What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?
Senior Software Engineer in San Diego:
"Learn by practicing."
Learn the basics of OO principles including SOLID, and a few design patterns and how to use them. Learn them by heart.
Senior Software Engineer in Virginia Beach:
"Learn to Let Go and Look at the Big Picture."
The hardest jump between being a code-monkey and taking the reigns for mentoring others and becoming more of a leader is knowing when to let others struggle. A less experienced programmer may be slower, may make mistakes and may not do things -your- way but you need to be patient. Let them struggle a little bit because eventually they'll be an asset to make the entire team successful. As you become a Senior programmer you need to be thinking about the architecture of the whole application and not get so caught up in the weeds.
Senior Software Engineer in Portland:
If you love Software Engineering, you will never hate a day at work. But, do not be passive about raises.
Senior Software Engineer in Okemos:
"Get Out Of Debt."
Get out of debt as quickly as possible. Start maxing out your 401(k) (or equivalent) when you're young so you get used to saving for retirement.
Senior Software Engineer in Beaverton:
"Recycled Code By Dilbert."
It is rare to work on a truly new project. Most projects are variations on an existing product, and much of your time will be delving into pre-existing code (usually poorly written) to fix problems or modify it in some way.
This is not necessarily all bad. The work can be very challenging, and you often learn new tricks or ways of doing things.
Much of your time will be spent in meetings, where insignificant details are debated for hours. Dilbert accurately portrays an engineer's life.