A couple of months ago Devon Campbell published a post for the employers on ‘how to find the perfect web developer‘. And in this post we’ll give you pieces of advice on how to become the kind of web developer that Devon and his readers would like to hire. In case you’re not looking for a new employee, or you’re not even an employer, you’ll probably be also interested in these skills beneficial for every working person. So, let’s begin.
Don’t become a specialist in a narrow area
Tendencies in the Internet are changing very quickly. And if you spend 5 years working only with Drupal, you’ll accidentally find out that everyone needs website only on WordPress (or vice versa). This doesn’t mean you have to try to embrace all the possible development tools (and be good at none), but to keep abreast to all the tendencies and be ready to work on different projects.
Permanent studying & improvement
You have to be sure that your knowledge and qualification are valid in the modern conditions. None says that you have to apply to the college or university. There are lots of free resources that’ll help you to keep up with the times. The speed of this branch development is so high, that the time spent on the new technologies’ studying has to be accepted as a necessary investment in your future success.
Learn to acquire communications
Developers are thought to be a bit unsociable and reserved people, that’s why good communication skills will distinguish you positively before the employer. That’s not a big deal to be a good interlocutor, just follow these rules:
- Be punctual. None likes to wait. In case you have any questions or considerations regarding the working schedule, talk about them. Most of the employers will be able to accept your schedule if you discuss it with them. When something causing the delay happens, tell about it as soon as possible.
- Be polite. There’s a saying ‘good manners cost nothing’ and most of the time it’s true. Do your best to make the people you’re working with had only good emotions after communicating with you.
- Be laconic. Explain everything simply and in short, using as little words, as it’s needed in the situation. Besides, try to limit the usage of jargon, as far as it makes you not understandable instead of smart.
Make the code easily understood
If you present the code as an example of your work for a potential employer, try to make it easy to understand, to make every section performing one particular function.
Use verbose comments. Maybe at your last project your shortenings were understandable and popular, but now the situation is a bit different. Make sure that the employer will be able to understand everything you’ve written easily.
Don’t comment every line of the code, it only irritates. Start every block with the descriptive comments and explain the lines if they are crucial to understand the code.
Use popular names of the variables, e.g.: RF = 250 may have meaning only for you, while rocketFuel = 250 will be understood by everyone. Use one style of naming and formatting.
Spend some time on the code structuring. Of course, that won’t influence the functionality, but will make it neat and easy for reading.
Make sure that your examples contain the comment with your name.
Remember that code isn’t everything
Of course, it’s important to impress the employers with the width of technical knowledge and high coding skills, but any employer will look for much more that this. Employer, that is looking for a really good developer will be interested in your creativity.
What does it mean? Of course, that’s not about design and layouts, though great if you’re also good in that. That means your ingenuity, i.e. ability to solve difficult tasks extraordinarily. So think about really hard projects you’ve worked at, the problems that were appearing and what have you done to fix them. Then formulate this information in such a way that non-programmer could understand what you’re talking about.
Show your ability of project management
In case you’re applying to the position of the developer, demonstration of these skills won’t harm and will add you even more advantages. These skills include:
- Time management;
- Distinguishing terms and stages;
- Decisions realization;
- Search for weak spots and bugs;
- Delegation of powers.
This advice includes three different aspects.
- Don’t criticize your previous employers, even if they deserve that. Your new employer doesn’t want to listen to sad stories or excuses.
- Try not to criticize the potential employer. This may be obvious, but sometimes even potential employers may provoke you to do that. Don’t give in.
- Also avoid self-criticism. Once again, employers may try to put you into that trap, and it’s one of the greatest mistakes you can do.
Always look for the good sides. And, finally, the latest advice…
Never work for free
That’s important. There’s nothing bad if the employer will ask you to show the example of your work, but it doesn’t have to be a complete project. In other words, the task doesn’t have to be connected with the employer’s current projects. Otherwise, you may be one of those who had done a part of the bigger project for free.
One more reason why you don’t have to work for free or sell your skills too cheap, is the harm to the whole branch. The exception may be the projects for charity. But don’t confuse charity with non-commercial organizations, that may use this status to get for free what they don’t really deserve.
Remember these are only the recommendations. You may not stick strictly to them in case you don’t want. Tell us, whether this post was helpful for you? Do you have any more useful suggestions? Share your thoughts and employment experience in comments.
You may find the source article by Emma Grant on Developerdrive.