What Skills Should I Improve as a Developer

What Skills Should I Improve as a Developer

The previous year brought significant changes in the business environment for many companies - remote working became mandatory, some industries are experiencing a serious decline, and with them the programmers who solve problems in these industries have to look for new jobs.

The employers who were previously against telecommuting are forced to learn how to do business in a new environment, and those who were able to do it before are on the move and are developing at a furious pace, biting off market shares and good professionals from those who support the office work.

The recommendations that you will see in this article are not original. Surely you have read similar advice more than once and want to tell me - "advise yourself". I stick to this opinion - advice does not always work right away, sometimes you need to hear it in different formulations several times for it to really reach your decision-making center and you start to act.

So, the terms of the problem: 

You are a programmer, you already have some experience of 3-5 or more years, you work for an employer, and you have remote work experience in 2021. If you want to significantly increase your earnings - by 2-3 times, what skills should you develop? What should you spend your free time on in 2022 to start earning much more?

1. Self-Presentation

No matter how good a specialist you are, no one will know about it unless you can present yourself. At a minimum, you should be able to tell in clear language what you did in your previous professional life - what projects you worked on, how it benefited your employer and his clients. It is desirable to prepare a story about yourself and your professional activities in several formats in time - for 30 seconds, for 2-3 minutes, for 5-7 minutes, for half an hour. Then the questions - "tell me about yourself" or "what do you do" - will not baffle you at the interview, or at a conference or mitapa, or on the train.

There is a high probability that a potential employer before inviting you for an interview will also look at what you publish and what he will see there? 

Another important element of self-presentation is your salary request. Do not be shy to ask for a higher salary. If you are currently making X dollars, ask for $1.3-1.5 X dollars on your resume with a well-written and detailed CV. It is quite possible that your employer forgot to index your salary or you have really grown professionally. If you managed to get an offer with ease, don't rush to accept it. Try to raise your request even higher and get a higher salary in an offer from another employer.

2. Self-organization and the basics of working in agile teams 

Remote work requires more self-discipline, as often no one is watching what you are doing. Of course, there are times-tracker jobs. But it's unlikely that anyone will kick you if you don't work. You'll just get paid less and fired.

So it's worth learning self-organization techniques and applying them. It is worth starting to monitor what you do during the working day, what tasks take you how much time to plan your work, to predict the results and not to let the team down.

Having self-discipline and well-developed self-management skills are considered signs of an experienced and highly skilled professional.

When working remotely, one of the Agile methodologies is often used, most often Scrum. It is worth studying the terminology and mechanics of these methodologies before looking for a new job. You can even try to do personal things by Scrum, to keep track of tasks, estimate the labor intensity and duration of tasks, plan tasks by sprints, conduct retrospectives - it may have a positive impact on your life in general.

3. Remote Work Tools

If your experience with remote work is only about your employer's frantic attempts to fit in bans with the epidemiological situation in mind, it's worth exploring the principles and tools of remote work in more detail. What tools are used in remote working by companies that have long practiced remote working? It is worth googling, reading articles, poking around in services and applications beforehand, so as not to screw up your job search and job interviews.

Instead of a conclusion

Some may be indignant - but what about programming languages, new technologies and frameworks, is it not worth spending time to study them?

My opinion is that you are working now and you are getting paid for your work. You can find another employer who will pay you more for your current skills and who will give you tasks that you can solve. Almost certainly over time, the employer will be eager to give you more and more difficult tasks. And if that requires new technologies and frameworks - you'll learn about it while you're working.

Let the employer then pay for your efforts to learn new technologies, because you need it to solve their problems. That way you'll acquire really in-demand new professional knowledge, rather than trying to guess which technologies will be in greater demand.

I wish everyone good luck in finding a new interesting and well-paid job!