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5 Things That Every New Developer Needs to Know

5 Things That Every New Developer Needs to Know

    Even though I have only been developing software “professionally” for around two years, there is a ton of information that I can pass on to fledgling developers and hackers. Learning how to program is just the beginning of learning software development and actually becoming awesome at it.

    If you are taking computer science or MIS/CIS courses at a university, I can imagine that you are learning technical aspects, system design, programming languages, computer logic, and maybe even a little user interaction design.

    The problem is that with any technical field, there is almost too much to learn. So, here are the top 5 things that every new developer needs to know to prepare themselves for the “real world” of software development.

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    You can’t please everyone all the time. So don’t.

    When it comes to designing and implementing new software and systems, you will inevitably have some system users. Also, you tend to have more than one type of user for a system, like an administrator, data-entry user, and reports users. With all of that user interaction you are going to hear a lot of “I need this…” and “yeah, but…” when it comes to different features and implementations.

    The problem is that you can never please all of these users. Ever. So, learn how not to people please and learn to say no more than you say yes to new features and ideas.

    Don’t be a butthole, but don’t be mister nice buy either. Try to implement only a handful of features at a time that will give your users the most bang for their buck. Then iterate.

    Make learning a top priority

    The reason I got into software development was because I loved learning new things and solving problems. In fact, that’s all I do all day, every day. So, when it comes to learning new languages, operating system technologies, platforms, etc. you have to always be on top of your game. You can get a really great series of tutorials for learning about some awesome technologies like Ruby programming, iOS game development, designing responsive web sites, and even Photoshop over at Lifehack Deals right now.

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    These types of “packages” are an easy and effective way to learn new things quickly. I remember when I was just getting into Ruby on Rails development and I purchased the infamous Ruby on Rails Tutorial package. I created a sample application in about a week and had a great base knowledge of the Rails framework to build off of.

    You will never learn it all, so take advantage of learning as much as you can as fast as possible.

    Know your limits

    Another thing that you have to learn early on is what you can and cannot do when it comes to development and different technologies. Just because you could solve problems in college classes does not mean that you can do anything when it comes to the “real world”.

    When I was first working at an insurance company as an intern I was amazed at just how many moving parts there were to an old, complicated system. I remember lead developers explaining things to me that completely went over my head. I felt like I had no clue what I was doing. That’s because I really didn’t.

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    It was a wakeup call to say the least. I learned very quickly that I can solve every problem, every time all by myself. You have to understand that your knowledge has limits. When you reach the edge of your limits, it’s time to reach out to others that know more than you do.

    Get users involved

    Remember me talking about how users can be a pain? Well, they can be your best ally if you put them in their place! Seriously though, users are the ones that are going to be using the thing that you are creating so it’s important to know what their job is, what annoys them, and how to delight them.

    If you understand your user’s basic needs, then you have made a great step forward in creating a usable and wanted system for them.

    Try to ask users for their input about features and how something should work. Remember not to promise anything though; just get an understanding of what makes the person that uses your system tick.

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    Don’t just lock yourself in a room and code. Learn business stuff.

    There was a guy in school that I knew that was a crazy hacker type. You could give him any problem and he would have it solved in C using vim in no time. That was cool and everything, but he was a total nerd, couldn’t really hold a conversation, hated everything that was “mainstream”, and didn’t care about “business” at all.

    But, he was good at programming.

    Although coding is a super important skill to a new developer, you have to understand business processes, business politics (I hate them), why a system needs to be the way it is, and also be able to communicate technical ideas to users and sponsors of your project easily.

    So, yes, learning to program is important (and you can do that easily with great tutorials like the Learn To Code Bootcamp Bundle at Lifehack Deals), but there is way more to being an awesome software developer.

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

    Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

    As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

    In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

    Projects and Tasks Management

    1. Monday dot com

      Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

      The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

      The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

      The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

      Check out the software here!

      2. Asana

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        The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

        The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

        Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

        Check out the software here!

        3. Trello

          Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

          Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

          Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

          Check out the software here!

          4. Jira

            The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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            The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

            The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

            Check out the software here!

            5. Evernote Business

              Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

              The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

              Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

              Check out the software here!

              Communication

              6. Slack

                Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                Check out the software here!

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                7. Spike

                  Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                  Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                  Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  Creation

                  8. Office 365

                    Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                    Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                    You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                    Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                    Check out the software here!

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                    9. Grammarly

                      Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                      Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                      Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Team Analytics

                      10. ActivTrak

                        ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                        The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                        Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                        Check out the software here!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                        More Productivity Tools

                        Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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