To Level Up as a developer, being good at one skill consistently and over a period of time may not be the best mantra for winning. While some do enjoy the familiarity of their programming language, love the comfort of their coding style, and generally avoid any hustle, it may get tiring and banal for those who look to climb the career ladder and level up as a developer.
To progress in a career, like in all professions, even developers need to go the extra mile and there are some clear actionable steps that can be taken that can help junior-level developers to level up.
Steps to take to Level Up as A Developer
1. Identifying personal skill gaps
The first step becomes to identify and learn where your skill needs additional development and look for ways to plug in those gaps. For beginner-level developers, taking a look at the job descriptions of the roles they aspire to apply for will provide a clear guideline regarding the skill requirements in those roles.
2. Taking courses
Once the skill gaps are identified, upskilling becomes the obvious next step. Upskilling helps in expanding the knowledge base and bridging the skill gap. There are several free online courses available that can help young developers to improve and advance their skills. These courses can be based on your interest or area of work.
3. Participation in Code Katas
Frequent participation in Code Katas, learning about koan, and attending a code retreat can help expand your horizon and give a boost to creative problem-solving.
4. Finding a mentor
Reach out to people who are doing good work and seek their guidance and help, seniors in organizations can provide mentorship to the juniors. Most organizations have some sort of mentor-mentee programs, find out about them and participate. For students, alumni members can act as mentors. Linkedin is a great platform to reach out to people or join communities where like-minded people discuss best practices in your field of work.
5. A side hustle
Side projects help to keep the learning going. Opting for big projects like trying to clone a site like Facebook or Reddit will ensure there is ample learning at every stage.
6. Contributing to open source platforms
Contributing to open source platforms and learning forking repositories, making pull requests, and committing code all of which help you to learn to evaluate codes better and bad pull requests teach you how to give feedback.
7. Learning more programming languages
Sticking to just one language is not recommended. Programmers looking to level up need to know at least 3-7 programming languages in order to be called a professional.
8. Learning software design pattern
Design patterns are formalized best practices that developers can learn from to develop or improve an application. They offer reusable solutions to several recurring problems. Learning principles like KISS, YAGNI, MVC help with the coding.
9. Learning Design Skills
It helps to keep the end user in mind and create user interfaces that are visually appealing as well apart from the usual functionality. Learning from designers is an excellent way to elevate the level of your work.
10. Share knowledge
Teaching others helps in strengthening one’s own knowledge and is an excellent way to consolidate foundational concepts and learning.
These are some of the tips that can help you level up as a developer. Let us know if we missed something.
Another way to level up is to join a boot camp and sharpen your skills. FunctionUp is a pay-after-placement boot camp that offers training in backend engineering skills.