I really wanted to become a better developer.
I worked really hard; teaching myself different things and most importantly, seeking advice from more experienced developers. I knew that the best way to force my self to learn was to step out of my comfort zone. I took several training courses on a variety of topics. I joined an internal project where we worked after-hours to develop a talent management system. At one point, I was putting 60-70 hour weeks. I wrote horrifying code, but I learned a lot and continued to improve.
This reminds me of Cal Newport's So Good They Can't Ignore.
What other learning strategies that worked and didn't worked for you?
In your experience, what do you think are the top 3-5 most important skills that a developer should develop to become a more valuable to an employer/client?
For learning strategies, I personally think each person has their own way of learning. I learn best by doing. I was extremely lazy and put things off as much as I can, but soon I realized that the more I did something, the better I got at it. I used that and basically pressured myself to learn. I purposefully put myself on projects I know nothing or little about, so that I am forced to learn something because I really wanted to be a top performer. That was it for me.
For skills employers look for, I think most employers look for communication, consistency, and skill (there maybe others im missing) Here is an explanation of each from my point of view:
Communication: basically the ability to explain technical things to business folks, and having a positive attitude while doing it. You can get better at this by writing posts, detailed documentations and by reading a lot of technical posts and understanding how others explain things.
Consistency: it’s all about leaving a positive impression and consistently delivering and keeping your manager/co-workers updated every step of the way. If they keep seeing that you are consistently delivering on your responsibilities, they’ll rely on you more and you’d make a name for yourself as a solid resource.
Skill: this is something you can keep building. Tell your manager and coworkers about your side projects. It shows initiative and aptitude!
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