What’s the best way to grow your tech career? Treat it like an app – TechCrunch


Software developers and Engineers have rarely been in greater demand. Organizations’ need for technical talent is skyrocketing, but the supply is quite limited. As a result, software professionals have the luxury of being very selective about where to work, and they typically charge large salaries.

In 2020, the US had nearly 1.5 million full-time developers, earning a median salary of around $ 110,000. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the next 10 years, the federal agency estimates, developer jobs will grow 22% to 316,000.

But what happens after a developer or engineer lands that sweet job? Are they able to harness their abilities and grow in exciting and challenging new directions? Do they understand what it takes to move up the ladder? Are they simply doing a job or cultivating a rewarding professional life?

To put it bluntly, many developers and engineers suck when it comes to managing their own careers.

These are the kinds of questions that have plagued me throughout my 25 years in the tech industry. I’ve long realized that, to put it bluntly, many developers and engineers suck when it comes to managing their own careers.

It is simply not a priority for some. By nature, developers delight in solving complex technical challenges and working hard to achieve their company’s digital goals. Taking care of your own careers may seem unattractive as a self-promotion or political, even though it really isn’t. Charting a career path can be uncomfortable or they just don’t know how to do it.

Businesses owe it to developers and engineers, and to themselves, to give these key people the tools to understand what it takes to be the best they can be. How else can developers and engineers be assured of continued great experiences while constantly expanding their contributions to their organizations?

Developers enjoy solving complex challenges and working hard to achieve their business goals. Taking care of your own careers may seem unattractive as a self-promotion or political, even though it really isn’t.

Coaching and mentoring can help, but I think a more formal management system is needed to put the wind behind the sails of a company-wide commitment to make developers and engineers believe that, like the latest Andy grove He said, “Your career is your business and you are its CEO.”

That’s why I created a professional development model for developers and engineers when I was an Intel member at Intel between 2003 and 2013. Since then, this framework has been put into practice at the three subsequent companies I worked for: Google, VMWare, and Now Juniper Networks – Through Human Resource Processes and Training Sessions.

The model is based on a principle that every developer can relate to: Treat career advancement as you would a software project.

That’s right, by thinking about professional development in stages like those used in application production, developers and engineers can gain a holistic view of where they are in their professional lives, where they want to go, and the gaps they need to fill. .

Step 1: functional specification

In software development, a team cannot get started until it has a functional specification that describes the requirements of the application and how it is supposed to function and behave.

Why should a career be any different? In my model, people start by evaluating the “functionality” expected of someone at their next career level and how they are (or not) demonstrating it. Usually, a person moves up to a higher level only when they already demonstrate that they are operating at that level.


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