You’re here because you’re a Software Developer by choice or by destiny, doesn’t matter. Do you have a career? I’m not asking if you have a job (although ‘career’ could be used in the context of a ‘job’), I’m asking if you have a career, like a professional career. Do you?
Before answering with YES or NO, let me explain what I mean by a professional software development career.
You have written your CV many times over and over, each time you remove some stuff and add some new stuff, you correct some stuff, you write them in a different way, then you realize that some stuff are no longer important or have any added value.
The first important sign of a professional career, is when a job that you had didn’t nullify the previous one. The jobs – even if they are in different companies – should be a continuation of one another. So assuming you worked as a mobile app developer, let’s say you used Android, and you worked for 3 years in developing apps for some clients. If your next job is a .NET Windows apps, okay it’s great I’m not saying .NET Windows apps are bad, but it’s simply not the right choice! You have earned a good experience in the mobile apps sector, a good technical experience in Android development, and mobile apps are needed a lot in the market, but then… then… you just switch to another sector, another… place, and you’re going to work with that for the next year, 2 and maybe 3, that’s not so fancy on your CV!
The second sign of a professional career, is when you understand the business that you’re working on, don’t say “I’m just a programmer who does a specific task and I don’t give a damn about the business”, that’s not something professional to say. If you don’t understand why you’re doing something then you’re not curios, and if you’re not curios means you will never be successful, and highly paid positions want people who are successful. You should be able to explain the business to show people that you know what you were doing, not just coding for… no purpose.
The third sign of a professional career, is when you’re able to analyze how each position has affected your career. Like in job #1, I learned how to write a program in Java, and in job #2, I learned to work better with a team, in job #3, I improved my communication skills and began dealing with clients, and in job #4, I was leading a team and showed good leading craftsmanship. If you can’t realize how you have evolved as a developer throughout your career, that’s a bad sign, that’s not cool!
The fourth sign of a professional career, is when your CV isn’t just a log, but it’s a story, a story with connected strings. The Person reading your CV should be able to realize your background, skills and expertise and arrive to a conclusion “this dude knows what he’s into, this dude is a pro”. And pro here, is not the number of years, it’s the professional career!
Have I missed any signs? Let me know what you think 😉
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