Jumping into a programming career is a very important decision in life. But for those who decide to change their careers, there are certainly some great benefits.
From a personal point of view, I find it enjoyable and rewarding to work with colleagues and get feedback on my work. A programming career is different from jobs in many other fields. Even if your code works as expected, there are usually other ways to make it better. I am proud that the capital I bring to the company I work for is more than just using my time to get the job done. On the contrary, I have a real responsibility to create real added value, develop useful features and turn concepts into reality.
However, when I switched to the developer role for the first time, it was not always positive. There is a thin line between feeling like Superman and feeling trapped. Since I am also involved in helping people transition to a programming career, I see people’s best and worst behaviors in the process. Based on this experience, I have listed 7 tips below to make the transition as smooth as possible.
1. Put everything on the table
It takes a lot of effort to learn a new skill well enough to work in a new field. Instead of attempting to find a quick trick to gain a small advantage, you should simply go all-in and put in the effort. Willpower is required to fully commit to mastering the skill, but if you can summon a significant amount of discipline, you will be able to get to the finish line. You’re a developer first and foremost, starting today. If you’ve had other identities before, they can help you transition to your new one, but when people ask what you do, just say “developer.”
2. Have your code checked
In the real world, code feedback is common, and it’s never too early to start having these discussions. Sharing a solution and having someone else critique the code and point out different; sometimes better ways to accomplish the same goal is the only way to improve. It’s crucial for improving coding abilities!
3. Starting a side project is a great way to get your creative juices flowing
Building a project idea that you care about will not only help you stick with it when coding gets tough because you’ll be motivated to keep going, but it will also help you find work.
Employers are always impressed by job applicants who are working on projects that they are passionate about. Passion is contagious, and it can help you stand out from the crowd.
4. Make an extra effort
You might come across projects that have a simple solution that can be completed quickly. There is nothing wrong with devoting a little more time and effort than is required. This isn’t high school, so being an overachiever isn’t a bad thing. Going above and beyond will also demonstrate to potential employers that you are serious about launching your coding career. For your interview, be always prepared. For instance, you can learn react JS interview questions online and ace the interview.
5. Never pretend to know things you don’t
If you don’t fully understand a topic, seeking clarification will help you understand it better in the future.
Pretending to understand things you don’t is one of the most dangerous things you can do when learning to code. It takes a long time to learn to code, and understanding how things work is essential.
Trying to avoid this will eventually catch up with you, and it won’t be good.
6. Pair up with someone who is more experienced than you
Getting into the mind of a different developer with more experience than you is one of the quickest ways to level up and improve your programming skills.
If you’re unfamiliar with pair programming, here’s how it works: pair programming is typically divided into two distinct roles. One person “drives,” which means they type a code on the keyboard. The other person – the one who is not in control of the keyboard – is in charge of keeping the person using the keyboard on track.
Pair programming with someone who has more experience than you is the quickest way to learn. It is also critical that you drive the process while the more experienced person guides you.
The reason is straightforward. It is your responsibility as the driver to write and understand the code. It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that the correct code is written correctly. Having someone teach you one-on-one through live instruction allow you to get personalized instruction on the fly, which is the best way to learn.
7. Strengthen your developer brand first
To change jobs to become a developer, you must master strong programming skills. This includes learning how to position yourself and your new developer status. There are many candidates on the desk of the hiring manager, and it is also important to learn how to communicate with personal brands that fit the company’s culture. You should think about how you want to present yourself as a developer.