re: What is your best advice for a junior software developer? VIEW POST

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Don't act like a junior, act like a senior, kinda the "do" version of "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have". Don't just do your job and stop there, find out more about the product, the company, the workflow, and implement changes to make things work better.

Personal example: I was hired to run environmental chambers and DC power supplies for a company that was testing computer-like equipment for reliability. Essentially, crank the temperature up and down and vary the voltage till the product fails, then get the engineers to fix the root cause, then retest. This means product won't fail at customer sites...

This is a very tedious, boring, time-consuming, and error prone process. Crank up the temperature, wait an hour for the machine to stabilize, turn the voltage down by one percent at a time till the product fails, reboot at nominal voltage, turn it up one percent at a time till it fails, reboot at nominal, pick a new temperature, rinse, lather, repeat. Ripe for automation! But programming wasn't in my job description. By the time I was done we had a half a dozen chambers, multiple sets of DC power supplies, video sources and recorders, and everything was running 24x7 on a scripting 'language' I developed for putting things through their paces. Wrote and implemented it all in those one-hour temperature soak periods, plus nights and weekends, plus time I freed up from having to sit and watch the chambers.

Big win, and my Grand Unified Program made a big difference in our department's productivity and throughput.

Every job is going to be different, but don't just learn what you need to do your job, learn everything about the company and the industry and the technology, and use that knowledge to make things better.

Don't start by asking permission, and always ask forgiveness. 8*)

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