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What can I do to set myself apart?

 
Alan Blass
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Hi!

I have been working in this company for more than two years. I am good at my coding but I hope to earn a promotion in this technical line.

What can I do to set myself apart from other fresh grads/seasoned programmers who are also good at coding?

What is the necessary skills in this field? How should I develop them?

Thanks for your advice.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Do you meet your commitments for time/quality? Could you do better in either of these? Are there areas of programming/technology your teammates know that you don't? Is there anything that needs doing on your team to make things better?

I'm offering a lot of questions because it is easy to offer general advice like "learn X." But for a promotion at your current job, it tends to be more specific.
 
Alan Blass
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Hi!

I meet the commitments for time/quality. In fact, I exceed it.

Yes, you are right. I need to improve on technology knowledge, especially the newest trends.

But I seems to fear my soft skills. Eg. I have a team leader. But I feel that he, as well as senior managers, are mostly politicians rather than technologist/businessmen.

They talk about customer trusts, expectations, persuasion, etc.
I think it is part of business. How can I fit in? Especially I am a programmer.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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You want to be a software developer, not a programmer. A programmer just codes exactly what someone tells him/her to. A developer does design, understands the business/requirements/etc in addition to writing code.

Soft skills take practice too and are important as you progress.
 
Henry Wong
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Alan Blass wrote:
But I seems to fear my soft skills. Eg. I have a team leader. But I feel that he, as well as senior managers, are mostly politicians rather than technologist/businessmen.

They talk about customer trusts, expectations, persuasion, etc.
I think it is part of business. How can I fit in? Especially I am a programmer.



Here is a quote from a very good TV show...

“You’re not good at relationships because you don’t value them.” -- Roger Sterling, Mad Men


There is nothing wrong with hating the customer relationship part of the job, especially all the (what seems like manushia) details that is part of it. There is also nothing wrong with not taking a position that deal with customers -- at that level. However, if you want to "fit in", you should at least value those jobs -- and calling your colleagues "politicians" (which I assume is meant to be derogatory) for doing them isn't a good idea.

In other words, your colleagues are doing an important job, that you hate doing. Doesn't that deserve some respect?

Henry
 
Deepak Bala
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Its good that you are asking these questions. It shows that you are willing to learn and want to do better.

But I seems to fear my soft skills


That is something you can work on. What grips you with fear most ? Writing emails / Presentations / Conferences / Team meetings ? Force yourself to participate more in your weak areas and strengthen them. Toast masters is a great way to get over your fear of speaking at events for example.

What is the necessary skills in this field? How should I develop them?


The answer is usually handed out to you in subtle ways.

* When you manager complains about something, you can take the initiative to fix it. Putting your hand up will get you noticed.
* Do you expect the customer will run into a problem ? Fix it before they do and then make a mention of it to your manager and the customer.
* <Insert incident here where you could have been proactive>
 
Alan Blass
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There is nothing wrong with hating the customer relationship part of the job, especially all the (what seems like manushia) details that is part of it. There is also nothing wrong with not taking a position that deal with customers -- at that level. However, if you want to "fit in", you should at least value those jobs -- and calling your colleagues "politicians" (which I assume is meant to be derogatory) for doing them isn't a good idea.

In other words, your colleagues are doing an important job, that you hate doing. Doesn't that deserve some respect?

Henry


My apologies. Politicians are not hated here, at least not in my country. I just feel that my colleagues are doing more than the technical aspect of the job.

I do not hate what they are doing. I need to learn from them.

Thanks
 
arulk pillai
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Earn a reputation as a "go to person" and someone who gets things done without just getting glued to the keyboard.
 
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