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How can I improve my skills? Any Suggestion

 
Greenhorn
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I am looking for advice about moving from mid-level to senior level position. My background: I have 4+ years of experience in Java/J2EE. I mainly work for small company, mainly small to midsize project 6 months to 1 year project. I mainly worked in the web development areas.

I have seeing how web framework evolved from JSP/Servlet to full blown J2EE.. Here are my questions..

How do people advanced their career? Any suggestion?
Be an expert at couple thing or be an novice at many things?
I followed everything..

Is changing jobs year to year good for your career or not?

Someone gave me the advice, the only way you can grow is to learn from mistakes. He told me that you should stick around from start to finish and to many releases... Is that true?

Any advice would be great? Please shared your experiences...
 
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Originally posted by la phon:
I
How do people advanced their career? Any suggestion?
Be an expert at couple thing or be an novice at many things?
I followed everything..

Is changing jobs year to year good for your career or not?

Someone gave me the advice, the only way you can grow is to learn from mistakes. He told me that you should stick around from start to finish and to many releases... Is that true?



In general, I do not recommend jumping around too much. It makes it look like you're job hopping for money. Also, as your friend noticed, it's important to go through one full release cycle, and usually 2-3. It's useful to see how shortcuts you took on the Nth release come back to haunt you on the N+1 and N+2 releases, and so later you'll better understand the true cost of such decisions.

In general you advance by proving yourself and taking on more responsibility in your current role. Eventually, you decide that you can't significantly gorw more in your current role, i.e. the amount of learning and growth is limited compared to other options, and you'll leave for a new job. Lack of raises/bonus, changing needs (e.g. family), or work environment may also effect the decision to stay or leave.

Most importantly, you need to have a goal. have some idea where you want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years. (You can change your goals, but always be moving towards some goal.) Once you know where you're going, plan how to get there. What do you need to do in the next 1-3 years to move towards that goal. Work at a job (current or new one) which moves you towards your goal.

--Mark
 
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