Do you believe in the myth of the genius developer? Frequently cited examples include Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk, all of whom are known for having developed their solution (or at least 80% of it) alone. For young IT enthusiasts, they are nothing short of legendary figures.
This all-or-nothing myth began to fall about a decade ago, when public figures such as Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman started to encourage beginner developers to lose the ego and put in the hard work to achieve excellence. Watch their famous speech from the 2009 Google I/O event here:
But even now, some people imagine programmers as sitting alone at home, learning to code from a very early age and preparing for the next technological revolution. The reality is quite different, however: providing that they are passionate and hardworking, anyone can become a developer and create their own software, program, application or solution.
So, how do you become a "genius"?
The quality and design of software, applications, websites, etc., have become crucial in recent years. A complicated, unintuitive solution will tend to discourage users. On the other hand, if the solution is simple and intuitive - or, to use the professional jargon, offers a user experience - its use and visibility will increase.
The defining features of today's developers:
1 - They like to solve complex, new problems:
Though being a developer may be an accessible profession, it is not easy. They will often be confronted with complex problems and new challenges. This means they have to think outside the box and try new things to meet whatever challenges they might face.
2 - They like to organise their time:
To achieve maximum efficiency and productivity during your working day, it’s essential to know what rhythm works for you. Generally, every day will be different for developers, and they will have a different pace to the classic 08:00-17:00 routine of most companies. Changing environment (office, teleworking, etc.), taking regular breaks, starting the day early or late, clearing their mind, etc. allows them to take a step back from the code they’re currently working on and obtain a result that’s of far higher quality.
3 - They are curious:
To last in the IT world, it is essential to cultivate your curiosity. It goes without saying that this sector is evolving rapidly. Developers need to keep up to date and be curious enough to keep track of any new developments and innovations.
4 - They are resourceful:
Resourcefulness, creativity, imagination... these are all vital qualities to help find solutions and create new ones. Developers need to possess these qualities or cultivate them in order to be able to exercise their profession as they should.
The importance of training:
Training is quite simply essential for developers. Before you can excel in a field, you need to train. Practice is important, but so too is having a solid foundation.
There are various options when it comes to training: training via a school (classic, university, or indeed Le Wagon or BeCode), online or via companies like onepoint that offer their own certification training.
Where is the job in 2019?
Developers face a lot of competition, and in order to stand out on the labour market, it’s useful to master several points:
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1 - Technological monitoring:
In a sector where things are constantly changing, it’s essential to know how to keep a daily technological watch and stay informed of each new development or update in order to always stay one step ahead and stand out from the rest.
2 - English skills:
English skills are virtually a prerequisite nowadays. Whether for monitoring, discussing on forums or finding relevant, comprehensive information, English is often the lingua franca in companies in Belgium.
3 - Knowledge of several programming languages:
Although it’s not vital to be equally familiar with all programming languages, it’s useful to know several in order to function as effectively as possible, and it’s also a major asset. Being versatile will always be useful, for any projects or missions you might be involved in.
The gap between supply and demand
The developer profession is often overlooked by young talent, even though demand for skilled professionals in this field is constantly growing. By choosing this profession, you’re therefore also entering a job market that comes with many opportunities and demands.
Next step: find the right company
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