Beginning a new career can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but when it is your first programming position, you can feel even more unsure of this new venture. When starting a new career, it is important to remember that everyone goes through this at some point in their lives and you are not alone. Check out the do’s and don’ts of starting your first programming job.
The Do’s and Don’ts for Your First Programming Job:
- DON’T say yes to everything
You may be tempted to assist with a project or to do someone a favor anytime someone asks you, but the reality is, you will be busy with your own projects. Saying yes to everything will set you up to fail because you will have too much on your plate. It is important to focus on your own work first.
- DO act like a team player
While you should not say yes to everything, if you genuinely have time to help out you should. Just be upfront, and state that your projects are your priority, but you can help out in your free time. Being a team player, without being a pushover, will allow you to be viewed positively by your colleagues and supervisors.
- DON’T act arrogant
If you know something someone else does not, or you are better at a certain task, do not act like a know-it-all. Nobody likes when someone flaunts their knowledge in a demeaning way. It makes you look self-absorbed and uncaring towards others.
- DO offer to teach someone
If you know something someone else does not, or you are better at a certain skill, offer to teach or train that person in your free time. Not only will it benefit that person, sometimes teaching someone else can further enhance your understanding of the topic.
- DON’T be afraid to ask questions
Asking questions might be the most important thing you can do in your first programming job. Not only does asking questions help you learn, it can help others learn who were too afraid to ask the question. Asking questions also shows that you are invested and care about the topic at hand, and shows you are taking the initiative to learn.
- DO ask questions at the right time
While it is good to ask questions, it is important to make sure you are asking them at the right time. Do not interrupt a meeting to ask a series of questions. Oftentimes, it is best to hang back and ask them after the meeting is over. Or, you can send someone an email if the questions can be easily explained – you can then go back and reference the email to better understand the topics.
- DON’T panic
Remember, panicking does not do anyone any good. Panicking causes unnecessary stress and anxiety among yourself and your peers. If you feel like you are panicking, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that everything is going to be okay.
- DO ask for help
Instead of panicking during a difficult or unexpected situation, calmly state the issue to your supervisor and ask for help. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. It shows that you care about the issue and want to resolve it as quickly as possible.