How to Succeed as a Programmer - Part 4

How to Succeed as a Programmer - Part 4

You’ve got a job! Celebrate! Now, you must keep working towards your goals. Continue iterating over your goals and where you are. Keep your eyes on the definition of your DREAM career.

In this section, we will look at how you can maneuver a company in a successful manner, whether it is your first job, or your thirty-first job! We will identify ways for you to strive to be awesome at work. You can’t do this by just doing the minimum for your job. Continue reading to find out more.

Because you did such a great job researching the right company to work for, you found one that aligns with your set of values. If this is true, then live the company culture every day!  This will help you become the pied piper of company culture and will get you noticed. A company that stands strong behind their expressed core values is always on the hunt for team members to hold up as examples of AWE-some.

Build long-lasting relationships with people and maintain your network. These people can serve as references or recommend you to people in their network. Remember some key points to building and maintaining long-lasting relationships. Be yourself, be attentive and listen to others by staying focused and engaged, this will encourage people to talk to you both personally and professionally. Always be willing to help your coworkers and take every opportunity to be a resource to others. Be open to feedback from others and don’t react emotionally to it. Be professional; never be disrespectful, condescending, or aggressive. Maintain relationships with touch points.

Meet deadlines; use something like WorkFlowy, Trello, or Asana to keep track of them. Remember to give updates; keep a list of touch points if you need to. Anticipate questions and give the answer before anyone needs to ask. Be prepared and share more information than necessary. Pay attention during meetings and ask questions, so there will be less follow-up and fewer issues later. Communicate professionally by using well thought out, upbeat, and well-formed communication that is clear and transparent. Make both short- and long-term goals. Be proactive; plan what you want to get done and limit your distractions.

Be a leader, not a boss. Lead by setting an example, listen and learn from your team, motivate, take responsibility, and develop power with people.

Be a servant leader. Do whatever your team needs you to, whether it’s working with them or fighting for them. Be persuasive, not commanding. Grow your team at a personal level by helping them with their careers. Be empathetic to your team in both professional and personal matters. Have foresight and understand your team’s future. Build a community amongst your team. Be open to ideas your team brings you.

Be a problem solver, not a problem identifier. If you find a problem, before you complain about it or bring it to someone’s attention, try to think of a fix. If you become known for being able to identify and solve these issues, you can become very valuable to a team.

Don’t be the “I” in team. Be fair, accountable, respectful, on time, courteous, and approachable. If a company is culture-based, they are more likely to keep a team member who has cultural worth over someone who delivers the numbers. When dealing with an “I,” stay calm and don’t react emotionally. Try to build a relationship with the person. Try getting to know them, teaching them something, being taught something by them, or doing something outside of work with them. This can build respect and a personal bond and yield great results in future team interactions.

Don’t take sole ownership of something or be the only person at a company that knows how to do something; pair program with teammates, and teach others, so you don’t end up handcuffed to something. The best way to get the next responsibility or move up in the company is to backfill your position in real time.

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Andrew Siemer

About Andrew Siemer

Founder and CEO

After an honorable discharge from the Army in 1998, Andy immediately started digging into the technology scene. Having served in 2nd Ranger Battalion and 14th Military Intelligence, Andy is capable of tackling stressful situations while keeping his exuberant smile fully intact. In addition to many consulting engagements from Los Angeles to NY to London over the past 20 years, Andy has worked as the Chief Architect for Dell where he led the rebuild of dell.com. Click here to check out Andy's Forbes Technology Council profile.

  • Army Ranger
  • ASP Insider
  • Azure Advisor
  • Microsoft VTSP

Books Authored

  • 5 Secrets to a Programmer’s DREAM Career
  • ASP.NET 3.5 Social Networking
  • ASP.NET 4 Social Networking
  • ASP.NET MVC 2 Cookbook
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