In Milton Bradley’s The Game of Life, you are a mere pawn and your destiny is shaped by forces beyond your control–a simple roll of the dice. And your career is determined by the card you draw.
Thankfully, in real life, you do have choices. You can choose a software development career, and you can take measures to ensure greater success.
Yes, unlike your green plastic pawn, you can follow the sage advice of professionals in the development field and advance your career at a quicker pace.
If you want to showcase your work to a prospective employee, you need to show that you are more than just another graduate with a fancy degree and fluency in several programming languages. You need to show them that you can actually produce something of value.
“How to Get a Jumpstart in Your Programming Career” recommends building some mobile applications as these will not only look great on a resume, but they will also give you extra income and give you something to show off at a job interview.
Learn the Language
When it comes to computer languages, the more “multilingual” you are, the more desirable you will be to employers. According to “What Does a VMware Developer Need to Do to Get Ahead in This World?,” a knowledge of Java and C# are essential, but you should also delve into the latest languages like Python, Ruby, and even Go, Rust, and Swift. Fluency in one or more of these hot new languages could be the factor that sets you apart from the competition.
Be Social and Schmooze.
Sometimes landing the job means knowing the right people. This may seem arbitrary, but nothing is stopping you from getting to know the industry’s movers and shakers, yourself.
Some great ways to join the “in” crowd include commenting on the blogs of industry greats, creating a blog of your own, doing some guest blogging and inviting others to do the same, lending your hand to projects, joining groups in person and online, and attending tradeshows and industry functions.
Embrace Opportunities to Learn
The key to success in this ever-changing world of computer technology is to become a lifelong learner and look for learning opportunities whenever possible. In fact, TechRepublic points out that even a brief stint manning a help desk or performing field service work can yield valuable knowledge including a greater understanding of users’ needs. Remember, the more you know, the further you’ll go.
Enhance Your Business Savvy
It is important to realize that your role within any company must compliment its business goals. All companies are motivated by profit; therefore, the most successful developers will find a way to use their skills to add value to that company and help it meet its business goals. Having a basic understanding of business and being able to conceptualize the impact that your role has on the rest of the company is critical to the success of both you and your employer.
Don’t sit back and simply let your career happen. You are not at the mercy of random outside forces. You can take steps to choose the “squares” you land on and reach that finish line faster.
What was your favorite board game as a kid? Why?