If you just started as a software engineer, than chances are that you are still in the bottom of the engineering pay-scale and you don’t make as much money as you would probably like to. Yes some software engineers at Google earn obscene amounts of money but the reality is that for most engineers out there the first few years don’t pay very well.
The main reason for this is lack of knowledge, experience and productivity. Most junior engineers need some type of mentoring, which is usually performed by a more senior, better paid employee. Company is actually paying you to be mentored in some way, so you should be grateful right?
The process of becoming a senior developer usually takes between 5 and 10 years, but there are exceptions and some people make it faster and others might even never get there.
So how do you speed up the process of climbing the engineering ladder and earn more money sooner?
There are two things you can do, the first one is to invest as much of your free time and effort into learning everything you possibly can and as a result you become a better engineer.
I don’t like this as it takes a lot of effort, you can do a lot of mistakes and it will take you a long time to get there.
The second option is to learn from people who are already there, ask them what are the most important things they learned, what principles they think are most important and so on.
Why waste time when you can lear from other peoples mistakes. It is always better to learn from other peoples mistakes.
5 actionable steps that you can make to speed up your progression and earn more money as a developer?
- You need to have a clear vision of where you are going. You need to focus your energy and try to master only the things that are necessary for the position you want to have. Are you a front end developer, back end developer, SRE, or QA?
- You need to understand how the basics work before you can learn the more difficult parts. A lot of people make the mistake that they want to learn something they heard pays good money, but they don’t even master the basics. This is a dangerous combination.
- Be consistent. If you are learning something new, try to do it every day, to keep the momentum, and to keep the new learned stuff fresh in your head.
- Build, break, repair. No amount of theory can give you the knowledge and experience when building something yourself, so go out and build something, it will be frustrating at times but it will also be fun and rewarding.
- Stay humble and be curious. Never assume you know everything and always try to understand how things work.