I've only been in the software industry for about 2 years now. I graduated with a Bachelors in Software Engineering in 2016. I can say that the one thing I regret the most is not doing and side work/projects to gain more knowledge about software development.
With that being said, it was really difficult to find a job at first. Being a recent grad I had NO experience. So to land a job I had to really sell my self. I was lucky to land a job and jump straight into developing in the .NET/Microsoft stack. I learned SO much more in about 1 month on the job than I ever have in 4 years of University. I have seen a lot of other new developers experience this too.
Over these two years I have worked on about 4 different key projects and have gained knowledge on other tools that help in software development. I have heard many stories where junior devs, or entry level devs, get stuck on a bug queue for about a year before they do any actual development in significant projects. In my opinion this is only going to stifle them. If you give a new developer the proper guidance and tools you can be amazed at what they can accomplish. Being stuck in bug queue for a prolonged period of time doesn't allow a new developer, or any developer for that matter, to grow and gain company knowledge. Because there is nothing more deadly than a great developer who also truly understands the business rules of a company.
What was your experience like as a new developer? Did you work on significant projects, or were you given "easy" work?