A new year almost always feels like a fresh start for all of us and as a developer, it may even feel like turning a new leaf, doing more, and getting somewhere with your career.
A downside of working as a remote software developer is that it may feel like there is no natural stopping point. There is no work, get home and work on a new project. The cycle almost never seems to end. As the position is filled with impossible deadlines, the reward of completing the deadline is more work.
Working in this cycle makes you realize you are stuck in a hamster wheel that keeps turning at Eat- Sleep- Code – Repeat and one reaching a saturation point which may be daunting for most and affect the quality of work and leave little room for reflection on your career goals.
A new year is almost always a time for us to reflect on the work we have done in the past and give us a good perspective on what we should aspire this year to be. Here are a few resolutions as a developer one can stop and calibrate over this year.
Always Work with High Ethics
Just getting work done for the sake of doing work leads to a waste of both time and also leads us to feel exhausted and leaves no room for that boost of confidence most of us get with quality work.
Have pride in your work as a software developer and always complete your work with high ethics. Work that is done with high ethics and the kind of work you are proud of leads to one feeling self-fulfilled.
Review Your Work Regularly
Self-evaluation of the work gives you an idea of where you are going with your work. We go to a doctor for a regular medical check-ups to ensure we are fit and healthy. At the end of it when the blood test is out it inspires us to eat healthily, work out more and do better for ourselves. The same is true with work. A review quarterly or even half yearly gives us a sense of how much we have accomplished and what we have to work on to do better. A good career progression requires careful planning and evaluation of one’s skills.
Master A New Skill
Always be on the lookout for a new skill you can learn to do better and perform better in the work you do. There’s that saying that goes either you get paid the average that every other web developer gets paid or you have that one skill that differentiates you from the other fishes and is worth more than the lot.
Mastering a new skill sometimes would mean going out of the set projects you plan on taking and trying new projects. This would teach you a new skill which would even help in your current project.
Write a Journal or a blog
Write down the skills or new things you learned in a journal. It helps you keep track and reduce stress and be more attuned to the self.
You can identify the best of these skills and write a blog on them. This would let other people know of your progress and also act like your portfolio to display to your clients what you know about development and help you get projects and learn better.
Put Your Energy into What is Essential
When we reflect back on whatever we have done we realize that a lot of work and time has been invested in work that hasn’t yielded much but taken most of our time.
Categorize your work into what is essential, what is important, and what is something you could do without doing. Prioritize what is essential and focus on it.
Do work that benefits you and not the rest. We all have limited bandwidth and we would like to make everyone happy but you will soon realize that keeping everyone happy is an impossible goal. Focus on yourself and do what is essential for you.
Get Your Basics Right
Yes, You heard it right. Your fundamentals are what will always be the same. Things may come and go but the fundamentals of web development will be your foundation.
Many relevant topics such as unit testing, software development, basic code languages, and DevOps should be at your fingertips.
You don’t always need to know everything, you need to know the basics, and sometimes that gives you a clear understanding of what your project needs.
Focus on User Experience
We are sometimes so focussed on creating the best UI as a developer that we forget what is the most useful for a person getting the perfect UI. A user experience should be at the heart of every project that a developer gets into.
You can’t have a pretty book cover and a shitty story and hope the book is a success.
UX is not just for a front-end developer, a back-end developer also needs to take into consideration that user experience is vital for the efficient functioning of a website.
Performance is as important as functionality, Clear navigation in a self-oriented user interface is the best and most importantly quality assurance is the very foundation of software development.
Lastly, you don’t need to set out a ton of resolutions to make it through the year. You just need a few good ones that will impact you positively and give you a good frame of mind.