Great coder != Great software engineer
How do you change that sign into an “=” sign?
As a software engineer out of college, your initial goals are to get use to the professional working environment.
Once you get passed that first hurdle, then it is all about the programming or coding skills. You want to improve your .NET C# skills or Java skills or NodeJS skills or Python skills or database skills. You want to learn the frameworks around these programming languages better and you want to learn different ways to optimize your code and apply different design patterns in your implementations. These are great skills to have and in a lot of cases required skills to have. The most important thing is that you are enjoying what you are doing.
At this point you have reached that level that will give you the right to label yourself as a great coder or a great programmer. However, there is still more to go. At this time your main focus is programming and you may be lucky that your technical lead and software engineering manager are abstracting a lot of things for you and shielding you so you can focus on programming most of your work day.
Don’t feel rushed that you need to advance vertically in your career. You need to feel comfortable where you are, and you need to follow your gut feel. When it’s time for you expand your horizon, it is your choice to make. It is all part of becoming a great software engineer.
Now it’s time. Willingness to listen and learn from other senior software engineers, tech leads, solutions architects and software engineering managers is the key to turning yourself from a good coder into a good software engineer. This is the type of stuff you cannot easily google. You need to be patient. You have to approach it with open mind and realize that there is no book “Experience in a Nutshell” that can help you expedite this process. After some time doing things the right way becomes the second nature. In fact, it later becomes harder to NOT do things the right way.
What you will learn is:
- * What it takes to develop and deploy robust applications at the enterprise level to production and then maintain it in production.
- * SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle)
As you learn more and more and software engineering concepts come as second nature to you, that’s when you know you graduated and joined the club of great software engineers.
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