I’m a software developer. I have been waiting for a long time to be able to say that. I waited for 16 months actually. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. I have loved my experience so far being a developer. Spending each day solving problems and building software that benefits people is exciting and pushes me mentally. I love it. Not only that, I’m excited each day to get up and go work. I’ve never had that feeling before. Let me tell you, it is the best.
But enough about that. What I wanted to write about is my first four weeks as a full time developer. My experience and my advice to those getting their first developer job. Honestly though, I believe that the majority of these thoughts can be applied to whatever career or job you have or that you are striving for.
Be ready to have no idea what you are doing. But be excited about it.
- Let me tell you. The first day I had no idea what I was doing. But I had no idea what I was doing the second week. Heck, there were points of today where I had to idea what I was doing. But I love it. I love every time I hit a roadblock. I believe that not knowing what you are doing at a new job is the best. It allows you to be ready to learn everything, not come in with preconceived notions of how you think things should work. I’m able to be molded into the way my company functions. Eventually you will figure out what you are doing. And you can be excited for that too.
Ask all of the questions.
- The biggest mistake you can do at a new job is not ask questions. Luckily this comes pretty easily for me. Partially because I am a fairly blunt human with my thoughts, but also because I ask questions without much thinking. Do I ask some stupid questions? Yeah. But who cares. It’s better than no questions. Plus, I believe that if you are genuinely looking for help, co-workers will want to help you. Especially if they are investing in you as one of their employees. People want to help others succeed. So ask away, and honestly if they hate your questions, you should find somewhere else to work.
Celebrate your successes.
- I regularly will raise my arms in triumphant glory, silently screaming words of victory while I code. I love to celebrate success. When I finally get a test to pass, or when my browser doesn’t implode from my poorly written code, I feel a rush of excitement and quite a bit of joy. It’s exciting to figure things out. It’s exciting to be successful. So celebrate it. And if people don’t like it, they can deal with it. My office is really quiet, I’m still trying to ease them into experiencing my celebrations. I’m sure they get confused, and they definitely just put their headphones on. But I don’t care, because celebrating my success is the best motivator to continue moving forward.
Everyday at my job I get to experience something a little bit different and continue to grow into the position. And I am loving it more each day. I hit the roadblocks, I have frustrating moments, but I am getting to do a job that I spent nearly a year and a half trying to get. And it is the greatest feeling in the world to wake up excited for work. Being a developer is pretty rock and roll. And I’m definitely ready for month two.