How to level up as an Engineer: leadership skills and other essential capacities that should be cultivated

Software development is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand industries of the 21st century. It generated close to 30 million jobs throughout the world according to the latest report from State of the Developer Nation and was assessed at close to $400 billion according to the software market income report by Statista.

That is why software developers enjoy greater labor flexibility and mobility. On average, software engineers stay in one place half of the time instead of other professionals. Fifty percent (50%) of them remain in a job for two years at a maximum, according to data from 14 of the largest technology companies in the United States.

However, engineers and software developers can also strive to move up within a company and position themselves as senior members of their respective teams, harnessing leadership skills and insights that are necessary for a long-lasting career.

Whether you are starting your first engineer full-time job or consider yourself a veteran, here are some tips from Mismo’s own senior developers, Marcos Aruj and Christian Carrillo, to level up as an engineer and get to your next career stage.

Stay informed. Software engineering evolves quickly, along with its trends. Engineers should follow these market trends to understand what clients want and provide solutions that connect with the project’s meaning and objectives.

Likewise, at a level of programming logic, several resources may help generate more functional, maintainable code. These resources have already been tested and are available to developers.

(Check out our blog regarding the top resources and books for programmers to find more information).

“If you are lazy and keep quiet while everything changes around you, you will be defeated in the end.” – Carrillo.

Stay in the moment. To assume more responsibilities and climb, you should acquire visibility beyond your own projects. Be up-to-date with changes in job flow, new clients, and even new team members. If you gain a broader image of what is going on, it will be easy to make suggestions and help your coworkers. At Mismo, this dynamic is key since work teams are accustomed to supporting each other regardless of the project that they are developing. This work structure has made it possible to gain more significant potential from each one of its members.

“This adaptability to circumstances while thinking outside the box or as expected will be extremely useful for solving different problems, dealing with challenges, and becoming a vital part of the team.” – Aruj.

New Technologies, Broader Mentality. Developers must be exposed to a large number of possible technologies, architectures, and paradigms. Developing experience based on a larger group of resources will improve your ability to integrate each technology within a project and decide which solution is better adapted to future problems. The Tuition Reimbursement program at Mismo makes it possible for all its engineers to have access to new types of knowledge without incurring any extra cost. Likewise, being able to work with the following “unicorns” in places such as Silicon Valley makes it possible to always be at the forefront of new and emerging technologies.

Learn to generate coupled code. A senior engineer must be able to create clean, predictable code. In other words, it must be a piece of language that can be maintained over time and that other developers are able to modify. This is also known as coupled code. This part of the code becomes integral for the tool regardless of whether work is being done at the Front End or the Back End.

“We need to think that the code we create will be maintained by somebody else in the future or even by ourselves later on, so we need to understand and apply the best practices, design patterns, and principles that make our code more legible, comprehensible, and maintainable.” -Aruj.

Teamwork. You have to be creative when solving problems. But it is also just as important to transmit this knowledge and creative process to the rest of the team. You have to learn to accept feedback and how to provide it as well. That is the only way that effective, trustworthy professional relationships are built. In that sense, follow-up by project leaders may also be focused on members as well as on the work to be done. Applying this emotional intelligence when exercising this feedback makes it possible to identify external elements that may be affecting the work: having a bad day, dealing with emotions, among others.

“Try to improve the daily work that you do. Our work should be passionate. We should try to leave a positive legacy in the places where we work and our work results.” – Aruj.

After almost 20 years of combined work experience, both Marcos and Christian agree that everybody should try to achieve the same professional goals and objectives. However, developing the proper combination of soft and technical skills will allow engineers to work more efficiently with other departments and team members and help identify future projects or companies that may be better at matching your long-term expectations.

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