Many fresh graduates finish their IT or CompSci programs every year, jumping right into the job market. IT has been a hot field for quite some time now, so these young professionals have no issues landing their first job – that is, of course, if they did their homework.
Believe it or not, getting the job is the easiest part. But, unfortunately, the game gets a lot harder when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder. This article will cover some of the critical points of attention regarding career advancement in software development.
Justify your seniority
The first and most important thing is: Ensure you are delivering pro-quality work. Senior professionals are exact with their work and keep high efficiency levels. I’m not saying that high quality means high output, necessarily; however, seasoned developers deliver on both fronts.
In addition, remember that good code is not code that works. This article is not the place for me to get into the details of what constitutes “good code,” but keeping it short: You want your code to be simple, maintainable, sustainable, and as bug-free as possible.
The infamous imposter syndrome is one of the most common caveats juniors fall in. One can quickly become overly confident only because they become more productive and understand the ins and outs of one technology or two. However, even though hot new frameworks can be learned quickly, certain aspects of the job cannot be understood overnight.
Senior devs are not satisfied with just knowing what will happen. Instead, they dig deeper to comprehend why it will happen. Understanding what happens under the hood is vital, as many nuts and bolts are invisible during the implementation process. For example, what are the requirements to establish a secure connection with your database system? How does my HTTP request travel from client to server? What is the best way to secure my API endpoints? As you can see, delivering successful systems go way beyond knowing programming language syntax.
Be around the great
This advice goes well for anyone, regardless of the field they work in. You want to be around people who are better than you. Especially in systems development, you learn the most when you have the opportunity to learn from a good mentor. Not only can they provide you with incredible insights, but they also help you understand why one strategy is better than the other.
Moreover, as you learn from your mistakes, having a good mentor to help you cope with and address them as efficiently as possible makes for great learning opportunities.
Do not fast-forward. More than accepting the journey, you need to own it and make it yours. Your success is yours to make, and nobody else’s, and you want to take the time to build solid foundations around the components of your field of expertise. Good salaries and status positions are welcome, but getting there fast can only make you a fragile professional.
About the Author
Luiz Parente is a senior software engineer who is passionate about systems design and technology. Having started his journey in computer programming at the age of 14, his core expertise is centered in solutions architecture with .NET technologies.
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