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Channeling Your Inner Developer



In today’s competitive job market the Information Technology (IT) Professional does well to expand their skills in application development.  An applications developer creates software or “apps.”  As business organizations in the 21st century evolve, the skills of effective developers are increasingly in demand and therefore, increase your value to the organization.  Such skills encompass everything from conceptualizing an application to designing, developing, quality testing, and deploying the application.  After deployment, supporting the application continues as new users are added and software updates are installed. The developer’s skills are employed at the start of every new concept and design.

Like a good magician who can keep the audience perpetually awe struck, you will know you have internalized your developer skills when you repeatedly demonstrate tasks requiring tremendous competency with apparent ease.  These seemingly effortless “tricks” include the ability to: 
  1. Remember everything you have ever developed; 
  2. Recall this knowledge on demand at a moment’s notice; and, 
  3. Do so over the phone and a mile or more away from the nearest computer.  
Other good examples of developer “tricks” include being able to remember every connected and pluggable add-on capable of becoming integrated with the application. 

When practiced, the following tips enable your inner developer to perform technology “magic” like a pro:   
  1. Keep good documentation and make sure it is instantly available. For example, store your application documentation in cloud based services like: Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.   
  2. Be active on social media and use live support from colleagues around the globe.   
  3. Practice effective limits by not saying “yes” to developing every application out there -- if you want to channel the “magic” of your inner developer, you need focus.

As Harry Houdini could tell you in his day, there are always competing “acts” out there. Channeling the “magic” of your inner developer requires that you always strive to be great. The pace of technology change takes dedication to your field. It’s okay to help out other developers once in a while. But keep in mind that you have to place some limits on providing such support. Otherwise, you will not have time to stay on your deadlines or remain in almost continuous communication with inboxes that never sleep. Application support in today’s world is a 24/7 job -- which means you must be able to concentrate on major enterprise applications of significant value to the organization.

Speaking of time, the magic of effective developers includes knowing a few project management “tricks.” When something can’t be accomplished in the stated time or if doing so provides only a small return, recommend that such “extras” be part of the next project or phase. This buys you time to test the latest technology or whatever is being requested. When it comes to setting timelines, add a cushion for “Undefined Tasks.” But don’t mention that you have done so. This cushion of time is something only you know about -- otherwise it becomes time controlled by someone else which impacts your ability to perform your “magic.” 

Channeling your inner developer is a matter of practicing effective work habits and maintaining a certain level of discipline. It may seem like a lot. However, the real magic is demonstrating value to the organization time after time.