Things I Have Learned During My First Developer Job

by Yumie Tsuzuki

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Key things to keep in mind

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You may want to solve problems by yourself, especially if you are a self-taught developer like me. You have the ability to tackle and attempt challenging problems and you will make it no matter what it takes. Tenacity is a very strong point, but asking for help from people around you would also be a good strength. Without asking, you will never learn different points of view to solve the problem and you will stick to the same ways that are comfortable for you. You will miss knowledge that you would not come across without asking. That is as we say in Japanese, MOTTAINAI!! (meaning how unfortunate it is for something to go to waste)
So, do not be afraid to communicate what bothers you and what you don’t understand to people and ask for help. They can take you to the right place before it takes more time than necessary.

Your opinion matters

You may think you are just an early-career developer and your opinion does not count. But it does! When you are working, you will find things that have weird behaviours or better solutions for problems you want to solve. Please raise them whether it is critical or not. Please let people know even things that you may think are of no use. I believe this is always a way to produce a better product. It is not limited to the code, but design, feature, or even working style. If anything you find that seems off, let people know.
People will always welcome your opinion. That is teamwork. No matter how trivial or how silly you think, it will be valued by your team members. So, let’s say out loud what we think!

Stay organized

It is easy to be messy when there are several tasks going on in parallel. You get lost easily and will likely miss important things without organizing while you are working. But if you take note of what and how you have worked, that would be your asset in the future when you want to review. Reviewing your work makes you feel confident and proud of yourself and at the same time makes you realize your weak points and what you need to improve on for the future.
I like to organize things. Every day before I get started, I list out what I will do and the steps that I will take. This is like a standup meeting but I do it also for myself. Keeping yourself organized first thing in the morning clears your head and makes you move forward easily. So, please try to keep staying organized.

Care about your work-life balance

You must have made a good effort to get your first developer job, and you must aspire to learn and gain more skills. That is awesome, I like those ambitions. But it can be intimidating when you start your first developer job. You will be easily overwhelmed. And you will not have enough energy or time to learn something new besides your work. That is totally normal.
People say you need to keep learning and it is true and essential. But all things can become true depending on your good mental and physical health. It is okay to not study after work or on weekends, and it is okay to rather choose to spend relaxing and unwinding time with your family and friends. Please make yourself a priority by listening to your heart and body, and not pushing yourself hard all the time.

Last but not least

I have shared what I have learned so far and what I always keep in mind. Every day is new to me and I learn something new every day. It will be the same for you. Every single person feels different about their first developer jobs and learns different things. But I hope this will somewhat help soon-to-be developers and aspiring developers.
And last but not least, have fun developing and enjoy your journey as a developer!

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