Your first year as a Software Developer

Are you making a move to software development? Have you just started learning how to code? Or, have you finally landed your dream career as a software developer in your dream firm? Wherever you are in your coding journey, congratulations on getting this far. Today, we’ll give you a peek into some of the challenges and wins of your first year as a software developer. 

Life as a developer

Overall, life as a software developer can be wonderfully rewarding, but, like with any other job, it will have its challenges. Coding can have plenty of learning curves. Sometimes, it can even have monotonous moments. So here’s a dose of reality. That is how it is in most jobs. However, the rewards of being a software developer are hugely rewarding. 

You’ll start noticing great benefits during your first year as a developer. But, before we get to those, if you want to start learning some basics of code straight away, check out the free 5 Day Coding Challenge. If you’ve already completed this, look at our full-stack programme to start your career change journey. 

Benefits of being a software developer

  • Creativity

Software Development is one of the most creative roles there is. As a programmer, you’ll help build solutions, websites, apps, technologies and more. While much hard work will go into these, the end product is part of your success. You can see the impact of your work.

  • Great Working Conditions

Even before the pandemic, it was not uncommon for developers to work from home or anywhere with stable internet. Developers generally have great working conditions, amazing collaboration opportunities, and more. If you end up working at a multi-national company, chances are you’ll have company chefs, plenty of bean bags, fantastic social opportunities and more. Even smaller companies are making more significant efforts to keep their staff happy. 

  • Fast Career Progression

By now, you’ll know that software developers are in high demand. The reason for this is simple. There are not enough of them. As a result, a developer’s career progression can be fast. The first year or two of your career will be as a junior developer. Then you’ll move on to a mid-level role. It’s not unheard of for some developers to move from a mid-level position to a senior role in less than five years.

  • Brilliant salaries

It’s no secret that software developers are paid well. The good news is that even during your first year as a developer, you’ll most likely be paid a generous salary. 

Your first year as a developer

So, after you land your first job as a software developer, what does your first year look like? What challenges and wins will you encounter? Well, this journey will look different for everyone, so below, we’ll look at some sample challenges and wins that might come your way. 

1. New job jitters

Since starting a new job, you’ll be eager to meet your new coworkers and seniors and acquire new skills. But, at the same time, you’ll be concerned about whether you’ll be able to survive, whether you’ll be likeable, whether you’ll be able to present yourself respectfully, and many other things you’re thinking about as you read this. You may even experience impostor syndrome – where you feel like you’re going to be found out and that you don’t belong in this role. You can read more about that here

Such feelings are natural; whether you are an extroverted or introverted person, you will undoubtedly experience anxiety about your new environment. However, these feelings are usually fleeting, and you’ll be over them soon enough.

So, be more upfront if you want to get along with your team. Don’t be afraid to approach your coworkers and ask them any questions you might have on how to become a trusted team player.

2. Coding challenges are part of the job

Coding is pretty challenging and may even become monotonous after a while. It happens, and it’s pretty aggravating. Perhaps you are a Python specialist being asked to deal with a completely different language with which you are unfamiliar. Treat this as a learning moment – because this will build your coding skills even more. 

Or maybe the programming language you are well experienced with will not work in your favour and instead will be riddled with errors and bugs that will make you feel like yanking your hair out. Yep – you’ve guessed it. This is another learning moment. If you’ve been coding for some time now, you’ll know that mistakes can be made or that there are some challenges. But, this is part of the journey, and even as a well-experienced developer, you’ll have days like these. 

When you feel such an adverse situation, remind yourself that you are not the only one facing it. Even the experienced ones you are working with have times when codes won’t execute smoothly. So, during those times, relax, take small pauses, and see yourself doing your job smoothly.

3. Communicating with your colleagues

During your first year, you’ll notice that developers are grouped with a skilled team to collaborate, discuss, and work on product solutions. For introverted folks, this is usually a challenging obstacle to overcome, but let’s be honest without communicating with your team, your job only gets harder to finish.

Also, when working on a project, you may run into some issues; regrettably, Google does not always have the answers. What would you instead do in that situation: worry or ask? The best course of action is to ask. 

Though it may feel awkward to ask questions, do so politely and ask your superiors to assist you. No one will lash out at you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, get them answered, and stay focused on your task.

4. Your first product launch

As a software developer, your job is to build things for the company your work for – this is the job! Your business will inevitably launch your code during your first year, and you will see it in action. After that, it will be ready to be used in the real world. You won’t forget this moment. It is the equivalent of the worker who frames their first dollar, pound, euro, or whatever currency they’ve earned!

5. Your first eureka moment!

Let me rephrase that – Your first eureka moment in your new career. Of course, you’ll have experienced eureka moments while learning to code. They felt incredible, right? Well, that feeling is even better when you’re doing it as part of your new career. For many, new developers will encounter several Eureka moments during their first year. Here’s the thing, the feeling is fantastic every time!  

6. Practice makes perfect – or means fewer errors!

In movies, a coder is typically depicted as a great genius who knows everything there is to know about coding and types the code mindlessly. Then, Voilà, the code is executed with no errors. In the real world, you may experience days like these, but in reality, encountering errors is common. This is why you are a developer. You make code work. 

During your first year as a developer, you’ll be focused on writing codes, encountering new errors, compiling the code, facing even more bizarre issues, and ultimately executing the program. Here’s the thing: when you succeed in any or all of these areas, you’re going to feel great. You will achieve your goals. 

You will be more proficient at problem-solving and getting your task done meticulously due to your previous expertise. You’ll also start writing clean code that’s clear enough to understand and fix mistakes during compilation.

7. Regular meetings

As a developer, you will attend regular meetings – whether it’s with teammates, bosses or even clients. You’ll be nervous during your first year, but if you want to stand out, use your voice. Let your team know about your ideas and opinions. Effectively, what I’m saying here is that you should partake. There’s nothing better than seeing an idea you came up with come to fruition. 

It’s typical for a novice to be quiet and listen to the rest of the team discuss the project. But you won’t be a novice forever, so start by listening and observing how your peers interact in meetings, and then strive to align with your team and discuss your perspectives on issue solving and solutions as time goes on.

And as time passes, you’ll notice that you’re becoming more integrated into the team.

Your first year

Your first year as a developer will be awesome. Sure, you’ll feel apprehensive for a while and encounter various challenges, but that is normal. As time passes, you will learn new things, adjust to your new surroundings and coworkers, and find yourself performing well by the end of the year.

Ready to start your coding journey? 

If you are ready to start your coding journey, try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. Here you’ll learn the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Register now through the form below.  If you’ve already done the challenge, then download our full-stack brochure

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