Building A Software Development Career: My Story (Part 2)

Part II: Preparing to Jump

After several years within the same company, I realized I hit a ceiling for growth. There was nowhere to grow internally, and my compensation was not going to improve.

At this point, I realized I needed to make a jump. But how? I developed software alone. How could I level up my skills?

Read on about some steps I took to help grow my skills and make myself more marketable.

1. Testing Code

I would see lots of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter about TDD (Test-Driven Development). I'd ask myself questions like "Do I have time to write this extra code? Do I have to ask permission from upper management to allocate some of my time to do this?"

As I learned more about it, I decided not to ask permission, but rather to take the risk of having to ask for forgiveness.

2. Act as If

Using version control software is a non-negotiable requirement in modern software development. Learning to leverage git was a critical stepping stone for growth.

git software is typically leveraged by teams to allow developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously without much friction.

Within the context of the company I worked for, git's primary purpose was to track the commit history to verify which work was done; to save a historical record of progress.

I read up a bit on team development, and learned more about branching, releasing, and what the pull-request (PR) process should look like. I learned about continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD). I realized that these were practices that I could learn and practice on my own — even without a team!


I hope these tips are helpful. I'll revisit this article and update with more in the future. Happy (clean) coding!