There are about 18.2 million software developers worldwide, and that number is expected to rise to 26.4 million by 2019 – a 45% increase, says Evans Data Corp, in its latest Global Developer Population and Demographic Study.That means that the number ofpeople with your skill setis going to increase, by a lot. Start developing successful habits now so you’ll stand out from the crowd later.
1. Staying up to date
Successful developers know that this is mandatory. Keep learning new things or work on something – even if it’s just a small side project – every day. Staying updated in the IT industry is critical.Let me give you a simple example: the evolution of mobile phones.Initially,mobile phones took five years to reach the masses but when smartphones were introduced they reached billions in two years. So, with respect to the technology from the year 2000 – 2010, every technology or framework took five years to mature. But now, technology is becoming outdated in less than two years.
To withstand this heat, you need to be awake and keep your eyes and ears open for new emerging technology and frameworks.So, how do you stay up to date? Medium is a great platform to start. Also, engage in other developer communities and tech forums.
2. Lucid understanding and ownership
Understanding is the foundation for every developer, and this should be your strength. Your peers or leaders will prefer to explain things to you only once, and you should be in a position to grasp and perform tasks without raising any flags. Time is a crucial factor for everyone in the organization so the organization will expect you to understand processes quickly.
How do you understand quickly? You need to upgrade your domain knowledge constantly. For example, if you’re working in a health care sector, you need to be half doctor — you need to understand things better so you can deliver a high quality product. Successful developers produce quality products and, in order to think about quality, you need to be an expert in your domain.
3. Crafting with best practices
If we have two developers with the same experiences, what metrics can you use todetermine which one isbetter? Well, it’s based on best practices. A task can be achieved in multiple ways but whoever provides the best, easiest, and most scalable solution is obviously more sellable than the other person.Qualities like providing multiple solutions, scalable solutions, optimal solutions — all these will manifest when you gain more experience. You can gain this experience quickly if you spend more time with developer documentation and community, as well as by asking the right questions.
Writing clean, scalable, and optimal code is one of the most valued skills of all time in the software industry. Nobody can reach the ultimate level, but you should keep a check on this all the time.There are multiple paths you can take to learn best practices. The best path is to grab a mentor. Find experts in your field, discuss the problems with them, and their experience will definitely show you the best practices.
4. Avoiding your comfort zone
Almost 90% of developers just want to hang out in their comfort zones. They opt for big corporate jobs where they’ll have scheduled work every day, party on the weekends, etc. Well, even if you’re employed with a big tech giant organization, you should be doing something outside of that work like freelancing, open source contributions, core and library creation, and much more. This will obviously take up some of your free time and be less comfortable but the end result will be beautiful.You need to do something different to get something different.
If you prefer being in your comfort zone then trust me, you will lose your job after five years. You need to constantly prove your presence in this industry to keep being successful. Engage yourself in conferences, tech meet-ups, make hobby projects, present white papers, improve your skillsets, and much more.
5. Community interaction
Most developers in the world are self-taught (including myself). We learn everything from the developer community for free. What have we done in return for the community? Well, successful developers play a vital role in contributing to open source or to the developer community. They write articles, present things in meet-ups, organize meet-ups, and share knowledge.
This will in-turn help the others who are dependent on free education and that’s how the fraternity will grow. So, how can you help the community? Here are some suggestions to get your started:
- You can start writing your tips, tricks, and experiences in a blog.
- You can start making “how to” videos.
- You can contribute to open source projects.
- You can start writing free libraries.
- You can start presenting in meet-ups.
- You can participate in developer community programs.
- Mentor a few projects.
If you couldn’t manage time for making new habits, here’s a simple trick: If you need to inject any habit in your life, all you need to do is to practice it strictly for 21 days. If you you’re able to do that, your brain and body will pick it up automatically for the rest of your life.
About the Author
Hari VigneshJayapalan is a Google Certified Android app developer, IDF Certified UI & UX Professional, street magician, fitness freak, technology enthusiast, and wannabe entrepreneur. He can be found on Twitter @HariofSpades.