Lightbulb in thought bubble

In the previous blog in this series, we asked our software engineers to offer up a few rules that they wished they’d known when they started out in the industry. They delivered 11 fantastic examples. Some were controversial, but all were written to be genuinely helpful.

In fact, the team had so much to say, that we’ve managed to get even more out of them!

So, here are 11 more rules to live by in the world of software engineering:

  1. It’s not an admission of incompetence to ask for help! You’ll never be an expert about everything, and there will always be somebody who knows more than you about something — the best way to learn what they know is to ask.
  2. Remember to celebrate your successes. Work on a good victory dance now. This lets everyone know you just solved a really hard problem and also provides amusement to the office.
  3. Be pragmatic, not dogmatic.
  4. Ask why as many times as you need so the root problem can be found and fixed. You will often learn something valuable.
  5. The pain of debugging is all worthwhile when you finally know why.
  6. Problem-solving is the most important programming skill!
  7. There is rarely ‘the right way’ to code something just lots of competing solutions with pros and cons for each. Of course, there are definitely many wrong ways.
  8. Get the computer to do as much of the work as possible, think of generalising the problem — but not too much!
  9. Plan some social activities — back to back days of programming does tend to have an adverse effect on one’s social skills.
  10. Every mistake, bug, failure and problem is ultimately your fault. But sometimes it’s therapeutic to blame the computer. Make sure you have several cheap inexpensive computers, computer parts and peripheral devices available…. and a hammer. This avoids damage to your current equipment.
  11. Grumpy coders make the best coders. Grrrrrrrrr. Grumpy older coders make even betterest coders. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Do you have any rules you’d add to this list? Or would you change any of the ones we’ve come up with? Contact us to let us know.

If you’re interested in working with Newicon on your next digital project, get in touch now.