If you are interested in pursuing a career in development and don’t know where to start, here’s your go-to guide for salaries, skills, and the best programming languages to learn.
Software development is a dynamic field & getting started the right way as a developer is tough.
- Getting a diploma
- Getting a degree
- Finishing a boot camp
Does not mean the end of studying.
In reality, you are just getting started. While your official studies are over, it does not mean that you do not need to learn new tricks anymore.
The Language you use as a developer is irrelevant.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Language you use as a developer is irrelevant.
- 2 Try on different hats, even the ones you think will not suit you.
- 3 Find a mentor, the better will you get.
- 4 Optimize your career as a developer, not your salary
- 5 Read a book that has nothing to do with code.
- 6 By helping others you will grow.
- 7 Answer more & more questions
- 8 Make a tutorial OR Write a blog
- 9 Attend a dev conference
- 10 Seek constructive criticism
- 11 Expose your ignorance, daily
It doesn’t matter which you choose,
What matters is how you apply your fundamentals while you code.
Try on different hats, even the ones you think will not suit you.
Do you think you want to be a really good backend developer?
Get in trouble – start coding frontend.
Sure, this might feel awkward at first, but give yourself three months.
Find a mentor, the better will you get.
If you like shortcuts, this is for you.
A good mentor helps challenge your own ways of thinking,
The thing is, a good mentor is hard to come by.
In case you can’t find a mentor, the second-best thing would be to pair programming.
Optimize your career as a developer, not your salary
Here’s a prioritized checklist to assess potential companies:
- Are you truly interested in your employer’s domain?
- Do you have a friendly and active mentor?
- Can you learn and do something new every quarter?
- Can you choose your tools?
- Do your bosses understand how your work is affecting the company?
If you check yes four out of five bullets in your current workplace, I would say you are in a good environment that facilitates your growth.
After all, that is the most important quality in an employer.
Going for a substantially higher salary elsewhere quite often risks your further development as a professional (i.e. your value as an employee decreases).
Worst case scenario, you end up frustrated and hating what you are doing.
For your first 4-5 years, it’s much more important to develop your skills and seriously enjoy what you do than to aim for a fat wallet.
This will pay off with a fantastic interest in years to come.
Read a book that has nothing to do with code.
Your brain needs a break sometimes.
The best way to get a break is to completely disconnect from the world of development by reading about an entirely different world.
How you’ll grow:
Getting your brain out of ‘the zone’ is essential to bringing creative, new ideas to our industry, and the best way to do that is to let your brain roam and swim in fresh new territory that inspires you.
By helping others you will grow.
Do you know what inspires & motivates me to grow more than anything else?
When I help someone else grow or see others growing.
Your coworkers, your family, your friends, your Twitter followers…there are lots of people whom you can help!
Answer more & more questions
Do you know those questions that pop up in your team’s channels all the time asking for help?
And you know how you let them pass by 80% of the time? Well, 2021 will be the year you answer more questions.
Answering questions might take up time, yes, but doing it comes packed with value for your growth.
How you’ll grow:
- You’ll start to learn how to be a mentor.
- You’ll build a stronger relationship with your team
Whether it’s the questions that pop up in Slack, or if you go out & find questions yourself on Stackoverflow.
Make a tutorial OR Write a blog
Making tutorials/Blogging should really be a monthly goal, as it’s a great way to grow:
- Document your learnings for future use.
- Better solidify your knowledge around something you know and love.
- Build your reputation as an expert
Attend a dev conference
How you’ll grow:
- Better lead teams and build relationships with other devs
- Start/join/get involved in dev communities
- Learn how to speak at conferences.
There’s a lot more that you gain from attending conferences than you think though.
Seek constructive criticism
Praise is fantastic, and it’s something that we seek out to fuel us and keep us going.
While praise is important, constructive criticism is also essential to help you improve as a developer.
The easiest way to get constructive criticism is to ask for it.
Ask someone who’s worked with or seen your code to coffee and say you’d love to get some feedback from them.
Do them the favour of giving them some feedback in return.
Expose your ignorance, daily
Software development is an immense, multifaceted field that touches on a huge number of domains.
The best way to accelerate the rate at which you gain that missing knowledge is by exposing your ignorance.
“A lot of people are scared to look stupid or expose their ignorance, but it’s something you have to do in order to learn, so ask questions, clarify stuff and then verify your understanding is correct.”
That’s it for today, If you like my recommendations, then I encourage you to sign up for my weekly “2-1-1” Friday newsletter
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Jack of all trades, master of my life.