As a senior software dev, what's the one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self ?

Lebogang95

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You've been in the industry for 5 - 10 years now. You've been through every high & every low. You've experienced things only someone with your level of experience could.

Taking all of that into account, what is the one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self. And on top of that, what is some general advice that you would give to young & upcoming devs taking into context the industry in South Africa ?
 

Cius

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Keep setting aside time to learn new skills.
Learning obscure systems that no one else wants to know is great for job security but can also if it becomes the only thing you do be a dead end. Keep pushing into the main fields where the most money is generated.
 

cguy

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I’ve somehow managed to make the right choices along my way, so I don’t really have any “What I wish I had known or would do differently” type of advice.

One thing piece of advice I would give to anyone, is to “do the hard stuff”. No, not meth, but the studies, work, jobs, etc. that are difficult to do. There is an element of struggle involved of course, but at the end this is a great way to gain an edge in your career.
 

kfc4unme

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I would tell myself to not work at one company for 10+ years. Or at least join a consultancy company where you can jump to a different project if I got bored. I wish I moved on from my previous company after no more than 5 years.
 

Lebogang95

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Stay the hell out of the Banking industry.
Curious as to why ? A gent who develops APIs for an app that we're developing for Standard Bank says working at a bank is pretty nice. The pay is good, flexibility to move around the team if you develop new interests, etc. I imagine the perks are pretty decent as well. So why not work at a bank ?
 

Lebogang95

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  1. Get the hell out of a bank.
  2. Don't stay with development for too long (Or rather in your professional capacity).

Two points.
You're the second person to mention staying away from a bank. Curious as to why ?

Also I had a conversation with a friend and told him that maybe I'd stop developing professionally when I'm 50 and do teaching. Maybe teach IT at high school if that's still a thing then.
 

cguy

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You're the second person to mention staying away from a bank. Curious as to why ?
I work in finance, and love it. I don't work at a bank though. The biggest complaints I've heard about banks are that they're political as hell, and there are a lot of old legacy systems to work around.
 

Cius

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I work for an investment bank and am fairly happy. The red tape due to corporate nature is a bit annoying but honestly is manageable. Depends on the team, and the work. I know banking jobs that are awe-full but I know many that are great. Remuneration tends to be better in the SA finance space so there is that.

The worst dev job I have ever heard of was in a defense company making stuff for military application.
 

Cius

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Why was that the worst?
Terrible abusive boss who blew through the money, and then made it the teams problem to fix. Had them work 12 hour days 7 days a week for 3 months trying to make the deadline on a military contract otherwise they would not get any more cash and stopped paying salaries half way through. Entire dev team walked out after the 3 months as there was no end in sight.
 

Spacerat

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Terrible abusive boss who blew through the money, and then made it the teams problem to fix. Had them work 12 hour days 7 days a week for 3 months trying to make the deadline on a military contract otherwise they would not get any more cash and stopped paying salaries half way through. Entire dev team walked out after the 3 months as there was no end in sight.
Ah ok so it was a management issue. Was just wondering whether it was because of defence work. I also spent quite a bit of time in the defense industry.
 

garp

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Decide early if you always want to be a dev or are one day interested in management. If your primary passion is development, avoid management roles at all costs and focus on becoming the best developer you can be, and try to broaden your experience in as many languages and platforms as possible without losing focus. If you're interested in management, realise that depending on your demographic you may end up stuck at the "white ceiling" in middle management with far more stress than you will ever get credit for, unless you want to leave SA. It might make more sense for you to start long term planning to create your own company, instead, if you have any entrepreneurial acumen.
 
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