Mordi Goldstein is a HyperionDev graduate and professional full-stack developer working at Simply Anvil. In this HyperionDev Alumni article, he shares his insight into the difficulties that new developers face when starting out their career journey and provides two simple solutions for overcoming these challenges.
What are the skills that will take you from just starting out learning to code, to working as a professional developer?
It’s a deceptive question. Of course, knowing how to code is an obvious part of the answer. However, it’s so much more than that, especially with the growing number of people who are (or are becoming) software engineers and developers. So, how can you stand out from the crowd as a junior developer or someone who is learning how to code?
There are many skills (other than actually knowing how to code) that are important for success in this industry. In this article, I will focus on the two which I believe are critical for new (and even experienced) developers: testing and continuous learning. These two things can be the difference between good and great.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Tip #1: Testing
The secret to writing high quality code is testing. Yes, it’s not a well-kept developer secret that testing can be viewed as the most boring part of coding, but I guarantee that it is the most valuable, as it can save you a lot of potentially wasted labour and time.
Writing your tests before you write the code forces you to think through the problem you are trying to solve: what you need to solve it, how it will work, and what success looks like.
Testing is crucial for high-quality code. What’s more, if you or someone else ever needs to revisit a piece of code you’ve written, it will be much easier to figure out what’s happening in the code and how to work with it.
More importantly, the benefits of good testing practices go far beyond your coding. Learning what metrics define success and continuously testing for those, enables you to iterate and improve quickly. This process can be extremely valuable in situations other than coding, and it often lies at the heart of success for people and companies. Simply put, testing won’t just force you to write better code; it’ll force you to become a better problem solver.
Tip #2: Continuous Learning
Learning how to code is not a once-off process. You can’t complete a course or bootcamp and think that you now know everything you need. Success in coding is a product of continuous, never-ending learning. This learning can take shape in different ways.
One of the most important aspects of learning is being curious. Reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, following social media, watching YouTube videos, and exploring new and interesting topics – these are all great ways to keep learning and honing your abilities.
The world – and especially the tech world – is changing quickly. Being a software engineer who has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening around them makes you a great asset.
However, remind yourself that you are not expected to be an expert in everything. It is totally normal to get stuck on a problem and to have to work hard (or work with others) to solve the problem.
Asking questions is a vital part of learning. It is important to ask questions and get advice from those around you and, at the same time, it is critical to learn how to problem solve. Jumping to ask for help as the first response every time you get stuck is the wrong approach. However, being able to combine the grit required to work hard at solving a problem with the humility required to ask for help is incredibly valuable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; just don’t stop learning how to think for yourself.
Stay curious and keep learning
There are, of course, many possible ways that young developers can stand out as they start their coding careers. However, good coding practices, networking, and all the other go-to tips you’ll hear are rooted in these two simple things: continuous learning and testing.
Software development is a fascinating field and I am obsessed with the feeling of building, creating, and solving problems. I started my coding journey in May 2020 with online courses and YouTube videos. I quickly became obsessed with coding! I did the HyperionDev part-time web development bootcamp which was a game-changer for me. After the bootcamp, I completed another online data science course until I could find a job.
Shortly thereafter, I started an internship, which is now a full-time, permanent job. Being a developer encourages you to think, problem solve and collaborate. It can be competitive and standing out from the crowd can be challenging – take it from me, learning how to test and how to learn are two skills that can help you stand out from the crowd.
Are you like Mordi? Passionate about technology, interested in learning to code, and eager to get into the exciting and rewarding tech career space? Our bootcamps are the ideal place for you to do just that. Our expert-guided approach helps people develop job-ready, practical coding skills and start their career in tech in as little as 3 months. Our focus on practical experience and human-led learning means that you’ll make fast progress, with experts on hand 24/7 to help write code at the level that real developers do.
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