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Jeniffer Carvalho
Jeniffer Carvalho

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Which skills you need to be a developer

I'm in this industry for almost seven years now, and I have seen many successful developers. But I have also seen many people quit.

Besides the developer's life, I'm also a tutor, and have taught over 50 people how to be a developer.

I could see what the successful students did and what the unsuccessful students did.

This is not a guess. This is what I witnessed.

Be self-motivated

It's not easy to make a career transition. It's not easy to start coding and learn all of these terms in record time. Maybe you are doing a Bootcamp. Maybe you bought dozens of courses on udemy. But you did not finish any of them. This is because you do not have the real motivation to do so.

What is your main goal?

Know yourself better to answer this question, and when you start to be lazy remember your goal. It should be greater than anything else in your life, and if it's not enough, perhaps code is not your thing.

People that succeed in dev career are truly motivated. They know their limits and always try to be motivated when a big challenge comes to them.

Be Focused

Which tech do you want to work with? React? Node? Flutter? Man, you need to choose one! Be focused, don't let others decide it for you. Watch the market and choose what you like most, and what is in demand. Focus on something and stick with this tech.

I say "watch the market" because if you prefer to work with Fortran, maybe it'll be hard to find a job. Really. So, choose something in demand which you like to work with every day.

There is no problem at all to be a full-stack and know other techs, but if you are starting a career in tech, choose just one.

Be Resilient

You're gonna hear a lot of "no's" before you get your "yes, welcome to the company". You'll hear a lot of things about your non-existent experience, and even maybe about your code.

These things happen and you must be strong enough to handle them.

Again, remember why you are trying to enter this industry. Do not give up on your first "no". Learn with your failures and try to improve for the next time.

Believe in yourself

To get a first dev job is not easy. The market is good but not that good for juniors developers. It was hard for everyone. You need to continue studying, improving your portfolio, and showing your job to the world.

Learn about how to make a nice resume and a good LinkedIn profile. Believe me, if you work hard and really understand what you are doing on your projects, it is just a matter of time.

Have fun

Most devs that I know started to code because they find it fun. It was a challenge, a nice thing to do on the computer.

Find your fun in it.

Create nice projects and have joy in the process.

Maybe a new youtube only for kitties and puppies, why not? Create. Learn. Have fun doing this. Studying should not be a boring thing to do.


I wrote here five skills that I have seen in successful devs that I've met, but my favorite is: "have fun".

If you can have fun while you are doing something, you're already ahead of the game. Things can be really easy when you enjoy what you are doing. Find what makes you happy and invest time in it.

When I started I had bad times on MySQL and I decided that I did not want to do that for my whole life. So every time that I got pissed off with that I switched to CSS, because it made me happy. At that time I noticed that I should work with CSS and forget about MySQL.

Years later I'm a front-end architect and I still loving CSS.

Discussion (3)

raphael_jambalos profile image
Raphael Jambalos

Hi Jennifer! Agree with your points. I think it's really important for devs to have fun in what they are doing. Otherwise, it's all "drudge work" that they have to go through.

When I'm studying for a new project, I often make a prototype first and try to play around with the concepts I just learned. I love writing so I also wrote an article about APIs because I studied for that in my recent project.

technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado ๐Ÿฃโœจ

Hi Jeniffer. First and foremost, thanks for sharing.

I would personally not call those skills though. I would call them (personality) traits instead. But that's beside the point... ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Here are my 2 cents:

  • With regards to motivation: I have met several people with "flimsy" motivations in the tech space. Usually they are in it for the money. And while at it, most tend to be pretty mediocre too. The tech field is survival of the fittest; those who are unfit for the field, will get filtered out sooner rather than later.
  • With regards to focus: too many people want to be an octopus from the start. I personally hate to see people try 300 things at once. They usually do a sloppy job when they focus on too many things at once. Besides, lack of focus is usually the culprit when it comes to quitting tech. They end up overwhelming themselves, only to quit altogether. Conversely, those that focus on only one thing and swear by it for the rest of their career are also no good. In my opinion, too small minded. But, to each their own. > You're gonna hear a lot of "no's" before you get your "yes, welcome to the company".
  • Regarding the above: that happens in every industry. Getting a job in tech, in my eyes, is just about as difficult as getting a job anywhere else. Rejection is everywhere. Like I said, this field is not for the faint at heart. Survival of the fittest applies here too. Those with fragile minds will quit. C'est la vie.

Last remarks: while it is good to focus at the beginning of ones career, there comes a time when one has to expand ones horizons. Frankly said, I do not understand how some people choose to be web devs till the day they die. That's their choice, I respect it, but I do not understand it. The reason I got an opportunity at the company that I am currently at, is because, despite being a junior and having virtually no experience, I focused on acquiring skills that the majority of my peers did not have. I was always, and still am, striving to be ahead of my peers. I am always looking for ways to grow and expand my horizons. After all, I'm a curious individual. That makes me unstoppable.

Overall, good article. Keep it up ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Those are some good points I agree. True having fun is a big one. If you lack the passion then it feels more like a chore when it would be better if you treat it as a hobby.