3 Replies - 1504 Views - Last Post: 30 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

#1 CP3   User is offline

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Typical job responsibilites out of school

Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:18 PM

After one graduates from a university and gets a job as a programmer (Software Engineer, applications analyst, whatever you want to call it), what sort of work can one expect?

This probably varies from company to company but do you typically get a requirements sheet and start writing code? How much freedom do people typically have or is it very elementary things?
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#2 Martyr2   User is online

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Re: Typical job responsibilites out of school

Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:36 PM

Well you are right that it varies a lot from company to company. Most of the jobs I have been involved with typically has a group meeting where application requirements are discussed, a decision is made, features list is created, a timeline is then fit to the features and then you are responsible for coding the features according to the specs and the timeline laid out. If you aren't going to make it or are hung up, you bring it up with your superiors and they adjust specs or timeline.

As for a spec sheet, believe it or not most of the specs are what you take as notes during the meeting. Sometimes you draw out stuff on a whiteboard, add labeling, do enough drawing to get an idea of how everything works. I sometimes wish scope documents were more common. However a lot of a companies don't really put much time into them because projects move too quickly, things need to be added or removed and scope documents go out of scope really quick.

One of the best things you can be prepared for is change, lots and lots of change. You have to realize that a lot of software companies are ran by people who have never written code themselves. So when they ask for something they may think it takes an hour when it takes 3 days. They also might think something takes a week when it takes 20 minutes. Either way, they often over promise to make a sale and then tell you that things have changed after they signed the contract. Other times they say stop working on a feature because it was moved to a future version or thrown out completely. It can get frustrating, but it is just the nature of business.

Keep in mind that you may actually land in a dev shop that is running agile methodologies where you have to crank out a new feature and a new build every week or every few days.

All we can really do is make sure we know what we need to do, what the current deadline is and keep our nose to the grindstone and hit as many deadlines as possible with the best work we can.

Consider yourself lucky to find any software dev job that will have nice formal scope documents and plenty of time to finish all features. I think these companies are myth, but apparently there is a few out there.


This post has been edited by Martyr2: 28 October 2012 - 04:37 PM

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#3 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: Typical job responsibilites out of school

Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:01 PM

You can expect the shit work that everyone else with seniority doesn't want to do. That's not just coding - that's the world.

If you go to work in fast food, you can expect to clean grease traps.

If you have some level of coding job, expect to the boring, grunt code monkey work.

Welcome to the working world outside of academia.
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#4 wordswords   User is offline

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Re: Typical job responsibilites out of school

Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

In the UK, you'd be making the tea. I guess you'd be making the coffee in the US, too.
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