Mistakes Software Professionals generally make in their initial years - II

Ashish Vaidya
Published on: 1st June 2014
Life is too short to repeat somebody else's mistakes, you should make your own!

I have been a part of software industry for about 6 years working with three highly reputed MNCs-Novell, Citrix and Amazon. During this journey as a software professional I have accomplished some distinguished feats and also have committed many silly mistakes. While having informal chats at different occasions with different people, I noticed a pattern as they revealed about the mistakes they think they did during their initial years. It's interesting that not only the mistakes made by different people working in different organizations were quite similar but also could have been avoided had someone guided or informed them.

Here you have an opportunity to know about and avoid the same mistakes as you go on to start your career-

Trying to gain in-depth knowledge before starting on a task

One of my friends started at Oracle where his manager assigned him a simple small enhancement to start with. Now this project was in Java and also used XML. This fellow knew a bit of Java but XML was an entirely unfamiliar territory. So he got books on both and started studying them sincerely all the time. Couple of days later when his manager asked for status he told that he is about halfway through the books. As you might have already guessed, the manager was definitely not happy. Many people have shared with me about similar kind of experiences/situations they have faced or seen.
mistakessoftware professionals generally make in their initial years,in depth knowledge
While you need to know about the technology you are using, you don't have to be an expert with that. At work, you would not have luxury to take as much time to learn and then start working on the project. Amid tight deadlines, you need to soon become good-enough and use get things done. You may alongside continue to improve your skillset in that but main aim is to get things done in time. Point to be noted here is that this by no means mean compromising with quality.

I myself have been in similar situations multiple times where I had to complete work using a technology I had never even read about before and even now I cannot claim to be have championed it. I learnt the components that I needed to and got the things done which are worked well and currently are part of products already in market.

Therefore, it would be a sincere suggestion to understand the requirements, focus on becoming good-enough in what is required and finish it. Then you can keep working to gain more knowledge which may come handy in some other project.
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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