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7 Steps to Become an Expert Software Engineer.

Kat Holder
“ In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different”
・4 min read

You are done with your degree in Computer Science and you are still struggling in becoming an expert in your field. You are just not getting where you are heading towards or how to become the best in it. We have certain tips for you in case you are looking to make it big in this field from scratch or someone who is struggling with it.

Step 1- Strategise and Analyse
You must have heard about the S.W.O.T. analysis where a person lists down their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to get a perspective about their current situation. Yes, the famous old model!
Do that! Yes- we need to know if you struggle with the programming fundamentals, coding syntax, or structuring solutions. Are you able to see beyond the code and can analyze the design? S.W.O.T. your skills. Keep an objective analysis and find the gap between your skillset and what an expert Software Engineer has in his skillset.

Step 2- Have you got your fundamentals cleared?
So, the majority of the training courses focus on “hot technologies” such as React or GraphQL but end up missing essential topics which tend to be boring. Their reason is completely to profit their pockets. If truth be told, hot frameworks recycle classic concepts from software all the time. There lies the great secret- you will excel when you will understand the fundamentals.
The perfect place for software developers to get the basics right is with API Design.
Can you name the three ways to version an APL?

Don’t worry if you can’t- delve a bit deeper into the HTTP protocol and understand how the web works. It does not matter whether you are a backend or frontend- what is important to remember is you are a web designer!

Step 3- We dare you to understand the full software cycle.
If you just know how to code, you don’t understand how to properly deploy applications. And your contribution towards your team will be limited. It is important to get your hands dirty with deployment because only by learning the whole process of how a coding gets built, packaged, shipped and deployed, then you can deploy your applications with the best practices. It is important to understand the full software lifecycle, what continuous integration and delivery mean, and how you can put your applications with the best practices.
Having a good knowledge of cloud, version control, and integration tools would be quite a deal-breaker. Also knowing at which network level an application load balancer works will be a bonus point.

Step- 4 Find patterns in your coding and understand the algorithm world.
When you drive and suddenly a dog jumps in front of your car, your feet instantly move to press the brake. Your muscles learn the reaction to give it a reflex when the need arises. That’s what happens when brilliant coders come to the rescue for the programming challenges. Always remember, a seasoned coder was once a beginner. Some say it comes by instinct and some say it comes through years of practice.
So, the thing is that you need to look out for the commonalities between the coding problems and having a structured process in approaching them. Focus on patterns rather than implementation details and we know the adage- practice makes the man perfect. Here- recursion is the solution.
Remember- recursion is behind the DOM tree and even behind the algorithms of the most popular framework out there as React.

Step-5 Decide your Niche- the key to standing out.

After having a strong understanding of the core principles of software development, it is necessary to have a specialization that will help you grab the attention.
Now, depending on what you are into- develop your expertise in that arena. If frontend is your thing, React would be the prominent framework you would be working upon for so long, try going for concepts such as server-side rendering and performance. If the backend is your thing, go for server-side development.
Be Aware! Having a holistic perspective on where your community stands and what are the challenges it faces is important to become one in your field. That’s how your goals would align with the bigger goals of the industry and bringing solutions to the entire sector as well.

Step 6- Can you be the leader when it comes to implementing it all?
Expert software engineers can have conversations with senior developers, tech leads, and architects because they can conceptualize programming way beyond technologies and frameworks. They get the basic principles of software architecture and grasp the problems in the implementation of the same.
Make a roadmap by thinking about how your application will reach millions of users? Will it be able to handle that quantity of users? How do you integrate with other systems? How would you communicate with the external world?
Grasp concepts of reliability, scalability, and performance so that you can see and contribute to discussions on the implementation of your applications when interacting with people from another domain. This may also help your ascent as a leader.

Step 7- Become Visible- that’s how you create a brand image.
It is not necessary to make a personal brand as the so-called influencers happen to tweet every day. There are ways to become visible in your field. Network in your industry- Companies are looking for two things- your LinkedIn profile and your polished CV. They need your skillset, not a big mouth.

Nothing Good is Ever Easy. Becoming an Expert Software Engineer is no cakewalk but definitely worth taking if you are passionate about the field. Understand the nuances of the coding, the pattern, keep a note of it when a programming challenge arises. Network with people, mentor and always keep the big goal in mind.

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