There are some things that show you really know what you're doing and of course those are the things you want to work one. As a web developer, you need more than just technical skills. You need to be able to communicate with bosses, clients, co-workers, and other people. It sounds a little odd, but in time you'll need to be able to communicate with yourself because it's easy to forget what your code does after three years.
Here are six key attributes that every web developer or programmer in general should have:
Know how to wade through folders of legacy code.
- Most likely when you get your first web dev job you won’t be starting with a fresh, new code base. You’ll sometimes get a code base that is the equivalent of a leaky pipe being held together with duct tape, glue, and whatever else they could find.
- And they’ll expect you to be able to go through the code and find the bugs and maybe even do a little refactoring.
Be able to talk to people.
- There is not a project you will work on that doesn’t include at least one other person. You might be working with Tiffany from HR to get the right names on the company page. You could end up with Winston, the longstanding coding expert in the company. There will be people from all backgrounds working with you.
- You can’t hide behind the “awkward developer” stereotype anymore because someone who has the same skill set as you will be able to talk their way into the position you wanted. Nobody’s going to bite you when you talk and if they do, bite back.
Know how to read through documentation.
- Every place will use the same languages and frameworks slightly differently. You need to know how to skim through pages of documentation and Stack Overflow answers efficiently. That way you can find what you need to make your code work the way they want it to.
- Plus, the languages and frameworks are always changing. There are always new ones being introduced too. You might be in the middle of an Angular 5 project and then Angular 6 comes out (not that I’m upset or anything) and you have to start looking through documentation.
Write good documentation for your code.
- This is so overlooked that it hurts sometimes. Good documentation can help you explain what you’re doing and why you're doing it and it can help other developers on the team get up to speed faster.
- Just make sure you keep your documentation relevant to what people need. If there are any steps you took to get the environment setup, any software you needed to download, or any particular hierarchy of the folders, that’s what would make some good documentation.
Use best practices when writing your code.
- This probably sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. Take the time to write your code correctly the first time. That’ll save you the headache(s) of fixing it later and the other people you work with won’t hate you for writing bad code.
- But seriously, using best practices will save you a lot of time and help you get your work done faster.
Test your code.
- Another one that probably sounds obvious. Front-end developers are responsible for what users see on a site so you need to make sure they see the right stuff in the right way. If you know that your CSS breaks on certain elements when they are clicked, fix them!
It's the little things that matter the most. When you master these six skills, you'll still be surprised that not everyone is doing it.
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