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A new grad software engineer is a dangerous thing
They’re fresh out of school and eager to prove themselves, but they may not have the experience necessary to know what pitfalls await them in their first job. This article outlines 6 mistakes that rookies make when they start their first job as a new grad software engineer, and how you can avoid each one so that your career doesn’t get off on the wrong foot!
Don’t be tempted by shortcuts
You’re eager to start coding and building stuff, but before you can bear any fruit for the team or company you’ll need to get your hands on some data. The problem is that nobody told you how much time it would take. Don’t be tempted by shortcuts when in doubt, go through channels!
Keep an eye out for common traps like scope creep, where a project starts with one goal in mind but gradually expands as people who are interested weigh in on what they want from the product. Scope creep leads teams off track more often than not, which means time wasted without tangible results.
Remember these three points when coming up against something new:
Does this make sense?
Does anybody else have input on this?
Is this the right time?
The other thing to watch out for is meetings that don’t produce actionable items. If you’re making decisions about things that can be implemented quickly and immediately after your meeting adjourns then it’s worth going through with those tasks if appropriate; otherwise just hold them in reserve for later.
It’s common to feel overwhelmed when you’re new, but it’s important not to let that feeling of lack of control get the better of you. Remember that this is your first job and there will be plenty more opportunities if things don’t work out here or in the post interview stage.
Finally, take time at least once a week (or even just every few days) to talk with people who are happy on their teams about what they do and how they got into tech! The best way to learn is by talking knowledgeably with those around us so make sure you have someone in mind before making any assumptions about why somebody has left their team.”