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How to plot your Java developer career path

When times trend toward the unpredictable, one way to maintain personal sanity is to remain productive and focus on things within your control. Take some time to examine your Java developer career path by reflecting on past accomplishments and how you’d like to progress in the future. It’s a great way so settle a distracted mind and create some optimism about prospects in the career field.

If your mind has started to wander, here are three meaningful tasks to perform to help get some perspective on both your past and future:

  1. Revisit your CV and update social media presence
  2. Research a peripheral technology
  3. Share your insights and acquired knowledge

Update your resume and social media presence

How long has it been since you put a day aside and worked on your resume? When was the last time your LinkedIn account was updated?

You don’t have to be on a job search to invest some time in your CV. When it comes to Java developer career path planning, there’s great value in revisiting the past and documenting your technical progress made over the years. After your CV is up to date, do the same to your LinkedIn page as well.

If you’ve been with the same company for 10 years, update the roles, completed projects, learned technologies and awards you’ve accomplished in that time frame. While you won’t share an employer change, these are all valuable reflections of your work that shine on an online profile.

When you look at the past, it’s hard not to start thinking about where you want to be in the future. Take the meta-analysis of the tasks you enjoyed remember the technologies you hated working with and start to plot how your Java developer career path can progress in the coming years.

Master a complimentary technology

In the enterprise software development field you can be constantly inundated with new technologies that exist peripheral to the ones you use daily. Spring Boot development might be your daily grind, but there’s no way you can create microservices without exposure to complimentary technologies such as Git, Jenkins, blockchain or AI. If there’s ever some downtime and you want to become a more well-rounded software professional, pick the peripheral technology that interests you the most and invest some time researching it.

For example, a developer can quickly master the fundamentals of continuous integration and deployment by sourcing out some high quality Jenkins tutorials and installing the software on an inexpensive, used laptop. That will surely make you a more well-rounded software developer and perhaps even put the Java developer career path on a new trajectory.

If you’re feeling a bit ambitious with that free time, why not seek out an industry respected certification? The nice thing about technical certifications is their exam objectives lay out a very clear inventory of skills that the industry deems important. With a set of intelligent objectives in front of you, it’s easy to structuring learning around them.

developer career path

Nurture your Java developer career path by taking time to learn a technology peripheral to your current job role.

Share your insights

Think about some of the your hard-learned lessons over the past few years, or some of the best practices and patterns you’ve mastered and write them down with the intention to share that knowledge with others.

The act of writing is a very powerful mechanism that consolidates your thoughts and really solidifies how you understand how things that work and why. After you’ve captured those thoughts in a logical and easy-to-digest form, share that knowledge with others.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram certainly make communication within peer groups significantly easier, but the limited story times and character limits don’t lend these platforms to properly share insights and best practices with others. A personal blog coupled with a few tweets is one way to get your message out there. Another option is to submit your writings to an online technical magazine like this one. Editors of TheServerSide and TechTarget’s family of sites are always interested in insights from seasoned veterans of the enterprise software industry.

Another option is to share your experiences at a user group, MeetUp or even a technical conference. Many software developers are under the misguided impression that presenters at a conference like JavaOne or Oracle OpenWorld need to be professional speakers with a long history in front of crowds. In reality, most conference organizers try to find independent speakers who have valuable pearls of wisdom combined with a willingness to share those pearls with like-minded developers. Think about packaging your thoughts up into a 30-minute slideshow and pitch it to a JUG or industry conference. You’ll be surprised to see how eager others will be to hear you speak.

Always nurture your Java developer career path

While it’s easy to lose perspective as we slog through a daily grind, over the years an enterprise software developer will develop a bevy of skill and garner a wealth of insights. When the opportunity arises, take the time to document those ongoing experiences by updating your CV and adding to online profiles at LinkedIn and Monster. Build on your knowledge and take the time to focus on some peripheral but complimentary skills to make you a more well-rounded developer. And if time permits, take some time to document and share some of the important lessons you’ve learned. Each one of these actions will allow you to focus on the Java developer career path and at the same time help remind you and others of the important role you play in this ever-evolving industry.

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