6 ways to boost your hard skills as a developer

Hard skills are technical skills that are learned through training, education, or experience. Here are 6 ways to improve them as a developer.

Unlocking tech talent stories

February 23, 2023

In today’s tech industry, being a developer means you need to constantly improve and update your skills. Hard skills are the technical abilities and knowledge required to do your job, and they’re super important in software development.

As a developer, you gotta keep up with the latest trends and technologies to stay competitive and advance your career. 

Lucky for you, we’ve got six ways to boost your hard skills as a developer. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, these tips will help you stay ahead of the game and level up your coding abilities.

What’s the difference between hard skills and soft skills?

Hard skills are specific, technical skills that are learned through training, education, or experience. These skills are usually job-specific and measurable, such as programming languages, project management, data analysis, and other technical skills. Hard skills can be taught and developed through practice, and they are often necessary for the successful completion of specific tasks or projects.

On the other hand, soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you interact with others and perform in the workplace. Soft skills are often innate and can be developed through experience, but they are less tangible and harder to measure than hard skills. Examples of soft skills include communication, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, time management, and adaptability.

While developer hard skills are important for getting the job done, soft skills are equally important for working effectively with others, building relationships, and advancing your career. 

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6 ways to work on your hard skills as a developer

Learn a new programming language

The axis of being a developer is coding, so whether you’re perfecting a programming language you already learned or want to start learning a new one, the important thing is to do it because it’s one of the most fundamental hard skills as developer.

It stimulates your brain and forces your coding gears into action.

If you opt for learning a new programming language, know that it’s a great way to diversify your skill set as a developer, but make sure to pick a language that you’re actually interested in. 

Practice, practice, practice

As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and it’s especially true in the world of software development. The more you practice your coding skills, the better you’ll become.

It’s great to learn how to code, but if you don’t keep practicing, that hard skill won’t serve you much. 

Set aside some time for coding for the sake of practice, whether it’s working on personal projects or tackling coding challenges on platforms like LeetCode or Codewars

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even participate in coding competitions or hackathons. One of the most famous undergraduate hackathons in the world is HackMIT, which attracts thousands of students from all over the world to work on cool software and hardware projects. 

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Learn a new framework or library

One of the great things about software development is that there are always new tools and technologies to learn. Try challenging yourself by learning a new framework or library as they are highly valued hard skills for developers. 

This can not only add to your skill set but also make you more attractive to potential employers. Just make sure to do your research and pick something that will be useful in your field. Checking how frameworks are ranking in the market might be useful to help you choose which one to learn. 

Build something from scratch

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of building something from scratch. You can do so with a personal project, for example. It’s a great way to practice your coding skills and also give you something to show off in your portfolio. 

Besides, as shown in a previous blog post, proof of work is the new era resume, where you portray your knowledge and prove you have the skills you claim to have.

And if you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to seek out guidance from more experienced developers – we all need help from time to time.

Learn about design patterns

Design patterns are a crucial part of software development, and knowing how to use them can greatly improve your coding skills.

Spend some time learning about design patterns and how to apply them to your projects — you can find plenty of resources online to get started, or you can even pick up a book like “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software” by Erich Gamma.

Learn about software architecture

Software architecture is the foundation of any good software project. It’s important for developers to have a solid understanding of software architecture principles and patterns.

Whether you’re interested in microservices or monolithic architectures, there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn more. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even try your hand at designing your own software architecture.

There are plenty of ways for developers to boost their hard skills. Whether it’s learning a new programming language, practicing regularly, or learning about software architecture, there are always opportunities to improve. So don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new – your future self will thank you. 

Check these tech jobs if you’re ready to put your hard skills to the test.

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