Developers! Wanna become better? Stay curious
Embracing a curious mindset is the fastest way to evolve professionally. That's accurate for everyone, but especially if you're a developer. Curious to hear more? Keep reading.
Don’t let that senior title stop you from exploring
So you’ve worked for a couple of years and earned the right to add “senior” in your working title. For people outside the developing world, this may mean that you’ve reached the stage in your career where you’re confident in your actions. But honestly, working as a developer can be frustrating because the more you learn, the less you know. It’s like being an astronaut and exploring the universe - the tech world is never ending and is growing bigger by the minute.
Guide: Are you developing or just developing? How to speed up your career in tech!
You can’t be a Know-It-All
Instead of thinking you have the answers to everything, the best way to approach your future career path is to accept that you can’t be a Know-It-All. Instead, you can dig deep into a specific area and be the expert in that field without losing your curiosity and willingness to try to grasp the whole picture (or at least fragments).
Your ability to stay curious will make you a great developer since it’ll make you stay relevant amongst other (and newer) developers. If you keep focusing on learning and improving your skills, you’ll most likely remain motivated and won’t miss out on new learning opportunities that you would have otherwise.
Keep asking “stupid” questions
Since you’re operating in a constantly changing field, you might as well accept that you don’t know everything and probably never will. The good news is that you’re not alone and that it’s not a burden but a gift. Keep looking for things you don’t understand and see them as opportunities to learn something new.
In addition, don’t be afraid to look stupid if someone mentions a technology you haven’t heard of before. Ask all the questions you can think of about it (if the occasion allows it - otherwise, take notes and look it up later), and you've learned something new in a couple of minutes. Asking those “stupid” questions shows that you’re paying attention. It gives you a broader understanding, making it easier to contribute faster.
It takes experience to create beautiful code
The fact that you’ve explored a lot doesn’t mean that people following in your footsteps have. That’s why “beautiful code” is so important. A code being beautiful doesn’t mean that it has the looks. Instead, it’s intended to be used and consumed by the person working with it (and you can’t assume they are developers). Therefore, it has to be easy to read, understand and interpret, meaning it shouldn’t be too complex or too long. Here, as a senior developer, you’re responsible for simplifying something complex - making it as clean as possible. A task you wouldn’t be able to do if you hadn’t had a few years of experience, practice, and exposure to similar challenges.
Read more: Why we need diversity to end bad tech!
Stay curious to eliminate the imagined limits
You know by now that everything is possible and that there are solutions to every type of problem. In the end, the only things stopping technology from developing are funding, time, and enough talented people to enable it. If you or your organisation lack these things, your positive, persistent attitude will make a difference in your current team’s progress. So stay curious and open. New opportunities can open up around the corner when you least expect them to.
- Want to be an inspiration for younger developers? Show them that you’re still open and curious!
- Being curious means, you’re more likely to stay relevant in your field. You may naturally become the go-to person for your teammates.
- If you’re open to learning, you’ll be able to understand why a particular code isn’t behaving as it should - so that you can rewrite it and simplify it for the next person.
- By being open, you’ll avoid making assumptions about how things work, and by doing that, avoid making unnecessary mistakes.
- Since you’re not afraid to look stupid, you keep asking questions that give you the necessary information.
Curious about HiQ?
At HiQ, we believe in people’s curiosity and personal development. Why? Because we see it as our mission to end bad tech while simultaneously simplifying and improving people’s lives. Our fantastic employees are our best tool for doing so, and best of all, we have fun while doing it.