You are starting your career in IT Industry? Here are my learnings for you!
Hello Folks, Sorry I am facing challenges in keeping this blog updated. I wish can get more than 24 hours :-). I know it’s not possible. But will keep posting on this blog. Because from this blog only I got to learn lot of things. While sharing things with you. Quantity will be less compared to earlier. But quality will be same/more than earlier for sure! Because I believe in never compromising with quality!
Month of May-July is the month, when every company starts on-boarding university/college pass-outs in their company. So, lot of new people start working professionally in IT Industry. So, if you are one of them — I welcome you to an IT Industry!
Now, when you start working in this Industry, You feel lot excited. But more confused as well. Because what you learnt in college, and what people do in industry is totally different, until and unless you are from Good College/University. Who encourage to have working professional as a guest lecturer.
When you start working for any company. And you got a nice mentor — Who can clear all your doubts, Help you understand what is right, what is wrong, Guide you in getting comfortable with all the tools and terminologies, Who is always there for you. But if you get one then you are lucky!
As per my view good mentor should have :
- Lot of patience
- And passion about the profession what they are in
When I started my career, I’ve been lucky at times, by having great mentors, who taught me What To Do, And How To DO. And have been super lucky to have some not so good mentors, from whom I Learnt — What Not To Do, How Not To Do, And How Not To Behave. And my big thanks to second one. Because I learnt a lot from them then the first one!
Since few year, I’ve been lucky enough to mentor — super talented and smart people. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them shining. Because they were Diamonds. I just got a chance to polish them and make them shine! You are also a Mentor? Then buddy you got a big responsibility on your shoulders. Because I believe Mentor has to play a role, Which Parents played during nurturing, Teacher played during School/College. So, when your mentee comes to you with small questions — Don’t lose patience, answer them politely. Quench their thirst. And while doing so, you will learn a lot of new things — It’s a two-way process. I learnt a lot from my students. Basically if we just look around, We’ve a lot to learn from each others! — John West Sitecore CTO nicely said on Mentoring:
When a new developer joins your team or project, be friendly and let them know you are available for a two-way learning process. If an inexperienced Sitecore developer has a newbie question, instead of ignoring it or feeling frustrated, show that you care, take pride in trying to educate them on the topic, and try to provide pointers to the next few areas they could research. This works best when we all approach it the same way. Consider everyone with whom you interact to be both your mentor and your mentee. When I used to teach CMS training, I was surprised constantly by how much I learned from my students. In fact, I think each of us has something to learn from every other individual.
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While mentoring them, What I used to do, used to go back in my career and check, What Good things I learnt? — So, I can pass on to them. What Bad Things I learnt? — So, I can’t pass same to them. What I haven’t got? — So, I can get it for them.
So, each year – I meet a lot of young people joining our industry, and I make sure I share my learnings with them and help them shine! At one evening I thought, At each year — How many young folks — I will meet — 4,5,6 That’s it! — So, Why don’t I share my learning via my blog. So, who are starting your career, can focus on it. And if someone is new in mentoring and one of my learning can help them then I feel paid off!
Disclaimer : This is based on my learnings. I am not expert on this subject. But few basics which I learnt through my journey and have noted it down. Which I am sharing with you. So, if you think something might not work for you. Feel free to ignore it
- Learn : When you start your career, Keep focusing on Learning and NOT Earning! [As Allan Border Said to Harsha Bhogle — Take care of the runs – the dollars will take care of themselves.] An Advice I follow and give — For Initial years — Just learn as much as you can! Spend as much as time you can to learn the things, understand things. Ask questions. Do R&D
- Mentor : If possible find a Good Mentor and follow him/her
- Don’t Say No : If some new task is coming up to you. Don’t say NO — If you don’t know, tell them I will need sometime. But i will do it. Be a Go-Getter [Quotable Quote : Richard Branson — ‘If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’] But Yes, don’t get overburdened and over commit.
- Give Respect : Give respect to your seniors, subordinates and even office peons!. Be a team player! And they will love to work with you!
- Master your Skills : Whatever skills you are in for example .NET Developer/Java Developer/QA — Master it! And to be different from crowd — Get your self certified — I did most of my Microsoft Certifications during initial years — It not only added value. But also clarified lot of my basic thoughts about programming, I came to know lot of new API — Which made my work easier, and faster. [Yes, please read Microsoft certification books before giving exam, and DON’T GIVE EXAMS BY JUST READING DUMPS]
- Focus on your Coding Standards : They will consider that you care for your code!
- Read Read Read : In the era of internet as well, disconnecting from live world and reading a book for Minimum 30 minutes Enriches you. First read as many technical books you can may it be – OOPS, Design Patterns, .NET Frameworks, 97 Things every programmer should know or talk to your colleagues and find out which book they like more. Apart from that read the books you like Fiction/Non-Fiction/Self Help — This will keep you motivated! This is so long back I wrote on World Book Day : Did you know that, today is World Book day?!Books can be really your best friend! – Who gives a lot, and asks nothing in return!, which expands your vision about life! Who helps you to stand like a rock in difficult situation! Who makes you laugh, who makes you cry!If you read technical books – your technical knowledge will get increased and if you read other books (Biography, self-help, novel etc.) – your life’s knowledge will get increased – at last you will feel enriched for sure!It’s interesting, when I talk to people and ask about reading books they say – “Where is time to read the books?” – It’s same as driving a fast running car. But you don’t have a time to fuel it!:-)In this fast pacing era, promise yourself to daily read for min. 30 minutes, it will surely change your life – it worked for me, and I’m sure it will work for you as well!So, grab a copy of a book which you was “planing” to read from a long time and start reading it “today”!Happy World Book day!
- Document your learnings : In your initial days you will learn new things at every footstep. Our teacher taught us, Whatever new thing you learn document it. So, your knowledge gets organized in a proper manner, it gets stored in your permanent sector. And if you can write your blog then nothing great like that! The one blog you are reading is the best example of it! It improved my writing Skills and when people comment on blog — “You saved my day, God Bless you!” — That’s the best feeling you can ever have — Good Reads : http://pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/get-involved and http://www.hanselman.com/blog/YourWordsAreWasted.aspx
- Communication Skills : Sharpen your written and verbal skills. Because along with compilers you’ve to work with HUMANS. And when you get stuck with something. You’ve to explain it nicely to your senior, colleague, subordinate, Or In Global era to someone else sitting in U.S/U.K Or in Forum or To Support guys. And before you start working you’ve to understand requirements as well. If you can’t deliver something as committed, please communicate before hand.
- Develop Tools — When you learn something new in Technology. Think of how you can use it in your day-to-day life. If not in your project then can you build a small tool for your personal use or professional use or for your company’s use? It will give two benefits — It will clarify your concepts thoroughly, and at the end of the day, you will have a tool which simplifies someone’s task. See Tools i wrote for fun — PolyglotSkype, TimeZoneConverter or you can start your open source project on GitHub!
- Stand in tough time :When something is not working and the whole team is in tough time. Go and stand their. You might not be able to help. But see what you can do. At times fresh perspective might show a way to solve a problem! And you learn more in tough situations than day-to-day situations!
- Share Knowledge — Learnt something new? Share with someone else as soon as you can! Don’t feel insecure while sharing the knowledge. Good Read : http://prakashiyer.com/a-tale-of-two-seas/
- Track your progress : Periodically, take a halt and check how you are moving? What good things you did? What bad things you did? If needed talk to your Mentor/Senior and ask for an HONEST Feedback — Don’t wait for Annual Appraisal. BTW, I’m big fan of writing Journals. Give it a try, It will give you astonishing results!
- Usergroup meetings : If possible go for user group meeting
- Focus Focus Focus : Be focused, In this era of Social Media, you have no idea, how much of your time this social media mediums can eat. I’m not against in being touch with friends and family — That matters a lot! But while you are working — You are working! And When you are playing, You are playing — Then don’t work! I believe in “Work Hard, Play Hard” And you got finite number of key strokes in your life, please don’t get it wasted — http://www.hanselman.com/blog/YourWordsAreWasted.aspx Check your keys left : http://keysleft.com/ [I have only 156,038,394 keystrokes left before I die.] and “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
- Quality : Never Never Never compromise on quality. If you’ve to delay your software delivery by a day or deliver one feature less — In place of a quality — It’s a good deal! If you’ve to burn yourself for a quality — Just do it! Steve Jobs is the prime example of quality lovers and he nicely said “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.” Good Read : http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/steve-jobs-inspirational-quotes-im-slideshare
- Be Efficient : Complete your assigned tasks on time. Do a Time management. Say No where you can Say NO.
- Be Responsible : If you take more responsibility you will be assigned on more and important projects — and you will be important player of your team!
- Basics : And one advice, I always give — “Always Stick to your Basics” In whatever things Technical/Non Technical — Because it matters! “Back to Basic, Stick to basics, because a basic always works!”
Have I missed something? Feel free to comment
I hope this pointers, help you to shine in your career! Always Remember — “No idea works, Unless you do!”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
And If you need any help from my side, Just give me a shout!
Have a Happy and Nice Vacation! 🙂 [“When Passion becomes Profession, life Becomes Vacation!”]
Driving Your Career : http://www.brianhprince.com/2010/04/14/driving-your-career-series-transcripts/