How to Effectively Skill Up As A Developer?

Do you feel adequately skilled in the market as a software developer? Do you get lost in conversations about tech outside of your work and wonder if you are staying relevant? If your answer to these questions are Yes, you are not alone!

The software development world has one constant, and that is change!

I like to start off by sharing some of my personal experiences as a developer.

I started off my tech career as a C++ developer, few years later I was put on a team that was doing Java. A few years later, I quit my job and joined a startup. We were evaluating technologies and picked React Native to build mobile apps. Within a span of few years, I moved from C++, to Java, to JavaScript. I transitioned from a desktop developer to a mobile and web developer.

Today I am an Author of tech courses, Blogger, Speaker at conferences, Co-host of a tech podcast and a Software Consultant. So how do I do this and keep up?

Note: You can follow me on twitter @AdhithiRavi to learn more about me and keep in touch!

Don’t Live in a Bubble

When we begin our careers we are enthusiastic and all pumped up to be great. As the years pass by, we get older, get married, kids arrive, and our career just becomes a job that feeds the family. This is the cycle for most of us in any career path. It is not necessarily bad, but being a software developer, also means that tech changes and we have to skill up and stay relevant.

Don’t get sucked up within your company, over-work and miss opportunities outside of it.

Don’t Learn Every New Framework

To stay relevant in the software development market, you don’t have to learn every new language/framework/tools. This would make you good at none of them.

You can’t be a React developer, an Angular developer and be really good at Vue.

Pick a language, framework and toolset that works for you, your team and the product after comparing with what else is available in the development world. If this tech stack works well, go with it. At this point, you don’t need to panic every time a new idea or tech is born.

For example, if you are building React apps and it is working great for you and your clients, there is no need to jump ship to another framework unless you have a valid reason to.

Pick your tech stack and master it!

Meetups and Conferences

When you learn in isolation you may loose track of your learning and goals. Learning in public is a very important consideration for a modern software developer. Tech meetups and conferences are organized frequently around the globe. If you are interested in a certain technology, look for meetups in your area where other developers gather to speak and learn about it. This is a great way for you to meet other like minded developers and share knowledge.

If there is a topic you would like to share, speak at the local meetup about it. Once you start getting the hang of meetups, you can try larger conferences and apply to speak there as well. This helps you in learning a ton within a short span and also make connections with other developers in the industry. This is a definite win-win for skilling up and staying relevant.

Open Source Contributions

Snapshot of my GitHub account

Another way to skill up and stay relevant as a software developer is to get into open-source coding. There are plenty of cool open-source projects that need contributors. You can start with providing some help in fixing bugs, documentation and so on and move up to creating new features. This helps you learn outside of your daily work and get in touch with developers across the world and learn from them as well.

Open source contributions make your developer profile stand out while you are looking for a job.

Conclusion

Alright folks, that’s a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this article and some of the suggestions I shared to skill up as a developer. See you again with more articles. If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with your network. You can follow me on twitter @AdhithiRavi for more updates.

I am a Pluralsight Author and you can checkout out my courses here:

I like to leave you with a quote.

“Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.” — Ralph Marston

This was originally published at https://programmingwithmosh.com/

Software Consultant, Author, Speaker, React Native|React|GraphQL Dev & Indian Classical Musician http://adhithiravichandran.com/

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