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How to Succeed in Your First Software Development Job

Last updated:
22nd Nov, 2022
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How to Succeed in Your First Software Development Job

Coming into a new job is always challenging. You have to learn how the company operates, what project each co-worker is responsible for, and navigate the existing office politics. But it’s even more challenging coming into your first software development job. There is an existing codebase that you need to learn, a whole suite of development tools to set-up, and learning the coding style your new team uses.

We would like you to know the fact that finding jobs for software developers has become easy. That’s because of the accelerated growth of this industry. And now is the perfect time to brush up your skills if you ever considered of getting into software development jobs. But the question of ‘how to get a software job?’ remains unanswered. However, even if that question is answered and you do land a good software development job, the challenge doesn’t end. In all honesty, the real challenge begins now. It’s essential to know your role thoroughly before you opt for a software developer’s job.

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Without that, it’ll be a tedious task for you to ensure a successful and fulfilling career. There are many things that go into ensuring that you have a seamless experience at your first job, but many candidates often deny the importance of those things, and end up feeling dissatisfied or even worse, burnt-out. None of that is the ideal scenario. If, in fact, you were worried about “How to get a software developer’s job?”, you should definitely know the ways to ensure that you do a good job when you finally get the opportunity. 

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Through my professional experience and training several new software developers, I’ve noticed a few factors that separate the new employees who succeed at the job from those who struggle to get a job in a software company.

Here are the 3 steps you should undertake to succeed in your first software development job:

Start with a small project

Your first goal starting a new job is to prove you can add value to the company. As a software developer, that will often be by fixing a bug, adding a new feature to the existing software, or building a new software program that is complementary to the existing technology in your company.

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Fixing a bug is a great first project for a new developer. It allows you to start small and easy to understand the project, which is easier to get help on from more senior developers on the team. They can easily pick up where you have questions and answer them.
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But if your first project is to build a new feature or write a new program, break the project down into smaller pieces. Unlike school projects or other IT jobs, software projects can take weeks or months to complete. Focus on breaking down the project into smaller steps that are manageable. Your manager should see some progress after about two weeks on the job. If you are ever struggling to make progress on your first project, ask your manager for help.

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How to Succeed at your First Software Development Job UpGrad Blog

Expand your technology skillset

Once they get comfortable with writing code at work and have completed a few projects, successful software developers focus on improving their software development skills even more. One of the best ways to expand your skillset is to learn full-stack development.  

As an entry-level software developer, you will likely work on one area like iOS user interfaces, web development, networking, or server-side concurrency. But as you get more advanced in your career, you will need to learn more areas of development to get job offers in more senior roles, which is why learning full-stack development is important.

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Startups especially love full-stack developers since their project requirements change so frequently and they have small technology teams. They need versatile software developers to build entire technology frameworks from scratch and full-stack developers are the software professionals who can deliver that code.

Many companies would rather hire a developer who can work on any part of the development stack than someone who can only work on one part of it. As a result, you should learn full-stack development early in your career as more job opportunities will come your way. The PG Diploma in Software Development by UpGrad is an excellent way to learn full-stack development. With it, you will gain an advantage in your software career.

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Advice for anyone who is looking to become a Full-stack Developer

Develop interpersonal skills

A final element for succeeding in your first software development job is to learn interpersonal skills, otherwise known as people skills and soft skills. Many young developers think that excellent coding skills are enough to get them through their careers. That is not accurate. The best software developers have great communication skills and work well with other people.

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As a software developer, you will spend a lot of time talking to other developers about your code, talking to management about project requirements, and possibly talking to clients about your software’s use cases. Those aspects of your job require excellent interpersonal skills. Without interpersonal skills, you will find it difficult to get promoted.

Fortunately, you can learn these skills by making a few improvements in your body language, verbal skills, and your writing. If you’re feeling stuck on the corporate ladder, maybe your interpersonal skills are holding you back!

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You can initiate your career by doing an online software development job. Starting your first software development job can be stressful. Remember to learn one step at a time.


Gopi Vajravelu

Blog Author
Gopi Vajravelu is a Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He specializes in building financial software for trading and accounting. In his free time, he serves on a nonprofit Board of Directors that serves low-income families. He also writes a career development blog, Climb Up The Ladder, which helps young professionals get raises and promotions. You can read more career advice like the article above at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is Software development?

Software development refers to the process through which programmers construct computer programs. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a process for creating software that meets both technical and user requirements. It is divided into several stages. The SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is an international standard that software engineers may use to build and improve their systems. It gives development teams a well-defined framework to follow in the creation, maintenance, and design of high-quality software. The purpose of the software development process for IT is to deliver high-quality solutions on time and within budget.

2What are the different types of Software development?

Software development can be classified into four groups- Application development, System software development, Development tools, and Embedded software development. Application development is the type that allows users to execute tasks with ease. Applications can run on the user's personal computer, cloud servers, or internal IT department servers. System software development includes operating systems, storage systems, databases, networks, and hardware management. Development tools such as code editors, compilers, linkers, debuggers, and test harnesses provide software developers with the tools they need to do their work. Embedded software development is the process of designing software that controls machines and devices like vehicles, phones, and robots.

3What is the scope of Software development?

Software development is used in a variety of roles in the IT sector. You can work as a computer programmer, writing, modifying, and debugging software. You can also work as a quality assurance engineer, ensuring that software development projects are completed according to design specifications and customer expectations. Before deploying and releasing programs to consumers, you will be expected to generate quality assurance reports, test products, detect flaws, and guarantee that programs are bug-free. You can also work as a software engineer, documenting and testing programs for client applications. You'll manage projects and explain business needs and technical specifications based on corporate norms and user expectations as a software engineer.