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What's your software niche?

makiten profile image Donald ・1 min read

Here's the background: I've been reading a lot of advice articles who all suggest one thing, whether you want to freelance, start a business, or find a job, and that is to find a niche. The idea is that there's a lot of competition, and you'll struggle competing on price if you make yourself too "general."

I've reflected on my career, however, as being just that. I've struggled with specializing, because what happens most often is I'll specialize, an employer will have a unique requirement that I can do, I do it well, and, at least theoretically, whatever time I could've spent specializing in one area I lost doing different things. In all honesty, this is because my roles usually were tied to marketing. For example, working at marketing agencies or marketing/communications departments but in a strictly development capacity. Even what I do now, despite being a company that provides payment services, I'm working on projects related to marketing. So, of course, when I think about what my niche is, I figure it must be tied to marketing.

But this isn't so much about me looking for help figuring out my niche. Actually, what I want to know is what you see your niche as. If you were to look for work (be it a job or a project engagement if you're freelancing/self-employed, or if you had a product startup), what would you focus on?

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makiten profile

Donald

@makiten

Software architect interested in finance

Discussion

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I'm a React & Django developer that builds product or service for startups.

I'm moving towards API development due to the growth of smart speakers, IoT & Data Science.

I feel that to niche is important so that you can stand out of the crowded of developers and helps you secure higher value contracts or salary.

 

That's definitely true. I've been tempted to write a rant about how many articles and comments (e.g. on Reddit) talk about how that is part of the "golden rules" to securing good work, but then scoff (yet again, on Reddit and other sites) at people who get frustrated at the realization that you don't just find a niche and instantly get higher salaries or contracts.

I actually did market myself briefly last year as an API developer (coincidentally with Django, but I use Vue instead of React). I'll be honest though that it was tough just because I thought I had to market myself to other technical people, and in my experience, non-IT departments have more budget and flexibility, so I had to speak about APIs from a line-of-business point of view. But marketing and data science are very compatible, so that's an easier way of bringing it up.

 

Actually, I understand why you said that. To me, niching is just a starting point.

Which you have to hustle by selling, marketing & networking yourself as an expert in that specific niche for referrals.

One of the areas is networking which so far I founded Jordan Harbinger's 6 Min Networking to be really good especially his podcasts.

It takes tons of action, reflection & learning which will help you well if you plan to go for the entrepreneurship route.

 

I'm trying to find my way into Mobile Development as "my niche". I don't know how hard that can be here in Mexico but I'm willing to try.

Ps: I like your profile picture, is it from Toriyama?

 

She's a character from Dragon Quest IV, so yeah, it's his artwork.

I have worked with devs in Mexico before, but generally they were doing traditional app dev work, so they were getting more work doing PHP and C#, but I think a mobile development niche is attainable there, at least from what they tell me about the market there.

 

Well, in a month from now I'll try to tell you my progress with mobile development in Mexico hahaha