“Top 10” blog posts are always of interest to our readers because they provide straightforward information and a controlled list of items. For those in the web development field, here are 10 tips for you to succeed in the current environment (no pun intended).
1. Ask questions
Be honest and realistic with yourself and your abilities from the get-go.
No one knows all there is to know from day one so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to know it all. The industry is ever-changing and the best way you’re going to learn is whilst on the job.
If something stumps you, ask one of your colleagues for guidance. You’ll learn something new and they’ll get the opportunity to put their existing knowledge to good use! It’s a win-win situation.
If you’re looking for some consistency, you could also consider looking for a mentor that you could call upon for more in-depth discussion and management.
Self-improvement is an important asset.
2. Be inquisitive
Embrace new projects and experiences for their learning potential.
Take classes, follow other developers on social media, and research specific areas of interest.
It’s good to be broad with your learning, to begin with, so that you can build a wide pool of knowledge to work from. Once you’re comfortable in your knowledge of the basics, however, you should think about what you’d like to specialize in or focus more of your attention on.
This specialism will give future employers a clear idea of what interests you and what sets you apart from other developers.
Committing to learning new things takes time, sure, but it’s definitely beneficial. It increases the value of both you and your company, so don’t underestimate its importance.
3. Keep it simple
Whilst there’s a lot to learn and it’s crucial to master the basics, it’s important that you don’t try and learn a hundred new things all at once.
Knowledge building takes time and, as such, it requires a lot of patience. Pick a starting point and work from there.
Try not to over-complicate other areas of your work life too, such as coding or peer-reviewing, as it’ll only end up making tasks more laborious and not necessarily more successful.
4. Leave your comfort zone
It’s always tempting to stick to what you know in life, whether that’s eating at a particular restaurant every weekend or listening to the same genre of music in the shower every morning.
Whilst it’s nice to feel comfortable, you’re going to make more progress and appreciate life even more if you regularly leave your comfort zone.
Accept that you’re going to make mistakes, some bigger than others, and that’s okay.
Testing and reviewing is an important part of the development process so, if you do make a mistake, it should be picked up before the build is finished. It’s better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all.
Post-mistake feedback is invaluable and you may find that it’s where you’ll do the bulk of your learning.
5. Stay up-to-date as you can
The industry is constantly evolving and, in order to be a successful developer, you need to try and stay “in the know”.
Read relevant articles, keep track of industry pivots, check out new tech and SDKs, and seek out new ideas and voices.
Don’t get left behind but, equally, it’s important to take stock and not let this thirst for knowledge take over your life!
6. Look for Open Source projects and try new libraries
There are tons of Open Source projects for beginners for you to sink your teeth into.
Set aside some time to try some of them out and be sure to follow the developers that created them on social media.
It’s good to remember that you can learn just as much from the wider development community as you can from your team.
7. Be organized
When you throw yourself into a new job or a new career, in particular, it can be easy to lose sight of basic organizational skills.
If you aren’t managing your projects, you’re going to feel overwhelmed.
Dedicate at least ten minutes near the end of the day to taking stock of what you’ve achieved and what’s still left to be done.
It’s also hugely important to nail your time management, particularly in the early days, so that you don’t find yourself falling into bad habits.
If you struggle to stay organized, start setting yourself some goals on a regular basis so that you can start to learn some new behaviors and stay on track.
8. Be mindful of your interpersonal skills
Communication is always key.
Build healthy working relationships, get involved in team activities, engage with the wider community both online and in-person, and attend socials whenever you can.
Take your work seriously, sure, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
9. Work on your work/life balance
It’s easy to struggle to configure a healthy work/life balance when you start a new career, especially when you want to make a good first impression.
Make sure you know when to relax and when to knuckle down and you’ll be able to work to a much higher standard.
10. Love what you do and do what you love
Lastly, it’s important to always ground yourself in the reasons as to why you became a developer in the first place.
With a career as fast-paced and creative as this, you need to first and foremost love what you do.
If it ever starts to feel like a chore, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your choices.
The solution could be as simple as switching up your daily routine or starting a new side project.
If you feel like you’re burning out, address it before it gets out of hand.