BLOG 6 Must-Have Skills for Young Web Developers

Published: Dec 4, 2017 4 min read
Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Kerrie Hughs

Source: Creative Bloq

While it can be difficult to develop hard skills from scratch, it’s certainly not as difficult to hone your skills (including those softer skills) to get a competitive edge. Learning can take many different forms, so what can the web developers of tomorrow do to get ahead?

To get an idea, Packt, creators of the skills learning platform Mapt, asked six of its expert authors and developers what they think graduates and young developers can do to give themselves a headstart. Here’s what they had to say:

01. Specialise, don’t diversify

Harold Dost, principal consultant at Raastech suggests that young developers take some time to look at tools such as Lynda or Linux Academy. He stresses that tools such as these can be used to develop a strong foundation of knowledge on a key topics and can help you on your journey in becoming an expert.

“Hone a core skill (maybe two or three), and then diversify on the rest,” Dost says. “This will allow you to specialise and give you the in-depth knowledge which will be necessary as you go further in your career.”

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But he also says that although you should specialise in a few areas, be careful not to neglect other opportunities. “At the same time as specialising,” Dost says, “be sure to keep learning about new technologies to allow you to grow and improve the work you produce.”

02. Read and write (and write more than just code)

Oracle ace director and principal at Capgemini UK Luis Augusto Weir says My advice for young developers would be to be passionate about learning and, of course, about coding.”

He also thinks that even though his industry is all about new technologies, good old fashioned reading will always be the most important part of education.
“Reading books is surely a way to get ahead,” he says, “as well as lots of other interactive ways to learn like youtube, blogs, online courses and so on.”

But even though there are so many interactive ways of learning, Luis thinks that reading books is one of the most important elements of personal development. “Not only does a huge amount of effort go into writing books,” he says, “but nothing beats a good book to read whilst on the train, or bus. Bringing a book with you wherever you go means you’re always equipped to learn.”

Author Adrian Ward backed up Luis’ advice, saying that reading and writing were crucial to his own education. He says that writing, whether it’s “blogs, articles, books or presentations” will compel you to learn. “If you’re writing about something,” he adds, “you certainly have to learn about it first!”

03. Take up meditation. No, really.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about working in IT and tech is the non-stop nature of the industry. It’s easy for those just finding their feet in a constantly moving world to feel overwhelmed. Author Sten Vesterli says that the most critical skill to learn is “to manage your energy, and find ways to replenish it when it’s running low.”

“If you have high energy,” he explains, “you can learn any skill and it will remain employable. If you have low energy, you will have a hard time learning something new and will be in danger of being left behind by technological changes.”

But how does Vesterli make sure that he’s energized enough to keep up to date with the pace of change? “I’ve found that meditation and triathlons work for me,” he says, “but others will have different things that give them energy.”

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