Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Well, if you’ve just opened this article thinking you somehow missed 40 blog posts - fear not - you haven’t! As it turns out, the first year of a new career turned into something that was just so exciting that I ended up taking a massive gap in post writing. Hopefully, after the long break, I can come back with a few more things to write about this time.

What can I say, this year has been an exciting one for me as it’s my first proper software development role. Coming into my job with Intergen, I can’t say I really knew what a CRM System was. It’s a good thing I learn fast seeing I was hired to develop for it!

Which brings me to my first point: for anyone reading this who’s coming up on that first job, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but it is true, you don’t need to know everything. The amount of growth I’ve achieved in ~11 months has been fantastic, with plenty of credit for my amazing co-workers and the graduate programme that I’ve been a part of. But what a year as a graduate has truly taught me is to learn how to learn, how to be a productive team member, how to communicate with clients and articulate my ideas… and it keeps going on from there. The industry likes to call these soft skills, but I really do prefer the term core skills. Technology across the scientific spectrum is ever-changing, but within IT this change seems even more rapid - just ask anyone trying to keep track of the hottest JavaScript framework. However, underneath these changes, the basic structures generally stay the same and the overarching core skills even more so.

Once you’ve made some progress on the stuff above, the next part’s easy. I’ve got the client’s requirements, how do I make this work? Questions, more questions, and maybe some stack overflow. I’ve found the number one way to make progress in my early months has been to ask more senior developers around me. They’ve been there, done that. They know the pitfalls and can guide you through. The number two way to make progress is to ignore what those devs told you, and fall in those pits anyway. Tinkering and figuring out how or why something works definitely helps with those weird future bugs you’re bound to encounter. Plus, straying from the path is part of the fun of software dev, isn’t it?

Wrap all that together, and you’ve got a year full of personal development, and a year full of sponging information. It’s the standard first step in any career, but I’m glad to have taken it myself.

© 2020, Andrew Robilliard