Have you ever wondered why some developers make it and others don’t? This article discusses the behaviours and skills needed to be a successful developer with some practical tips one could do to increase the chances of success.
If we are honest with each other, everyone including your 9-year old cousin who has been learning to program for one week is now a web developer. In my view, it’s not enough to become a web developer nowadays. I think one should aspire to become a successful web developer.
Here are some practical things one could do to increase your chances of success:
Finding or creating opportunities
Whether you are a freelancer or you work at a company as a developer, this principle is true. I have a few friends in India who make thousands of dollars per month (which is a very good income there – and even in America). Their financial success can only be attributed to them finding opportunities.
They figured out how to make upwork.com a great source of income, they figured out how to find clients in America through craigslist.com, they figured out how to approach businesses and sell them web development services and more.
If they were not opportunistic and just had a different mentality about how to get clients, they would not be as successful as they are today. If you are an employee, don’t just sit back and do your work … Over-deliver and take initiative to build new projects or improve on something that’s not even your responsibility.
Show you are an asset and then take it one step further and negotiate a better salary after proving your worth and value to the company. Create your own opportunities and act upon them.
It’s not just about how much you know
“I know more programming languages, so I will be more successful than you.” If it came down to interviews, the person who knows the most would always get the job, right?
If you live in the “real world”, we both know that this is far from the truth. It’s not the only skill set that guarantees you the job (or getting a freelance client), but also many other factors as well.
It’s not just about how much you know, but rather what you do with what you know.
Having the right skills
Sometimes it’s the skills that are not programming related that helps us to become more successful than others. Excluding the teachers and founders of programming languages today, if you were looking at successful programmers and development consultants, you would generally see an interesting pattern … They don’t only have programming skills.
Take a look at Rob Percival for example. He is the creator of the most popular web development course in history (and it’s still growing!). He is also a big advocate for digital marketing (which he also has a course for) as he sees the real-world application for things like:
All of this helps attribute to a website’s success.
Think of a drill… customers don’t buy drills for any other reason than to have a hole in the wall – this is the outcome. If you think about it, web developers are hired for the purpose of a better outcome of the business. it may be more customers, more sales, more leads, etc.
In order to be more effective as a developer, it’s always good to know more than just the coding knowledge.
Kyle Prinsloo covers far more topics and misconceptions in his eBook, The Complete Developer:
You might also find these books interesting: