If I should go back in time to my past self, there were some things I would tell him not to do when he was starting out as a software developer. But anyway, that time is gone, as Mike Murdock once said
Yesterday is in the tomb, tomorrow is in the womb – the only place you will ever be is today.
So in this article, I will take you on a journey on the list of mistakes you should not make when starting out your career as a software developer and how to possibly avoid them.
here is the list.
1. Lack of Direction and Focus
Starting a career in software development without a clear path to follow is one mistake you should avoid, and not just choosing a path, but willing to stay on that path for as long as you can so you can gain mastery.
Software development is a broad space. Lack of direction will make you jump at anything trending only for you to scratch the surface and not go in-depth.
You need to have direction and give that chosen path a long-term focus, if not you will end up focusing your energy on many things, and in the end, you will lack depth in none.
2. Learning Quickly
Yea, I know, everyone most times are in a hurry to learn, in a hurry to finish the basics, in a hurry to start learning the latest tech. But one thing you must know, learning fast is not the same as learning well.
To learn well, you have to learn slow, you have to explore the different use of various concepts, you have to be grounded in the basics, you have to go beyond watching tutorials and explore new ways of doing things.
This will eventually make you become a good problem solver because you have gain mastery of your chosen language or tools needed in solving problems. in this article, zellwk explains further, the importance of learning slow.
3. No Roadmap
Take note when choosing a path, it might take time. You might need to explore other paths a little bit before figuring out the path you have more passion for.
After knowing your path. it is important you have a roadmap. Check out roadmap.sh for a roadmap. A roadmap is a step-by-step guide and path to learning different tools or technologies. You can also check out this Twitter thread for more information on the roadmap.
4. Not Exploring other Option
Starting a software development career should not be viewed only from the end of getting a job. You don't need a job or become an expert before you start making your money as a software developer.
while learning or waiting for your dream job you can explore blogging, YouTubing, freelancing, sell courses and affiliate marketing e.t.c.
This can help you enhance your network and through it, you can build your personal brand. I recommend starting your own blog when starting your career as a software developer. Catalin's Tech, Edidiong Asikpo and Victoria Lo articles has greatly encouraged me when it comes to blogging.
Their content has everything you need to know about blogging.
5. Lack of Mentorship
Taking advantage of mentorship opportunities can be very rewarding. You get to learn from someone with tons of experience and avoid certain mistakes. You can also get code review and feedback, this will help you in your path as a developer.
Connecting to friends or colleagues that have gone far ahead of you in the field is very helpful. Connect with other developers through meetups, developer community e.t.c, ask questions, don't stay in isolation, and accept criticism.
In Conclusion, be consistent and be focused, gaining mastery in any field takes time. Don't be distracted by the trends in the software world. focus on having an in-depth understanding of your chosen path. While learning, work on building your personal brand. learn more on building your brand here.