Degrees and certifications are good preparation for technical jobs – partly! They give developers the technical skills they need to get started on their career. But school projects are different from projects in the real world. Just knowing the latest technology isn't enough to succeed. Here's a look at what developers wish they knew about the work world before their first day on the job.
When starting a job, developers often look at the project they'll be working on and the technology they'll be using. If it's an interesting project using the latest technology and the pay is good, it's often too tempting to say no. What developers often don't consider is the lifestyle that goes with that project. Does it have an intense, deadline-driven schedule? Are employees valued and rewarded for their contributions? When you finish school, you start shaping your life, and the environment at the office will have a big impact on how you feel and how much time you have for living it.
Coworkers Can Make or Break Your Experience
In school, many projects are independent; when there are group projects, students often pick their partners. In business, almost every project is a team project, and the manager makes the assignments. Being able to get along, cooperate, and collaborate with teammates is key for succeeding in real world development projects. Even developers who aren't leading a team need to become comfortable speaking up in meetings to share opinions and shape design decisions.
Make It Work
Software projects at school are often graded on the quality of the code. In business, how good the code looks isn't always important. Sometimes it just has to work. Even if the code is ugly and will make maintaining it more difficult in the long term, the wrong technical choice may be the right choice for the business if it meets an urgent business need.
Programming Isn't Everything
You need to write code, but there are very few developers who do nothing but write code. Development jobs in industry require being able to speak with business users to get requirements, work with technical partners to design architectures, work with quality teams to design test cases (or do your own testing if there is no separate QA team), oversee the product's build and deployment into production, and help the production support team resolve issues. No matter how much you enjoy programming, developing skills to engage in these "peripheral" tasks is necessary for success.
Whether you're starting out in your career or are already a seasoned pro, think about what you want from your next job and then contact The Armada Group. Our experienced recruiters work to understand your skills, abilities, and career dreams, then match you with a job where you can excel.