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  • Lokajit Tikayatray

3 Must-Know Programmer Success Principles From My Two Decades in Tech

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

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Hey there, fellow tech enthusiasts. Ever felt like you're stuck in your developer journey, even when you're doing everything 'right'?

If you're reading this, you're probably a developer or aspiring to be one.

Either way, I have some golden nuggets of wisdom to share that can expedite your career growth and help you stand out among your peers.

I have worked as a developer and architect for over 15 years before transitioning into a leadership position a few years ago.

As both an individual contributor and a leader, I have gained valuable insights for succeeding in the constantly evolving tech industry.

What if I told you that sometimes, it's the little things that make the most significant difference?

Let's dive into the three core programmer success principles that have shaped my journey and can shape yours, too.

1. Show Up and Be Proactive

You've likely been told countless times — "Just showing up is half the battle."

But let's flip the script a bit — what if it's about how you show up?

When working toward building your career as a developer, it's not merely about being present. It's about being proactive, about taking the reins before they're handed to you.

I've worked with people who are always there but not "there." They're the ones who clock in and out, never leaving a mark.

Then there are those who are proactive but a tad too hasty, jumping the gun without a clear plan.

Both kinds often find themselves at a standstill, feeling like they're just another cog in the machine. They usually hit a wall, feeling undervalued and overlooked.

The magic formula?

Being present and proactive.

The standout developers are those who not only show up but also step up. They anticipate, they initiate, and they deliver.

This approach is transformative.

While the mere attendees might be consistent, they often miss out on opportunities to shine. The overzealous ones, meanwhile, might take the initiative but falter in execution.

But a developer who strikes the right balance?

They're the ones who not only spot opportunities but also seize them, making their presence felt and their contributions count. Being present and proactive propels these developers to heights that those who merely show up can only dream of.

2. Work Smart AND Hard

You've probably heard it a million times: "Work smart, not hard."

But let's shake things up a bit — what if you could master both?

In the tech world, especially when it comes to developer career growth, it's not just about being the smartest in the room. It's about combining that intelligence with hard work.

I've worked with many smart peers, but they lack the drive. They are the brilliant minds who, for some reason, just don't put their heart into it.

On the other hand, there are those who work hard but don't always make the smartest choices.

Both types of developers don't go far in their careers. Eventually, they start feeling that the system is skewed against them. They get disengaged, believing their team and leaders don't value their contributions.

The sweet spot?

Being both smart and hard-working.

The best developers have the intelligence to plan and find optimal solutions. They also have the tenacity to execute those solutions with dedication.

This combination is lethal.

While the smart ones without dedication might come up with innovative ideas, they lack the perseverance to see them through.

The hard workers, on the other hand, might put in the hours but could end up wasting time on inefficient methods.

But a developer who embodies both qualities? They not only ideate but also implement, ensuring that their contributions are both valuable and impactful.

Combining intelligence and hard work helps these developers grow faster than those who rely solely on one or the other.

3. Embrace and Master Change

This is another punch line you've likely heard often— "Change is the only constant."

But let's rethink this — what if you could not just adapt but truly master change?

In the tech sphere, particularly when building a developer's path, it's not just about keeping up with the latest trends. It's about foreseeing them and evolving proactively.

I've come across developers who are brilliant at what they do but remain tethered to the past. They're the tech gurus who, for some reason, resist the winds of change.

Then, there are those who chase every new trend but lack a strategic approach.

Both kinds often find themselves sidelined, feeling the industry has outpaced them. They grow disillusioned, sensing their expertise isn't as valued anymore.

The golden ticket?

Being both adaptive and forward-thinking.

The standout developers are those who not only adapt to change but also anticipate and shape it. They recognize the need for evolution and embrace it wholeheartedly.

This mindset is transformative.

While the traditionalists might have depth, they miss out on the breadth of innovation. The trend-chasers, meanwhile, might seem updated but often lack depth.

But a developer who strikes this balance? They're the ones who adapt and lead, ensuring they're always at the forefront of tech evolution.

Combining adaptability with foresight positions these developers at the forefront, leaving those who can't or won't evolve behind.

Take Away: Programmer Success Principles

So, what does it truly mean to be a successful developer in this fast-paced tech world?

Being a developer isn't just about writing lines of code. It's about mindset, attitude, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. It's about overcoming developer challenges with grace, understanding the importance of consistency in development, and continuously evolving in your role.

So, remember these core programmer success principles, whether you're a beginner or a veteran in the software field. They're not just tips; they're the foundation of an effective developer mindset.

Embrace them, and you'll see not only growth in your career but also in your personal development.

Here's to coding, growth, and endless cups of coffee. ☕ Cheers…

Do you have any developer wisdom of your own to share? I would love to learn from them.

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