After starting your software engineer career in a junior position, you’ll soon be looking ahead and hoping for a more senior role. A promotion means more challenges, more responsibility, and of course, more money at the end of the month. So how do you go about fast-tracking your progress, and making sure you’re first in line for that sought-after promotion?
Improve the Quality of your Code
High-quality code must be easy to read and understand. It should follow the standards of the coding language used to write it, and should have minimal (if any) bugs. Here are some simple tips to help get you there:
Use a code linter: A linter is a tool that analyses your code, to flag any programming or stylistic errors. A linter will warn you if your code is not compliant with the specifications and standards of the language you’re using. This helps to solve (and prevent) so many potential problems.
Comment your code in a meaningful way: Leaving comments on your code can be helpful to future developers, but make sure you don’t overdo or underdo your commenting. Too many comments leave the code cluttered and clumsy, while a lack of comments leaves no direction for other developers. Try to add comments only when they add value.
Test, test, test: In order to prove that your code actually does what it’s intended to do, you need to provide a sufficient amount of testing. Test-driven development (TDD) means thinking about test cases (expected cases, edge cases, failure cases) before you even get to your laptop and start writing your code. A TDD mentality helps you to get started with a clear idea of what your code needs as input, and what it should produce as output.
Code review: Code review tests how well your code can be understood by others. If someone else is able to read and understand your code easily, that’s a very good indicator of quality. It’s also important to have a new pair of eyes and a fresh unbiased perspective, after you’ve been working on a project for weeks or months.
Expand on Your Languages
Becoming proficient in more widely-used programming languages will help set you up to advance your software engineer career. Here are a few languages you should be sure to brush up on:
Java: Long-established and widely trusted, Java is a “write once, run anywhere” (WORA) platform used by around 90% of the world’s leading tech companies.
Python: Favoured by Google and NASA among others, Python is a must-learn language for coders looking to stay relevant and work their way up the ladder.
C++: This language has a good reputation for its efficiency when it comes to creating large-scale systems, like desktop applications and server platforms.
Work on Other Promotable Skills
Aside from the technical know-how, there are plenty of non-coding skills that will get you noticed by your supervisors, for all the right reasons. These qualities are highly prized in the development field:
- Good time management, which shows an ability to deliver projects on time
- Punctuality, which shows respect for your team and ties into good time management
- Strong communication skills
- Accountability, the willingness to take responsibility for the quality of your work
- Knowledge sharing, acting as a team player and helping others to succeed
- The ability to keep a clear head under pressure, showing you’ll be able to handle yourself when projects get stressful
- The ability to lead a team and work independently when needed
Never Stop Learning
Coders are expected to be lifelong learners, and rightfully so, considering the tech industry is continually evolving. Be open to learning from others, and take note especially of the advice you get from more experienced developers.
If you’re looking to improve your coding skill set or learn a new programming language, enroll in an online coding bootcamp to continue your learning journey. These valuable qualifications will help your software engineer career reach new heights.