5 Habits of the Successive Developer
Software development is a hot and trending market, but it’s also become very competitive. If you want to advance your career in this field, much less find an entry-level job, you’ll have to do what highly skilled and successful software developers are doing. It’s a common preconceived notion that you have to be good in STEM subjects to get anywhere in software or mobile applications development. As thousands of employed software developers can attest to, this cannot be further from the truth. Sure, a strong grasp of engineering or math concepts can help, but it’s these five habits below that will make the difference when applying for and staying employed as a developer:
Have a Voracious Appetite for Learning
Unlike other job positions that rarely change, if ever, software development tends to change quite frequently. New technologies and versions are being released that are better than last month’s. As a developer, you’ll have to relearn stuff on a regular basis and since production and launch can’t wait for you, you’ll have to relearn it quickly. You have to keep learning and gaining knowledge otherwise you lose relevance in the job market. Reading books and articles on new coding conventions, starting side projects that use new frameworks or libraries, and watching tutorials and videos should occupy the bulk of your time as a developer.
Ask the Right Questions
A distinguishing factor between good developers and great ones is the knack for answering the right questions. The right questions yield the right answers, which fosters growth as a developer. Most first-day scenarios for new developers involves asking questions to one of their team’s senior developers. While it can feel like you’re pestering people by asking questions, it’s the simplest route to achieving proficiency and independence in any new workplace.
Clean Up Your Code
It’s not enough to be able to write code that works; you have to be able to write code that others can understand as well. Even if you’re a one-man operation, you’ll need someone to review your codebase at some point in time. As you start to learn the ropes of coding, take the time and attention to follow the standards of code base writing and organization, such as when naming variables, putting semicolons where needed, and adding comments to clarify complex lines of code for the next developer who stumbles upon it.
Don’t be a Jerk
Nobody likes a jerk in the workplace. Even as you start to get confident with your technical skills, it’s not a reason to be arrogant and disrespectful to your coworkers. If people are asking you for help and you don’t have the time, don’t just dismiss their requests. Let them know that you can’t help them at the moment and provide a time when you can. Humility is a trait not only successful developers have, but one that all successful people share. If you’re kind to people who need help, you’ll get the same response from your peers when the time comes that you’re stuck on a gnarly bug in your code base.
Solve it in Bite-Size Pieces
People have the tendency of facing problems in the least logical and efficient way possible. They just try to come up with the easiest solution to the problem without actually thinking about whether or not it’s the best solution. Just like you shouldn’t eat a pint of ice cream in one scoop, you shouldn’t try to solve a coding problem in one go. Instead, divide the problem in smaller chunks that’s easier to digest. Once you solve one small chunk, move on to the next. This is a fairly simple but commonly overlooked approach to problem-solving that is quintessential in software development.
Perhaps the last habit you should start adopting as a budding developer is the ability to greet technical problems on a daily basis without succumbing to the stress and pressure. Keep calm and start problem solving.