How To Stand-Out Among Your Peers As A Software Developer

James Hickey on February 20, 2019

I started my career working for an organization that was building a platform for vehicle manufacturers to consolidate and run analytics on their sa... [Read Full]
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Oooo it's me! Thank you James.

Such great advice to everyone, not just junior developers, to put your hand up for opportunities and learn your tool of choice really well.

It's so easy to get overwhelmed with the new technologies and tools. You never can really get caught up and know everything about everything in the tech industry so why put pressure on yourself? Get to know what makes sense to you, put equal effort into being a team player and good communicator and you'll go far.


Great post!!!

I did exactly this at my current company. When one of our Senior devs left there was a gap in Elasticsearch knowledge. I decided that was something I wanted to learn more about and own. 3 years later I am known as the Elasticsearch Whisperer! That specialized knowledge is also what pushed me into my Sr. dev role. If you want to reach the next level in your career, I highly recommend taking this advice 🤗


Love it! Thanks for sharing your experience!


I am known as the Elasticsearch Whisperer!

Ah ah ah :D You definitely need to get a t-shirt with that title :D


Great post James, I've also interpreted it as an encouragement on not coming in in a room with guns blazing. Sometimes what you think you want out of something is not what you end up doing and you might enjoy even more this other thing if you don't stay fixated on yourself and your preconceived idea.

Does it make sense? It sounded deeper in my brain :D

Now, I'm not going to tell you to learn regular expressions 😂.

You should though :) Regular expressions and SQL are legit superpowers! The great thing is, as @helenanders26 is demonstrating with ther posts, SQL and database knowledge goes on for miles.

Regular expressions are pretty much the same in every language and environment, there are small difference but they can picked up by reading a page or two each time. SQL also has a "best before" date of basically never :D


Yes, there's wisdom in observing a business and trying to figure out pain points or gaps that could be filled vs. just trying to overlap all the best practices etc. I've found that out the hard way, sadly... :(

SQL is 100% a fundamental skill set that all devs should have. I find many web devs, for example, do lack a really good grasp of DB fundamentals beyond just querying. Many times, they are expected to set up a DB and optimize them - having a very basic understanding of DB concepts...

Def. a requirement for becoming a skilled "senior" web developer.

I think @helenanders26 has a potential market here for some future content directed specifically at web devs who need to improve their DB game in order to level-up in their careers... cough


"SQL has a 'best before' date of basically never"

This is the best quote ever :D


Nice article, getting specialized knowledge is definitely useful!

However, though specialization is good, make sure not to get locked into only doing the thing you're specialized in, so that you get to improve and learn other skills.

And though it's nice to stand out, passing on knowledge on how to do something might be worth considering, so others can work without having to wait for you, or to prevent the project from going awry if you ever go sick during an important phase.


Agree. If done correctly, you should find yourself mastering one thing and then moving onto something else or finding some other gap in your business, etc.


Great post @jamesmh ! Wanted to highlight this part:

Quickly, I became the "go-to" guy for whenever the team had encountered some really hard pieces of data to extract! All because I knew regular expressions really well!

Being known as the person who helps others is one of the best ways to build a reputation.

When you commit yourself to consistently care for people, those acts of kindness add up.

I like how my buddy Jarrod puts it: "Even if you're aren't famous, you can still build trust by helping individuals one at a time."


It's awesome advice in observing our surroundings. I played around with regular expressions back in my school days.

It's really cool to use it in just a few line. I remember I was searching for my country's social security number to validate it.

Took me weeks just to figure out how to do it in php to build that regular expression but I took the most pride in it while presenting it to the class.


Awesome! Great to hear people using RegEx to solve problems.

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