How developers can stand out for that promotion or job opportunity

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How developers can stand out for that promotion or job opportunity
harley Ferguson

Many of the most important pivotal points in your career will be when you're pushing for that promotion or looking to land your next job.

This week, we are breaking down what you should be focusing on when looking to unlock the next phase of your career. This is a list of what has worked for me, what other top developers have shared with me and what companies like mine are looking for when prompting or hiring developers.

The last two points are definitely what have lead to most of my successes, promotions and opportunities.

Let's dive in.

Master your technical skills

This should be an obvious one. The craft of software development is a highly technical one. The simplest way to guarantee more and better opportunities is ensure that you're as technically competent as possible.

Continuously enhance your coding abilities and stay updated with the latest industry trends and technologies. Focus on becoming proficient in the specific programming languages, frameworks or tools that are relevant to the promotion or job opportunity you're targeting.

Your technical strength in being a software developer is the core of what you offer. However, the following are guaranteed to help bolster your offering and ensure that you stand out, even if there are others that are technically stronger than you.

Demonstrate problem solving

​I've said before, I'll say it again and I'll continue to say it for the rest of my days. Software developers don't provide value by writing code. They provide value by solving problems. Code just happens to be the tool.

Showing that you're a critical thinker who can identify, breakdown and solve problems is incredibly desirable to any company. Ask what problems they are trying to solve and talk through how you're analysing them and generating solutions.

Take ownership

​Companies want developers that are going to take ownership of their own work and the company's projects. This makes it crucial for you to show leadership by taking ownership of your work, the tasks you need to do and the goals of the company.

If you're working for a company already, this is far easier to demonstrate. If you're applying for a role at a new company, take time to ask about their goals are and how you can help achieve them. That will really impress them and show that you're someone who takes ownership.

Seek feedback

​Always be asking for feedback. Always.

The company that you're working for will most likely have a regular check-in, where they're going to ask how you're doing and give you some feedback. This is good, but stand out more by deliberately asking for frequent, constructive and specific feedback.

Even if you're in an interview, ask the interviewee how you could have come across better or for any advice they might have for you. This will be valuable information in helping you learn ways to improve but it would also directly demonstrate that you're passionate about feedback, improvement and growth. That will make you immediately stand out.

Build relationships

This may be uncomfortable for many people, but the ability to build relationships remains the strongest method to securing more and better opportunities. It's worked for me in absolutely every aspect of my personal and professional career. It can do the same for you.

Go to networking events and build connections.

Reach out to those you admire and ask for advice.

Build a personal relationship with those you work with.

All of these are ways to build better relationships that can provide immense value to you and your career in both the short and long term.

Communicate effectively

​Being able to effectively communicate is the equivalent of having a superpower.

Being able to clearly state the value you provide, break down complex topics into simple terms and being able to understand others are some of the amazing things that come with being a great communicator.

Sidebar: As the owner of an adorable golden retriever, I can tell you that trying to get your dog to take it's medicine can be a pain. Do you know what makes it better? Wrapping the pill in some peanut butter. It works every time. She is excited to take the pill, which is good for her, because the peanut butter is so appetising. The same applies to you trying to sell yourself for that promotion or job opportunity.

The person who is making the decision is the dog. You are the pill. Your ability to communicate is the peanut butter.

Being a better communicator makes you that much more enticing and exciting to anybody wanting to promote or hire you.

Learn to become a great communicator and the job offers will role in.

That's it for now.

Go get 'em tiger.

See you again next week.