Working in the IT and software development industry is a dream career for many people. There are lots of good things about it: IT specialists are very well-paid, do interesting work, and are a part of great innovations that computer technology goes through. At the same time, being a computer or software engineer is quite a challenging task that requires a lot of skill and patience. So, before starting a career in IT, newbies must learn a few basic facts.
Be Ever-Growing And Ever Developing
Modern computer technology develops and grows so fast that it gets hard to track every change or even a few. This, in turn, results in some of the highest growth rates among different industries. So, the problem with IT specialists does not concern the demand, at least, exactly. The problem is rather with the supply: a good software engineer or web developer is hard to find. There are lots of various challenges that many developers seem not to notice until it’s too late.
Such kind of things exists in nearly every industry. For content and technical writers, for instance, there is a conflict between expectations and reality. While many of them expect to get a very creative and fascinating job, they often start with rather monotonous content. It usually causes a lack of motivation in the entering stages and, some talented writers quit the career before even getting into the jam.
Another example is the translators. If you read carefully through the translation company reviews, you’ll find that most writers find it hard to communicate with customers. And such issues exist in each sphere. Here are only a couple of examples for software engineers.
- Expectations vs Reality. Yes, software engineers face this issue just as often as content creators, graphic designers, and translators. For most developers, the expectations usually heavily rely on action, like coding or working in a team to actively work on the software product creation. However, many get surprised that they must spend a lot of time figuring out the code and the way it works. So, don’t get disappointed too quickly if you find yourself mostly digging through the lines of code in your first year. Everybody goes through that almost through their entire career.
- Underestimating themselves. Believe it or not but many programmers and software engineers tend to underestimate their powers. Hence, many end up getting stuck on the same job for decades. Remember, the companies or customers are usually the ones demanding. You’re the one who offers, so make sure to propose something that works for you in the first place.
- Invest in your learning. You should learn all the time to become successful, especially in something like software engineering. And good education often requires investment, so, make sure to do it generously. It’s you who’s going to work in a few years. Do yourself a favor and pay a few bucks to learn a new testing method or another programming language.
- Work closely in teams. Essentially, working in development with other people is a win-win situation. You get your part of the work done so that others could carry on, and you get a chance to learn in practice. At the same time, every developer is different, so you’ll acquire lots of new things by working in teams.
- Don’t underestimate non-developers. It somewhat relates to the previous point. If you work with a UI/UX designer or localization specialist, don’t think of them as someone who doesn’t know how to count. Everybody’s a specialist in their own thing. You can code while localization specialists know to put things in the best way possible to foreigners. You won’t believe it but, oftentimes, only localizers can help you find the 10 most common localization bugs in websites and software that you wouldn’t probably even think of. So, make sure to value your team highly as there might be someone there to catch you when you fall.
- Combine full-time and freelance. It doesn’t mean you have to bury yourself into work but rather get some more practice. There are lots of jobs in development that will take only 1-2 hours of your free time freelance. While working as a developer in your company, you can make some testing as a side job. This way you’ll get some extra cash and extra experience that can help you out someday.
- Get practical. Knowing how to code and check those codes is not enough for a developer today. Pretty much like for everyone else, it’s not enough to possess professional skills only. To get a great job and maintain it, you must also learn how to communicate with others, how to create a perfect resume, and how to cope with stress. Yes, that’s a lot of information, but you only need to learn it once, and it will serve you till the end.
Grow And Develop
The crucial point that you as a software engineer should keep in mind is never stop learning. No matter how good you are at what you do, there always might be someone doing it better, faster, or with less fuss. And such a person can even exist in the same context you do. So, make sure to value yourself, strive to be a better version, and never stop learning to achieve exactly that.
Sometimes, it seems that in his one life, Michael Carr lived a few lives at once. He’s already been a reporter, an educator, and a traveling blogger. Regardless of what he does, Michael manages to walk one great line and always works using only his personal experiences.