5 Senior Software Engineer Career Hacks
Gaining the “senior” title does not end your learning adventure; instead, you must raise your level.
So you have tinkered and experimented with codes for years, perhaps even developed tools that enhanced many people's lives. You hold an exalted status in your team, with many other developers consulting you for solutions and challenges. In a way, you are already considered the “senior” in the group.
Your focus now is, perhaps, how to reach a higher career level in your company. But, considering your status now, what skills should you learn more?
Here are some tips you can try:
- Code a lot, regardless of the programming language
The best way to become an excellent coder is to practice a lot. Remember, practice makes perfect!
It’s not important what you code as long as you’re always coding and pushing yourself. You must have mastered, or at least are highly capable of, one programming language at this level. But, you can’t be satisfied just by mastering one, as a good developer does not identify as a “programming language” developer.
In DK, we encourage you to learn new languages and tools outside your routine job. We believe that language is just a tool, and you need to use the correct tools to solve a particular problem. With the right tools, you can solve problems efficiently.
- Research and learn from the best
It’s critical for software engineers to keep up with the latest innovations and recent trends in the constantly evolving technology landscape.
Use IT journals and magazines to research topics, catch up on the latest technical tutorials, and see what’s new in the technology world. You can also expand your knowledge by taking online courses, blogs, podcasts, and books that pique your interest. There are also practical ways to hone your skills, such as hackathons, conferences and workshops, and pair programming.
Besides reading and watching others, reflecting on what you have already researched is important. You can implement them in your current job, create personal projects, or reshare them by creating blog posts or tutorials. Hence, the knowledge won’t fade but root deeply in yourself.
If your company has their own publication (like us!), try submitting your works to them!
- Be a team player
There is no better way to solve a problem than to brainstorm with a team — and being a team player is critical to your own success as well as the success of the company you work for.
Make sure your team members are comfortable approaching you to discuss problems or concerns and that you communicate any ideas clearly and engagingly.
When possible, always help those who seek one. This is both a nice and wise thing to do. People you have helped now are much more likely to return the favor in the future. Perhaps they can introduce you to people who can give you the help you need. So, even if you don’t see how that person can help you directly, you have no idea the doors they can open for you in the future.
We practice this in DK by forming work squads and sometimes practice Pair Programming when in need to make sure we can solve a problem together, faster.
- Start stuff, show initiative
Look for new opportunities, such as a hackathon, a club, a project, a company, or a new running group. You will learn a lot, and it will open doors for you.
Take chances. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t back down just because you don’t know where it’s going.
- Take ownership
The most important characteristic that distinguishes senior engineers is the ability to take ownership and work autonomously.
For junior engineers, collaborating more closely with others on challenges and projects is totally normal and expected. As your skills and experience grow, you’ll find yourself able to work more independently, only needing to check in with others occasionally.
The next stage of a developer is when you are self-assured enough to tackle more prominent features or issues (mostly) on your own. As a result, you will gain the trust of others, and before you know it, other seniors and leaders will treat you the same way.
Always looking for new challenges and ways to improve yourself? Join us in making the next life-centric digital solutions!