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October 18, 2022 - 6 minutes

The Scariest Things You'll Hear in Your Tech Career

Get familiar with the day-to-day spooks of a life in tech

Ellen Merryweather - Senior Content Manager


Getting a new job is scary…but the spooks don’t stop once you’ve landed in your new role. Every job on earth comes with its little heart-attack moments that make you go ‘oh dang.’ (Or something a little more colorful!)

The good thing about being an Ironhacker is that we can help you see them coming! Once you’re aware of the most spine-chilling moments that are coming your way, you’ll be less like Barb from Stranger Things (who deserved better!) and more like Ellen Ripley. Ready to take on the world and shoot those aliens (AKA last minute additions to the backlog) in the face!

Scariest Things You’ll Hear in Tech

HR: “We need you to complete this Health and Safety Training. It should only take about 6 hours…”

“The CEO wants an update, can you put some figures together by EOD today?”

(Basically anyone asking you for things by EOD today!)

Marketing: “We need a new landing page for launch next week…you guys have time to build/design that right?”

Work bestie: “So I’ve got a job offer somewhere else…”

The day to day running of a tech department or a tech company is really no different to any other office-type environment. You’ll have your office gossip, your work friends, your all-hands meetings, your roundup emails… On the face of it, a tech job looks remarkably similar to any other! The only real difference is the hard skills that you have to use if you’ve transitioned into a new role.

So if you’ve ever faced a last minute calendar invite from your manager with no context, or you’ve sent the wrong Slack message to the wrong person, you’ve already faced 99% of the difficult and confronting situations you’re likely to face.

Scariest Things You’ll Hear as a Web Developer

“We don’t know why it failed, but it seems it’s not failing anymore, and now it’s working fine!”

“I have this app idea…very similar to [insert well-known app name]. It would probably take you a few days to build.”

“We want to be the Netflix of [completely unrelated industry.”

“Can we add this to the next sprint?”

“Let’s just hotfix it!”

“This should only take you a few minutes.”

“We can get an algorithm for that by tomorrow, right?”

The scariest things you’ll hear, specifically as a web developer, all stem from the same thing. A fundamental misunderstanding of all the things development involves.

It’s hard for other departments to wrap their heads around how meticulously developers have to plan their sprints, and how long it really takes to make ‘simple’ things happen. You’ll be seeing a lot of last minute requests, and a lot of people depending on you!

The best way to get around this, is to build transparently. What does that mean? It means making what you’re working on visible to the entire company. You can do this by hosting routine sprint reviews and demos, and having your roadmap publicly available to anyone internal.

Yes it’s a different kind of scary to feel like everyone is looking over your shoulder, but the truth is that they’re not. They’re too busy trying to hit their own targets and get through their own day-to-days. But if you manage to foster a general understanding of your workload between your development team and other stakeholders in the company, your life will be much easier!

Are you ready to kickstart your career and code your way to success? Check out our Web Development bootcamps!

Scariest Things You’ll Hear as a UX/UI Designer

“Can you help me with a quick logo?”

“Can you make the logo bigger?”

“Can you put our logo on it?”

(Most designer nightmares are down to logos…)

Client: “The team doesn’t like it, but it’s hard to describe why. Can you just…try again?”

Manager: “We’ve decided to outsource this to a freelancer we found online yesterday.”

“This should only take you a couple of hours.”

UX/UI designers face a similar problem to web developers. When you make your job look easy  (because you’re so talented and hard working), people think it must be easy! So naturally it should only take you half an hour to make a new logo for a project that doesn’t have a proper brief. And OF COURSE you can come up with a new button for an A/B test at the drop of a hat.

The key here is the power of saying ‘no’ in the right way. Help your teammates to understand that you’re working on other, more impactful things than their last minute request. If the development team has made their roadmap public, you can easily point out which projects are dependent on you. So instead of just saying ‘no’ you get to say…

“I’m afraid I’m at capacity right now. If you look at the roadmap, you can see that the product team needs me to deliver the final wireframes for the new homepage by the end of this week.”

And when you get those terrible, half-filled out briefs that don’t tell you everything you need to know to begin a project, come up with a template brief. This will help your teammates understand how to ask you for things instead of just saying ‘new logo plz’.

Ready to kickstart your career and solve problems with design? Check out our UX/UI Design bootcamps!

Scariest Things You’ll Hear in Data Analytics

Marketing: “Can you make us a new dashboard? We need it by EOD today.”

“Data is accurate across all sources.”

“Don’t worry, we have a backup.”

“No, no, no, no, you said this was the test database!”

“What do you mean ‘we need to test reading the backup tapes.’ We’ve never done that.”

A data professionals job can be challenging, because everyone needs you! But not everyone understands what they need from you.

People are looking for answers from their data, but they often don’t know what questions to ask to get there. So you’ll be asked for ‘a dashboard’ with not much else to go on. It’ll be up to you to use your A* communication skills to figure out what they want, and make sure you can work with them in a way that’s helpful and impactful (AKA, not a waste of your time!)

Data is also something that can easily go wrong. Tools can go down, databases can break, and Google can (and do!) change their analytics platform entirely. There are some things that are out of your control, and they’ll impact the day to day running of the company and the lives of your teammates. Scary stuff, right?

But if you’re in data, you’re tough enough to handle it! You’ve got what it takes to keep calm and solve the problem. Work with Operations to handle tool-related problems, and stay open on your progress figuring out what went wrong. If you stay level-headed and keep on top of things, you’ll overcome any scary situation in no time.

Ready to kickstart your career and become a data-hero? Check out our Data Analytics bootcamps!

Scariest Things You’ll Hear in Cybersecurity

Boss: “I think I left my work phone on the metro…”

Intern: “Did anyone else get this weird email? I clicked the link and I think it downloaded something…”


“So we got an email from this random person identifying some software vulnerabilities, and offering to fix them for us.”

Cybersecurity is, arguably, the profession with the highest stakes. You’re literally there to defend a business against threats. You’re like the James Bond or the Black Widow of the tech world.

So basically, your entire job is to face scary situations so your teammates don’t have to! And that’s your superpower.

You can face these threats with a 2 prong strategy.

First is honing your hard skills, and making sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need to be the ultimate defender. The second is keeping your own mental health in check, and making sure you’re able to keep calm under pressure!

Ready to kickstart your career and gain superhero skills? Check out our Cybersecurity bootcamps!

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