Thursday, Nov 21 2013

Maximizing Your Marketability as a Software Developer

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There’s a relatively recent shift in employment trends that is especially significant in the tech industry, and that is job longevity. The days of starting and ending your career at the same company are long gone—and it’s rare that anyone spends even a decade with the same employer.

In the software development field, this paradigm has come to signify a positive asset. Developers and engineers who change jobs frequently are viewed not as disloyal and unreliable, but as adaptable and improving. Their skills outgrow their job demands, and they move on to better challenges—a process that makes them more desirable to employers.

So as contrary as it might seem, frequent job-changing is one way software developers can increase their employability. Here are some other things you can do to make yourself a hot commodity in the tech world.

Be an expert at one thing (and proficient in others)

Specialists are always in high demand in every field. While it’s important for software engineers to be well-rounded, choosing an area of expertise will help to ensure that there’s always a position for you somewhere. Make sure you specialize in something you enjoy doing, so you don’t get burned out and lose your expert advantage.

Of course, technology is always changing, so you shouldn’t specialize in the flavor of the moment. Instead, opt for foundational specialties in things that tend to last for a decade or more, such as a particular field, programming language, or type of software.

Keep your options open

This tip can be applied in a few different ways. First, it’s essential to continue learning new things and working with new technologies. Employers want to see software developers who are flexible, open-minded, and willing to try new tools, languages, and platforms. The longer you go without learning, the more difficult it will be to find a new position.

Second, experienced developers should be willing to compromise on the hierarchy of positions they’ll accept, especially when entering a new software area. If you’ll only take a senior or supervisory position with a high salary, you’ll find your options extremely limited and your job search extended much longer than you want.

Network—even when you’re not thinking about changing jobs

The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” can often be applied to finding work as a software developer. You don’t necessarily need connections to land a job, but there are a lot of benefits to continual networking—not the least of which is the potential to lower your job search time dramatically.

In addition to maintaining an accurate, active LinkedIn profile, you can network throughout your current employment by:

  • Reaching out to others in your field at different companies. For example, when you hear about a new development you admire, send a quick email or social media mention to congratulate them. The positive impact you make will help you out later.
  • Put yourself out there by attending conferences or industry events, writing industry articles for online circulation or as a guest blogger, or even doing some public speaking. You’ll make connections you may not even be aware of until you start searching for your next job.

Being employable as a software developer is all about keeping things fresh, interesting, and constantly circulating. Resist the urge to bury yourself in code, and make new experiences that will help you enjoy a long and happy career.

If your are looking software developer jobs in California, contact The Armada Group today.


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