John McCartney of AERCAP who has been working in the web development world for 15+ years provided insight into how to rise in your career and what it takes to become a stand out developer!
- Studying fixing bugs is an excellent way for new and even seasoned developers to improve their ability to code. The obvious reason is that solving problems, in this case in the form of a bug, forces new developers to understand how something was programmed and ultimately how to fix it. It also teaches you more about the product itself as it provides feedback on how it is working and how it is being used. This is invaluable information for not only you but for the organization.
- Always make sure you have a plan before rushing into development of a project. Anyone that has gone through the bootcamp can certainly attest to this tenent of development. As John explained, the process of planning properly can absolutely save valuable time, energy and frustration. This holds true for not only development but really any endeavor.
- Be passionate about what you do and develop as a hobby as well as a vocation. Fuel your passion for development by building something that you personally are interested in seeing come alive. This not only will reinforce the “buzz” you get from building something and solving a real world problem, but will certainly add to your skill set as well .
- You can’t just learn syntax or you will fail in a constantly changing industry. You really need to learn programming fundamentals and methodologies to tackle any language or changes in a particular language. This is why it is so important to be trained as a programmer and to think programmatically as is taught in the bootcamp.
- Be committed to learning and taking on new technologies. This is something that is an absolute must as it will not only add to your passion and interest for development, but will make you more valuable in the marketplace. This is also important as continuous learning and improvement in a fast changing industry will keep you skills honed and relevant.
- Architect around one product as it will teach you the development process and maintenance of the product from beginning to end, which will serve you well for the next project and job.
- Communication and the soft skills are key to successful development as well as moving up in your career if that is the path you have chosen. For a Jr Developer especially, the ability to work well with others and to being teachable is key. In an Agile environment where collaboration and the ability to work well with others is critical. The bottom line is that if you want to move up in an organization and take on a greater role the ability to communicate, listen and persuade is a skill like any other that needs to be nurtured.
- It is your responsibility as a developer and as part of a team to ensure that you provide candid, respectful feedback to management around the feasibility and timelines related to any particular project. In the industry, it is not uncommon for promises to be made in the sale of product that simply may not be possible in development. There needs to be a solution when this arises so be that person that is solutions focused not problem focused.
Thanks to John for imparting his wisdom to the students as they prepare to enter the industry professionally. Putting in the time and committing to your craft with passion and curiosity really is the difference maker in becoming a Rock Star developer!