We are always on our phones or laptops trying to keep up with what is happening in the world, especially on social media but have you ever thought of how useful the internet can be in shaping your career? The simple apps or platforms that you hear about that make your life simpler.

Last year, I had an opportunity to speak about this topic in Facebook Developer Circle: Mombasa Event and I got to share on the basic tools that can help a software developer build their career. For some, this will help you refresh your memory and for those starting their development journey, buckle up! It’s an amazing ride!

Just like any other job, you should know the skill sets you possess. A good developer would ideally be passionate, good in communication, a team player, logical thinker and a curious soul.

  1. Passion

Is the fuel to the fire of action. It’s what makes you wake up at dawn or sleep late at night to see your vision come to pass. It’s the propeller to making your dreams come true. But how do you keep your fire burning as a developer? you need to keep learning!

There are so many free resources to help you improve your coding skills such as Youtube, FreeCodeCamp, Code Academy, edX, Khan Academy, Coursera e.t.c

2. Communication

Let’s not lie, we all want someone who is good in communication and that is not an exception as a developer. Software development is more than just coding. You will need to develop interpersonal skills to collaborate and interact with others effectively. This involves both oral and written communication.

Some of the best tools for communication are our social media platforms. They can be a great tool to practice with. Besides, tools such as Slack, Skype, Meet and Hangouts are important for you to familiarize with since most organizations use them for communication.

3. Collaboration

Yes! It’s kind of a big deal in the software world!
You can never walk alone if you want to be a good developer and therefore working with other team members helps grow.
One of the most common tools used in development is git. Git is a version control system that makes it easy to collaborate with others on projects.
Tools such as Github and Bitbucket are git hosting services which ideally is like your safe box for your repositories.

It’s also a good way to build your portfolio. That way you can always showcase what you are building or help potential employers gauge your skills.

Tools such as Trello, Jira and Confluence are commonly used in project management to ensure both clients, projects managers and developers are looped on what is happening concerning a certain project.

4. Logical Thinking and Problem Solving

As we mentioned earlier, as a developer you need to improve on your skills constantly and think through on what you are solving.

Some platforms such as Codewars, Hackerrank, Exercism are amazing tools for that. They are for both beginners and intermediates to solve algorithms and data structure quizzes to sharpen their skills.

5. Curiosity

“Curiosity killed the cat…” they said. ”..but it builds a developer,” we say

As a developer, you need to keep up with trends in the tech environment. What is new in the technology you are working on? What does the current release of a certain language contain? How can it be of benefit to what am working on or towards?
Such questions should propel you to look for answers.

Again, social media is such a great tool to answer your questions. Platforms such as Medium, Twitter, Youtube, tech podcasts are constantly up to date with such information. You only need to follow the right channels and find articles that are to your understanding.

6. Build the community (Contribution)

Don’t always sit back and wait for help. Sometimes help out where you can.
In turn, you will become confident with your abilities and eventually get out of your comfort zone.

Contribution is an excellent way to overcome imposter syndrome. Look out for open source repositories and try working on at least an issue. Trust me it gets better with time!

Besides, you will get to learn how other teams work and collaborate. That way can borrow a leaf or two that can apply in your team.

One of my favourite tools I started with was Stackoverflow. You can always look at questions other developers are unable to tackle and you probably have an answer to based on the language of choice. It’s a great way to start.

I hope I have shed some light on those who wish to become software developers. Keep going!

I am not your typical technical writer..let’s just say I add humour in tech😊😎

I am not your typical technical writer..let’s just say I add humour in tech😊😎