Things I Learned From My First Job as a Software Developer
The more tasks you’re assigned, the more you get to explore. Mistakes are inevitable, just don’t repeat them. Never let an opportunity to learn a new skill pass by. You’ll get a ton of ideas just by doing the bare minimum; listen to your senior developers and watch them do it.
All of this happened in a year overshadowed by chaos and the pandemic. I joined Reduct as an intern and later worked as a full-time software developer. My first ever ‘real’ job felt huge to me, and so was the pressure that followed.
Switching to a different language
Working in a team
I had had little to no experience in working with a team of fellow developers along with a project manager, so that felt entirely new to me. I was attending the scrum meetings I read about during my software engineering classes. The meetings were particularly fun and hands down the best part of the day.
First do it, then do it right, then do it better.
My first few lines of code were buggy, my first design was bad, and my first algorithm underperformed. I couldn’t name the variables well, my casings were all over the place and my codes weren’t consistent enough.
There’s still a long way to go, however, I no longer make the same mistakes that I used to. There is one way of getting things done, and another of doing it right.
Start now. Optimize later. Imperfect starts can always be improved. Obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on your own.
Git and GitHub
If there’s something you need to be pretty good at before you get your first job, it’s Git and GitHub. Even though I thought I knew version controlling tools pretty well, the truth was I didn’t. Not gonna lie, I was sweating and panicking when I got a merge conflict for the first time. I learned a few things on my own, asked for help from my senior, and got really comfortable with each passing day.
Coding is important, but objectives are important-er
One thing to keep in mind- coding isn’t always the solution, neither is it the first step in software development. Coding comes only after proper research and feasibility study. The more the research, the easier it gets to code.
There are good people in the world, a lot of them. People love solving problems and when you get into one, just reach out to them. There are communities of like-minded people everywhere. For software development, I have found very niche communities on Twitter (dev Twitter is the mantra), Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn, dev.io, etc., whom I could reach out to with ease.
I will never shy away from embarrassing myself for a good cause.
This has been one great journey so far. The main thing I believe everyone should know about software development is: It is vast, really, really vast. There will be times when you’ll feel like you’re not made for this, things will overwhelm you. But on the brighter side, you do not need to know everything. In fact, nobody knows it all. Just pick one and become really good at it.