Highly Recommended Software Engineer: Beginners, team up with your friends


Highly Recommended - Be the person everyone wants to work with(This is a sub-topic of the series Highly Recommended: Be the person everyone wants to work with.)

Start learning to work as part of a team as soon as possible.  Coding on your own can lead to bad habits.  Coding as part of a team will bring your projects and career to new heights because coding as part of a team multiplies the final result.  Teamwork takes practice, so go practice.

What will you do when your friend is not pulling their own weight on the project?  Will you dump them or will you be able to talk to them and solve the problem?  How will you act when the deadline for the big show or contest is a day away?  Will you turn into a jerk or will you stay calm and collected?

If I have two résumés in front of me and one person claims they like to work alone and the second claims they love working with others.  Who do you think will progress to the interview phase first?

Teamwork is a skill that takes practice so don’t avoid it.  Sign up for a coding contest together.  Talk about coding techniques together.  Discuss pros and cons of various design patterns.  Teach each other new techniques.  Design systems together.  Ask for feedback on code you’ve written and commit to absorbing the feedback rather than defending the code.  Review each other’s implementations.  Talk about coding standards and conventions so you can all agree on something.  Learn to disagree with each other without yelling or arguing.  Learn how to have fun and get serious work done at the same time.

When you are ready to kill each other, go back to my original Highly Recommended post and reread all the non-engineering topics.  Once you start working on a team, all of those other topics start to really become useful.

Be the engineer other people want to work with by actually learning how to work with others.

(This is a sub-topic of the series Highly Recommended: Be the person everyone wants to work with.)