A software development career can be a powerful way to get a great job and really flourish. Here are some tips on how to make yours the best it can be.
Do not specialize
There are some mixed opinions about this, however, a majority of experts do say that you are better off to not specialize in a specific programming language, especially when you are just getting started.
Not too many jobs need to have a niche programmer who knows just one language, even when the person knows the language very well. Become familiar with as many languages as you can, and focus on the most popular languages.
Having a broad knowledge base will provide you with more opportunities. There is a strong argument that can be made for specializing later on in your career. It can help make you an invaluable asset to have. However, it is better to make that decision later in the future.
Obtain experience at a large company
For software developers who are at the early stages of their career, any type of experience is important. However, you will draw a lot more interest if you have one of larger names on your resume or LinkedIn profile.
That will be true even if you think you can get a more well-rounded experience working with a smaller company. You should ideally, try to do both. Your combined experience will definitely look good on your resume, and it is all the better if you can have a big name on it.
Work on projects of your own
It is always a good idea to have your own website or own side projects that you are working on, whether you are looking for a new job currently, are freelancing or have a job.
Remember when we discussed living and breathing code earlier? Having your own development projects to show will demonstrate what your true passions are and help you hone your skills in your free time. This can really pay big dividends in progressing in your career.
Even if you really love the job you have right now, you will not always get to everything that you want to do. However, when you have your own project to work on, it gives you an outlet to do exactly that. You will also be able to add these projects to your resume. Development should be a way of life and not just a job – this post from Capita ITPS discusess that.
Join online communities
There are software developers all over the world who love to talk with their fellow software developers. It is a very good idea to find out where they hang out online and become better acquainted with them.
Online communities are an excellent way to network, upskill, and develop friendships with like-minded individuals to share ideas with.
Platforms like Hashnode, Coderwall, and Stack Overflow all offer helpful communities where you can get advice, participate in discussions and ask questions from software developers at every experience level.
Work on developing your soft skills
One thing that many people who work in technology often forget about is soft skills. However, when it comes to getting your dream job they are one of the most important aspects.
You can work on improving your programming knowledge and practice your hard, technical skills, but if you are unable to think outside of the box or work in a team, then you may not be better than those other 20 codes that a recruiter is considering.
Set aside some time to practice for your interviews. Examine your soft skills and identify any weakness and work hard to improve them.
Change jobs often
Moving jobs frequently might not be the best thing for everyone to do. If your dream job is working at Google as a software developer until you retire, then after you get there then there isn’t much of a point to switch jobs.
However, if your goal is becoming a successful software developer and you don’t have ties to any specific company, then it can be helpful to move frequently.
Each organization is different, so the more you change jobs, the more you will grow and learn. If you stay in the same place for long, you are at risk for becoming too comfortable and not improving your skills to the same extent that you would if you moved around more.
Protect your reputation
Whether you want to work as a freelancer or are moving from one good job to another, your reputation is invaluable as a software developer.
Whether you are in a large area like California or a smaller city like Dublin, it doesn’t matter. The community of software developers is tight-knit and small. If you are hard to work with or reliable in any way, word will get around quickly.
Keep your reputation in mind at all times, no matter where you happen to be working. This goes both ways. Positive word of mouth is invaluable. It could even help you get your next job. So always value your reputation.
Upskilling for software developers is mainly based on your own initiative. You achieve upskilling with coding through practice and taking on challenges to get yourself to the next level.
Having some personal goals, whether it is learning a new programming language, writing a program completely from scratch or learning an entirely new aspect of the business, like marketing or UX.
There is plenty of room for you to progress and grow as a software developer. Make sure you take every opportunity and always keep learning. If you hit a wall, then find something new to work on.