Starting out as a developer, tips for early career stages

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

By Shahla Aliyeva

A career as a developer is one of the most lucrative in this digital era. As Albert Einstein said - “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving’.


Whether you have just completed a computer science degree, a course in programming or you have landed your first job, below are some smart tips that will help you get started, and carve a successful career in software development.


1. Have Passion in Code


Eat, breathe, code, repeat. To be a successful developer, you should have a passion for coding. Just like art, you need to be doing your passion daily, the same way the best singers and athletes practice to perfect their craft. Besides practicing, make sure to stay abreast of all the trends in the industry as software development and programming are fast-paced environments.


2. Don't Specialize

Though at one point in time, you may need to specialize in specific programming languages, don't do this when starting out. Try to acquaint yourself with all the areas so as not to lock yourself out of opportunities. Hiring managers are always looking out for versatile developers, and very few companies hire niche programmers. It's also a good idea to know a few things about each programming language before specializing in one field.


3. Have Personal Projects

A serious developer should have personal projects, whether you have time or not. A personal project comes in handy during interviews and also improves your knowledge of software development. Above all, with a side project, you have somewhere to practice your skills. No company will allow you to try out new stuff on their running projects.


4. Build a Profile

Make sure everything you do career-wise builds your profile in the realms of software development. Have a LinkedIn profile where you can showcase your expertise and experience. It is also essential to consider furthering your studies if you have the time. Enroll for higher learning or even short online courses to enhance your knowledge. This is something you can add to your resume for future reference when seeking greener pastures.


5. Seek Mentorship

To be successful in any field, a mentor is an invaluable addition. The best place to work is in the big companies that employ experienced software developers who can guide you on several things. A mentor will answer all your pertinent questions regarding software development and related matters, so don't fail to ask when in need.  It's also worthy to mentor a junior developer because the more we teach, the more we learn ourselves.



Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash


The above are some of the smart tips for junior developers in their early career years. Above all, it will be essential to network with other software development professionals, via social media, and events. Also, be on the lookout for better opportunities in more reputable companies, especially if the roles are more challenging. Finally, remember, never confine yourself to your comfort zone, always aspire to scale up the ladder.