What Can You Do to Push Your Skills?

Better Developer Answers, Post #4

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Browsed a question on r/learnprogramming where a Redditor was asking about tips on how to improve his skills and make people in the company think, “wow that guy is good.”

One of the most important parts to knowing how to push your skills is to try and identify what the gaps are as much as possible and trying different things. Oftentimes this requires some Googling and research. Other times, Professors, Managers, and mentors are the way to go. Ask your peers.

If you’re a bodybuilder and you’re not seeing the results in your physique but you’re lifting more and working harder, maybe it’s the diet that needs work. If you’re a runner who is focusing on a particular aspect such as distance but finding difficulty going the distance, it might not be simply ‘running harder’ but how you train or what you eat. In these respects, coaches and/or doctors can provide insight in the same way people + Googling can.

The answer to this question can be as easy as doing something that you’ve never done before or stepping out of your comfort zone.

The question refers to how OP can have people say, “wow that guy is good?”, there’s a few things around core programming skills that you can do.

Since OP is already working as a full stack developer, the easiest thing is to ask your manager or colleagues about the skills you can improve on or learn next, or opportunities that would be available for you to get into.

My value as a Software Engineer came specifically from the knowledge of the programming language I used. While that was initially the case, I became much more valuable to my team and other teams because I knew the code base well + the parts that made up the project. This led me to become familiar with the tools used to develop, build, maintain, and deploy the software.

You could say that I’m the ‘go to guy’ for particular things, and because of that, my name gets thrown around more and comes up in discussions. I open myself up to opportunities where I can tackle issues that challenge me and work with other people, continuing the cycle as the ‘go to guy’. Everything I just mentioned increases my value and perpetuates the cycle where people do get to think ‘wow, that guy is good!’

Keep in mind that becoming that person is an investment, you may find yourself spending a little extra time picking up slack to do new and complicated things.

The next thing that comes to mind is to become proficient with the tools that revolve around your skillset. Sure, you can write code. That’s basic, but what about other things like testing? Using version control like Git? What about automation tools that can test and deploy a product?

There are so many tools and services that serve the world of Software Development today that companies pay good money for people to know. Microservices, Serverless Computing, Amazon Web Services, Kubernetes, Terraform, I’m providing some buzzwords that may help to get OP Goolging.

No matter what, try new things and explore. Along with an investment of time and effort, growth is sure to follow.

I had a Professor who taught web development and was absolutely brilliant. He said, “all the coolest things I know, I learned from my students.” In a sense, they power leveled him, so to speak. When it comes to improving, collaboration is something I highly recommend.

Talk to people who are where you want to be and pick their brain. Go to meetups and meet people and network to have insight from people who are where you wanna be and more than willing to provide assistance and insight.

For any kind of tech or programming language out there, you’re more than likely to come across a project that is widely used, super popular, and has tons of stars. That code most likely has multiple people contributing to it. LOOK AT THE CODE! FOLLOW IT THROUGH! Be slow and take insight and details in the flow of things! I’ve had exercises learning how to write high level Go code by spending a whole day just kind of crawling through code bases of sophisticated projects line by line. Take your time.

I hope this helped. If you’d like to work with me one on one for free to improve, please reach out. Good luck!

By Better Developer on May 13, 2018.

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Exported from Medium on January 25, 2020.