Upgrade your developer stack with non-development related skills

I am among those who think development isn’t just about coding. There are much more things that are also part of the job. Whether you are iOS, Android or web developer, you can raise your value by learning these soft skills.

Talk

Please don’t nurture the myth of the guy in the back of the room with its hoodie who talks to no one. This image of the developer is gone and it’s your job to make it shiny again on social media! In one word: T-W-I-T-T-E-R.

Many developers see this as a useless thing, a marketers’ thing but it’s full of good resources. You can find every kind of developers: iOS, Android, Rails, Angular…: there’s huuuuuuge community of developers! But some are still shy.

Plus, you can meet people on Twitter that you’d never have met without. It’s the perfect place to open conversations, talk about good practices, create relationships and start your personal branding on social media.

Here is a list of good accounts I follow about development (moslty about front-end): HTeuMeuLeu, ireaderinokun, frontendfront, CSS Tricks, ThePracticalDev… If you don’t know where to start, there’s lot of blog posts and tutorials about using Twitter. But stay simple: ask your questions, share your tips and tricks, discuss the best practice for doing something

C’mon nerds, trust the power of the blue bird!

Read

Most developers will only read posts to solve their current problems. They will type in Google their request, find something which looks good and read the page to find the solution.

I won’t tell you that isn’t a good practice. Of course it is! But you can do more by reading posts more often and not only to solve immediate issues. You could find more info about that framework you already wanted to try or be inspired about a new design trend.

Most developers will only read posts to solve their current problems.

Try devoting a period of time each week to read things or listen podcasts. It opens your field of view, makes you more curious and helps you increasing your knowledge. Find the best Twitter accounts, read the links they share and add the best resources to your favorites or into your Feedly.

There are plenty of blogs about development including Medium which abound of publications about development for developers by developers. Just search for the good keywords and find the most accurate content for you. Here are some good Medium blogs: Free Code Camp, iOS App Development, Google Developers.

Teach (& learn)

Don’t know where to start? Think of your (good) old friend Stackoverflow! Who do you think is responding to people? Developers like you. Why wouldn’t you do the same by helping people in sharing what you know? Some questions will be so much technical that you will even get something to learn. It’s a win-win deal.

Quora is also a great way to share your content and to answer people’s questions. Quora is like Yahoo Answers: people asks questions in categories, and you can answer them. It’s really instructive and answers are often well documented. Sign up to Quora, subscribe to the topics you are good in and start answering people.

The more you teach, the more you learn. Share what you know with people.

And I can’t encourage you more to open a blog to write and share everything you know on articles. Either it’s on Medium, WordPress or Ghost: writing is a good way to be known and recognized on what your good at and to share things you love with people who need it. You won’t instantly get a perfect writing style but simply try to transform your knowledge into words together is nice and motivating.

I encourage every developer who reads this: be more curious. Start reading interesting posts on blogs, bookmark your favorites and interact with people on social media to create connections and share knowledge.

The web isn’t unilateral: it’s a two directions way of exchange. Don’t just receive but be an actor of this exchange: write, answer, share and help people who struggle. They will return the favour.