9 Tips To Become A Recognized Software Developer

Having worked in Cloud Employee over the years I have noticed several different trends come and go within the software engineering industry.


Even with these trends coming and going, one thing for sure is that technology is ever evolving with all different kinds of tech companies scouting for new talent to ensure they survive this innovative market.


Which means now, more than ever before, software developers are in high demand. However, how do you want to stand out from the crowd? It's one thing to join the long train of software developers in the industry and another to make a difference. To make a mark, and impact as a unique thinker and innovator, there are major steps to take. Here are 8 tips to become a recognized software developer.  


1. Upgrade your LinkedIn Profiles. 

The world has become as digital as you want it. This means that before an employer considers a physical CV, he/she is probably digging into your online profile. On a CV, you have to include qualifications, relevant experience, certifications, valuable skills, and other marketable attributes. 


However, on LinkedIn, there has to be more oomph to your personality. It's a platform that many aspiring developers, engineers, and the likes have used to scale up the ladders in their respective industries. But if you think drafting a CV is tasking, then creating the best LinkedIn profile may be even more daunting. That's because you’re appealing to a wider audience. So, the winning profile will have to captivate top employers in the industry.  


Furthermore, your profile may not reach as many employers if it is not effectively optimized. So, you have to add the necessary keywords related to the role you are applying to. Additionally, your bragging game has to be top-notch. Bragging about your Python skills, certifications or endorsements isn’t pompous. 


Listing all the necessary skills and passions explicitly will help recruiters who want those skills find your profile faster. Besides, you want to make good contacts apart from simply being visible to the right audience. That means looking put together from your profile photo to the skills included in the Bio.  


So, increasing profile visibility and making friends and contacts in the industry are all reliant on how beefy your work and experience sections are. Looking for more tips on how to draft the best profile, see these expert tips from LinkedIn Itself.  


2. Upgrade your CV. 

Yes, it’s important to focus on creating the best digital and online presence. However, the traditional CV’s and resumes have not been tossed out the window. They are still very relevant today. That's why it’s important to put just as much effort into writing a resume that will get the employer's attention. Including just two or three programming languages then hoping for the best won’t cut it. If you want to become a recognized software developer, then every resume and cover letter should show your worth.  


However, it also means that you should have mastery over a lot of things. No employer is asking for perfection, but if they are to give you the time of the day, your resume has to be exceptional. 


First of all, focus on your cover letter. Knowing how to write a cover letter doesn’t come naturally. So, take time to follow the necessary steps and look through a few examples before writing yours. A noticeable cover letter and an impressive resume work hand in hand. Both have to be done expertly.  


Think of it as the best opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise to various employers. You may not be competent in all the languages put down. However, including the ones you’re familiar with shows the conversance with various software tools and your passion for learning. In addition, try and include how versed you are with each skill. Also, explain why you are interested in each skill set, don’t just mention what they are.  


Every software developer needs a platform or agency that allows them to hone their skills. So, employers understand that you are a work in progress. Which means they are looking for potential and promise more than perfection. So, when they see skills and talents that are tailorable, refinable and re-moldable, those stand out more. 


3. Find a good mentor.

A lot of developers branch out quite early, with the will of doing things on their own. The truth is, some have inspiring success stories to tell after that. However, not every software developer will have the opportunity to branch out successfully. Besides, even though the opportunity is ripe, not many are patient enough to learn the necessary ropes of the game. 


There's no crime in asking for help or admitting any inadequacies. That's because, in every industry, talent or skills are not the only factors that make an individual, company or agency successful. One of the simplest ways to gain in-depth knowledge about the industry is by following a good mentor.  


Every good building needs a solid foundation. That's the same way anyone looking to succeed needs a reliable mentor to easily navigate through hurdles. A mentor whose success is undeniable should be happy to give advice and help on your career path. Whether it’s software architecture or design, getting hands-on knowledge gives you an added advantage. 


So, how do you find the best mentor? The mentor doesn’t have to be from your company, in fact, there’s no need to meet them in person. Many software giants in the industry heartily share advice either in webinars, books or on social media. Getting such juicy nuggets may not be as beneficial as hearing from the horse’s mouth though. So, if you’re still not satisfied, reach out to a suitable mentor via mail, phone or through their social media platforms.  


4. Contribute to GitHub and Stack Overflow. 

As mentioned earlier, there are so many companies looking for software developers. However, if you want to stand out and make a big impact, it’s important to get with the times. Everything is online nowadays, and smart businesses have practically moved most operations to digital platforms. But it’s not all about having an online presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and the likes. 


Platforms like StackOverflow and GitHub may do you more good. Yes, it may seem like a platform swarming with showy programmers. But these are exactly the kind of competitive and beneficial platforms you need. Programmers write code, collaborate, and build complex systems. It's certainly an excellent platform for both rookies and seasoned developers. 


GitHub and StackOverflow are hosting services that encourage the free exchange of skills, innovation and contributions from different developers. It's the place to sharpen your skills and learn more from numerous developers who are generous enough to share information. Plus, there are developers from all walks of life with different skills and specialities. 


You can choose to silently learn as a rookie, there’s no pressure to know it all. Even though you get a negative vibe from one or two people, remember the goal. It's to learn as much as you can, exchange ideas, ask questions, and benefit from the resources available on such platforms.  


Digital communities like GitHub will certainly aid in sharpening your problem-solving and creative skills. It's like a cheat code, where developers can easily use what’s at their disposal to create magic in their terrain.  


5. Try to write code every day. 

A lot of employed developers get comfortable getting through company projects, they forget personal development. Whether you are working for a high-end employer or an average-paying start-up, don’t get too comfortable. Remember, the best investment anyone can make is in themselves. For developers, that investment continues when writing code regularly. This may sound so cliché, but sharpening those skills every day will only make you better. Yes, you may have a very demanding job, but so do many others too.  


Every developer that wants to make waves must create time to code on their own. It keeps the mind sharp, ensures your skills are growing every day and helps you learn more. The more challenges that are overcome, the better you’ll be at new languages and technology. Start by focusing on the skills that pique your interest. Then slowly drift into other areas you’re not so familiar with. It may not interest you at first but learn it anyway.  


Disciplining yourself in this way will help switch things up while diversifying your niche. Plus, challenges make things more interesting. If you are just working on things in your comfort zone, practising code every day w code every day will get boring very fast.  


6. Work on personal projects outside work.  

As a software developer, you are learning new things every day. There's no point or pinnacle people get to where they know everything about programming. So don’t get too comfortable or even proud to get back to the basics. Every developer has to be willing to learn new skills per time. For example, if you are interested in JavaScript, look for places to gain and develop knowledge. There are many places to learn to code online, these platforms can help both rookie and intermediate developers learn more skills of the trade.  


Learning new coding techniques should help when developing personal projects. Plus, you can take most of the knowledge gained from work, and employ it in other projects. Every project you complete will be added to your portfolio. 


Also, don’t be afraid of hitting a snag or making mistakes, that’s very normal. A lot can be learnt when things go wrong, plus it could help you look for answers from more seasoned developers. The solutions and advice will help when working on more advanced programs in the future. 


So, don’t stop learning, especially in an industry like this ever-changing one. Once you get comfortable with one format or way of doing things, it may just be out of date the next week.  


7. Start a pet project.  

To become a recognized software developer, you must think about a pet project. Something you can call your own, and possibly trademark in the future. Now, it’s important not to overstress about this too much. Don't lose sleep trying to find the next best thing that will change the tech industry forever. Start small, focus on a simple pet project. It should be relatable, useful and innovative. A project you can be proud of five to ten years later and something that will impact lives.  

Think of yourself as a solution provider and look around for needs you can fill. It can be an innovative app, an improvement on software or even a helpful browser extension. Whatever it is, it should showcase your thought process, creativity and desire to be a solution, no matter how small.  


8. Think about ways to make an impact.  

The developers that stand out in the industry are those who keep trying to pass down knowledge. Remember, people will always remember and respect those that are generous above those that aren’t. So, you may not be the most important person on the block, but your knowledge is golden. When you want to make a lasting impression, the best way to go about it is to give back.  


While it’s important to think big, it’s more crucial to start from where you are. It could be a weekly podcast or teaching code on YouTube. If possible, be more strategic and head to Tick-Tok, everyone is on that platform nowadays. Give short information that can help young or rookie developers gain knowledge. As time goes on, you can get a website, blog or even host a conference educating people across the globe. Just one idea can guarantee your success in the long run, but you won’t know if you don’t start sharing them.  

9. Diversify.  

The tech industry is evolving every day. What employers were looking for in a software developer has changed dramatically in the last decade. Thanks to how much tech giants are pushing the limits via new operating systems, content management and software applications, the sector is very competitive. 


Sticking to a certain niche may limit your growth, financially and otherwise. Plus, if you’re thinking of branching out and building a start-up from scratch, money has to be made. So, don’t be satisfied with an average paying job. Keep learning and adding to your skills to rise through the ladders of success steadily.  


The truth is, the tech marketplace may be ripe for all developers. However, some positions and sectors are more promising than others. Look for the most in-demand jobs in the industry and specialize in one or two of them.  


We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist both developers looking for work and companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more about how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.

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AJ Develos
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