Tips for Technologists: Advice for a Rookie Software Engineer

Embarking on the journey to learn coding can be challenging and demotivating, but those who push through will eventually reap the benefits. To stay motivated despite the slow progress, it is important to have a genuine passion for coding. If you have a sincere desire to learn, you will be willing to put in that extra effort and realise that coding can be a pleasurable activity that eventually becomes second nature.

Getting Started

The field of software engineering is vast and covers a range of topics, including mobile and web development as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Becoming proficient in this area requires commitment and a thorough comprehension of the subject matter.

If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable to narrow your focus to a particular area, ideally one in the online sphere. To gain a solid grasp of the basics, it’s important to select a software stack to work with.

The past few years have seen a surge in the variety of programming languages and technologies, making it difficult to determine which software stack to use. Often, decision-making may be influenced by the technology your colleagues are using.

If you’re considering a career in web programming, it’s critical to determine whether you want to specialise in Frontend or Backend development. This article from the FreeCodeCamp website could be beneficial in making this decision. As your requirements change, you have the flexibility to explore different languages, so it’s ultimately up to you which one to learn first.


After selecting the technology stack and programming language you want to use, the next step is to set up a development environment. For information on what to install to learn the language, visit the official website and read the ‘Getting Started’ guide.

With the coding environment configured on your machine, you’ll need a platform to write and execute code and view the output. Your options include using a text editor or an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

A text editor is a user-friendly option; download, install, launch, and start writing code. Plugins expand the text editor’s functionality, enabling you to tailor it better to your coding requirements. Popular text editors include VsCode, Sublime and Atom.

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) offer a range of features that can greatly simplify the development process. However, if you’re new to the software, the variety of options and menus can be overwhelming. With an IDE, tasks such as code completion and debugging are frequently handled automatically. Popular IDEs include Eclipse, Webstorm, PhpStorm and Pycharm.

Developers must use version control systems (VCSs) to manage their code effectively. We highly recommend integrating a VCS into your workflow, with Git being the most widely adopted option. This will allow you to keep track of different versions of your code and conveniently host and share your code remotely.

To guard against any possible computer failures, it’s a good idea to store a backup of your code in a remote location. Fortunately, programs like Github and BitBucket offer free plans for this purpose. Github is particularly well-liked and boasts a user-friendly interface. Furthermore, it provides access to several open source repositories.


After mastering the basics of a language, it can be useful to investigate OpenSource projects on Github that employ the same language. This can offer valuable guidance on how other developers handle similar issues and how to incorporate various features.

If you’ve gained some expertise in your preferred technology stack or language, you may want to contribute to Open Source projects, such as during Hacktoberfest. This is an excellent way to contribute to the community.


Numerous new developers neglect code documentation, whether official or not. This is not a recommended approach since it can result in avoidable errors or even cause development to come to a halt. This can be prevented by reading the documentation. It’s therefore recommended to make a habit of referring to both the official documentation for the language being used and testing out any code samples or examples available.

Lynda, Codementor, Youtube, and Udacity all offer excellent learning opportunities, as do FreeCodeCamp, Hackernoon, and, of course, Works‘ blog.

StackOverflow is a frequently utilized resource among programmers. The platform is home to questions and queries from developers all around the globe, ranging from various levels of expertise and experience. When facing an issue, it’s probable that someone else has encountered the same problem before, and by searching on StackOverflow or performing a Google search, a possible solution may be found.


When starting out, it’s unnecessary to focus excessively on the quality of your code. Gaining experience is a crucial aspect of becoming a proficient programmer; the more you code, the more finesse you’ll develop.

It’s crucial to create well-organized and high-quality code right from the start of a project. This is especially advantageous when working in a team, where having precise and consistent code is crucial. The most crucial aspect to consider when writing code is following the established standards of the language in use.

It’s crucial to add comments while writing code since doing so can help clarify the larger context of the work. This is particularly important because when returning to the code at a later time, one may not be in the same mindset. As a result, documenting code is an essential part of producing clean code and should always be a priority.

In conclusion

When learning something new, the ultimate goal should not be the completion of the task but instead on the learning experience itself. If you haven’t finished a project in your preferred stack or language, don’t lose heart. Put more time and effort into studying as much as possible; this will assist you in being more successful in your pursuits and enable you to complete them more efficiently.

Sharing the knowledge gained in engineering and technology with others is crucial. There are many ways to convey such information, such as composing blog posts or generating content on websites and social media.

Thank you for reading!

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