Learning new skills is part of a software developer's role due to the frequent changes and advancements in technology and frameworks. I personally know quite a few developers who are learning Rust right now. However, just learning programming skills isn't enough if you want to succeed and get ahead in your software developer's career.
Strategic career goals are those that will propel you towards where you want to head professionally, in one year, two years, or even five years. They have a purpose, reflect your professional vision, and have a significant impact on your career success.
They can be categorised as:
- Technical goals
- Job goals
- Entrepreneurship goals
- Leadership goals
- Community goals
Here are some specific examples of strategic career goals. These goals will get you ahead in your career as a software developer.
work on a system that has X scale or complexity, such as 3 millions of requests per second
get to a specific job title, such as architect, senior engineer, CTO, developer evangelist
work at a prestigious tech company, such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google (FANG)
start a side hustle, such as freelancing
make your first sale of a software you wrote
mentor someone and see them get better over time
help a new person on your team onboarded and get started
give a talk on a technical topic that you're passionate about at a meetup, conference or event
write a useful blog or an article that gets shared a lot
To summarise, strategic career goals that software developers should aim for in 2021 are:
- become an expert in a domain, technology or language
- work on a system that has X scale or complexity
- get to a specific job title
- work at a prestigious tech company
- start a side hustle
- make your first sale of a software you wrote
- mentor someone and see them get better over time
- help a new person on your team onboarded and get started
- give a talk on a technical topic that you're passionate about at a meetup, conference or event
- write a useful blog or an article that gets shared a lot
The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries today. The future of work has arrived for software developers. I know for a fact that it is different than work we know previously and thus requires different mindsets and skills from software developers to be effective in their role.
What’s more — it is estimated that sixty percent of all new jobs in the twenty-first century will require skills that only twenty percent of the current workforce possesses. What this means is that you will need to be flexible, adaptable and always be learning and growing in your career to thrive in the future of work. So set strategic career goals in 2021 and set yourself up for success in your role today and beyond!