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How To Become a Future-Proof Developer

How To Become a Future-Proof Developer: Introduction

Angular, React, Flutter, Spark, Hadoop, Vue, Django, Laravael, Next, PyTorch, Mocha, and millions of other frameworks have become popular with developers. There are probably heaps more that would come up in the future.

As a developer, it’s hard to keep up with all the frameworks, technologies, and inevitable changes even in one area of software development. If you call yourself a full stack developer, the ongoing learning required is exponential to keep pace with technology and processes. With limited time balancing work and life, this is a challenge you need to overcome to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.

Which Framework Should You Learn To Stay Relevant in the Future?

If you are hoping for me to tell you about the next technological framework that will become popular and change the technical landscape, let me assure you I don’t know, and no one can bet their money on it. The software development industry is synonymous with fast and rapid change.

Technologies, frameworks, and processes from a few years back are now archaic. Think again if you believe that learning a skill, language, or technology will make you a future-proof professional. The first thing I tell everyone is to accept that you will not be able to learn all the new technologies that come.

There is so much information and innovation that it becomes irrelevant pretty quickly. So what framework do you need?

The only framework you need to thrive is the growth mindset.

I have a question in each tech interview that helps me understand how they skill up on technology. When interviewing a frontend developer, I would ask them, “What if we give you a ticket to write APIs? How do you do it?”. You will be surprised to hear the responses from candidates — from providing the approach to saying, “I don’t want to write APIs.”

The most promising ones are those who acknowledge that they haven’t been exposed to this before and would be keen to write it. They talk about leaning on the experts to learn best practices and skills. The ‘can-do’ attitude is what differentiates them from the rest.

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein

What Is a Growth Mindset?

The book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck introduces the concept of “Fixed Mindset” and “Growth Mindset” with the traits that define them. Based on scientific research, the book aims to describe characteristics and their effects on children.

The above illustration depicts the differences between mindsets. Going back to the question I asked in the interview: who are you more likely to hire? The answers from candidates define the attitude they possess. I always remind myself, “Learning a technical skill is easy; changing the attitude is hard.”

Developers need to embrace the growth mindset. Everybody needs to adopt this, but while talking about software development, let’s focus on that. Developing software is complex and requires a lot of perseverance. Each feature is a new challenge, and there’s immense learning in implementing it. There are no natural developers or gifted developers. Quite the opposite.

Every top-notch developer I have ever worked with has taught me two things.: First, they are relentless in their pursuit of a solution. The technology framework is not the point of debate but solving a challenge. Second, they put in the effort regardless of the outcome. They constantly learn, are open to feedback, and get out of their comfort zone.

In sports, corporate, arts, music, or any industry, the top achievers possess a growth mindset. They are not a born genius as the world calls them, but hardworking and determined. They don’t stop because it’s challenging or they are not gifted but continue till they achieve the glory they deserve. I have seen a lot of developers stuck in their ways of working and trying to recommend what they know. It’s challenging to come out of your comfort zone and learn something new. But isn’t software development all about solving problems?

If the issues are different, how can solutions be the same?

The technology and the process doesn’t matter. What’s important is the kind of mindset you have as a developer. If you are still stuck and resisting change, you will slowly degrade and perish. The survival of the fittest requires a growth mindset. Each of us has fixed mindset triggers, and it is crucial to be aware of those. Slowly and steadily, you can identify these triggers and react in a manner that’s befitting a growth mindset.

Once you acknowledge the fixed-mindset attributes, you can recognise them in your peers and colleagues, helping you carve a better relationship with them. Ending this with a few lines from the book itself.

He didn’t ask for mistake-free games. He didn’t demand that his players never lose. He asked for full preparation and full effort from them.

“Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort?”

If so, he says, “You may be outscored, but you will never lose.”

— Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Full Article: Manvik Kathuria @ Better Programming
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