I quite often get contacted by students, graduates and junior developers who are just getting started out in the web development world. They're usually looking for advice on how they can improve their programming skills or land their first development job.
So, I got in touch with 6 professionals (including developers, CTOs, directors and recruiters) in the web development industry and asked them:
"What's the number one top tip that you'd give to someone who is just starting out in the development industry?"
I got 6 amazing answers that all provide valuable feedback. After reading each of these top tops, I wish that I'd have heard them when I first started out as a web developer!
So, in no particular order, here's the 7 different top tips:
7 Top Tips
Get engaged with the the web development community as soon as possible. It doesn't matter if that means trying to contribute to open-source projects on GitHub or just signing up to newsletters. The more you keep up to date with the latest news and jargon, the more things will start to "click" in your head. It's also a great way to meet other developers that you can talk with and learn from. One of the best things about being a developer (especially a Laravel developer) is that everyone wants to help each other.
Web Developer @ Ash Allen Design
Create an online portfolio and use GitHub or similar to show off projects or code you have written. It is amazing how few developer applications actually have links to online code examples. Having an online portfolio shows the recruiter that:
- You have direct experience of writing software, and understand some core principles behind writing maintainable code.
- You have a genuine interest in the field.
- You are willing to be vulnerable, transparent and honest about your work.
When applying for a junior developer position, no one is expecting you to be a good programmer at that stage in your career, so key attributes we look for are honesty, a healthy attitude towards work and humbleness. We often talk about always being a junior developer at heart, as there are always new things and technologies to learn in our industry. We often also find that there is a common trait amongst people that work in software development, that there is a keen interest in solving problems or overcoming challenges.
Product Director @ Yudu
Code is easier to write than it is to read. Forget the fancy syntax, forget about performance optimisations (computers are fast) and make your code readable.
Your team mates and your future self will thank you for it.
Business Consultant @ Client Robot
You need to be super flexible and ready to learn new things if you would like to excel in this field. In any case, focus more on understanding the core concepts rather than just jumping from one language to other. The community is vast and always ready to help, make the most out of it.
Managing Director @ Garchi International Ltd
My absolute tip bit of advice is build a personal brand. People truely underestimate the power of blogging on dev.to for example or documenting their journey on twitter and instagram. When I get applications to a job I've posted and they have linked their social media profiles thats the first thing I check out. It doesn't have to be overly time consuming you could just start off with a twitter and tweet at least once a day. Or you can start doing youtube videos. Theres no right or wrong way to do it but have a strong social media presence can actually get you noticed by hiring managers rather than the other way round - let the brand do the work for you.
Software Development Recruitment Consultant @ Manhattan Partners
I have many top tips, but the first that comes to mind is to understand that a developer who does well in their career understands that maybe only half of the skills they need relate to code. People skills, customer service skills, time and project management skills, listening skills are all important for someone who wants to go on to a senior level in their career. Those who get this go far, those who don't get frustrated.
Head of Digital @ Bespoke
Get out there and build your network. Getting to know people in the industry is a surefire way to generate opportunities. Opportunities to learn, opportunities to grow, opportunities to get jobs, find partners, mentors and friends. A career is a long path, it's good to have that sort of support on the journey with you.
Senior Technical Consultant @ Computer ConQuest Ltd
Did These Tips Help?
I hope you found all of these top tips useful. If you know of anyone who is just getting started out in the web development industry, feel free to share this post and help them.
In particular, if you any of reading this post are just getting started out using Laravel, I have another post Top 8 Free and Paid Resources for Learning Laravel that you might want to check out. It helps
What's your top tip that you'd give to a new developer? Let me know in the comments! 🚀