A few tips how to:
Stay familiar with the new trends, avoid getting stuck on the same level and keep moving up.
Nowadays, the IT industry is developing very fast and changing even faster. Every day, it generates amazingly new technologies, breakthroughs and trends. You always face new challenges and increasing competition. Under these circumstances, you will want to know how to stay a state-of-the-art developer and to be in the know of the latest trends, libraries & frameworks?
How do you become and keep being a successful developer? It is obvious, that you need to evolve as fast as the industry does and not only within your current level but beyond it. All of us know that moving up to higher professional levels is good, but how we can keep evolving in such a competitive environment?
We’ve split our tips how to stay knowledgeable as a software developer into three groups based on complexity (and our subjective opinion) into Beginner - Intermediate - Advanced levels.
Once you’ve realized that you need to constantly study to be a demanded professional, which normally happens pretty soon after you started your software developer career, you can try some or all of the following.
- Benefit from reading books
- Subscribe to relevant media
- Take online or offline courses
Another valuable asset is various coding courses. They can be online, offline, free of charge or very expensive. Don’t hesitate to invest in your learning, it will pay off. What we know for sure, is that one can read hundreds of pages and miss the most crucial point. An experienced teacher will outline the most promising frameworks and libraries, explain the most important stuff saving you time and resources. Browse top-rated free courses with W3school.com, Microsoft Academy web developing, Tutsplus front-end and back-end programming and Ionic Academy with its great community of learners.
- Find a role model
Another alternative to looking through tremendous volumes of information is finding so called “gurus”, tech influencers, or just cool developers in certain fields and watching their videos and blogs. Internet is full of popular resources, podcasts and free information.
If you are already doing all the abovementioned, try the following.
- Attend professional events
You** **can benefit from visiting and participating in various events related to your field of expertise. It will help you understand the direction of the technology evolution, its groundbreaking nature, and a lot of other news in the industry. Always check for new predicted and featured breakthroughs in graphics, animation and apps. As you have already something to discuss and to offer, such events always motivate and encourage new ideas and enterprises.
- Try peer programming
- Opt for coworking instead of working from home
If you are not a couch potato, go ahead and proceed to co-working. Programming is the most knowledge-sharing industry, isn't it? The fastest way of sharing information so far, is personal communication with colleagues. This means that the most efficient way to learn more is still to ask somebody who knows.
- Do your homework and investigate some new stuff
- Join open-source projects
Working with open-source products is another great asset allowing you to stay both excited and challenged. Learn by doing: work hard to face challenges and tough issues. Each small victory is a part of big success. Joining community open-source projects will push your boundaries and increase your fellow network.
Now, if you want to go one step further, try one of the following:
- Become a mentor
Think about guiding one or a group of students. By passing your knowledge and sharing experience with someone less skilled, you will have to answer very unexpected questions every now and then. This may be crucial for your own breakthroughs in the field already known and familiar. Sometimes this helps you generate really cool ideas. While explaining, you can go even further in your knowledge and take a different look on how to arrange information.
- Do your own startup
Work on your own product. If you have experienced an issue with a commonly used solution or application -- go ahead and start you own mini research, aka a pet project. A non-for-profit undertaking. Create a super ad-blocker or a cute app to remind your family about some important dates. Automate some of your routine processes both in business and at home. Automate everything! Who knows, it might bring benefits one day.
- Spread the word
Sometimes writing articles or maintaining a blog gives you all the motivation you needed to get ahead. Share your knowledge via articles or create a blog. Become a speaker at professional events/meetups/talks. It will encourage you to go an extra mile and spot even more new and exciting stuff in your domain.
We hope our advice on how to become and stay a pro software developer will help you build your own professional strategy. Of course, the list above is not exhaustive, especially, taking into account the ever changing tech environment, but our tips are not a fish, they are a fishing rod.