Things aspiring Software Engineers should know - I

Ashish Vaidya
Published on: 7th April 2014
As a Software Developer, I started my journey in the Software Industry at Novell from where I moved to Citrix and later to Amazon. Being in this industry for close to 6 years now, I have met and learnt from many wonderful intellectuals and have worked with them on various top class products that directly or indirectly impact billions of lives worldwide.

I have experienced diverse corporate cultures, working environments, software development practices and processes. During this journey where I accomplished some distinguished feats and also committed many silly mistakes, I have learnt lot of things of which I think some should be helpful and of interest to the aspiring Software Engineers. Here's the first one-

Wanted- Intellectuals, not the Xerox machines!

In colleges (including the best ones in country), most students learn this fine art of turning themselves into the amazing human Xerox machines which work at enormous pace but spring into action only for a short duration. This short duration is either the night before the exams or the very closely approaching deadline for assignment submission.
things aspiring software engineers should know,diverse corporate culture
While this is certainly a great skill, finest of the companies hiring for finest (read high-paying) jobs don't look for this certain talent. What they look for and want are intellectuals who can think!

Typing code in an editor or IDE is not THE job of a Software Engineer, its just a part of it and actually the simpler and quicker part. Software Engineers are paid for the intellectual property they possess and their capability to utilize it to handle the situations and solve the problems.

In my college, I personally knew many human Xerox machines across different batches who had honed this talent better and as a result the marks on their score-cards could inspire envy. However, during placements and couple of years down the line, the organizations they landed into, their job profiles or the amount they are making now has failed to do so.

Therefore my sincere suggestion is to start acting on developing your intellectual skills. "How?" would be the obvious question and here is my answer, you can do so just by-

1. Facing the problems yourself and solving them on your own
2. Learning and discovering of multiple ways to do so
3. Figuring out even better ways
4. Sharing the knowledge gained
This is first of the things that I seriously think an aspiring Software Engineer should know. Keep watching for more. If you are keen on learning more about the better software development practices you can start following right from the college days, do get a copy of my first book "Hello World - Student to Software Professional" published by Partridge (A Penguin Random House Company). Now available worldwide on all the MAJOR ONLINE Stores - Amazon, Google Play, Flipkart, Barnes & Noble and many others. Get in touch with me on My page on IU eMagazine's Expert Corner.
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