Hack your web developer career with top 6 essential tips & tricks
Here is a summary of the best daily tips that will help you to stand out in a crowd. Applying them can enable you to become an asset to your company and your customers. And even if you’re not working yet, you can still apply most of these principles to your learning process.
Want to become an uncommonly good web developer? Read on!
#1 Update Yourself With The New Tech In The Market
The cyber-world is changing each and every day, in fact, every day, this means that you can quickly become an expert but also your skills can become very quickly outdated. And as a web designer, you need to be familiar with the new technologies that are introduced in the market and tune yourself with it.
Do technology watch – Keeping abreast of innovations in a given sector.
There are some ways you can educate yourself on web design:
• Picking up a new coding software to working the ins and outs of a particular platform.
• Always being on the lookout for new technologies and trends to keep ahead of the industry and integrate cutting edge inventions into your design.
• Having a simple monthly flick through a web developer magazine or setting up a Google news alert for certain keywords.
Tip: You don’t need to know everything, just having a rough overview of a topic or technique is fine. You can then dive deeper into it when the right project comes along.
Some of the websites/forums with new ideas on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis :
While it wouldn’t give you a completely intimate knowledge of the platform as there is almost additional information you just won’t discover without guidance, exploring on your own is a good way to learn new skills. With upcoming Web development technologies, you can increase your knowledge base, which in turn helps improve your chance of landing a desirable job.
#2 Try as hard as you can first before asking for help.
In those early years, the feeling of having to explore uncharted territory was anxiety-provoking. You would feel this pressure of having to figure something out that you just didn’t know.
In that situation, we have two choices:
You could go back to my boss and say, “Sorry, I don’t know how to do this. Can you do it for me?”
That might have taken the pressure off in the short-term, but it might not be good for you in the long run. Because an employee that doesn’t know how to find solutions will take time away from everyone else.
The other choice would be to first do as much research as possible on my own. Eventually, you might hit the end of what you could understand.
Then you would finally go to your boss and say, “Sorry, I can’t figure this out. But here’s what I’ve tried so far, and I think it might be related to this…”
See the difference?
Instead of giving up early and asking someone else to do your work, you can do as much as you could yourself. Researching and testing on your own will help you learn how to teach yourself new concepts. This benefits you in two ways:
• You’re learning new skills on the job — essentially, you’re getting paid to learn. You’re not sucking time away from your boss or coworkers with questions that you could figure out yourself.
• You’re an asset to your company, not a detriment. You’ll have to figure out for yourself how much to try on your own, and when to ask for help. But through experience, you’ll be able to find a happy medium.
Knowing when to ask for help
Of course, that’s not good either because, at that point, you’re spending too much time or even days stuck on a problem when you could have gotten the answer quickly by asking for help. And when asking for help, it’s also good to show that you have done some work on your own.
#3 Look at awesome websites. And unpack them!
You can easily find awesome websites, resources, or code experimentations here:
But the point isn’t to look at them and say: “I’ll never be able to do this!”
Not only try to understand the process but you can also try to reproduce it and explain it. Unpacking the websites and understanding how skilled people built them. All these steps helped me to combine different techniques and find smart ways to construct your websites.
#4 Be proactive, not reactive.
Being proactive versus reactive is a quality that differentiates successful web developers from mediocre ones.
The reactive person’s default mindset is: “If it doesn’t affect me, it’s not my problem.” It’s short-term thinking. Note that they are not doing bad work, but they are missing out on a lot that they could be doing.
A reactive employee will do the work that is asked of them, but they will do no more than that. If something goes wrong they will fix it, but they won’t think ahead to prevent this problem from recurring. They don’t consider the big picture or how interlocking parts of a system work together.
In contrast, the proactive employee won’t just complete their assigned work and call it a day. They will also make small improvements as they go.
When something goes wrong, they will analyze what happened and make changes so that it won’t happen again. They constantly think about how to make processes at work more efficient.
In short, proactive people work in the present in order to improve things in the future. They are able to see the big picture and are willing to put forth the effort to improve it.
To learn the skill of being proactive, you’ll have to use some trial and error, and a lot of observation. But once you figure it out, the benefits will spill over into other areas of your life.
Tip: Send them a short summary of what you did today and what you will be working on tomorrow, highlighting any concerns, which should only take 5 minutes. Setting a daily or weekly reminder will help you to never forget to give a project progress update. Helpful tools for reminders: Google Calendar, Evernote, iOS Reminders
Your client and boss would delight your proactivity because it gives them a time to think about a plan B, which might be simply asking the client for more money or extending the deadline.
Other reasons why to be proactive:
• It makes you look more professional
• It boosts your credibility
• It helps to build a trust
#5 Make mistakes and always improve.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, some mistakes are almost impossible to avoid, and that’s totally normal. You might keep making them time and time again, but less and less often. You never stop having to learn new things and adapting to new technology changes, but this is the beauty of our job. Learning new things every single day.
If your code broke a website, what happened, and how can you avoid it in the future?
Tip: The way you could practice it is to isolate a code part you are not proud of or had to code quickly due to a short deadline and come back to it one or two weeks later.
It takes time, and sometimes we truly don’t have that time to go back and analyze every single decision. But constantly glossing over mistakes and conflicts without learning from them will ensure that you will repeat your mistakes.
Try to do the following:
• Go back and analyze that non-optimal situation.
• Figure out what happened.
• Think of actionable steps that you can take to avoid the problem next time.
It’s tough to do because when something negative has passed, the natural instinct is to not want to dwell on it. Think about it like debugging your life.
Long story short, try to review your own code and improve it without impacting the functionality. Faster, cleaner, more readable, modular. It will save you a lot of time, stress, and health in the long term.
#6 Find a mentor
You are keen to learn, but not sure where to start? What should you learn next? How to implement this or that? That’s what mentors are great for.
Find someone with more experience than you, someone who is keen to help you to grow. Your mentor should be someone who you respect, someone who you would like to be like. Someone who can teach you how to code and what to avoid doing. This could be your boss, your colleague, or someone online who you will follow.
A good mentor will help you:
• Getting advice on your project approach
• Getting a sense of direction
• Getting you to foresee any potential roadblocks
Tip: Remember a mentor is not a guy who will do everything instead of you and is not there to motivate you. You still need to be curious and self-motivated in order to grow.
In conclusion, rather than recommending website programming, this article is more about sharing our experiences. But we believe that it is worthwhile to investigate the concept and see if it’s appropriate for your team.
So if you decide to try web development, feel free to share with us, we’d love to hear about your experiences.