Becoming a successful developer has much more to do than just code. You need to learn the top 5 foundational life skills:
If you follow the VLOGs or the articles you know that the only thing we love more than foundational skills is ‘top’ lists: top 5, top 10, top 8 – we love ’em!! So when we got to release a ‘top‘ list about foundational skills, you better believe we went to the moon and back, baby! These are life skills – sure, they can make you better at your job, but they also make you a better all around human, and that’s what makes them great.
1. Communication Skills: ” We talk about this in terms of software development, talk about this in terms of business, talk about this in terms of dating! If you know how to talk and you can communicate well and listen well, etc, etc, …great communication skills in something very important.”
2. Tech/Coding Skills: “I believe even if you don’t want to become a coder, you should learn the basics of coding: understanding technology. Because all businesses depend on coding and technology.” For example: “A butcher needs a good website, they need to understand the social media landscape, they need to know what tech is available to help automate and streamline their business -and this is a totally non-tech business.” “…Learning technology and how to code, it may not be as important as reading and writing, but it’s up there…”
3. Financial Skills: I know you may not physically be nodding your head right now but somewhere in the back of your brain, your unconscious mind definitely is. “This is something that will assure your sanity and a less stressful life. If you just learn some basic financial skills -basic saving: #1<save!>, and #2: basic investing- very important. Your life will be so much easier if you just learn to save and invest properly -trust me, it makes a HUGE difference.”
4. Lizard Wizard Skills: “Arguably the most important…psychology/behavioral psychology: understanding how our brains work, how everybody’s brains work -it plays a huge role in terms of all the other skills in your life.” If you have a chance google: ‘lizard brain’ and prepare to be blown away…
5. Business Skills: “How to make money; whether you’re going to work for people, freelancing, or starting your own business…”. Wondering how business skills help if you’re working for someone? “If you can understand how the decision-makers think (if you understand how business works), even as an employee it will help you better navigate within that context. It will help you rise up in the ranks higher (if that’s your goal), it will help you to understand how to negotiate better salaries, etc, etc.”
So there you have it. Check out the VLOG for more of this smiling mug (face), and keep on being a good human! -Enjoy!
Marketing yourself as a developer is the best way to get the word out so you can build a reputation and secure work for yourself, especially if you intend on being a freelancer. Great, so what do I need to start getting myself out there? I’m Glad you asked…there are essentially 3 things you need to get started: 1- Skill Sets (both Technical and Social) – Skills you’ve developed through education/experience. 2- Reputation – The better it is, the better the chance you have of getting work. 3- IP (Intellectual Property) – What have you done in the real world. Projects you’ve worked on, jobs you’ve completed: for free or for pay.
Now, I know you’re looking at this and thinking these are all things that you get by doing real world work, how can I get real world if I don’t have these things? Ahhhhh…the catch 22, my friends…
The short answer is by any means necessary. Go out and do some free work/small project(s) for a small local business (not a long time, maybe 3 months or until the small project is done). At the end of that, yeah you may not have any money, but you’ve just got all three things you need to put towards getting a paying job (it might not pay much, but it’s a start), and when that paying job is done, you’ve got even more skill/rep/IP to put towards your next gig. From there you rinse/repeat ad nauseam and BOOM! work/life balance and a happy ending, LOL. Just kidding,, but it’s a good start.
Wriggity-wreck yo’self on the VLOG for some great advice on this subject from an almost 3 decade experienced ‘warrior of the code’ turned ‘diplomat of the code’, I guess… also a great analogy that might make you real hungry…you’ve been warned. -Enjoy
If you want to advance your career as a developer, you’d be better to learn how to communicate with the non-nerds.
Let’s take a moment and talk about human interaction. For some of us, people are what make the job fun or bearable; knowing that there’s someone you can problem-solve/go to lunch/ share a laugh with. And for some of us, they’re constantly nagging/in the way/slowing us down or just being the poop emoji given life, ya know?
Well, unless you’re working from home, making your own coffee/meals on an island where all your work gets sent off via carrier pigeon, you’re going to have to communicate with someone. And this communication can take many forms, including direction (giving or receiving), collaboration and even <dun, dun, DUN!> fraternization.
Now before anyone feels like we’re saying, “You can’t communicate effectively, you introverted nerd!”. First off, whoooooa, that’s a lot of words we didn’t use. Second, for most of us (nerds included), we can string many words together in our vast vocabulary and articulate our intentions and feelings to varying degrees of success ( I feel the portrait of the socially “stunted” nerd is a crutch and often inaccurate. In my experience, most of my “nerd” friends can’t shut up about anything…).
Think of it as little “check-in” to reflect on how you communicate with people in the workplace. And for those of you honest enough to see you might lack some of these skills, no worries, check out the video and I think you’ll find these steps both easy and effective. Enjoy!
PS – Speaking of communication, stick around til the end of the video where I talk about a “hairy” situation…