2 growth hacks to boost your software skills

2 growth hacks to boost your software skills

14 Nov 2023

In my experience, the two most impactful actions you can take to boost your developer journey, are:

  • building hobby projects;
  • learning from a relevant peer developer.

If you can find the time to build hobby projects, it's highly recommended! This way you can trial-n-error, refactor, restructure your project to your hearts content, learn what works and what doesn't. And, it presents you with the perfect opportunity to try-out new features and libraries.

This way, you'll be one step ahead when assigned to architect / build sustainable projects on the work floor. And you'll have those projects to show off & talk about when applying for jobs. It also great to gain trust about your expertise with your employer. And just maybe they'll let you skip that tricky coding test ;).

The second luxury is a relevant peer developer, likely someone who does the above. A strategical programmer, who can teach you strong basics but also the latest and greatest. Someone who doesn't shy away from opportunities to innovate.

If you don't have these luxuries, tech YouTubers, content- and course creators can be a great substitute. One day, you will be that peer developer if you aren't already.

What else do you think can fast-track growth as a developer? Let me know!

Which hobby projects to build?

This can vary depending on which type of software developer you are but these project types are highly recommended to have built:

  • your portfolio website;
  • your digital resume;
  • your (tech) blog.

These are the best types of projects to share and showcase your work, experience and knowledge. To build these, you either build everything yourself and gain a better understanding of full-stack web development. Or you learn about the technology, tools and topics to help you build the project. To name a few: a headless CMS, JAM-stack, a full CMS like WordPress, ...

Once you've built one or all of the above, you might be ready to build more challenging projects. Projects that solve real world problems, these can range from solutions that help out your local dog shelter to improving processes of small businesses in your area up to solutions to increase the revenue of companies.

Think about gathering data from external APIs, which data storage to use, which cloud components and which protocols to communicate over. Try to integrate third-party libraries, technology to boost your app's capabilities and to impress others ;). Diving into topics like "Clean Architecture" or "Clean Code" can also greatly benefit you down the road.

Did I forget something important? Let me know!

I have built multiple portfolio websites with different technologies through the past. I have also built a digital, printable resume and I recently built my own brand website with tech blog.

If you want a head start, you can grab yourself a copy here. To repurpose that to your own brand, portfolio or blog website.

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