Do you feel stuck at a good paying job with little technical challenges? You feel that you get to the point where you need to make important decision to keep up with the software job market as an aged software developer. At the same time, you may have a certain lifestyle to keep up with and you can’t take big risks. The following are 10 things that can help you to thrive as an aged programmer:
1. Given that your time is an expensive resource, you need to invest your time in a smart way with a maximum return. Invest most in the area where you are now. For example, if you are a java developer and you don’t know java spring framework, it is better to invest your time to learn this framework instead of learning a new language, which requires much more effort and time.
2. Find something in your language and try to become an expert on a specific niche in your area. Carving out niches in these areas, could be a better investment than learning the newest and a buzz technology.
3. Expand your knowledge that is durable. Your energy is better spent accumulating knowledge that has a longer half-life such as algorithms, application security, performance optimization, design and architectures concepts that are pretty common to all languages.
4. Recognize core technological trends apart from fluff and buzz. Keep in mind that what makes you more valuable is to be able to solve problems. Spreading yourself thin learning new buzz technologies with a minimal return, will not improve your fundamentals skills.
5. Don’t be just a ‘coder’ but be someone that uses his programming skills to solve problems. Be a creative looking to improve the design and the quality of your code instead of getting stuck writing glue code and ugly patches just to make your code working.
6. Commit to continual learning. It doesn’t mean you will learn every language, but having a good working knowledge of many will serve you well. Take responsibility for your own education and progress.
7. Network within your sector and start talking to people who are going or went through the same feeling and experience. Cultivate your network, keep your network alive and stay connected with colleagues
8. Commit yourself to some technical challenges. Even if you don’t have challenges in your day-to-day job, seek for technical challenges elsewhere. You can invest your spare time participating in open source projects or passing some coding challenges (E.g codality, hackerrank). In addition that these challenges will help learn new things, they will push you in the discomfort zone.
9. Build a discipline. This is one of the hardest things to do when you need to develop your skills. You need to break out bad habits that are preventing you from making progress and build new powerful habits that help you get work done.
10. Work on your own soft skills. Develop the social and individual skills and handle your emotions. Negative behavior could seriously harm your professional reputation, as well as your productivity.