How to chart your career path as a Java developer
When times tend to the unpredictable, one way to maintain personal sanity is to stay productive and focus on the things under your control. Take the time to review your career path as a Java developer by reflecting on your past accomplishments and how you would like to progress in the future. It’s a great way to calm a distracted mind and create some optimism about career prospects.
If your mind has started to wander, here are three meaningful things you can do to help you gain perspective on both your past and your future:
- Review your CV and update your social media presence
- Search for peripheral technology
- Share your ideas and acquired knowledge
Update your CV and social media presence
How long has it been since you put a day aside and work on your CV? When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn account?
You don’t have to be looking for a job to invest time in your resume. When it comes to planning the career path of Java developers, it is very helpful to revisit the past and document the technical advancements made over the years. Once your resume is up to date, do the same on your LinkedIn page.
If you’ve been with the same company for 10 years, update the roles, completed projects, technologies learned, and rewards you’ve earned during that time. While you won’t share a change of employer, these are all valuable reflections of your work that shine on an online profile.
When you look at the past, it’s hard not to start thinking about where you want to be in the future. Take the meta-analysis of the tasks you enjoyed, remember the technologies you hated working with, and start charting how your career path as a Java developer can progress in the years to come.
Mastering a complementary technology
In the field of enterprise software development, you can be constantly inundated with new technologies peripheral to the ones you use on a daily basis. Spring Boot development may be your day-to-day life, but you can’t build microservices without being exposed to complementary technologies like Git, Jenkins, blockchain, or AI. If there is downtime and you want to become a more complete software professional, choose the peripheral technology that interests you the most and invest the time in its research.
For example, a developer can quickly master the fundamentals of continuous integration and deployment by purchasing high-quality Jenkins tutorials and installing the software on an inexpensive second-hand laptop. It will surely make you a more complete software developer and maybe even put the career path of Java developers on a new trajectory.
If you’re feeling a little ambitious with this free time, why not look for an industry-respected certification? The nice thing about technical certifications is that their exam goals establish a very clear inventory of skills that the industry deems important. With a set of smart goals in front of you, it’s easy to structure learning around them.
Share your ideas
Think about some of your hard-learned lessons over the past few years, or some of the best practices and models you’ve mastered, and write them down with the intention of sharing that knowledge with others.
The act of writing is a very powerful mechanism that consolidates your thoughts and really solidifies the way you understand how things work and why. After capturing these thoughts in a logical and easily digestible form, share this knowledge with others.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram certainly make it easier to communicate within peer groups, but the limited story lengths and character limits do not allow these platforms to properly share ideas and best practices with others. . A personal blog paired with a few tweets is one way to get your point across. Another option is to submit your writing to an online technical magazine like this. The editors of TheServerSide and the TechTarget family of sites are always interested in the ideas of seasoned veterans of the enterprise software industry.
Another option is to share your experiences in a user group, a MeetUp or even a technical conference. Many software developers have the mistaken impression that presenters at a conference like JavaOne or Oracle OpenWorld must be professional speakers with a long history in front of the crowds. In fact, most conference planners try to find independent speakers who have precious pearls of wisdom combined with a willingness to share those pearls with like-minded developers. Consider bundling your ideas into a 30-minute slideshow and presenting it at a JUG or industry conference. You will be surprised at how eager others will be to hear from you.
Always nurture your career path as a Java developer
While it’s easy to lose perspective as we strive in a daily routine, over the years an enterprise software developer will develop a multitude of skills and gather a wealth of information. When the opportunity arises, take the time to document these ongoing experiences by updating your resume and adding online profiles on LinkedIn and Monster. Take advantage of your knowledge and take the time to focus on some peripheral but complementary skills to make you a more complete developer. And if time permits, take the time to document and share some of the important lessons you’ve learned. Each of these actions will allow you to focus on the career path of Java developers and at the same time remind you and others of the important role you play in this ever changing industry.