Jordan's Space About

Being a proficient coder is nice but that's not even half of the battle... 😱

Top 10 Things I've Learned As A Software Developer

Since recently being hired as a junior developer I've learned a boat load since starting the job. I went into my new job thinking that coding would be the primary skill I'd be asked to display. While coding is a big part of a software developer's job it only barely begins to describe the responsibilties as a software developer. I'm still learning a bunch of new things everyday but here are the 10 most important things I've learned so far in my first two weeks on the job.

~ 1. Accept the fact that there will be some sort of learning curve when you start. Embrace it and understand this is something that EVERYONE goes through. Use this time to identify what you don't know to help you learn what you need to know. Even after two weeks I'm still learning new concepts and techniques every day.

~ 2. Early on theres a good chance your engineering team will use terminology that you aren't familiar with. That's normal and you should do your best to keep up with the convo because it'll make you accustomed to how the team communicates. Eventually you will start understanding what these new terms mean even if you don't quite understand them right now. I'm a firm believer of fully immersing your self in content to help you learn. It'll feel like a sink or swim situation at first when in reality all you need to do is be able to "tread water" until you figure out how to swim.

~ 3. There's a reason it's called a engineering team. Once you begin working with a new team you quickly realize your are the rookie of the bunch. And a smart rookie uses their more experienced teammates to their advantage. Don't be afraid to pick one of your team member's brain about things. This will only make your onboarding experience easier and more manageable.

~ 4. Coding is only a fraction of what it takes to become a great developer. There are other skills that will catalyze your growth as both a good team member and a capable developer. Skils such as: effective communication, self-discipline (this one is HUGE), time management, empathy, and the ability to see things from different perspectives. These are just as important as being a good programmer. Plus accquring these other skills will only increase your value as a developer.

~ 5. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Regardless of what it is if you need help with something then ask. Your team should be willing to help you out especially if you're new to the team. Luckily I'm surrounded by a team of individuals who are totally willing to answer any questions I have. I've probably asked over 50 questions in my first two weeks and I don't regret asking a single one of them. Because with each question comes an answer and with every answer comes new found knowledge. And in my eyes, knowledge is like currency in the tech world. The more you have the better and the more you'll be able to accomplish tasks on your own.

~ 6. Take notes! I have a journal where I write down terms I don't know or topics I'm not familiar with. Then once the work day is over I have a list of items to research and study. This is a sure fire way to sharpen your technical blade and another way to improve your developer super powers.

~ 7. Familiarize yourself with Git. If you plan on becoming part of a team then it's a fact you will use source control. Like Thanos, source control is inevitable. You don't need to learn every single Git commmand. Knowing the Git commands add, commit, push, pull, clone, and merge will suffice. And get comfortable doing these things from the command line.

~ 8. Be a team player. At first it will seem like you can't help much because you can't just hop in and write code to add to the product. But there are tons of other ways to contribute outside of writing code. Just the ability to provide a new set of eyes on a problem is a contribution in itself. If you see your coworker stuck on an issue go and google their issue and see if you can help them figure it out. Even if it's something little such as introducing yourself to a coworker you should do it because it'll show your new teammates that your are indeed a team player. Remember: "Team work makes the dream work".

~ 9. Don't forget that you got hired for a reason, don't let imposter syndrome get the best of you. After my first day I will admit I felt a bit overwhelmed. But then after I got through the next couple of days I realized I was the perfect person for the job and that they wanted me here for a reason. Don't second guess the fact that you belong because maintaining a balanced dose of self-confidence is an integral part of producing high quality work.

~ 10. Just relax. Remember all the hard work you put in to get where you are now. Soak up the experience of being a new hire because eventually you'll be one of the more experienced memebers on the team and it'll be your turn to help show a new hire the ropes. There's no need to rush, just take it a day at a time and I promise you will end up exactly where you want to be.

Hopefully this list helps the next junior or newly hired developer. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions my DM's on Twitter are open. Deuces, I'm out!