5 Lessons I’ve Learnt In My First Year At Work

Right from the onset of my college days, I have thought of myself as a creative person. Being someone who wrote poems, did stand — ups, & taught spoken English part — time, I never saw myself getting into the IT industry. Even though I was a bit hesitant initially, it took me some time to get over the clichés that one comes across. Now a year into my career, I can say with certainty that being in tech has its own perks. As for creativity, I firmly believe that learning to code has only helped me grow in that area. Following are 5 lessons that I’ve learnt in the last year of what is going to be a long career ahead!

1. Quality Is Directly Related To Customer Experience

“You can focus on adoption, retention, expansion or advocacy; or you can focus on the customers’ desired outcome & get all of those things.” — Lincoln Murphy

The textbook definition of quality varies across industries, be it software or consumer goods. However, one common denominator used by all of them for evaluating products / services will be customer satisfaction. Companies that believe ‘Customer is King’ will retrospect from the end — user’s POV as they make progress. And the feedback they receive is considered to be a measure of quality. Working for a product, there might be many ideas we bring to fruition; some of which turn out to be innovative, while the not — so — successful ones serve as a guide to refine our efforts on what we should ideally be focusing on. Great companies are empathetic at their core. And they express this by mapping customer pain — points to ideal solutions.

2. There Is A Solution To Every Problem

“All problems become smaller when you confront them instead of dodging them.” -William H. Halsey

One of the disguised perks that comes along with a software development role is persistence. It can teach one patience, instil a sense of belief that if you tackle a problem head — first, sooner than later you will solve it. Critical thinking is a skill seldom taught at educational institutions. When you solve problems related to code, you essentially apply the basic concepts of data structures & algorithms to disparate pieces of information & make sense out of it. While there may be multiple routes you can take to reach the same destination, the best path you can possibly take to reach there is the most thorough one. How to approach a situation through code has many real — time implications. It can make day — to — day problems seem trivial. As a by — product, you become adept at leveraging technology to conquer routine, mundane chores while effectively managing time.

3. Teamwork Is What Ultimately Wins The Race

“Talent wins games, but teamwork & intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan

This may be Principle 101 of the success handbook for any organisation, but it is seldom given due consideration. And teamwork is a factor which is very evident when you analyse top companies, since that is what distinguishes them from the rest. Everyone has their sights on the bigger picture, & every team / department is interdependent on each other to achieve a common objective. There is an evident advantage that comes with working in a team that has a rich diversity of professionals. You not only get exposed to cool technologies, but also get to view a holistic view of how the processes are intricately woven. A gentle tug here, a minor nudge there, & BOOM! All hell breaks loose!

Teamwork can teach you puzzle solving. The product you build becomes better as you get better at matching disparate pieces.

4. Analyse Situations Both Objectively & Subjectively

“Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms” — Sterling K. Brown.

With respect to point #2, there is a bifurcation in the way we approach a situation. Right is might, not the other way around. And to pick the best possible solution, one must place the task at hand in 2 different scenarios. When I say objectively, I mean without bias or emotion. This gives me more clarity, since I’m not affected by Dogma. If I make decisions under the influence of others’ opinions, then the final output is bound to be both skewed & screwed. Then there is a subjective POV, which differs with every individual. Analyses made subjectively can give unique perspectives; my stand will be based on the aesthetics that appeal to me.

5. Just Because Something Works, Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Improved

“There is always one more thing to learn.” — Steve Jobs

‘Change is the only constant’ is a universal truth that fits the IT industry to a ‘T’. Be it technology or tools, there is always room for improvement. It’s a continuous process whereby organisations strive to achieve perfection through multiple iterations. Once the product / service achieves stability, all future efforts are directed towards enhancements. Adding to point #1, the feedback they get from customers / users is what tech giants like Google & Xiaomi give importance to. This adds an intangible factor, solely because they are appealing to the audience. Moreover, companies now have meaningful data to base the product roadmap on in order to stay on track & in the race.

All said & done, I must mention that while there may be pros & cons to every industry, I have chosen to focus only on the positives. Why? Because there are so many of them!