A few weeks ago, a friend at work asked me what I want to be when I grow up (yes, we're both adults). I've been in the industry for 4 years and have been reasonably successful. But this time that question really got me thinking... What do I want to be 5, 10, 20 years down the road? What's my path to get there? What do I need to do now to put me on that path?
As a software engineer, it's relatively easy to get by without much of a plan or an end game. There are more jobs than we can possibly fill and more exciting projects than you can shake a stick at. If something's not working out, you can find a new job pretty easily. But isn't a plan valuable even with the plethora of opportunities before us?
As I've been reflecting on this, I've grown curious what other software engineers' career plans are. So, what's your career plan? What are your short and long term goals? Why do you want to do what you want to do? What advice do you have for others as they look ahead and wrestle with their dreams?
Soft skills are as critical as technical skills for a software engineer. No one works in isolation. Each person has to deal with teammates, colleagues, managers, etc. Therefore team interpersonal skills are essential too. Soft skills include things like good communication, honesty, teamwork, integrity, organization, empathy, etc.