Your First Programming Job: Tips for More Success, Much Earlier

Your First Programming Job: Tips for More Success, Much Earlier

Beginning a career in programming can be a challenge. It would be safe to say that nearly every new programmer will come across issues that will seem difficult and irritating. Many successful developers admit that they made many mistakes early in their careers, and that they realized it later on, maybe a few months or even years after the fact. All of them wish they'd had access to tips for success at an earlier date, so they could have avoided wasting so much time trying to get an understanding of what it takes to work as part of a programming team.

In this post, we'll pass along some tips and advice that our professional developers have shared with us to help you have earlier success as a programmer and avoid some of the pitfalls.

  1. Teamwork is Essential

When working with a team, you can't avoid communicating with others. And even if you can somehow avoid it, your code must interact with code written by others. And no matter how talented a programmer you are, you should learn how to interact and collaborate with your teammates to avoid ending up as a failure.

You don't have to like everyone on your team, but you do have to be able to work with them. So, learn people language, as well as programming language!

  1. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Asking questions is a good way to learn, as well as an opportunity to socialize with your coworkers.

Before asking a technical question, try to find the answer on your own by searching the Web. For example, if you are a PHP developer, it is not okay to ask your colleague, “I want to create an array like {1, 2, 3, …n-1, n} in PHP; can you help me?” You have just shown that not only do you lack skills in PHP documentation, but also that you won't make the effort to search Google or think it through for a moment.

See also: How to ask technical questions

  1. Complete High Priority Tasks First

This might seem obvious, but remember: You have to pick up the higher priority task first, even though the one with the lower priority looks way more interesting to you. Be a professional!

See also: 8 tips for writing better code  

  1. Don't Worry About What You Don't Know

You will probably be exposed to many technical discussions full of words and phrases that may not make much sense to you. No need to get stressed or waste time on worrying about what you don't know. There are endless topics to learn about in computer science, and an endless list of terms that you won't understand at first. But if you stick with it, you will eventually understand it all!

  1. The Learning doesn't End when You Find a Job

Besides keeping up on the news, you should also keep up with learning new skills and tools. In almost all professions - and programming is not an exception - keeping up-to-date on your skills will make you that much more in-demand.

See also: How to learn things faster and remember more

The most important factor in your success is you. Just take responsibility for doing the best job you can.

Good luck!