I’ve officially started work as a professional developer. Surprisingly, it’s been somewhat of an easy transition from unstructured life (world travel and apartment lounging) to waking up at 6am and resuming using my brain all day. This first week has primarily been spent on a combination of tasks: learning the existing power systems and how the various pieces interact with each other, and also setting up my development machine.
I’m extremely excited that I get to spend some time working on two of my favorite parts of computer science: networking aspects (which is important in the power field as many plants and substations are connected to each other) and operating system-like coding. Perhaps these two fields are far more prevalent in the professional world than it first appears to be, but I consider myself lucky that I get to spend time in such interesting areas.
One of my primary initiatives as a newly professional programmer is to spend a significant amount of time reading. I had a conversation via email with my cousin the other week asking him to recommend to me any books on programming that he thought would be helpful at the beginning of a career. He responded that it depends on whether a person wants to spend their time on the higher-level “theory” versus “tech-specific” kinds. In my mind both can be helpful at the beginning of a career depending on how you apply the techniques and the technology stack one works with. So, with that in mind, I’d like to keep my time nearly equally divided between the two categories.
Books that I’ve found to be highly recommended and I have plans to read in the coming months are:
- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction
- Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
- And not programming specific but still a good read: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.