Have you just started a career as a computer programmer? You should be proud of this accomplishment. Computer programming is one of the most challenging jobs in the workforce. It is also one of the most lucrative, with an average income of over $86,000.
Unfortunately, your career as a computer programmer won’t be a cakewalk after you land your first job. You are still going to encounter a variety of challenges. Your future success will be largely dependent on your performance, both from an interpersonal and technical perspective.
The good news is that there are a lot of steps that you can take to increase your probability of success. Here are some of the best things that you can do to succeed in your first job as a computer programmer.
Understand new technology is going to keep changing your job
Some programmers specialize in old programming languages, such as Cobol. You might be surprised to know that seemingly archaic languages are still in high demand.
However, the vast majority of programmers rely on more recent technology that is rapidly evolving. Docker developers have to deal with the most frequent changes, such as JFrog.
You can’t just assume that your future as a programmer will be set in stone. You must recognize the reality of your profession. Technological change is rapid and will continue to change your job. You will find that new technology like big data is particularly important, especially in the e-commerce sector. You need to continue researching these changes and adapt accordingly.
Don’t pretend that you know everything already
You may have earned a BS or even an MS in computer science, but that doesn’t mean that you already know everything. There are many new things that you are going to have to learn after you get hired. Some people can learn to code in Python just 15 weeks, but they will never stop learning.
You can’t assume that you know as much or more than veteran employees at your new company. More experienced workers find this type of arrogance from new employees to be unbecoming.
Rather than act like you are the new “know it all” of the company, you should acknowledge that you still have a lot to learn. Try to approach other employees as mentors and show respect for their expertise.
Don’t expect your technical expertise to drive your career trajectory
Your technical competencies are important for helping you get your foot in the door. They will also ensure that you continue to earn a paycheck for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, you can’t expect your technical skills to land you a promotion. If your goal is to become a manager, then you will find that there are multiple competencies that are going to be necessary.
Interpersonal skills might be of little significance for entry-level programmers. However, they are very important for anybody in the managerial hierarchy. You need to know how to communicate clearly and effectively with your subordinates, superiors, customers, colleagues in other departments and countless other stakeholders.
Conceptual competencies also become increasingly important as you rise through the ranks of the organization. Meanwhile, your technical competencies become less important with every promotion.
You need to make sure that you have strong technical competencies. However, you can’t expect them to determine your future success as a programmer.
New professionals don’t always appreciate the challenges that people face within a new company. One of the biggest things that they are not prepared for is the company culture.
You need to understand how employees engage with each other. It is important to make sure that you abide by these unspoken expectations to have a solid relationship with your colleagues.
Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond
There are numerous expectations of all employees at any company. Some of them will be very clearly communicated, while others will be implied.
At a bare minimum, you need to understand and meet the core requirements of your job. However, you are also going to need to appreciate the unspoken expectation to exceed those expectations. You should go above and beyond to maximize job security and increase your odds of getting a promotion. This is going to be the most important thing that you bear in mind as you try to ensure your long-term success as a computer programmer.