As I ease into my new job as a software developer, I thought I'd share some tips & advise that I wish someone told me before I started. This could have made my journey much smoother. But to anyone out there who needs this, here's what I learned after 6 months in industry.
Keeping clear of the egoistic Sherlock.
Don't stay stuck on a problem for too long.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Because someone might have stumbled on a similar issue before.
Google is your best friend.
No matter what level of proficiency, the biggest part of the job is to look for solutions by asking the right questions.
Keep educating yourself about anything that you don't clearly understand. Even if you are slightly foggy, google it.
Community is called so for a reason.
Be active in any community you have exposure to. Be it StackOverflow, FreeCodeCamp, dev community on Twitter, or even any community platform that your company has (given you are in a job or an internship), look for similar issues if you are stuck or post questions on the platform, and see how helpful our dev community is for yourself.
Stay professional & don't take things personally.
Stay professional. Keep delivering. Show diligence. Don't become lazy or take things for granted. You are being paid for things you are doing. You are doing this for yourself. Respect your bread & butter.
Don't be angry or irritated by the workflow. Everyone is following the schedule that is feasible to them and your opinion on what or how they should do things does not matter and maybe is even rude. Believe everyone is doing their best, trust them.
Respect your time.
Do not keep on working day & night. Your profession is there to support your life and the others dependent on you. Take out time for yourself. Don't half-ass it. Work with your heart in it, and then shut the system down to relax and enjoy your life as well. You are more than your job. Remember that.
It is very easy to get burnt out due to hectic schedules and workloads. You have leaves to treat it. Use it wisely. Replenish yourself. Use weekends to stay away from your system and give time to things that you enjoy. Meditate. Because it's the greatest favor you can do for yourself.
Do not overdo your daily goals.
It is easy to lose track of your activities amid so many meetings, and responsibilities. Set your daily todos. Keep the list small. This will give you a clear picture of the road you need to travel, give you an idea of how much time the tasks will take, how you should organize your day to finish them, and save you a lot of time. Keeping it small will also keep you relaxed. Trust me. I know.
Your head is not a notepad.
Do not keep a note of things in your head. As soon as there is something that needs to be done, note it down. If there a meeting you need to attend, set a reminder for it? You have an event to be present in, keep track of it in the calendar. Flush your buffer as soon as it is filled, so that you can focus your energy on actual work and problem solving that you want to do.
Can not stress this enough. Help the ones in need. If you have finished your things earlier, reach out to people and help them in things they are doing. Don't worry they won't give you much. Even a feeling of someone being present to help, gives tremendous relief, morale boost, feeling of joy, and speedy completion of tasks. You'll build a great rapport and a good network of people always ready to help you in your hour of need.
Note all that you do.
This may not apply to everyone, but I have found this very helpful to jot down every change that I make. I typically follow this tabular format:
Entity (widget or any feature) File changed The change itself (codes)
This way I can keep track of the changes that I am doing, quickly navigate them and refer similar things that I have worked on in past. This is a great time saver. It's a lot easier than it may sound. Do it. Don't argue. You'll thank me later.
p.s. I use OneNote to jot down any & everything.
Learn to say No.
If your schedule is cluttered and you are on the verge of plucking your hair out, then you don't have to take everything that's asked of you. You should however be very gentle and polite in rejecting. Do not reject someone's request right away. Ask yourself are you that occupied. Then after due consideration, let them know that you are already working on such & such and suggest to them who can they reach out to instead. They are here because they need help or they are your manager 😂 either way they'll understand and not bother you with the load.
DO NOT misuse this power.
Believe in yourself
Don't run from problems to solve. The harder the problem the proficient you get. Believe you can do it. Spend some time researching it. Ask for help. Trust the learning curve. Don't let things scare you.
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