How to become a more valuable developer?

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I've been rethinking about my career path, I'm setting goals for this year and becoming a great software engineer doesn't seem like a well-defined goal.
So I thought that I would need to start investigating what are the skills that are most valuable for my employer (startups or big companies). So I can get a plan for reaching those skills.

What do you think?

what are the best actions that a Software Engineer can do in order to provide great value to its project?

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I'd say you shouldn't be trying to fulfill the business mission of the company you're working for, it's not your responsibility, at least yet, then it could not necessarily make you a better software engineer, eventually a better entrepreneur.

My suggestion would be the following:

  • Keep reading books related to software engineering (The Pragmatic Programmer, Code Complete and so on), these are gems of knowledge people sometimes underestimate;
  • During your free time, if you're keen to, just experiment in technologies that interest you and don't necessary relate with your day to day work, you never know from where you can get inspiration to solve any problem you face at work;
  • Sleep, stay fit and healthy (yes, you might not believe it but they help you to be a better software engineer);

  • Be a team player, don't get stubborn and find always a compromise when looking for solutions with colleagues, soft skills are important in this role, don't forget;

  • Find someone that everyone praise at work for his excellent work and ask him for mentorship;

  • Try to mentor young developers;


Thanks, Silvio for your answer, your suggestions are pretty similar to what I've been doing for the last couple of years, my teammates gave me good feedback and that was great, but now I'm looking for a job and I need to sell myself.
In this scenario, I need to give recruiters a sense of how valuable I am for a company, and it turns out that I've never approached my career this way. They don't care if I read books or if my code is readable, reliable and well designed. They want to know what are my own accomplishments within the company, so I started to focus on that mindset.

That is why I want to set a new career path focusing on value provided to the company.

shouldn't I do that?


Oh I see what you mean now. What I found useful from that point of view it's been thinking about what I worked in my last job in a way that helped to achieve a specific business objective.

For example, if you worked on integrating third-party libraries after signed deals with partnered companies you should highlight the fact that you helped your employer to establish strong partnerships that helped the business growth.
Or if you worked on an analytics system in-house you stress the fact that you helped the company to understand better their user base in order to improve the business product through valuable data.

yeah, got it, so you suggest that I can rewrite the same things that I've contributed from the business perspective.


If you want to provide the most value and impact possible, it depends on the project.

If the project is actually not addressing real business value that users will benefit from, then pointing that out and learning about how businesses work and provide value, in general, will be useful.

Is your team/organization struggling to release projects on time? Or perhaps they take a long time to get out to users? Then looking at more agile / iterative approaches to the entire product cycle might help.

Basically, find a problem and learn about that thing. The farther away from code and closer to business outcomes and strategies it is will mean more impact.

For example, what has more value? Helping your dev team figure out how to write to a file? Or helping your team deliver software projects faster (using devops, agile like tools, etc.)? Or helping your entire org realize it's marketing to the wrong market all-together?


So basically you are suggesting that every project is different.
So I should investigate which specific problems the organization is facing.
Then I pick the one closer to business outcomes.

And then what?
Present a solution(just a plan) to all the team, maybe?

I would need to convince them that we need to spend time on it.
That is great, sounds like a good plan and makes me think that the hardest part is convince the team.

So that is a key skill that I could practice, without the ability to influence the team the previous steps would be a waste of time.

Thanks for your feedback!


Yes, convincing the team or manager is the hardest part. πŸ˜‚

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M Bellucci profile image
Software Engineer. 5+ years working with Ruby & Rails