Great developers are always in demand, but it takes at most a coding boot camp or even a CS degree to land a dream position at an innovative business with great tech and leading skills. Engineers who excel are lifelong learners, curious tinkerers, and creative independent thinkers who are fascinated by their specialisms as well as the rest of the world.
Those attributes, of course, aren’t precisely actionable. So, what distinguishes a top-tier developer from the rest of the pack? Here are some pointers to help you keep ahead of the game.
- Avoid portraying oneself as a one-trick pony
Long gone are the days when job seekers could promote themselves as a “C# developer” or a “Java specialist” to impress potential employers. In today’s tech world, flexibility is key, and for developers, that means remaining language neutral. Sure, everyone has preferences and competence in certain areas over others, but the trick is to think of those characteristics as assets rather than constraints.
Employers seek engineers who are willing to learn new skills and are skilled at doing so. Having a diverse portfolio work on GitHub is a wonderful approach to show this.
- Recognize the essentials
Teaching how and when to program is not at all like learning a software program. You must be able to recognize issues and conceive attractive solutions in order to be a great developer. An algorithm is simply a logic problem, and regardless of how complicated the solution is, a developer should be able to draw it on a chalkboard and explain it to the interns in plain English. Will have plenty of time to learn frameworks, systems, and other tools, but each problem must be handled first in an abstract manner.
- It’s fantastic to learn a framework, but it’s even better to master the underlying language
Even popular frameworks like Ruby on Rails come and go. While Rails will almost certainly be the framework of choice for the great majority of large-scale websites, a simpler, lighter framework like Sinatra or Volt can save time while providing more than adequate capability. Developers may pivot between frameworks far more easily if they put in the effort to master Ruby or any other underlying language. It is also important to be prepared for your job interview, in order to ace the interview and secure yourself the job. For instance, you can read react js interview questions using Google and have a successful interview.
- Extend your reach across tiers
It’s debatable whether being a competent full-stack developer is still achievable. However, the rise of DevOps culture and the increasing prevalence of Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions such as Heroku and Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk have dramatically blurred the client-server split. Tasks like supplying new server capacity are rarely done by specialists these days because cloud services can automate them to a significant extent. It’s a good idea to get acquainted with a couple of them.
PaaS, on the other hand, isn’t an excuse for not understanding the OS kernel. It doesn’t imply anything can’t go wrong just because it’s automated. And when it occurs, someone with higher abilities will be able to recognize and rectify the problem. Also learning coding techniques can help your reach across different tiers. One of the examples code obfuscation is one of the techniques you can learn and will help you a lot.
- Recognize the direction in which technology is heading
Selecting a field of expertise is akin to betting on the future of technology. Becoming a mainframe developer 15 years ago would have been a miscalculation, just as becoming a system administrator now will almost certainly result in a dead-end job. Consider where technology is heading. Platform-specific languages like Swift are popular right now, but as apps become more web-based, Swift will likely be limited to areas like mobile game development, with HTML5 and other cross-platform languages taking over the rest.