How to become a developer that an employer will like

Original author: Emma Grant
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Evan Campbell recently wrote an article for employers on How to Find the Ideal Web Developer . In this article, we will give some tips on how to become a kind of developer that Evan and his readers would like to hire.

1) Do not become a “specialist” in a narrow field

Online trends are changing rapidly. If you spend five years exclusively focusing on Drupal, you will “unexpectedly” find that overnight everyone decided that they needed a WordPress site (or vice versa).

2) Continuing education

You must be sure that your skills and qualifications are relevant in modern conditions. No one talks about sitting down at a desk or doing something somewhere. There are many resources available to help you keep up to date. The industry’s development rate is so high that the time spent exploring new technologies should be perceived as a necessary investment.

3) Learn to establish communication

Stereotypes draw the developer “slightly” unsociable and uncommunicative, so good communication skills will positively distinguish you in the eyes of the employer. This requires a few simple rules:

Be punctual. No one likes to wait. If you have questions or suggestions about the schedule, discuss them. Most employers will be willing to accept your schedule if you discuss this with them. When something happens that causes a delay, report it as soon as possible.

Be polite. There is a saying, “Good manners cost nothing,” and most of the time this is true. Strive to ensure that the people you work with always have positive emotions from communicating with you.

Be brief. Explain everything clearly and simply using the minimum number of words this situation needs. Also, try limiting the use of jargon, because jargon does not make you smart, it makes you incomprehensible.

4) Make the code easy to understand

If you present the code to a potential employer as an example of your work, strive to be very easy to understand so that each section of the code is designed to perform one specific task.

Use verbose comments. Perhaps, within the framework of the last project, your abbreviations were understandable and publicly available, but now a slightly different situation: make sure that the employer can freely understand everything that you wrote.

Do not comment on each line, it simply infuriates. Start each block with descriptive comments and comment on lines only if it is critical to understanding the code.

Use clear variable names, something like RF = 250 may make sense to you, but rocketFuel = 250 makes sense to everyone. Use a single naming and formatting style.

Spend some time structuring your code. Of course, this will not improve functionality, but it will make the code neat and easy to read.

Make sure your code samples include a comment with your name.

5) Remember that code is not everything

Of course, it is important to impress employers with the breadth of technical knowledge and a high level of coding skills, but any employer will look much more than that. An employer who is looking for a really good developer will be interested in your creativity.

What does it mean? Well, of course, it's not about layouts and design, although it's fine if you know how to. It's about ingenuity, i.e. ability to solve complex problems extraordinary.

So think about the really difficult projects you worked on and the problems that arose. What have you done to solve them. Then formulate this information so that the non-programmer understands what you are talking about.

6) Show your project management skills

Even if you claim to be a developer, demonstration of these skills will not be superfluous and will add one more “+” to you.

These skills include such things as:
• Planning;
• Organization of time;
• Definition of terms and stages;
• Implementation of solutions;
• Search for bottlenecks and bugs;
• Delegation of authority.

7) Do not criticize

This tip covers three different areas:

Do not criticize former employers, even if they deserve it. Your new employer does not want to hear sad stories or excuses.

Try not to criticize the potential employer. This may seem too obvious, but in fact, sometimes potential employers provoke you to criticize. Do not fall for it.

Avoid self-criticism. Again, employers often try to lure you into this trap, and this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Always look for the positives.

And finally, the last piece of advice ...

8) Never work for free

It is important. There is nothing wrong if the employer asks you to provide a sample of work, but it should not be a full-fledged project. In other words, the task should not be related to the current projects of the employer.

Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming another guy who made part of a larger project for free.

Another reason you shouldn't work for free or sell your skills too cheaply is to harm the entire industry. The only exception is if you are doing something for charity. Do not confuse charity with non-profit organizations, as there are many organizations that are non-profit and use this status to get something for free that they really do not deserve.

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