Reflections on Five Years as a Developer

Over the past five years, I've had the opportunity to work in both large corporations and startups, tackling middleware, infrastructure, and specific business projects. I've experienced the dynamics of B2B and B2C projects, and along the way, I've picked up some valuable lessons about development processes and team collaboration. Here's a summary of my experiences and what I've learned. I hope it helps anyone who reads this, and serves as a reminder to myself. I firmly believe there is always room for improvement, so I also hope this record will serve as a constant reminder to keep striving for better.

Stay Confident, but Humble

Confidence is key, even when you doubt your experience or expertise. The workplace values results above all, and confident individuals are often seen as reliable and capable. However, true confidence comes from a stable inner core and doesn't require external validation. Arrogance and self-doubt are often two sides of the same coin; those who feel inadequate may act arrogantly to seek approval and fill their inner void. Balancing confidence with humility, being approachable, and being open to feedback can enhance your credibility and build trust with your colleagues.

Learn from Everyone

Learn from different people and appreciate the unique strengths each person brings to the team. Don't underestimate anyone in your team; everyone has something valuable to teach you, and professional skills are just one aspect of what you can learn. Embracing a variety of strengths and perspectives is beneficial at any time and can significantly enhance your own capabilities.

Prioritize Problem-Solving

Focus on how you can solve problems within your team. It's a bonus if you work with highly skilled professionals, but it's not always the case. By concentrating on finding solutions, you can maintain a positive attitude and exhibit professionalism. This approach helps you stay grounded and makes a significant impact on your team's overall success. Don't buy into the idea of exclusive inner circles or favoritism! companies and managers always trust those who can effectively solve problems.

Think Before You Act

Many people confuse being busy with being productive. Without the right direction, hard work can be futile. Taking the time to think critically about your tasks can save effort and lead to better outcomes. Challenge habitual actions and be open to new ways of thinking; this can often lead to more efficient and innovative solutions.

Master the Details, Don't Get Lost in Abstraction

Successful projects require a deep understanding of details. Knowing the specifics of each step ensures that everything runs smoothly. Before starting a project, make sure all details are thoroughly examined. This way, potential issues can be identified and addressed early on, facilitating a more efficient and effective project workflow.

Stay Positive and Energetic

Always maintain a positive attitude and be a source of energy for your team. People are naturally drawn to those who exude positivity, and this magnetic quality can help you attract and retain a supportive network. While human nature is not always perfect, fostering positivity can bring out the best in your team members. A good team atmosphere not only helps in achieving work goals but is also a crucial component of a healthy work environment.

Give Credit Where It's Due

When a colleague goes above and beyond to help you, make sure to thank them. Remember, they didn't have to extend that extra effort. Acknowledging their contribution is not just polite, but essential for fostering a positive team environment. People appreciate recognition, and giving credit can encourage a culture of mutual support and timely feedback within the team. Compliments should be specific and heartfelt to be meaningful. For example, a simple "good job" pales in comparison to "Your improvements on the XYZ system saved me a lot of time. Great work!" Make sure others can feel your genuine appreciation.

Avoid Over-Selling Yourself

Never try to excessively promote yourself in any way. It's natural to want to find your place within the team quickly, but rushing this process often backfires. Whether you aim for a promotion or any form of career advancement, focus on doing the above things well. When you consistently deliver and contribute positively, recognition and opportunities will naturally follow.

These lessons have helped me navigate different professional environments and project types. They have been crucial in my growth as a developer and as a team member. I am very grateful to the wonderful leaders and colleagues I encountered early in my career; they helped me find direction during times of uncertainty, and I deeply appreciate their guidance. If these reflections can offer some value to others, then sharing them has been worthwhile.