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5 Pieces of Career Advice from /r/CSCareerQuestions

Topics: Negotiation

If you’re on Reddit and you’re a techie, you might already know about the popular subreddit, CS Career Questions. If you’re not familiar, it might be worth it to stop by this community of 55,000 readers and check out what these pros have to say about careers and degrees in the computer science field. Here’s some of the best recent advice from the experts.


(Photo Credit: OiMax/Flickr)

1. “Always make them tell you no.”
Regarding salary negotiations: Always make them tell you no. If the company says yes to the number you asked for, it’s likely you’ve just lowballed yourself.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

In a recent PayScale report, only 44 percent of men and 42 percent of women reported having asked for a raise in their current field. Women were also more likely to fail to negotiate based on feeling uncomfortable negotiating salary (31 percent, as opposed to 23 percent of men). 

2. “Talk more, code less.”
Talk more, code less. That is to say, spend more time determining what it is you need to build than building it. Software engineering is 90% communication and 10% programming.
In today’s fast-paced world, communication skills are more valuable than ever. What’s great about advice like this is that it applies to all industries – not just computer science. It’s no longer enough to simply be quick on your feet. You need to be able to communicate accurately and clearly, on all modes of communication.

3. “Build a good reputation.”
Work hard to build a good reputation so when you screw up (and eventually you will), people will be more willing to describe the fault as an anomaly rather than the problem.
Basically, we are all going to mess up at some point or another. And that’s okay. What Brakx is saying is that it is important to be the best you can be from day 1, so when we do finally mess up, it’s a fluke rather than the norm. What’s important is how you recover from your mistake.

4. Check everything twice.
You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
Straight and to the point – we could all benefit from taking a little extra time in order to avoid silly mistakes. Being detail-oriented doesn’t come naturally to everyone. How often have you speed-read an email, only to find that you completely missed a crucial message within that email? If you’re being honest with yourself, the answer is probably more than once. The bottom line? Don’t just expect things. Take some time for quality control in all of your work.

5. Writing matters … for everyone.
Engineers who can’t write will report to engineers who can write.
If you’re an engineer, writing is something that you likely didn’t intend to do a lot of in your flourishing career. When you dig a little deeper into the_original_cliche’s advice, what he’s really saying here is that you always need to be learning new skills. If you don’t, you’ll always be reporting to the person who is.

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Do you have some career advice you’d add to this list? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Great advice!

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