I have been working as a software developer for almost three years now. In my recent appraisal interview, my manager and I got the point of discussing what steps I wanted to take in my career, and in what direction. I had been thinking about this a lot before the interview but hadn’t reached a conclusion. I found the problem to be how many routes are available. I’m afraid of choosing a path, investing time in it and then finding out that I don’t like it.
As a developer, you can focus on web development, mobile apps, blockchain, IoT, and so on. You can even switch within the IT sector. Concentrating on the cloud, computer networking, security, become a solution architect or designer. We can also look further to project management, analysts and system administrators. The possibilities seem to be endless and overwhelming.
So it got me thinking, “How can I narrow this down a little bit?”. I didn’t necessarily want to find the exact job title but maybe get a better idea on where I wanted to head. I listed things I found interesting and could be fun projects. For example, update my website, use machine learning, play with AWS, and just anything I could find fascinating. When I couldn’t think of anything new to add to it, I wanted to reduce it to something more manageable. I decided to create a 10 item to-do list, sorting it by difficulties. So I would begin with something easy, to get the ball rolling. I also wanted to have items that I could easily cross off my list to get some easy wins.
I’m not going to go into much detail of the list, but it’s going well, and I’m halfway through it. I’ve been using Udemy quite a lot to help me learn, and they have some excellent courses there. Thankfully, my girlfriend is studying at university. So we are both spending our evenings learning, and I don’t feel guilty allocating all this time trying to learn some new skills. My aim is that when I finish this list, I’ll create a new list, which then can be more specific than the first one. Once I have done that a few times I’m hoping I have a better understanding of what I like to do, and what I don’t like. Plus, I’ll have created some cool projects along the way.