit.
      Dec 12, 2019
  • Samsung


    Analog Devices, Qualcomm
    Analog Devices, Boston (firmware, DSP) 8 months Qualcomm Technologies Inc., San Diego (Tools Software) 6+ years Samsung Semiconductors, R&D (RF/Mixed Signal)
    Honestly, for me it was my friends divorce. We went to college together. Being tall, handsome, he got married to a girl soon afterwards . We worked together, sat next to each other, went out after work, worked on our trucks together, went to movies and fun trips... seeing him getting destroyed and seeing his personality change over course of his divorce was hard to watch. In the end he lost everything, even his desire to live or work or learn or improve. He lost his pride, confidence, joy, wit, sense of humor. He felt what’s the point of even working or living if there’s no one in his life to share it with (lost his small daughter’s custody, ex-wife was an attorney and prepared well ahead before telling him about wanting divorce). I see a husk of a man I once knew, I don’t even know how to comfort him or help him anymore.
    Dec 12, 2019 2
    • Oracle NewOracle
      I had a “non difficult” divorce (no kid/no house/no drama) but it was already destroying because it was my first love. I can’t imagine your friend. 🙏🏻 I wish him a recovery.
      Dec 12, 2019
    • JPMorgan Chase +187+
      You gotta literally slap him out of it and tell him to stop being a b****. Get him a personal trainer 3 months. Even if you have to carry them though it. Been there and it's exactly what I had to do, it worked thankfully... I've lost others to suicide I wasn't losing another
      Dec 15, 2019
  • NetSuite Q22000
    Biggest one for me was getting my current job through an Uber ride (I was the Uber Driver) after my 13 hour shift at AT&T.
    Dec 12, 2019 9
    • NetSuite Q22000
      I’m no where near a 6 figure salary I graduated with a 2.7 GPA working 3 jobs throughout college, I’m an only child paying my bills taking care of my parent with health problems I got nothing to brag about but everything to be thankful for. Through all the noise I’m here. I keep myself grounded.
      Dec 13, 2019
    • Google Samz27
      love this! mad props @Q22000
      Dec 13, 2019


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