So this morning I woke up with a great fear, and so I've decided to make a post here. I've worked at two companies (internships) during college, and one thing I have noticed is a general worry in the hearts of many of the employees. That is, they are constantly on guard watching what they say, watching how they act, making sure their image is presentable, and making sure that they stay informed about their line of work. Now, I expected this to some degree-- I mean, you do have to know what you are doing, right? But the extreme to which these people were "on guard" disturbed me a little bit. I was afraid to ask/probe around to see why these people were so on guard, and so now that I've remembered about these dynamics, I figured I'd get some advice here.
Now, my question: is the above level of _-- what is necessary to survive in the working world? Is getting along with fellow team members, without hiccups, THAT important in keeping your job and moving along? How do quiet folks (like myself) get ahead? How do quiet people avoid being overworked, or being given the blame when things fail? More generally, how do people ensure that they aren't the scapegoat when a project lags or fails? Assuming you are intelligent and well-informed as it relates to your profession, how do you prevent being seen as incompetent? How does one maintain a high level of productivity, without burning out (some people do it naturally, but other have to learn--for those others, how did you learn)? How do you prevent yourself from being walked over?
I mean, does anyone have any advice for a (soon to be) new grad about surviving in the working world? What should I expect? Why? What should I do to improve myself? What are important things (other than programming ability, since I'm a programmer) that I should be sure to have developed well?
I can ask a million questions, as I'm so very uncertain about what awaits me, but pretty much I'm just looking for advice. I've always, on my internships, set my primary focus on learning technical details, and striving for technical excellence, but now I'm realizing that there may be much more required in addition to technical ability, and that since I'm retarded in any area not related to programming, I might be screwed.