The most common thought is that coding, whether you’re a web developer or a software developer, can be improved through the use of tools. Although it’s quite true that tools can help with the process of coding and this is often reflected in the final product, an individual can better improve their developing and programming skills faster through self-learning and using other different methods. In the post below we will take a look at the top 7 ways of how to be an excellent web developer or programmer.
1. Avoid Becoming a “Specialist” in One Field
Trends in the tech world move really quickly. For example, you spend five years exclusively learning and improving your knowledge on Drupal, only to find-out overnight that everyone wants a WordPress site (or vice-versa) your opportunities will be limited. So don’t limit yourself with only one programming language or technology. Try to learn as many technologies as possible.
2. Stay in School
Related to the point above, you need to make sure that your skills and qualifications are always relevant and up-to-date. We’re not saying literally go back to college or university, but there are so many free or low costs online courses in just about every Web technology that you can imagine. It’s a good idea to invest your time and money in learning some new skill every month.
Last week we posted a list of the most useful free online IT courses that you can start to attend this May – http://blog.softheme.com/free-online-it-courses-may-2015/
3. Be a Good Communicator
Good communications always lead to good results. Being a good communicator always requires a number of attributes:
- Be punctual. No one likes to be kept waiting. If you’re late for a reason then discuss it before hand with the others. Most employees will be willing to accommodate your schedule if you discuss with them first.
- Be polite. One saying goes “Good manners could open the doors that the best education cannot”. Try to give the people you work with positive feelings about yourself and they will give you the same back.
- Be concise. Explain everything clearly and simple, using as few of words as you can reasonably use. Also try to use less slang and jargon, because it doesn’t make you sound smart, it makes you sound infantile.
4. Code Isn’t Everything
It’s great if you can impress employers with your technical knowledge and coding skills, but any employer worth working for will be looking for much more than this. You should really focus on talking about your creativity.
Creativity for a developer means being inventive. It means finding innovative ways to solve your problems. So really think about the challenges that you have meet during your work and what did you do to solve these problems. Then explain this information in a way that even a non-coder would understand what you’re talking about.
Also every coder should think how they have added value to the project you’re working on. For example, if you did more work beyond just coding, such as writing a manual, then you’re adding some additional value to the project.
5. Improve Your Project Managing Skills
Even if you’re not planning to become a Project Manager one day, being able to approach and manage a project is a really valuable attribute. These skills include things like: planning, time-management, creating and following the deadlines, implementing solutions, troubleshooting, and delegation. Just don’t delegate too much, because it might look like you’re just being lazy.
6. Avoid Criticism
This tip actually contains three points:
- Avoid criticism of your former employer, even if they deserve it. Your current employer doesn’t want to hear all of your bad stories and it’s not a good idea to come across as a troublemaker;
- Avoid being too critical to prospective employers. Sometimes a small criticism is good to keeping everyone fit, you just have to feel the measure;
- Avoid self-criticism. This is good if you know how to improve yourself. But self-criticism can be one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself. Always find something positive.
7. Never Work for Free
It is fine if a perspective employer asks you for a free sample, but the free sample that you provide should not actually be workable. In other words, it should be absolutely nothing to do with the project you’re hoping to be hired for.
The only exception is when you do something for charity. Doing charity work can be an excellent way to build up a portfolio and also you can be doing something good at the same time.