Hi, I have been a java developer for around 2&1/2 years and a few months ago i switched companies . Though my current service engineer is more than happy with my performance ...he shudders at my habit to move right into the code whenever a major feature addition crops up. I prefer to get a feel of the code and tweak it around before i look at what its subsequent impact might be rather than simply staring at code or working with at it with a pen and paper. So is it wrong? Often it means that i am able to understand what other features might be affected at a later stage which means some rework might be needed...but i prefer it in this manner as i am more comfortable with handling the code and am more aware of the flow by then ... So am i heading in the right direction? or should i discontinue this practise?
In my years of Software Engineering, my opinion has changed over the years. In short, if you worked for me, I would encourage you to do whatever makes you the most comfortable. While your seniors have a different approach, it doesn't make one more right than the other. I would encourage you to review documentation (if it is available) before diving into the code because it may give you an idea of the bigger picture. Hope this hekps.
As the codebases you work with get larger you'll run into trouble with your current habbit of just diving in and starting to hack away. At some point you'll for certain get utterly lost or worse, change something for the worse.
That's why you should always be cautious, investigate first what needs to change and how before actually changing it.
As long as you have a high level overview of what you are going to do, you should be good. You will always have some kind of technical snag along the way, but if you have a plan, it will be much better.