What I’ve learned in my first 5 years as a software developer
James Wright

I have been a software developer for just over 3 years. My career started as a SQL developer, I then moved onto Perl and most recently Ruby on Rails.

What have I learned?

Coding best practices

In my time as a software engineer, I have learned how to write both good and bad code.

When you are working on a legacy code base, you are faced with spaghetti code. This is code which is tightly coupled and hard to maintain. The best way to overcome this is to refactor where possible and maintain a coding style throughout.

Making an impact

As a software engineer, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact, be it directly or indirectly.

This could consist of introducing Agile, introducing new code practices. The world really is your oyster.

Constant Learning

As a software engineer, you have to be constantly learning. Technology is moving at a fast pace and if you don’t keep up, you run the risk of being left behind.

Take JavaScript, for instance, there are new frameworks and practices popping up left right and center, if you arn’t aware of these, you run the risk of lagging behind.

Always ask questions

This is one of the key aspects of being a software engineer. You can learn so much from your peers and also sites such as Stack Overflow, so always stay curious and ask questions.