5 Most Important Things I Learned Being a Developer

  1. I learned the most in practice while working on projects. You just must start working. If no one wants to hire a person without experience, then either they have too high a rate or they are not looking in the right place. If you need help with this, then there is a suggestion for you at the end of this article.
  2. I "wasted" most of my time in college. You don't need college to become a programmer and to get a job in this profession. However, you can get valuable relationships and build relationships while studying.
  3. It is good to know something about everything and everything about something. Broad knowledge gives you a better picture and suggests more options from which to choose the best solution.
  4. The best sources of knowledge are specialized courses and team members. Surrounding yourself with people smarter than yourself is a good way to grow. In addition, it is good to be part of a community organized around our interests.
  5. It is good to build your personal brand and portfolio from the beginning. This will make us stand out in the crowd and thus it will be easier to get our dream job or be involved in an interesting project and negotiate better rates. Let others found you on the web and interesting projects and people will apply to you themselves.

Why programming in the first place?

One of the best things for me about being a programmer is that you never stop learning. Even after years of experience, there is always something new to learn. In my Gallup test results, it came out that I ranked "learning" second in talents - one of the reasons I like this environment so much.

Microsoft .NET is a great platform for software development. - I started my career as a programmer using the C# language and the .NET platform. I've never looked back - the .NET platform is extremely versatile and provides everything you need to develop high-quality applications of all types from mobile applications to desktop applications to web applications.

Programming is an art form. If done well, code can be beautiful and elegant - much like poetry or music. 

Being a programmer is not just about writing code. It's about understanding the problem you want to solve and finding the best way to solve it. It's also about having an in-depth knowledge of the tools you use and knowing how to use them effectively. And finally, it's about being able to work with other people to get the best results.

Finally, programming gives a lot of satisfaction. There's nothing better than seeing the results of your work - how your programs work and make others' lives easier.

My story

My professional programming adventure began in the fourth year of college. I remember it like today - one of my friends during the vacations started working in one of the software development companies (such a current software house). I spent those vacations in the USA and he wrote to me that they needed someone else. I agreed to an interview and shortly after my return I started working as a junior .NET programmer. Due to my still ongoing studies, the working hours were irregular and unlimited. I worked as much as I could - I usually went straight to the company after class. Even then I paid attention to several aspects:

  1. I knew nothing - much of the time I had no idea what to do.
  2. There is nothing better than a good and helpful team.
  3. Programming is something for me - the satisfaction of completing projects is a great feeling.
  4. Unstructured and unlimited working hours suit me.

The reason I am writing about this is that it is a good idea to look for your first job already in college and explore what options are available and if this is what you would like to do. Going to college I didn't yet know what I would do professionally. I think most people at this stage are still fuzzy-headed and don't have a clear idea of what they want to do in life. That was the case with me. The only thing I knew was that I like to spend time in front of a computer, and that's what guided me when I chose to study computer science. 😉

In hindsight and given my current experience then, as far as programming is concerned, college is not a good path. On the other hand, I don't regret anything, because I have this feeling that all the events that took place in my life led me to where I am and I'm fine with that. Coming back to studies it can be seen as a kind of extension of childhood. 🎮 Unfortunately, once you start working you end a certain stage where your only duty is to study, and a period begins when you must take responsibility not only for yourself, but also for others.

Going back to college, the most important thing you can get out of it is relationships, and if I had to choose one thing, I would take from college it would be relationships with peers, which many times gave more value than knowledge. Also, when it comes to college material, especially when it comes to computer science, it didn't keep up with technology. C# was already a fairly mature programming language and little attention was paid to it in college. It was the same with Java. In contrast, a lot of attention was focused on archaic languages such as PASCAL, C, Assembler. Overall, there was too much theory and not enough practice, and perhaps path profiling should have come earlier than the fourth year.

To find a job in IT, studies are not needed. I have never been asked by anyone for a degree, and I have changed employers many times. It's because the market for programmers is an employee's market, but I the main reason is that studies don't prepare you for a job anyway and are no indicator of your knowledge and capabilities. What appeals to recruiters much better is the training and certifications you have received and the projects you have completed. So, it's worth focusing on building your personal brand and your portfolio from the beginning.

It's also a good idea to have a profile on LinkedIn, where you can upload important information. Often a good profile is more important than a resume. There is much more information there than just our skills and experience. From the profile you can also read what kind of person we are and whether we have the right mentality - we have the right values and whether our character will fit with the organization looking for a candidate. Nowadays, I see more often the option "Apply via LinkedIn" on job offers.

A more advanced topic is the website, which is very important in the process of building a personal brand. It demonstrates a greater maturity and awareness of the owner and his greater commitment. The website itself is also a business card and a project itself. It testifies to your ability to realize the design of your own site. Certainly, candidates with a website stand out because there are few of them.

An extremely important aspect I still wanted to draw attention to is people. It is said a lot that the most important thing is people, and there is a lot of truth in that. From them you can learn the most, especially from those smarter than yourself. In this connection, a saying has stuck with me that if you are the smartest person in the room, it means you are in the wrong room. Very apt in my opinion. A person learns all his life and can learn the most from people smarter than himself. Moreover, it is also very apt to say that we are the sum of the five people closest to us. So if we surround ourselves with people who pull us upward then we will grow and develop.

Last but not least lesson I learned would be that time is very important. It is our most important resource. That's why I respect and am very grateful if someone takes the time to do something for me or participate in a meeting I organize. I try to give the other party as much value as possible in return for the time spent. At the same time, I do not tolerate wasting my time. I avoid all kinds of meetings in which I cannot give value or which do not give value to me. We have limited time in the day, and I believe that managing it skillfully is the way to happiness and fulfillment.