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What I learned from my first development job

rapidnerd profile image George Marr ・3 min read

Hopefully we all remember our first development job or even if you're still there, from working in all different places it gives us a lot of life skills and tells us a lot about the work place. A little background story my first dev job was working for a very small company in Bristol UK, the company did finances for other companies and needed an admin panel to make it a lot easier, being written in Java with some JavaScript background me and 3 other people set off to work.

My main role was to write the interface and little bits of the networking stuff. Best to say Reddis can sometimes be a pain. From this role I learnt a lot.

  • It's not always what you think it will be

Now when I first got into the office on my first day I thought right open the IDE, look at the documents given and start bashing out as much code as I could getting it to work. NOPE!. I wasn't told that there was no initial design, there was nothing made already, and that they hadn't actually provided us with the tools we needed. None of this was told to me or the other developers.

Okay so that had happened, we spent a couple of hours installing everything we needed to use then we set to work on a design. I personally love designing software as much as I love building it but having the company not have a single clue about what features that actually wanted was really annoying.

  • Communication

This was also my first team project, the people I worked with were extremely nice and we got on well (they even bought donuts). I believe that the people I was working with were one of the main reasons this project was done on time. When I work in a team I look for people with high spirits, motivations, dedication, willing to learn and help. I saw everything in this team.

The communication between me, the team and the company workers was exceptional. We knew what they wanted, we all knew our place and started to work on what to do. But the main issue was that some of us were scared to ask for help. When it came to me asking for help with some of the networking the exact opposite of what I thought would happen. I was thinking If i asked for help they'd think I'm useless, not skilled and pretty stupid. But nope the people I asked showed me how they would do it, showed my mistakes and helped me learn.

  • I was scared

I'll fully admitted I wasn't scared at working here....I was petrified. This was the first company I had worked in, the first large scale project that I had developed for, working with people I didn't know and didn't know if i could pull it off.

I talked about the barriers of programming here Barriers behind programming and this was the first time that I had come across all of these barriers at the same time, its also the first time I overcame them all.

  • Mistakes

There's no doubt about it in normal life and in a development career we will always make mistakes, and there's nothing wrong with making mistakes as I see them as a learning curve. We learn from every mistake we make whether it be to approach something differently, not to crash the network by overloading the servers ticks (yeah that was bad).

Till this day I still make mistakes and I learn from them, its what helped me get from where I was to where I am today.

  • Finishing off

This was only a part time contract, I was there for about 2 months. At the end of the contract I took away a lot of experience, new methods, tricks and tips and one brilliant learning experience. But most importantly the people I was working with became great friends. From the time that I've spent working with them to now I still see and speak to all of them.

Every lesson I learned from this job helped me better myself as a person and as a developer. From 6 months back from the job originally first started to now I revisited the code that I wrote and looked at what could've been improved now if I was to rewrite it.

Best to say I enjoyed this experience, the company was happy with the final product. And I got a lot of donuts out of it.

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aleksikauppila profile image
Aleksi Kauppila

It's really one of the best indicators that you've become a better developer when you look your own code and see that it can improved in many ways.