October 25, 20212 min read

Software Engineers Need To Do These 5 Things In Order To Be Successful At A New Company

Ship 30

Starting a new job can bring with it a lot of mixed thoughts and emotions.

For software engineers this is especially true. You're having to figure out the routines & rituals of the company, meeting your peers, but most importantly get familiar with the codebase & product you'll be working on for 8 hours a day. It's a time filled with tons of new experiences which can truly shape how the next chapter of your career plays out.

After starting my new role as a backend engineer ~8 weeks ago, I spent some time reflecting and distilling the things that made my transition a successful one.

Ask an uncomfortable amount of questions

You need to leverage the knowledge & perspectives that your peers have built up over the time they've worked at your company.

This will serve 3 purposes -

  • They'll solidify their knowledge

  • You'll learn more quickly

  • Together you'll uncover prime opportunities for documentation

Review as much of your peer's code as possible

Even if it's not a part of the product you're assigned to, review what your peers are doing.

This will give you broad exposure to the codebase without needing to actively touch it, and allow you to observe the mechanisms that drive a well-written PR across the finish line.

Make friends across departments

Thankfully remote work makes this is easier than ever.

You need friends in more places than just your team to be successful and grow. Make a point to reach out to new employees you haven't met. This is a simple way to stand out from the crowd.

Don't overlook the power of networking.

Setup your computer like a carpenter sets up their workbench

Carpenters are meticulous about their craft - they have a tool for any scenario or job you can think of.

As a software engineer, equip yourself with as many tools as you need to get the job done.

Make yourself an efficiency machine.

Find the line between independance and interdependence

At a new job it's common to fall down either of these rabbit holes -

  • Asking for help too early without doing your due diligence

  • Not asking enough and spending too much time going down the wrong path

Figure out where that line is for you and treasure it dearly.

Spend enough time building those mental modals, while also engaging with peers for help when you get stuck.