Software Developer from Level Zero to Hero

So you’ve graduated or just finished that online course and ready to start your career in the mystical
world of using code to craft spells that aim to solve the world’s problems. You’re probably wondering
where to begin or how you’re going to level up and reach the state of mastery that will separate you
from all the noobs. Well look no further, as the journey is no different from that of a traditional RPG and
you will soon find out how to go from zero XP to OP in no time.

Before diving into the intricate ways of getting to the top in this career, we must take a short detour
through context valley (for those that skip tutorials please skip forward now). In RPGs aka role-playing
games, the main idea is to go from someone with no experience points (XP) and grind your way to
becoming so well versed in the game’s mechanics and lore that you become overpowered (OP) in the
eyes of noobs (beginners). To do this in the least possible time you should aim to maximize your efforts
and find the best possible ways to enhance your skill tree.

A skill tree is quite similar to your talents and skills section on your résumé as it dictates how you’ve
developed yourself by training and honing each specific ability. The tree branches into categories to
make it easy to manage, so for a developer we could classify them as knowledge skills, soft skills and
hard skills. Depending on your goals, the level of mastery, per branch, will shift as you progress through
your own story as it is strongly influenced by the time and effort you place on your most valuable traits.

Since everyone trained using similar techniques, the class of developer will weigh heavily on how their
skills develop throughout their campaign. Many classes exist but some have become a staple, namely:
the Web, Mobile, Native/Desktop Applications, Database and Embedded Systems Developer; the Cloud
and Machine Learning Engineer; and the Data Scientist class. Unfortunately, the perks one gets from
selecting a class does not translate into amazing abilities like being able see in the dark or the gift of not
requiring sleep, however unlike virtual worlds you can change your first choice later in your story.

Your first instinct is to go out there and follow a predefined path or do what the kind strangers that
assisted you until this point have advised you to do, but for your own good it’s best to follow that
guidance with caution. The common path gives you the best possible chance of success, unfortunately it
is also the least fulfilling if you are hungry for unpredictable adventures that speed up your growth. Now
that the tutorial has concluded, we can begin with the first step in the journey to becoming a master of
the mystical code.

This is the point where you’ve come to grips with the world but aren’t yet familiar with all it has to offer
so the first thing you should do is figure out what kind of player you are. Decide now whether you are a
hard, soft, knowledge skills or all-rounder type of player. Hard skill developers will focus on mastering
programming languages, various technologies and technical techniques in hopes to specialize one day.
People who value soft skills will work on becoming better at analyzing, interpreting, designing, leading
and relaying concepts to various people on quests as a supporting role. Those with knowledge skills as
their priority will grow their abilities to research, experiment, invent and document new discoveries for
others to use. Branching out into each part equally is viable but will need much greater time and effort
so choosing wisely is essential.

Once you have your tree strategy set, it’s a good idea to open up your map and plot out all your points
of interest. This is where you look out into the massive market and decide how you will go about visiting
all the areas you want to visit and see if there are great opportunities for your chosen class. Take a look
at each industry, and within each, look at the companies that piqué your interest and will give you the
best chance to maximize your major skill category too. When map is ready, ride away with confidence to
find out as much about the world as possible before joining a guild.

This world is a tough place and many do not have the luxury of time, resulting in the need to join a guild
soon after starting their career, however there is a good way to make sure you choose the best one for
you. Stay clear of the companies that trap new developers with promises of high earnings from quests,
these usually come at a heavy price and may essentially stunt your growth as you progress. The most
appealing option is to pick an organization that places high value on training their members even if they
don’t offer the best reward for completing missions. Not all guilds are traps so it’s important to ask
fellow explorers before signing that deal, as this will decide how quickly you scale your talents and how
effective they become in future since focusing on gold to make your way up has its limits.

None of these steps would drastically affect your speed of progression without one last key. Spending
time doing solo quests not only exposes you to the loot hidden beyond the safe walls of a guild, it also
provides the greatest amount of XP. It is experience gained through struggle and triumph over failures
or seemingly impossible challenges that truly shapes a developer. Even if the missions you accept in your
spare time seem too daunting for your current level, breaking through is more rewarding and the true
secret to maxing your skill tree and becoming OP.

Now that you’ve gained this vital knowledge, you can take on the vast and glorious world of
development. Combine this with your strong urge to solve problems and mesmerize mere mortals with
your wonderful wizardry and you’ll soon grow stronger than you can possibly fathom. Go now and
conquer the greatest trials, whilst you work towards becoming immortalized as one of the bravest
developers to have ever taken up the mighty keyboard to lead our planet into a brighter future


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