5 mistakes to avoid as a software developer

We all make mistakes in our careers, no matter what line of work we work in – management professional, a talent acquisition specialist, or a software developer. For software developers, however, the idea of making a mistake can be extremely scary as one silly career mistake can completely ruin their life.

One can easily avoid such mistakes with some knowledge while navigating through this constantly changing software Industry. Here are some of the most notable career traps for software engineers.

  1. Switching jobs frequently

This may look like an odd one but yes, switching jobs too early also makes you unfit for a healthy career in the software industry. If you are prone to switch companies very quickly, you are under the red flag. It takes a lot of time, efforts, and money in hunting and acquiring a talent that can add value to the company but if your resume shows you have switched jobs very quickly in recent years, the employers won’t trust your reliability.

2. Being disinterested in the business

“I’m just a developer, I don’t interest myself in the business.” That’s career suicide. You need to know the score. Is your company doing well? What are its main business challenges? What are its most important projects? How does technology or software help achieve them? How does your company fit into its overall industry? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, you’re going to work on irrelevant projects for irrelevant people in irrelevant companies for a relatively irrelevant amount of money.

3. Staying too long in a technology

I get it. You like Microsoft C# or Java or JavaScript or Python or Cobol. However, most technologies have a life cycle of adoption, peak, outsourcing, niche. Meaning if you knew Cobol in the 1980s, cool. If you knew it in the early 1990s and weren’t looking to retire, you were at risk of losing your job. If you knew it in the late 1990s then Y2K got some people $300 an hour. Today, after 20 years of Cobol programmers not making all that much money, suddenly there is opportunity. But you have to be willing to relocate away from the coasts, and you’ll probably make less than you’re accustomed to.

4. Being allergic to politics

Every organisation, no matter how big or small, has some kind of politics. So, you need to hone your political skills. If you’re not aware of the politics, you’re going to be a pawn in other people’s games. I don’t mean you have to be the jerk who is all political games and no work, but you do need to play defensive politics.

5. Thinking it is just about the money

No one wants to work with someone just in it for the money. What do you care about? That is the only thing that you will ever put your fullest effort into. I know I only want to work with the person who cares about the work. How about you? On the other hand — don’t be insufferable about it. If the thing you truly care about is tabs vs. spaces then maybe some Ritalin or Clomipramine can help.