Wow, you made it to part three! Or you just found this blog with no idea it's part of a series. If that is the case, allow me to enlighten you.
As mentioned, this is part three of a three-part blog series. I am writing from my experience as a self-taught developer and giving some advice on what I consider are the main challenges of being a web developer.
This part continues from part two, where I discuss working in your first job. Here I will discuss progressing in your career and finding the job you want to get.
Money vs Lifestyle
This question came to me fairly recently, and I think it’s a question most developers will have to ask themselves in their career. Do you choose work that will pay much better, or do you choose a job in which you will be more comfortable that has more benefits.
As I mentioned in the first blog in this series, I got into web development for the freedom it could offer. Although, of course, money does play a part in that, I can now afford to travel more. But I still need to be free enough to travel.
This question will have a different answer for you as your priorities in life could be much different e.d. you may have a family or a passion you wish to pursue other than coding. For example, I heard of someone recently that became a dev, only to fund their pilot training, and I have a friend who only wants to work 3 or 4 days a week to focus on their music.
Ask yourself what you want from your work
Consider your position in life
Decided what you prioritise
Learning new skills
In this industry, I think it's always important to learn something new. Not only because tech is constantly changing but for your progression too.
The decision to learn a particular skill should not be taken lightly. The worse thing would be to learn something to then never use it. This has happened to me early in my career, and now whenever I start to learn a new skill, I make sure it's something I will be able to utilise, either for getting a new job or personal projects.
I think you shouldn't worry about pushing back against doing work that will be required you to learn something new that is of no interest to you or you will not use in the future.
Never get complacent in the indestry
Think about it before you commit to learning a new skill
Try to avoid learning things you don’t need or want to learn
Job agencies / recruiters
Being a developer will mean you will probably get harassed by many recruiters (that's been my experience working in the UK anyway). I've had good, bad and annoying ones.
I've heard a few stories of people getting miss-sold jobs, which has happened to me in the past. I've had recruiters call and message me 2 or 3 times a day and try and push me into new positions I'm not sure about taking. So now I err on the side of caution when dealing with them.
But on the other hand, they can be instrumental in helping you get the position you want. Recruiters know what and what not to say. They can also save you time by communicating with the company, lining up interviews, and getting information.
The thing to keep in mind is they want you to take the job even if it's not quite what you want, and they will try to sell it to you as much as they will sell you to the company. So it's probably better to find work by going directly to the company or through friends if you can or find a good recruiter you can trust.
Recruiters can be useful for saving yo time and selling you skills
Be cautious if a recruiter is overly pushy
always remember they are trying to sell you the job
I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I have been talking about things from my experience, which if you want to know more about me, check out my first blog in this series. If you have liked this, please check out the other blogs we have written on our company website, where we have tutorials and other bits talking about developer life.