Last year, when I was looking for post-graduation jobs, I had no idea that I would end up at 8th Light. I went to a lot of career fairs and interviewed with a lot of companies. After a while I was offered a job by a company located in downtown Chicago. It was a .NET shop specializing in enterprise eDiscovery software. Even though I had no idea what that meant at the time, they offered me a good salary and I thought that the .NET world would be a fun adventure. So, I accepted the job and moved to Chicago after graduation.
I worked there for 6 months. The company was great and I enjoyed my time there, but, it became apparent to me very quickly that the enterprise .NET world was not for me.
After a few months of searching for a new job, I stumbled across 8th Light. I was immediately attracted to the idea of Craftsmanship. I wanted to be a part of their passionate and skilled group of developers. It seemed like the perfect fit. I submitted a Tic-Tac-Toe and an application without too much hope, but to my surprise I was offered a Resident Apprenticeship.
Choosing whether or not to become an apprentice at 8th Light was hard. There were a few things that made me nervous about joining. First, 8th Light apprentices are not paid as much as the Craftsman, which meant that I would have to take a pay cut to become an apprentice. At the time, my wife was unemployed, so taking on a new job that paid less would be a stretch on the budget. Second, there was no guarantee that I would be hired on as a Craftsman after completing the apprenticeship. This uncertainty was my biggest concern about becoming an apprentice. Coming to 8th Light meant that I would get paid less, work a lot harder, take out the trash, do the dishes, and still have no guarantee of a job in six months. I wasn't sure if I could do it. But here's what made me take the leap.
8th Light is committed to teaching apprentices how to be skilled and passionate software developers. Because of this commitment, there is no better place to learn and grow. I realized that, even if I was not offered a job at the end of my apprenticeship, my time at 8th Light would not have been wasted; spending a few months in an environment geared towards my professional growth would be better for my career than spending a few more months in my old job. And at the end, the experiences and skills that I gained as an apprentice would be invaluable to future employers. The decision was obvious, I had to be an apprentice.
In retrospect, the apprenticeship was very challenging, but I am extremely grateful that I accepted. Now that I am a Craftsman, my experiences as an apprentice mean even more to me. It was a great time of personal and professional growth; I cannot imagine myself without it. If you find yourself in a position like mine, do not fear the uncertainty of apprenticeship. You can only gain from spending some time learning from the Craftsmen at 8th Light.