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Top 9 Lessons learned in 12 years as a software developer

To be an expert in a field that changes from one day to the next is akin to placing your hand in a running river; you can trap a small bit of water for the moment, but once you lift your hand again the river rushes on

I completed 12 years as a software developer this month.

Few honest takeaways about my experience with the job and the software engineering industry.

1. No one can stop you when you master the basics

  • You can start with any technology you want.

But if you’re struggling, take a pause & restart your tech journey.

  • Remember all new & fancy frameworks are based on the basics.
  • Master basics you can code in anything.

2. “What’s more important to you: Quantity or Quality?”

  • Your answer might be: it depends.

But until you do an experiment in your core areas, how do you actually know about the quality.

Go & take calculative risk & be the change.


3. Professional Relationship (Create your bridges)

  • We all are humans behind code

It’s also about making connections & professional relationships

  • Don’t just always consume, help others as much as possible, time will return the favor
  • Don’t burn your bridges, Always create

4. Years of experience won’t make you qualified for a job.

  • Everyone looks for a genuine experience
  • People have different learning curves.

The only time we get a chance to be qualified is when we act.

Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Look outside, world is moving faster.

“To be an expert in a field that changes from one day to the next is akin to placing your hand in a running river; you can trap a small bit of water for the moment, but once you lift your hand again the river rushes on”

Kelly Ripley Feller


5. Coding game is really challenging

  • There are no short cuts.
  • You need to find a balance between coding & your health.
  • Coding is mentally demanding.
  • Depression is a real thing, always look for help.
  • Look for mentorship, Talk your best friends.

Job security is a myth.


6. Always be a team player

“We win as a team, we lose a team.”

  • Software development is a team game.
  • You need to act & take responsibility as per your role.

7. Always respect diversity

  • Everyone talks about diversity.

Sometimes humans talk a good game, but don’t follow through on their promises.

“A diverse IT team is an asset that can help to drive innovation.”

People of different backgrounds can have ideas for new products and services that would be of interest to a broad audience or even a niche sector.

Those are good business reasons for seeking a diverse workforce.

However, there’s an even better reason, and it’s a human reason.


8. Don’t try to learn everything, YOU can’t.

  • Find your NICHE, Master that one
  • Look for another area, again master that one & so on.

9. Follow the T-Shaped approach.

I made the mistake of trying to diversify too early in my career.

My mind became scrambled by trying to learn too many different things at once and I wasn’t seeing results anywhere.

Don’t rush through the early stages, take your time to pick one thing you want to pursue and learn as much as you can about it.

It’s far better to be great at one thing than mediocre in 10.

A T-shaped developer has deep knowledge/skills in one area and a broad base of general supporting knowledge/skills.


Thanks for reading.

If you’re a regular reader, thank you, you’re a big part of the reason I’ve been able to share my life/career experiences with you.

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