The Web Gambit

Thoughts on Web Development

Things I learned about Software in College

Dare Obasanjo started a thread listing things he learned about software while in college and Scott Hanselman extended it by adding three more things he learned in college and three things he learned outside of college. 

Both bloggers had some great points and I recommend reading both posts as well as the comments.  But I thought I would chime in to the discussion with my own list.

Things I Learned about Software in College

  1. If getting things working is the primary goal, most programming assignments can be completed by one person in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. Reaching the “ah ha!” moment in programming is very important.  Until you reach that moment, every programming assignment will be marginally tougher.
  3. Don’t work on assignments with the smartest person in the room.  Immediate learning by imitation doesn’t work too well in software.   Find your own way that works first, and then improve your style by emulating others.

Things I learned about Software after College

  1. Most good software is built by teams, not individuals.  If you don’t understand this point, you’ll always be a second-rate developer.  No matter how well you hack things together.
  2. Being a software professional truly means being a lifelong learner.  Chances are the tech you cut your teeth on in college will be obsolete soon after graduation.
  3. True happiness as a software developer lies in liking those who you work with, not liking those who you work for.  Some of my best work experiences were great because of the amazing colleagues I had a chance to work with, not the company or brands I worked for.
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