“Let’s face it -- no development team ever had enough resources to deliver what product management wants them to,” Edge says. “When senior developers don’t have the time to mentor younger developers, I fully understand. Just don’t say it’s because ‘I’m not good with people.’”
Mistake No. 5: Sticking to your stack
Your expertise in one stack may make you invaluable to your current workplace -- but is it helping your career? Can it hurt to be too focused on only one stack?
It can hurt your trajectory to be too focused on one stack, says Talent Inc.’s Henderson, but maybe for different reasons than you think.
“Every stack will have a different culture and perspective, which ultimately will broaden and expedite your career growth,” Henderson says. “For instance, I find that many C# developers are only aware of the Microsoft ecosystem, when there is a far larger world out there. Java has, arguably, the best ecosystem, and I often find that Java developers make the best C# developers because they have a wider perspective.”
Automic’s Wilson says proficiency -- but not mastery -- with one stack should be the benchmark before moving onto another.
“It’s time to move on when you are good at the skill, but not necessarily great,” says Wilson. “I’m not advocating mediocrity, just the opposite. I am saying that before you head off to learn a new skill make sure you are good, competent, or above average at that skill before you consider moving on.”
Mistake No. 6: Neglecting soft skills
Programmers are typically less outgoing than, say, salespeople. No secret there. But soft skills can be picked up over time, and some of the nuances of developing a successful career -- like learning from mentors and developing relationships -- can be missing from your career until it’s too late.
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