Position of Strength

How do you prepare yourself to be the best software developer…no software consultant in the business? It is your time. You are in the “position of strength” within the market. The ball is in your court.

Now is not the time to relax at your cushy corporate gig, because the moment you think you’re secure… that’s the same moment things go south. Corporations get bought, lay offs happen, start ups fold, or your position is no longer needed. Time to prepare.

If it was easy everyone would be doing it. It will take time and maximum effort to command your position, but the rewards will be confidence in your abilities, higher pay, and security knowing that you will never be unemployable. In fact, you will be sought after. Do it for you and do it for your family.

Start at the Beginning

Your on-line presents is everything. Make no mistake potential employers will Google your butt, so get ready. Below are some to do’s to start you down the path to a righteous web presents.

Twitter

If you don’t have an account get one and start tweeting technology nuggets that are relative to your area of expertise. Find a twitter handle that doesn’t suck. “Badmofo666” is not a good twitter handle. Post items from Reddit, Flipboard, Feedly, or your favorite news aggregator. Make people think your intelligent.

LinkedIn

Get as many connections, references, and endorsements as you can. Write technology based posts that make since and people want to read. Avoid being a techno douche bag here or your reputation will pay the price. Employers ‘should’ want to know what you’ve accomplished project wise, so beef up this section as well.

Facebook

Just stop it. In fact, post nothing but technology related items. No more “I walked my dog and watched him take a crap” posts. Same goes for YouTube, Pinterest, etc… if it’s not related to your profession then don’t post it on the inter-web! Send the family an email my gosh man!

Blog

Start a blog. Keep them short and sweet. All blogs will be technology related. Link them to your other sources such as LinkedIn. Showing .Net code is good! Speak to your strengths and use spell check. If you just implemented a cloud solution, tell people about it! Give them answers to problems they may face or are facing currently.

StackExchange Resume

This is where you post your resume and nowhere else except LinkedIn. Skackoverflow and Stackexchange are essential tools for all developers and anyone who is going to hire you will want to know you are intimate with these entities.

Resume Website in Azure

Create a free Azure account. Here you will be able to post 5 free websites. Post one that is your resuming using the latest MVC framework. There are tons of tutorials on-line to get this done. FYI… the cloud is hot right now!

You are a Software Consultant

Start your own Software Consulting company and promote it the same as you do yourself (see above). Act like a confident self-made independent professional. You need no one. Your knowledge and expertise are your resume. Companies need you, because you have the answers.

This will take you getting your ass off the couch and staying in touch with your craft. You do have a Pluralsite account, right?

Embrace the New

In order to deliver the best solution for the customer/business you have to have all the choices in front of you. The moment you confine yourself to one technology… you are old school and will be left behind.

You must keep up with your craft. Surround yourself with developers who want to move forward and be the best. The moment you get stagnate leave, because if you don’t they will sooner or later show you the door. No business wants a one trick pony.

Your Inter-web Presents

When someone Googles you the above is what you want them to see. Not pictures of your last beer bong frat party! Try to remove as much crap as possible. No one wants to hear about your political views, your stance on Marijuana legalization, or whether you think aliens are a real or not. MmmmmKay Mr Macky?

Let’s Get Technical

It is your job to keep up with technology. You are a Change Agent by profession. What you do everyday effects lives, workflows, and corporate bottom lines. Make sure you know what your doing. Be confident and always derive the best solution for the given business scenario.

How do you do this? You read, you study, you listen, you grow. Below are some must haves, which should be part of your daily consumption as a .Net Software Consultant.

  • Pluralsite
  • W3Schools
  • ASP.Net
  • 4GuysFromRolla
  • Gang of Four Design Patterns
  • Coding Horror
  • Channel9
  • DDD
  • Code Project
  • Rob Conery
  • Scott Hanselman
  • Phil Haack
  • Scott Guthrie

…and there are many more sites to keep you informed and speaking intelligently with your counterparts.

Conclusion

Stop the madness of living on your past accomplishments. Those are like ‘Joan of Arch’… history! Your current ways are not the best ways and should be examined. Listen for a change to those who know and learn, learn, and learn some more.

Once you stop learning in our industry you should just go flip burgers, because that’s what you’ll be worth in the market.

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