So... I just got a job in a software company in the bay area!! One of my questions is how I can keep improving as a software engineer? I've put together some of my thoughts and tips for beginners.
This isn't applicable for beginners only, even if you're a very experienced software developer, you should always optimize your code. Practice making your code better for readability, stable performance and maintainability. Fix what isn't broken. You can go through the codes you've written in the past and optimize them.
Just build something. Build anything. Sometimes your head is way too deep in the books and resources you just lose your potentiality. Some of the newbie software developers I know always rely on the books to find the "perfect first language". Nah, it doesn't matter. Your language doesn't matter. What matters is your ability to program and code. Learn the program.
Coding isn't everything. No company would want to hire a person that has nothing without the coding ability. Spend sometimes outside of the computer and improve your soft skills. Personally I think communication skill is very important. Learn to communicate with your teams. Talk to people. There are tons of productivity tools for you to work with your team. Use some of the apps to collaborate with the team and maintain the tasks progress (Github Projects, Quire, Trello, etc. are one of the best task management software for developers).
Don't be afraid to admit with your team that you don't know or need more time to fix the bugs. Make mistakes, ask questions, take advantages of the resources like Stackoverflow or Github to ask questions. Compare yourself with no one but your old version. Keep going, keep moving forward :)