Atomic Dev Tips is an ongoing series of short, actionable, high-leverage posts on how to be the best developer you can be.
This is the first in that series of posts. Follow me here on Dev or on your social media platform of choice if you'd like to keep up with the series and any other content I create.
One of the most valuable things I've learned in my 6 years as a developer is the importance of viewing your primary role as being a problem solver.
You should not think of yourself as a developer, coder, or engineer. You should think of yourself first as someone who solves problems for people.
Code is just the tool you use to accomplish that goal.
This idea will bleed out into everything you do if you can make it a foundational part of your identity.
Instead of wondering what sample projects to build for your portfolio, start noticing annoyances in your own life and the lives of others.
When assigned a new project at work, you can have valuable input and feedback into the development cycle if you look at your role as a problem solver, not just someone who codes up someone else's solutions.
Cultivate the skill of being able to identify these problems and flesh out software-based solutions to them.
This problem-solving mentality is a major factor in success not only as a developer but in any career you choose, whether working for someone else or yourself.
This is one of the main principles at work in my workshop, Create & Connect, teaching aspiring developers how to land their first jobs.
Cultivating this mentality is how you can set yourself apart from other people who are just developing without understanding the underlying reasons behind why they are building things.
So, starting today, take note of the problems you see in your life. Keep an ongoing idea notebook, digital or analog, doesn't matter, and start writing them down.