The Ultimate Guide to Professional Development for Engineers

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 Are you a developer who wants to be even better at your job? Or, just wondering what it takes to have a great career in the software engineering world? Look no further. The Muse asked some of the best engineering professionals out their for their secrets to success, and brought it all together in one place. Flip through for their practical tips and resources for upping your career game. For exciting job opportunities, expert advice, and a peek behind the scenes into fantastic companies and career path check out the Everything you need to find a job and kick ass in your career.

Transcript of The Ultimate Guide to Professional Development for Engineers

Professional Development Guides How to Be a Better ENgineer from We know you want to BE AWESOME at your job! So, we picked the brains of a team of engineering experts to find out how they've gotten so good. Yusuf Simonson VP of Engineering at The Muse Vanessa Hurst Technical Founder & CEO of CodeMontage Zain Memon CTO of Braid Ana Enders Senior Front-End Engineer at The Muse And compiled it all into the ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ENGINEERS. Are you ready for it? it'll be a HUGE help to your career. (And only take a little time to flip through.) Whether youre just getting started or youre ready to move to the top, First, well talk about the skills you need. And then well give you the resources to make it happen. Let's get started. So what skills does one need to develop to be a superstar engineer? Well, there are the obvious ones. You should know as many hard tech skills as possibleand continue learning them. If you're interested in becoming a developer (front-end or back-end), you might spend years learning the fundamentals, but you will never stop having to learn new technologies. All developers are expected to keep up with the latest in the tech world. You should also have plenty of practice in the art of problem solving. Probably the most useful skill I've learned has been to debug. As a front-end developer (as opposed to a seasoned programmer), I've faced many hurdles with back-end technologies. Instead of despairing or pestering my fellow engineers, I take the time to look things up or dig around, and (often) I will figure it out. It can be painful and time- consuming, but when you solve a problem on your own, it's the most empowering and satisfying feeling. But there are other skills that people tend to overlook. Its important to be able to communicate effectively in the engineering world. You must be able to: Give feedback and instructions to others on your team Explain your vision or your work to non-technical team members Learning when to provide detail and when to paint a general picture has been crucial for me. I'm an engineer by training, so I think in extreme detail, but sometimes too many specifics can hamper an otherwise strong message. You don't have to say everything you know every time you speak. You also must be able to C O L L A B O R A T E with all sorts of people. After all, you dont build things in a vacuum you build them for and with other people! The most useful skill I've learned is an appreciation for working with the non-technical staff members at a company. They're often the ones who know the problems that the company faces first-hand, and they're also the ones most appreciative when you fix those problems. Later on in your career, having good MANAGEMENT skills can really help you out. Theres a good chance youll be put in charge of a team of engineers, and youll need to be able to keep your people as organized as your code. The most useful skills for me have been softer skills, especially with respect to management and leadership. I'm not a natural manager, so this has been really useful for my professional development. Similarly, good PUBLIC SPEAKING abilities become more important as your career moves forward. By presenting your work to others, you can get your name out and become a thought leader in your field. I've spoken at several conferences, which helps me articulate what I believe in and improve how I engage other people in what I'm building. But when it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do is continue growing your TECHNICAL ABILITIES. For software development, I think learning functional programming is a great way to improve. Even if you don't end up using it professionally, it gives you a new perspective. And as an interviewer, seeing functional programming experience in a resume is a big indicator that the person is passionate about his or her craft. Now that we're on the same page about what skills you need, let's talk about how to get there. We asked our experts what resources have been helpful along the way, and pulled together an official RESOURCE GUIDE for your engineering development. BOOKS TO READ BLOGS & MAGAZINES TO READ For organizational setup, GitHub and Valve are both very inspirational companies. CONFERENCES TO ATTEND I'm inspired by Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing and local conferences focused on specific technologies (mostly PostgreSQL and Ruby for me). I also recently organized a conference, WriteSpeakCode, and learned a lot from the experience and the workshop content. CLASSES TO TAKE There are a billion tutorials online. It's probably best to consult developers you respect for guidance on what they find to be the most helpful. I'm a big fan of doing things yourself, so if you're motivated, you should not require expensive workshops or classes. Practice on real projects! Talk to people with real technical needs instead of making up a project. Software engineering is not just about building, it's about solving people's problems. EXPERTS TO FOLLOW Nowit's time to go out into the world and get better at rocking your career! (We know you can do it.) And, if you want a little more help along the way? Keep up with for the advice you need to build the career you've always dreamed of. Get Career Advice Browse Engineering Jobs Sign Up for Classes All photos courtesy of Shutterstock. Or follow us on: