“I want to become a software engineer.”
The market for software development is rapidly expanding and as a result, the demand for software engineers is increasing.
If you are considering starting a career in software development, I am here from the future of this career path to tell you about the habits you need to develop from day one to speed up your career growth.
Hi, My name is Khaled Osama, and let me tell you what it’s like to be a software engineer at Uniparticle.
In this article, I will be sharing with you some of the best practices we encourage at Uniparticle which will lead you to advance quickly in your career as a software developer, in addition to things I wish I had known as a junior software engineer.
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Now let’s skip to the good part:
1. Write clean, reusable code.
I can’t stress this point enough.
All developers will tell you that writing clean code is a valuable skill for any developer regardless of their seniority level. The computer will understand your code regardless of its “neatness”, but human-friendly code will save you and your team a lot of time and effort when revisited later on.
As your project expands and your team grows, anyone who examines your code should still be able to tell what it does and how to tweak it. Clean code can be reused and easily tested.
2. Learn something new every day.
“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” - Albert Einstein
Even if it’s metaphorically speaking, this statement couldn't be more true when it comes to working in tech. Every day there are new updates, and with every new breakthrough, some technologies can easily become outdated.
That is why you can’t afford to be left behind when the tech world moves forward. Follow tech news, take courses, participate in hackathons, try new technologies, and learn to use up-to-date tools. That way you can keep adding value to your organization and grow your skills in this rapidly changing reality.
3. Develop advanced problem-solving skills
I’ll let you in on a little secret about Uniparticle.
When we interview potential candidates for frontend and backend vacancies, we pay close attention to their problem-solving skills. Can you guess why?
Today’s competitive market cares about innovative solutions and disruptive products. We know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of candidates who possess the technical skills to perform the tasks we entrust them with. Yet, the reality is very few of them match our ideal candidate profile.
We seek individuals with outstanding logical and analytical problem-solving skills that can make our solutions outperform those of the competition and bring real value to their users.
4. Be disciplined and persistent
Working in software development requires a few self-management skills. Even with a project manager supporting you, you will need to manage your time and meet deadlines. You will also need to be self-motivated and capable of overcoming unexpected obstacles that may arise when developing a new product.
Being able to focus on what matters most is what will set you apart from the crowd. It will help you maintain a level of quality, accuracy, and speed that will surely get you noticed by your managers and clients alike. Nurture these traits now and you will reap their rewards sooner than you think.
5. Step out of the comfort zone more often
When you work in a software company that caters to different industries - like we do at Uniparticle - you will come across many opportunities to explore and grow.
Don’t be afraid to show interest in tasks you haven’t tried before. Collaborate with colleagues and join teams working on large projects to gain that coveted hands-on experience. Pairing is a common practice in software development that allows you to review your code and receive constructive feedback.
6. Avoid reinventing the wheel (most of the time)
Some junior developers get too excited to work on a project that they start building from scratch. While it’s an amendable effort, you don’t want that deadline to creep up on you.
Reinventing the wheel is good for learning and growth. It helps you understand how things work but before falling down the rabbit hole, check if the source code is available out there.
Be careful, though. You don’t want to incorporate faulty code into your work. The key is to find a balance between the open-source and the invented.
7. Pay extra attention to details
“I’ll get back to this part in the end.” is another variation of “I don’t need to write that down; I’ll remember it.”
In crunch time, taking care of small details will be overwhelming. However, if you address them as you go, you will save yourself and others the hassle of finding that one bit that needs reviewing.
The small details can make a huge difference in user experience and product efficiency. “Optimization is as important as creation” is how we would say it.
8. Be product-oriented
Your work has users, be it a product designed for a B2C or B2B client.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to keep the objective in mind when developing the product your client requested.
There can be so many paths that lead to a similar outcome. By focusing on the purpose of the product/ service under development, you will be able to narrow down the suggested solutions and eliminate distractions.
In the business world, you will also need to refer to your supervisor on how to best produce the desired outcome with time and budget constraints.
9. Build a professional portfolio
As you begin the journey of becoming a full-fledged professional in software development, don’t forget to build a portfolio, metaphorically and literally speaking.
Volunteer, freelance, and work full-time in as diverse projects as possible.
Then, compile your technical achievements into a professional portfolio that you can use to showcase your growth.
Don’t wait till you become a senior to begin developing your portfolio. The sooner you start, the more motivated you will become as you will have actual records of your progress.
That’s it for now!
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Until next time,