How To Differentiate Yourself as a Developer in Today’s Job Market
While you might not have gotten into development for the money, a little extra never hurt! Here are some ways to get a little extra cash, and improve your skills.
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Money is important to living a fulfilled life. It doesn’t matter what profession you are in, having financial freedom can help you take challenges head-on. But, there are other things that a developer cares about; being different and unique.
Software Development is one of the most popular and in-demand professions in the market, and it is only going to improve in the future.
What is it like to be a developer right now?
The current state of the IT hiring market is good and there is a huge demand for developers. However, many developers are not able to seize opportunities easily. This could be because the developers are either too busy completing their current projects or they are failing to look into the opportunities to improve themselves.
How Much Do Developers Earn in the Current Market?
The average salary of a developer is around $100,000 per annum in the United States. When we say “average,” a lot of things need to be taken into account. The experience, technology, location, and the company you are working for play an important role. A $100K salary in Silicon Valley is average when you compare the salary to the cost of living in Silicon Valley.
Software Development is a complex process. To add to the complexity, there are many sub-fields in development with different growth opportunities. However, there are many common ways developers can grow in the current environment.
So, how much do you expect to make? As we already discussed, it depends on a lot of factors. Also, if you are working as a freelancer or on a remote job position, things might work out differently for you.
How To Differentiate Yourself As a Developer In Today’s Job Market
Now that we have answered some common questions, let’s go through the list of actions that you can take to differentiate yourself as a developer in today’s job market.
1. Start Streaming
One of the newest trends on the internet is live streaming. Many big companies are integrating live streaming into their platforms to make it stronger and receptive to the market demands. Social media platforms are investing millions of dollars in live streaming technology and its integration in their product.
So, how does it help you as a developer? It helps you to improve your image on the internet and also create a fan-following.
Educational portals, such as LiveEdu.tv provide the opportunity to showcase your skills to the world. You can simply signup and start streaming. Moreover, you can watch talented streamers build complex end-to-end, real-world projects.
2. Create a Personal Brand
A lot of things start to change when you see yourself as a brand. The Internet is full of opportunities and to grab them you need to create a personal brand online.
Branding has been used by big companies. Big organizations associate colors, slogans, logos, etc. with their brands, which in turn help them to grow exponentially.
Similarly, personal branding works. If you want to grow, you need to show your value to the people both offline and online.
"It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level." -- Gary Vaynerchuk
3. Let Curiosity Run Through You
Curiosity makes us who we are. Without being curious, you would never be in the place you are right now. Clearly, as we progress through life, we lose the urge to learn new things. However, as a developer, you need to invest in yourself and improve every single day.
The industry is moving towards better solutions. It doesn’t matter which programming language, library, or tool you are using, they will either see a significant change or a new set of technology will replace them. No one knows for sure.
To keep up with the change, you need to constantly learn new frameworks, libraries, and techniques. This will keep you job ready and will ensure that you earn more as a developer.
Investing in yourself is the best investment.
4. Work on Open Source Projects
Does working on open source projects enable you to grow as a developer? Yes, it does. Working on open source projects can help you earn both directly and indirectly.
Indirectly, it is helping you to improve your skills and also build your portfolio. It doesn’t matter if you are working for a permanent job or as a freelancer, open source projects add value to your portfolio.
Despite popular belief, open source projects are also paid. There are many ways one can earn extra money by working on open source projects. For example, you can customize an open source ERP solution for a company and get paid for it. You can check out this article that focuses on making money with open source contribution for more information.
5. Work on Your Side Projects
Everyone has a side project in their mind. Something that you've wanted to build for a long time. Generally, side projects are ambitious in nature. If you have a side project, then don’t stop working on it. It doesn’t matter how slow you are working on it, just don’t stop working.
Many Google engineers’ side projects have turned into million dollar companies. For example, Google Talk, Adsense, Google news, and even Gmail were side projects of their employees. Google knows that side projects hold more value, and hence offer 20% of the workweek to their employees to work on side projects.
One of the biggest hurdles of working on a side project is motivation. To keep yourself motivated, you can join programming communities on the internet. You can also stream your side project on LiveEdu.tv to get attention and create a buzz around it.
6. Network More
Networking is crucial for any professional out there. Almost 85% of the jobs are achieved through networking. So, if you really want to get more gigs, gear up your networking skills. It will help you in the long run.
You can read the small networking guide to get started. Also, you need to understand that networking is best done with practice. Read whatever you want, but you can only get good at it by putting lessons into practice.
7. Start Teaching Part-Time
Do you remember the time when you started to learn to program? If you do, you also remember the struggle that you went through. Many new learners require assistance to make the most out of their time. There are multiple platforms online that pay you to teach others. You can also release courses and publish on different platforms, such as LiveEdu.tv, Coursera, etc., and get paid.
One of the most important things that we have not discussed here is productivity. A productive developer will always have free time to invest in other projects and activities. If you are hooked to your job or freelance project all the time, you will never be able to make more money outside of your regular/freelance job.
So, what are the ways you differentiate yourself as a developer? Comment below and let us know. We are listening.
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