A techie newbie?

Wow! Welcome to the tech field where you have lots of computers, servers, rolling chairs, ACs, etc. It may be a very hard task to transition from college to a job -a software developer. In spite the myths about this job, claiming to be the most paid job, most stressful job, most hair-fall job, most whatever job, it has its own pros and cons. Yet many of the myths are true, the hair-thing for example 🙂 Just kidding!

When you first step into this field, everything seems a little off and people keep on speaking, attending meetings, tapping the keyboard, etc and you don’t understand what they speak or why 😦 For two months you will be left alone, I mean you would struggle to make friends and acquaintances. People would stare at you as if you are from Kepler-1229b (an exoplanet) but as days go by, you begin to get along with the people around you. (i.e) You start to code.

When this process begins, you discover new languages, frameworks, and most importantly you will realize that StackOverflow is the greatest treasure you can have. And every time you try to stay cool, some bug would rise up from the code you wrote yesterday and dance before the QA Team. Your bad 😦

Even I’m new to this field. I have consolidated few tips that would make you feel better as a fresher in this job -the most paid job 🙂 Again kidding!!
This post is a bit lengthy, if you want a quick read, just skim through the bold letters.

Mistakes are OK:
Yup! You heard it. No one is perfect. A famous proverb says “Rome was not built in a day”. Perfection comes with practice and experience and they come with mistakes. When you commit a mistake, learn from it and try hard not to repeat it again. One of my favorite quotes -“I never fail, I learn”. Learn from the mistakes of your seniors as well.

Ask questions:
Being new to this field, everything will seem strange and weird. Open your mouth and ask questions if you are not clear about anything. People in the software field are kind. They will surely help you. Do not hesitate to ask a question that has knocked your throat. Just open your mouth and let it out.

Get Help from seniors:
Don’t feel shy to speak with them, they are also fellow human beings with an experience level greater than you. They would always be ready to help you out. Think them as your StackOverflow but do not disturb them often. This might lead them to avoid you, move to another cabin, find another job, etc. Who knows!! Just don’t disturb them with silly questions like “What is 1&&-1 ?”, “Visual Studio is not working, can you help me?”, you could Google it instead 🙂

Learn/Read/Practice:
I heard people in college say, “All this studying stuff, examinations, semesters will get over within the college, Once into a job, we are free, no exams, no learning, nothing”. My friend, this is not true and you know it. You have to keep on learning as the world moves fast, so does the technological advancement. Frameworks, languages they all mutate every day, make sure that you read a lot and keep your technology stack up-to-date.

Improve writing skills:
Don’t write stories in the comment/work-log. Be straight to the point you wanted to say. Did some changes to the code?? Commit message – “updated bug that was not fixed today”. This type of writing doesn’t help you. In this field, you will have to write a lot of comments, reply to emails, skype with people. Poor writing skills do not help.

Be precise/short and firm in words:
Speak right to the point and use the correct words. Once I was asked by my team lead at the beginning of my career -“What is AJAX ?” I had no idea what it was back then. I knew “A” was for asynchronous so I started with Asynchronous… JQuery… He said “Don’t bluff” 🙂 All I wanted to make clear is that, if you don’t know something –Don’t bluff 🙂

Be wise while you code:
Read about OOPS and try to implement them and make the code modular. Use efficient algorithms and do a thorough analysis before you get your hands dirty on the code. Understand why and how the code works and then begin your task.

Keep your passion along with you:
Not everyone has the same passion -coding. Each and everyone may have different hobbies and passion. Do not leave them untamed. Follow your passion. Coding is your profession, passion may be something else. When you feel bored or stressed, ignite your passion and feel the stress relieved.

And finally, Smile always 🙂
“Face is the index of mind”, radiate joy and confidence to the people whom you meet and talk with. A simple smile can brighten your day.

This is a field where you can develop your logical thinking, programming skills, ability to solve problems, communication skills, comprehending skills, etc. Make use of it. It may be hard in the beginning but as you get involved you will be drawn towards it and stress will stay away from you. For more posts on life skills, visit samuellawrentzz.wordpress.com

Happy coding!!

The best Visual Studio shortcuts

It is found that you could be more efficient and appear smarter if you use shortcut keys rather than doing things with the mouse. Sometimes I used to wonder how the system administrators are very fast in setting up things, restarting a crashed network, etc.

They do all with their precious keystrokes combined with Shift, Ctrl, and Alt,  Is’nt it? And who wouldn’t like shortcuts after all?

For those people who use Visual Studio to write code, behold I present you few of my favorite and best shortcuts that can be used while writing and managing code.

  • Collapse/Expand selection Ctrl+M+H/Ctrl+M+U
    Sometimes you would want to hide the annoying code that is blocking your view or distracting you, use this then.
  • Comment/Uncomment block of code Ctrl+K+C/Ctrl+K+U
    //bored of adding ‘// ‘on every line??
    //You can bulk comment and uncomment by using this shortcut.
  • Navigate Forward/Backward Ctrl+–/Ctrl+Shift+–
    Forgot the previous location of your cursor? Don’t worry. This is the hotkey for the back and forward buttons
  • Full Screen without losing the panels Alt+Shift+Enter
    Searching for the menubar and the panels while on Full Screen? This is here to rescue
  • Simple search Ctrl+I
    A simple search box is opened you can start typing after pressing this hotkey and press again to go to next result
  • The TAB key for “snippets”
    Best of the shortcuts. Bored of writing if-conditions and making sure that they are surrounded by braces?
    Type if and then press the tab key twice. Baam! the if-condition is completed for you. VS offers many snippets like try-catch, for, class, foreach etc
  • Surround with snippets CTRL+K+S
    Want a piece of code within an if-condition or a for-loop. Don’t  worry, select the code and press these keys. Select any snippet from the context menu shown and consider it done.
  • Find Matching braces Ctrl+]
    A conversation with the Open brace “{“
    Me: Hey you!! Where is your pair??
    Open Brace: I dunno 😔
    Me: Okay let me find it!
    After a while
    Got you!! You cant hide from me, You dumb closing brace!
    -To find the matching brace of a function/class use this shortcut.
    -To select the code between the braces, add shift key to the combination.
  • Ctrl+C+V to duplicate the current line
    This is a well-known legend yet in the form of a simple shortcut key.
  • Create/Remove a bookmark Ctrl+K+K
    Bookmarks, they are cousins to the breakpoints. They are not hit by the debugger but can still help you remember where a bug that you discovered yesterday is present.
    -Open BookMark window -Ctrl+K+W
    -Go to the next bookmark -Ctrl+K, Ctrl+N
  • Cycle through the list of clipboard contents Ctrl+Shift+V 
    This is also a well-known shortcut. Tired of copy-scroll-paste, copy-scroll-paste? You can replace it with copy-copy-scroll-paste-paste by using this shortcut
  • Collapse all functions Ctrl+M+O
    Too large code base? Minimize the code and find it easy to navigate through the code.
  • Format Selection Ctrl+K+F
    When the code is shabby and does not have proper spacing and indents, use this shortcut and see the Magic.

There are yet many more amazing shortcuts but these are my favorite, hope these are helpful in your programming career. You can take the shortcut keys to a whole new level using Auto Hot Keys, read it here.

Happy Coding 🙂