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"Use Online Resources To Learn Programming...
Even though I am a software engineer, I interact very regularly with people in other functional roles within the company. I think many people have the impression that software engineers alienate themselves and only hang out with other engineers, which has not been true for me." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Step Outside Of Your Major For Maximum Benefit...
I was surprised that you can benefit from having great business skills as a software engineer. A lot of people don't emphasize things like cost-benefit analyses, negotiation, etc., but those are extremely helpful skills as a software engineer. You don't spend ALL day behind a computer!" (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Stay Sharp As A Programmer By Keeping Busy...
I was surprised at the diversity of industries that require talented software developers. I have worked in industries ranging from healthcare IT to construction to energy trading. The ability to cross industries based on performance during boom and bust market cycles makes software development a career choice that is always in demand." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Software Engineer Should Be Updated With The Latest Technology...
I was surprised when I figured out that my profession requires a tremendous amount of mental work for too many hours a day. This is tiring and leads to big headaches. It is not only about software development, but also about testing. Software engineering requires a lot of testing before wrapping a final product. Testing might require as much time as that of development." (Software Engineer And Researcher (Natural Language Processing); 2013)
"Network And Diversify...
I was surprised by how much communication is involved in the work. You really need to talk to people in other related areas such as hardware developers and electrical engineers in order to properly create things." (Software Developer; 2013)
"Love Your Work Never Love Your Company...
I was surprise to find that being a software engineer requires excellent logical power. as well as problem solving skills. It is very desirable to have knowledge of up to date latest technologies and I have to update my technological languages. I have to collaborate with other member of the team. One most important thing is that you have to do something that your manager get in touch with you to get good hike. When I was in collage I thought working in software development meant completely independent. But I was wrong. I thought I can achieve ll the things with my knowledge with related skills. But Fact is far most away from my thought." (Software Developer; 2013)
"Love What You Do...
The can do attitude and the relaxed environment in which the best productivity is yielded was very surprising. Everybody worked together and there was a group think mentality with the lack of distinct compartmentalization when it came to projects." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Learn To Be An Extrovert...
As a software engineer I was used to kind of working on my own. When I entered the company I am currently with, I was extremely surprised with the amount of people I would have to interact with. As my company's main IT guy, I always have to deal with people that aren't as technologically advanced as me, and sometimes it can be surprisingly frustrating." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Learn Lots Of Languages...
I think others would be surprised with just how diverse software engineering is. You can work in almost any field that you choose, from automotive, manufacturing, mobile app development, anything. There's a surprising amount of time researching and coordinating with groups as well. It's not all code all of the time like a lot of people think." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Keep Abreast Of Changes And Enhancements In Your Field...
I am surprised that with the ubiquity of the Internet, there has been no more (or in fact less) emphasis on accurate, robust software. It seems that people are more than willing to accept (and pay for!) software that is shoddy, buggy, or otherwise of poor quality. It's like people expect and tolerate crappy software, when most will not tolerate dysfunctional hardware (e.g. appliances, autos, houses, etc)." (Programmer/Analyst; 2013)
"Keep A Paper Trail...
I was surprised at the lack of grammar and proper ways of expressing oneself that software developers often have. The code I work on is misspelled often and comments can be hard to read or barely even there." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Internships Are Important...
I was surprised how much teamwork outside of my developer teammates was required. I work with many non technical people everyday, from people that help design user interfaces to people that analyze the business requirements of what I am doing." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Inclusive Group Learning...
What surprised me was the interconnectivity of the departments at the company I work for. I believed I would be very segregated from individuals in the sales department as a software engineer, but I have to work with them to make sure that our sales products are implemented and represented appropriately." (Engineer; 2013)
"Improve On The Go And Work Smart...
Being a software engineer requires good interpersonal skills. Require lots of hard work as well smart work. Team building and team working is the core. Everyday surprises with new tasks and new issues. Resolving these will improve our problem solving skills." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"IT Requires Self-Starters...
The number of women in this field is disproportionately low. The culture can be skewed toward "geek"-iness (e.g. Sci-Fi fan clubs etc.), which is not necessarily what some people in this industry are passionate about." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Go Into Software Engineering If You Enjoy Computers...
I was surprised to find how much my college education was irrelevant to my job. When I started working for my current employer they told me everything that was expected from me and most of which I taught myself." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Giving Your Best Will Lead To The Best...
The most surprising thing about my career is the amount of time spent not writing actual code. We are focused more on planning and different implementation strategies that will allow us to utilize our time more effectively. I am also surprised that my job does not consist of looking at a computer 10 hours a day and I actually get to work with other team members in various formats." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Focus On Your Education...
The lack of other females in this field surprises me. With such high pay and job satisfaction, not to mention the outreach programs that my school had for women, it is surprising and disappointing that other females do not pursue this type of career." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Find A Mentor For Technical And Social Interactions...
I was surprised at how easy it was to fit into the group I was assigned. I was able to pick up the new software I was coding in and begin to make an impact fairly quickly." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Find A Job You Love...
I was very happily surprised to meet other people like myself who wanted to socialize outside of work. I thought I'd be in a little cubicle all day, typing my fingers into nubs with no interaction. I have a great team to work with who I've become close to." (Software Developer; 2013)
"Find What You Love And Make That Your Career...
I was surprised at how much interaction you need to perform with co-workers. I had envisioned a job where I would sit in a dark corner and just code all day but that cannot be the case. It takes a lot of teamwork to provide quality software." (Senior Software Engineer; 2013)
"Extroverts Tend To Advance More Quickly...
I have been very surprised to find out how well communication and assertiveness can improve one's career. Using these skills can quickly get you up the ladder and put into a leadership position. Along with these skills, it is very necessary to have a strong foundation in basic OOP principles and general programming theory. Combining these two areas will no doubt get you into a position where you can make a difference." (Senior Software Engineer; 2013)
"Don't Just Take Software Classes...
I'm surprised by just how simple and fun my work can be. I was expecting it to be incredibly boring and dull after a while but, so far, that hasn't been the case." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Determination And Hard Work - Your Friend While Studying Software Engineering...
I was surprised to find that being a software engineer requires a real concentration on what I am doing. As a SE, I have to be alert on every piece of code I write because a simple mistype can lead to lots of problems while creating a software. When I was in college, software engineering is so cool, that I get to design games and stuffs but it's not as easy as it sounds." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Consider Taking Business Courses...
People graduating with a degree in Computer Science may be surprised at how little programming a software engineer actually does in a large company. You spend a good deal of time reviewing the requirements for the software you will write. You will probably attend code reviews. You will be doing all this with a team of software engineers with whom you will spend a great deal of time creating the design for the software to be written. The software that you do write may be part of a very large system and you will be responsible for making sure your piece fits into it." (Software Developer; 2013)
I was surprised that I could actually use my skills in foreign language to my advantage as a software engineer. I freelance for a German-based company and receive orders from them in German!" (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Be Very Specific...
I was surprised to find how difficult it is to find a job in my area. Very few businesses in my area need software engineers, and so it was hard to find work. The jobs that are available don't pay very well either, since there are plenty of candidates to choice from." (Software Engineer; 2013)
I was surprised at how often people change jobs/companies. There is a high turn-over in the computer programming field." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Apply Your Imagination...
The field I chose ended up being nothing like what I expected, and I am currently looking to adjust my career. I figured it would be all working on computers designing software/etc, but it ended having quite a bit more physical work requirements (planning, creating design ideas and testing them, etc) than just sitting at my computer." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"Always Keep Learning...
I was surprised that it's not all about your technical competency in the IT field and it's a lot about working as a team and being a amiable person. I was also surprised that your undergraduate degree doesn't always matter in the IT field. I've worked with many developers that were Chemistry or Electrical Engineering majors." (Software Developer; 2013)
"All Requirements Aren't Already Specified At Work...
I was surprised on how much of my work is not coding. Interacting with the team and the customer to figure out what needs to be built is much more important than doing the building." (Software Developer; 2013)
"I was surprised that being a software engineer requires high communication and coordination skills. We now work with a remote team in China, we need to be figure out how to communicate and coordinate with people who have totally different cultural background. I used to pay much attentions to technical issues rather than social issues." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised at how much writing of technical documents was involved in my profession. I knew there was technical writing relating to code comments, but I am also asked to provide API specifications and written reports. I was also surprised how much interaction I have had with customers." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised to find that this field requires substantially more interpersonal skills than I initially thought. The ability to work well within a team environment is at least as important as software development ability." (Software Engineering; 2013)
"I was surprised to see how important computers were becoming in today's society. As soon as I entered the job market, I landed a great job within a week." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised most that my job actually had a lot of customer service aspects to it. I was thinking I would be working on computers all day, but in fact I interact with customers everyday." (Systems Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised that some companies almost expect you to work long hours such as 50-60 hours and think it is normal just to get the job done. They just want the end product and will push hard to have it on a certain date without considering the problems or bugs as a result." (Web Software Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised that I needed to know multiple languages due to all the different clients I have that do not speak English." (Software Developer; 2013)
"Since I started out as a developer and still work closely with software developers, it was surprising at how much a developer should know about the business that the software is for. Not only needs the Business Analyst have a good understanding of the business and the business processes, the developer itself needs to understand what the implications of the small decisions are and what the effect means to the final end user. For this a good understanding of the business and the business processes is important." (Configuration Manager; 2013)
"I am surprised that lot of documentation is involved in addition to coding. In college I thought coding is more sufficient at work." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"How many jobs there would be in my field. I found a job within a month of graduating. I regularly see jobs posted that I am qualified for." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"I was surprised that I needed to communicate very well with others. In college we were not trained very much on working in groups so it was a tough transition." (Software Engineer; 2013)
"I am surprised to find that the more complex areas of my education are rarely used, and it is the more basic fundamentals that are most often utilized. Complicated problems sometimes arise but on a day to day basis it is primarily quick and relatively simple." (Tech Coordinator; 2012)
"I always assumed programmers were rather solitary workers. I was surprised by the amount of interaction at the workplace in this line of work." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised that most of the classes I took in college weren't relevant, although the skills I learned (how to learn a programming language on my own, etc) were. For my job, knowing different programming languages is far more important than the theoretical knowledge I was tested on." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"The main thing that I was surprised with was how outgoing everybody was in my profession. I didn't think a lot of people would have good interpersonal communication skills, because this field is known for having a lot of introverts. I went in with this expectation, but it quickly changed as I found out you need good communication skills with your co-workers and customers." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I am surprised how far communication with coworkers will get you when dealing with computers. The general public generally sees programmers as people who sit in their cubes by themselves all day, but that is not the case at all. A team atmosphere is necessary for a productive software developer company." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised just how little what you learn in school matters once you get into the field. What matters more than the specific techniques is learning how to learn, meaning how to learn a new language or technique fast. I was also surprised just how boring it is. When you're in school you get a lot more opportunities to work on your own projects. In the field, not so much." (Software Engineering; 2012)
"I was surprised with the lack of creative freedom software engineers are given. My classes had given me the perception that software engineers needed to be open-minded and creative." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was able to start my career while I was still in college. There is not as much upward mobility as I thought. I get paid much more than I expected." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"Although a degree in any flavor of IT will help you break into the field and get a job, it is not necessary. Many employers are more interested in certifications i.e. security +, network +, CCNA, CISSP, MCITP, etc. Often times individuals with these certifications and no degree are valued equally or above a college graduate with no certs." (Network Engineer; 2012)
"What I am surprised is that the industry of IT is not an industry for only 'geeks'. In order to be successful, one needs well rounded quality in -- marketing, presentation, writing, negotiation and sometimes financial background to have a very successful career. When I am working on my job, I constantly facing the challenging to convince the task to be done in the right way, and I have to sell that idea, justify them with data, and document / communicate the specification in written form or orally. All of these, requires something outside of my immediate major." (IT Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised with simultaneously how much attention is paid to quality of code and how little effort goes into formally testing it. Code is obviously expected to work well, but there aren't always things in place to enforce that." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised to find out how many different areas I would be a part of as a software engineer. As a software engineer/web developer, I need to be able to handle complex algorithms, server side technologies, and even graphical user interfaces." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised at the creative aspect of being a programmer. It's not always so "cut and dry." You have to use your imagination a bit to take pieces of the multitude of code libraries and make them work for your needs. You can get very creative with aspects of "iteration" to write efficient code. I'm also surprised at the lack of code commenting. It drastically helps projects and all those involved to "comment" your code thoroughly. Another surprising aspect of coding is that you become involved in online coding communities and share your knowledge. This involvement very much helps in not getting stuck in "reinventing the wheel."" (Software Developer; 2012)
"The fact that very little I learned and practiced had immediate relevance to real world work. Software engineering is a continuous learning process and college/university only provides the basic foundation on which to build. Being able to write a 1000 line program does not mean one can automatically maintain several million lines of code." (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was really surprised at how I had to constantly study, research and keep myself up-to-date in this field. Computer Science is constantly evolving with new versions, products, upgrades, new technology etc. If I don't stay on top of my game, I will be outdated in no time at all. So, I have to really make the effort to keep all my certifications in order and stay current. It is very challenging but it is also lot of fun." (Senior Software Engineer; 2012)
"I was surprised how important problem solving skills are in a software engineering job. Its not just programming, it's attacking the problem in the smartest way! I was surprised about how quickly you can grow in this field, specially if you put your point of view on topics clearly out, and its okay to disagree with more senior employees/manager. Let the code speak for you!" (Software Engineer; 2012)
"I have been surprised how the level of interpersonal skills have grown in my industry over the past 10-15 years. Software engineers used to be able to hide themselves in a cave and work hard almost alone. Now high levels of daily collaboration, this has been advantages to me as I am a lot more outgoing then my typical co-worker." (Software Engineer; 2012)
Software Consultant: "Working in software development can be a lonely experience for many, but as a consultant, I get to work closely with the client, conducting meetings to gather requirements and to train them. While my work is primarily independent, I get this additional benefit of working with others. On the other hand, working with a client can be frustrating if they become belligerent or difficult. You have to learn to keep your cool and to think on your feet. But it's the kind of experience that you can apply to any situation, even in your personal life." (2011)
Computer Consultant: "Because I am self-employed, I don't always have a steady income. I can charge more per hour than an employee would make, but I have to pay for my own health insurance, social security, and vacations. So freelancing is not for the faint-of-heart. On the other hand, I work when and where I want to. This allowed me to attend a lot of our daughter's daytime school activities as she was growing up. I also get a lot of job satisfaction, seeing products I helped design go into the marketplace and sometimes win awards. I have been granted seven US patents and have several more pending." (2011)
Software Engineer: "Only do this career if you are really interested in computer related work. Also, be ready to be imaginative with everything you do, as creativity is a must." (2013)
Software Engineer: "It's important to do your best and make sure that there is a written record of any objections you have. It can save you when higher ups are looking for a scapegoat." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Be sure to take some fun classes too. They can help you keep your sanity when overwhelmed with all of the challenging math and computer classes you have." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Get a foundation in as many programming languages as possible. Study languages that are completely irrelevant today and understand why they're irrelevant. Look at some of the shortcomings of popular computer languages and always be on the forefront of what's to come." (2013)
Software Developer: "While you are in school, it will be worth while taking some courses in business practices or some other subject area that will help you get in the door of a company. You could also do some research into what are the hot skills that companies are looking for and then enroll in relevant courses. Right now "Big Data" is growing very fast and statistics in one of the areas you have to know to work with "Big Data"." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Study hard. Advanced computer techniques isn't an easy pick up, but keep at it and you'll succeed. Don't put anything off till the end." (2013)
Web Software Engineer: "A really good thing to do when you start your career is to never stop learning. Go to conferences and training and always read books. Technology changes yearly and you always want to stay ahead of it." (2013)
Software Developer: "Make sure you have a focus in one specific area. Don't just be general about it, employers will want workers that specialize in one thing." (2013)
Configuration Manager: "Try to understand how your client will use the software. Try to understand the clients business, his motivation for purchasing/ordering the software. The more you know about the end user and it's business the better you are off. Communication is key, even if you can't communicate directly with the end user/client." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Learn coding and documentation (good communication is very necessary). Learn fundamentals like data structure and algorithms solidly." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Take as many classes in your field as you can. Soak up all the knowledge you can because it can really help you build your resume and in the field." (2013)
Software Engineer: "I would say get into mobile application development, it can be very profitable and very fulfilling." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Stay focused. Too many of my peers quit in the middle of their degrees because they slacked off and couldn't maintain good grades." (2013)
Software Developer: "Get as many certifications as you can, read about different IT fields, and network. If you decide to change what you're working on, it will be a smooth process and the more people you know the better chances you have to find something you want to wake up to in the morning." (2013)
Software Developer: "Make sure to diversify your computer language knowledge. You also need to network to people across many companies as well." (2013)
Software Engineer: "It's easy for an IT person to be introverted and not interact much. Learn how to meet people and be friendly while you have the chance. When you have to work with a lot of people, it always makes your job easier to be personal with the people you work with." (2013)
Software Developer: "You can make good living in It by having practical attitude and sharp business skills." (2013)
Software Engineer And Researcher (Natural Language Processing): "When it comes to software engineering, a person should keep himself always updated with the latest technology. A person should be aware about the latest frameworks, programming languages and programming tools in order to use in his job for the maximum profit." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Get an internship while in college, they are plentiful in IT and the experience will be invaluable. It will be much easier to start a career after college if you have some sort of experience." (2013)
Senior Software Engineer: "Although many students in computer related majors tend to be more introverted, training yourself to be an extrovert will benefit you more than you can ever imagine." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Keep yourself sharp, technically speaking. It's easy to just do the work required in your courses, but developing software outside of coursework is what makes a good programmer. Join an open-source project or make your own programs for fun (and profit!)." (2013)
Software Engineer: "As cool as it sounds to be a software engineer, it's as difficult as that. First make sure this is what you want to do. You need to be ready to sacrifice your night's sleep and day's hunger if you are deciding to join this field." (2013)
Software Engineer: "It is very easy to find resources online to teach yourself how to program. Use your spare time to teach yourself widely-used programming languages like Java and Python. If you do, you will have a solid foundation on which to learn other programming languages and will be well-prepared to take computer science courses in high school or college." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Always be willing to listen to the advice that more experienced people when you start a new job. They can help you not only from a technical standpoint but from a social stand point as well." (2013)
Software Developer: "Don't just work on homework assignments. In the real world, you won't be handed full specifications. Work on your own projects and gather your own requirements." (2013)
Engineer: "Try to become hands on and familiar with your industry. Meet others interested in similar fields and areas. The best way to learn is in a group while bouncing ideas off each other and sharing your mistakes." (2013)
Programmer/Analyst: "Keep abreast of changes as best you can. Even long-established tools and methodologies will get updated, and if you don't update your skills to match, you will become less employable or less valued." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Broaden your horizons. Learn languages on the computer and in the real world." (2013)
Software Engineer: "The best advice I can give is to give your best effort throughout ALL of your classes. This includes non-major core classes. It is through these classes that you learn to become a better and more intelligent individual and push yourself to become more than a generic computer science graduate or IT person." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Learn to be a problem-solver. Be the kind of person who, once you start on a task, just won't quit until it's fixed, finished, complete, perfect. If you have that attitude, you'll be a success wherever you go." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Be as specific as possible when giving examples of work experience and personal projects undertaken." (2013)
Software Developer: "Be involved in the computing field. Read lots of news and read/contribute to open source projects." (2013)
Software Engineer: "If you enjoy computers and are logical person software engineering is a well fulfilling field." (2013)
Software Engineer: "The IT field is constantly changing. You would do well to learn how to learn on your own. This entails having some initiative, prioritizing, and being able to study semi-dense resources on your own. You would also do well to learn how to keep up to date. This might entail finding reputable, high-quality online blogs and periodicals." (2013)
Senior Software Engineer: "Be sure what you are doing is a good fit. If you feel what you are learning about is hard work and you would rather be doing something else then imagine what a lifetime of doing that is going to be like. Gravitate towards something that feels right and live a long, happy life doing what you love." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Be a team player. Learn from your daily work. Improve problem solving skills to encounter day to day issues." (2013)
Software Engineer: "I would suggest that the student would focus much more on real world experience by building a portfolio of prior work done along with learning the latest cutting edge tools and languages as the environment shifts dynamically. Also I would suggest that they have a firm grasp and love for the field as without that dedication, the work is going to be brutal." (2013)
Software Engineer: "Yes, major in computer science or another engineering discipline, but don't shun your liberal arts and business classes. Taking things like accounting (on my own just for fun) while I was an undergrad ended up being super-helpful later on. I run my own business on the side and that stuff helped." (2013)
Software Consultant: "I recommend getting either a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree if you want to go into a technical field. Most people come in with degrees such as Information Science, so if you have the Computer Science/Engineering, you'll have an advantage. Your background will be stronger. I also recommend taking a course in writing, because you will have to document much of what you do. Clearly communicating your ideas will make your job less frustrating" (2011)
Computer Consultant: "My combination of degrees in two different fields (EE and CS) has been very useful for my career. Our daughter took my example and got degrees in two different fields also (a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Masters in Nutrition) and discovered the same thing. Studying two different (but related) fields will give you an edge up on others who have pursued one field. I also got a little work experience in between getting my BS and MS degrees, and found that it helped me focus a lot more in my graduate studies." (2011)