What should you know before starting your career as a Software Engineer

Hi Readers! I’m a software engineer at one of the largest e-commerces in Indonesia (Blibli.com). I have just finished my 1-year experience as a full-time software engineer.

Before I became a full-time software engineer, I was enrolled in a special program at the university to have full-time internship experience for 1-year. I was learning new things such as software engineering, both frontend and backend, scrum practice, e-commerce business logic and so much more than during my internship.

I have to say that it was really challenging and tough because of my lack of preparation, and at that time I still didn’t know what my passion in software engineering was, either focus in frontend, backend. My aim is to help you not to have the same tough experience.

Find Your Programming Passion

Never stop learning

I have an analogy for this point, imagine that you’re riding a bike, when you stop cycling, you will fall, but if you keep cycling, you only have a small chance to fall. Just like programming. Every month or even every day, there’s always something new that we can learn. So never stop learning new technology and don’t be afraid to use that technology for your project. You can learn from many things, such as:

Video Course

For me personally, the videos course is the best source to learn. I usually learn from Udemy, and Youtube. When I did that, I used an extended monitor, one monitor to play the video course and the other monitor for me to follow the lecturer code or take notes.

Why does the video course really matter to me?

Because learning from the video course uses 3 senses of our body: ears, eyes, and hands. Also, when learning from a video course, I have the same pace with the lecturer. It makes the learning process much more productive. It is also easier to understand the concept of the material that is being thought.

Books and documentation

Books are a window to the world. Sometimes video courses or articles like on Medium only explain the core concepts in programming. If you still need more explanation, you can get that information more complete in books and documentation. For example, if you want to make a new feature to the library, you usually need more information than just a best practice.

Knowing basic about how the industry work and technical term

Clean Code

You have to learn how to write code that will be understood by both humans and computers. You will realize how important this is when you work with legacy code. Most of the college and online courses teach the student how to write code that a computer understands, and the output is some with the expected ones, but they don’t teach how to code so that another human will understand it.

Soft-skill

Working life is different from high school or even in college. There is no test and exact measurement for the result of our work as an employee. At work, we are measured by both hard skills and soft skills. You need to practise your soft skills like teamwork, communication, politeness, and personal development. You can practise that in student activities and communities.

Technical and Industry Term (Jargons)

When you enter the industry, you will find some strange technical and industry term that you will not be familiar with. I won’t explain all of those terms, but I will give you some good references for all that you should know.

Find the best company that suits you

Company values

Before you apply for a job, make sure you find out about the company values, company prospects, and company technology stacks. Some people prefer to join a big company, some people like to join a startup company. So it’s your option to choose what kind of company you prefer.

Work-life balance

Most of your time when you’re working will be at the office. So it’s really important to know the working life there. You probably don’t want to spend your day without enjoying it, right?

Some people have their personal likes and behavior of working. For example, some people like to work at night time, the others prefer in the morning. You should also gather information about the environment in the office, whether it is dominated by old people or millennials, whether it is supportive or not. You can ask someone that already works there and also nowadays there are so many websites that provide that kind of data like Glassdoors, Linkedin.

Company salary

Don’t expect too much if you are looking for internship or you’re a fresh graduate, but you must know what is the average salary for that kind of job and the value of yourself, so you can negotiate with HR department or with recruiters because if from beginning you aren’t satisfied with your salary sooner or later you will look for a new company.

With hard work, persistence, and be grateful you can achieve anything.

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Passionate about front-end programming