Things I would tell myself when I started software development...

Inspired by this excellent video by devinsideyou, I thought I'd make my own list of things I would tell myself when I was starting out.

  • It's an endless journey. There is no point racing for a destination; the destination doesn't exist. Slow down and enjoy the journey, because you'll be on it for a long time.
  • Frameworks, languages, patterns are like fashions. Most have limited lifespans and they come and go. Focus on being a better developer. By all means, use frameworks, learn new languages, etc. but do not feel like you need to know X or Y; You don't.
  • Some employers can be very demanding, even of juniors. I do not agree with this approach. Juniors should be hired because of their potential not because of what they know now. If you are starting out, know that some employers will nurture your talent and your career. If an employer rejects you for not knowing X, it says more about them than about you.
  • Keep learning. Little and often.
  • Take breaks. Rest. Sleep. Your brain can only do so much each day. Do what you can. It's enough. There is room for everyone. You are good enough.
  • The goal of software development is finding solutions to problems, not writing code. Spend more time understanding the problem and less time worrying about the solution.
  • Embrace and understand Test Driven Development. Smart people may not need TDD, the rest of us do.
  • Communication skills are as important as coding skills. Communication is a super-power.
  • Teach others. It's a great way to learn. Small actions help.
  • Simple code > Clever code.
  • Listening > talking.
  • Be on time. Be honest. Show up.

What would you tell your younger self?