When starting your career as a programmer, there might probably be a lot of tips you’ve heard from people around you. Are they always right? What is the best way to prepare for the profession and develop your career? Is independence above all the only right way to achieve success? Wojciech Ossowski, our Senior Node.js Developer, shared his top pieces of advice with us. If we had started our career a few years earlier, we would’ve loved to hear them all and make a use of them at work. Let’s check what is the most important according to Wojtek’s experience.
1. Know your tools well
Each profession has its own set of tools that allows them to achieve what they want. Butchers keep their knives sharp and always ready to use and that makes every single cut extremely precise. They can fully rely on these tools, so the entire focus leads to the material they are working on. The same archetype applies to the software development toolbox. It would help you a lot when you feel confident in the environment you’re using every single day. It’s crucial to know your version control system (git), text editor, and movements across your operating system. Learn how to compose commands and let the machine do the boring stuff. Focus on the material – code and solving the problem. Always keep your knives sharp!
2. Embrace simplicity
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when somebody introduces you to the now TV series lore and you can’t memorize all the characters and relations between them? After watching some episodes you start to identify the main crew, later you recognize side characters, and finally, you are into the lore. What if you’d be able to get into the project the same way, episode by episode. Well, it might happen when the code you’re walking is simple to understand. Of course, in the big picture it does extremely complicated things, but the components are easy to understand. They delegate details of their job to smaller, composable pieces. These ones make you more confident when changing the codebase and make it easier to introduce new colleagues to ”the lore”. Remember, that the simplicity of good design leads you from ”what should I add” to ”what can I remove”.
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3. Don’t hesitate to ask ”Why”
Feeling stuck with your progress? Counting hours of research and digging the internet without any success? How many times have you been saying: ”I should have asked her when she was here”? You can always ask for help – it’s extremely probable that one of your colleagues faced a similar issue not so long ago. Take advantage of the asynchronous nature of online communicators – write the entire message at once – it reduces attention loss by the other side. Use the note-taking app to avoid sending the unfinished message by accident – it would allow you to think about the problem and the goal you want to achieve. Format the message – your issue would be faster to understand by the other side and won’t create a wall of continuous text fatigue. Remember, that software development is the Team Sport, otherwise, the top NASDAQ companies should look like a club of self-employed professionals.
If you are an experienced Developer, do you agree? We hope this article would be valuable for every Programmer at the beginning of his/her professional career path. Make sure to read other pieces from our blog to stay up to date with all the software development insights.