It is so easy to get stuck in your career and feel like you are neither making any progress nor moving forward. One of the most common mistakes of many software developers is not sticking with what is working. Most of them tend to get easily bored doing the same things over and over again.
If you are a software developer, most likely what made you come here is to learn how to become a better one. It is likely that you have skills in a particular technology but those skills need a little bit of work to be great.
We are not going to lie. This is often a painfully boring process. While it is more fun to try something new, it is not always sustainable. If advancement is what you seek, having sustained focus and effort is necessary.
Here are some few tips to help you out on your transformation from a merely good software developer to a great one:
Table of Contents
Improve Your Software Development Skills
To make a shift from good to great, you need to acquire the necessary technical skills associated with being a software developer.
Code as often as you canWorking as a software developer, it is inevitable to encounter jobs that do not challenge you enough. Those jobs may not require you to improve your technical skills, but that does not mean you should stop learning. Nowadays, it is much easier to find coding tutorials online and try out new techniques. Do not miss every little chance you have to practice and code as often as you can.
Question your designs and decisionsWe all have done that. Pushing the first-ever solution that comes to mind and not long after figuring a much better way to deal with the problem. To improve your software development skills, one effective exercise you should practice is to try to come up with various solutions. This will also improve your problem-solving skills which are deemed incremental and obligatory for software developers.
Understand the tools, frameworks, and programming language/s you useIt is important to fully understand everything else that you use in performing your job to write the best solutions. Not doing your part may result in accidental complexity on your project just because there is a gap in the understanding of the used tooling. Always remember that a programmer is far different from a software developer. The first may follow an instructional order, but the latter constructs its own ways to solve the problem.
Learn more than just one programming languageTo become a great software developer, you should not limit yourself. It is always advantageous to explore different types of programming languages and to always keep yourself up-to-date with the current changes. Furthermore, it allows you to easily identify which programming language to use to solve the problem you are facing.
Keep a journalKeeping a journal and documenting everything will greatly benefit you in the future more than you perceive. This can be helpful not just for you but even for your new team members who you want to share such knowledge.
Take a breakSometimes we tend to ask more than what our body can give. And we can get a bit hard headed. You should know when to take a break and give your mind a little rest. A rested mind always works better than an exhausted one.
Don’t Forget Enhancing Your Soft Skills
Becoming a better software developer does not only involve improving your technical skills but also enhancing your soft skills. It is a combination of your people skills, social attitudes, career attributes, social and emotional intelligence. And yes, it is important to improve, too!
Share your knowledgeSharing your knowledge is easier said than done. You need to have a generous mind and a generous heart for you to be able to do it. Contrary to what many commonly perceive, doing this act will actually benefit you. Sharing your knowledge will actually help you study more and understand the subject much better.
Take ownership and responsibilityBeing a software developer is more than just writing codes. It is also about taking ownership and responsibility for the project you are handling. This goes from project planning to the deployment and all the way to the production process. It can be tedious but this is also necessary and you need to deal with it.
Choose the right wordsThe stress accompanied by being a software developer can be overwhelming. While it is easier to get taken over by those daily stresses, it can compromise your relationship with your team. In the long run, it will not only disadvantageously affect you but also your whole team.
Don’t take it personallyThere will always be a time when you will receive a bad or worse, degrading feedback about your work. Do not take it personally. You can never impress everyone in the room and you need to settle with that. Every bad feedback is also an opportunity to learn and improve your work.
There Is More!
With all of the tips and advice presented above, here are some more important things you need to take note:
Organize yourselfGet everything you need to do and document what you have already done. This will help you to increase your productivity and avoid procrastination.
Find a mentorIt can be someone from your company or from someone sharing essential content online. Either way, having a mentor will help you upgrade your skills and move to the next level.
Be confidentThis is the last piece of advice. It doesn’t matter what position you hold in the company you are working, making bold decisions, and being confident with it is always worth it. Even if it turns out to be a wrong move, don’t get discouraged. Remember what we talked about earlier about taking ownership and responsibility?
Wrapping It Up
Becoming a better software developer is a process. Each one of us may have varying criteria in measuring it. What’s better for you may not be better for others, vice versa.
While there are a plethora of ways to learn and improve your software development skills, developing supporting skills can be difficult. There is no single-way solution to address it. But perhaps, the most important is to subscribe to the idea of continuous improvement. Nothing in life is static, certainly not technologies nor our careers and lives.
Aileen Artiaga is a part-time writer, SMO specialist, and travel enthusiast. She is a curating content, analyzing posts performance, and delivering information to content marketing portals. She also manages her own YouTube channel.