top of page

Your First Day as a Software Engineer: How to Prepare

So it's your first day on the job as a software developer. What should you expect? How should you carry yourself? There are many ways you can prepare ahead of time. Let's start by looking at what to expect technically, and then talk about non-technical issues.

Your First Morning

It's normal to be nervous, but do your best to relax. Take a notepad and pen with you so you can take plenty of notes. And expect a few glitches. For example, you might get to work and find out your desk or computer isn't ready. Or with a remote position, your computer might not have arrived yet. But don't take any of that personally; mistakes and oversights happen.

More Tips to Make Your First Day Successful

Here are some other general thoughts on how to approach your first day.

Ask lots of questions

Don't forget non-technical questions like where are the restrooms and kitchen. Can you bring coffee and snacks to your desk? Where is your manager's desk? When it comes to benefits questions, most likely you'll be meeting with an HR person who will go over the benefits package. This is the person you'll go to with future questions about benefits.

Learn who to go to for help

Most likely there's a team lead or some type of expert who you can go to for questions. But there might be others as well, such as a go-to person for IT questions such as what to do if you get locked out of your computer. Bigger companies sometimes have an in-house tech support phone number you can call for help.

Learn names and people's desk locations

This isn't always easy, because you'll likely be meeting a lot of new people, but do the best you can. And don't be afraid to apologize and ask for somebody's name again.

Learn other tools

Companies have lots of tech tools such as Trello and Jira. You might find out in advance if they use any of these tools and you can explore them before you come in.

Write everything down

Take lots of notes because it's going to be nearly impossible to remember everything. Write down names of tools, your usernames, network drive and Google drive locations for important files, and anything else they throw at you.

There will be a lot on your plate your first day. So, don't be afraid to get up and walk around a little. Don't go overboard on this, but feel free to go into the kitchen and grab another cup of coffee. Use this time to introduce yourself to your new coworkers.

Don't Expect Perfection

Although the first day can be both exciting and scary, you'll likely have very high hopes about the new job. This is your dream job and this will launch your career and only good will come out of it, right? Well, that's probably true to an extent, but the reality is no place is perfect by any stretch. Soon after your first day, you'll start to see office dynamics, and you'll hear people complaining, and you'll start to experience your frustrations. That's okay. Work with them, and remind yourself that there will be problems no matter where you work.

There's also a chance the job isn't exactly like you expected.

You might have thought you would be doing C++ programming but instead ended up doing front-end JavaScript programming. There's a reason for this too. Managers are often strapped for people and sometimes have to shuffle responsibilities around. Don't be put off. There are probably lots of things you can still learn, and you'll likely have plenty of opportunity to move toward the role you were hoping for. It might take a few months, but once you're comfortable, you'll feel fine asking your manager about a shift in responsibilities. That C++ position will come.

Final Thoughts

In any case, work hard, and stay committed. Do the work your boss asks you to. Don't be afraid to raise concerns. The first day will quickly come and go, and before you know it, you'll be long-since settled in and no longer the new person. Then after perhaps two years, or five or more, you'll be ready to start sending out resumes and starting the whole process over, looking for something even better. But first, have fun and make it through the first day of this job.

As always, we are here to help you during this time of uncertainty. Feel free to schedule a chat with us! Telephone: 804-362-7150 Website: Connect with us on Facebook :

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page