If you’re working in the IT industry as a software developer or other kind of software professional, you’ll eventually need to consider how to improve at work. This could be through a performance review, or maybe your boss has asked you if you think you have any areas of improvement at work. In either case, there are a few areas you can consider and see if they apply to you.
Communication skills are important to software developers, surprisingly. A lot of the programmers you meet might be quite comfortable with talking to other people in their field or their friends, but aren’t OK with talking to others in the company, such as non-technical people. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s not something we’re used to doing in our roles.
This is where you can stand out from the others. If you think communication is one of the areas of improvement at work you can consider, try to break it down into further detail.
- Could you improve your speaking skills?
- Do your written skills need improving?
- Do you think you need to listen to others more?
- Do you have trouble explaining things to people?
These are a few question you could ask yourself to work out if you need to improve your communication skills at work.
Getting organised at work is one of the most useful and beneficial things you can do to improve at work. The level of improvement and benefit will depend on how unorganised you may be at the moment, and what you do to get organised.
You don’t need to make massive changes to improve your organisation at work, though. A few of the things you can consider are:
- Do you have a To Do list, or a list of tasks that need to be done?
- Is your email inbox sorted, with folders for various topics or projects?
- Is your desk clear of non-essential items?
- Is your development environment or application setup the best it could be?
As you can see, organisation can be both physical organisation of the space around you, or digital organisation with development environments and email inboxes. Have a look at these areas and see if they are areas of improvement at work.
Learn About The Company And Systems
Another area of improvement at work is your knowledge of the company. This knowledge can be built up of the company history, who does what, and the IT systems involved. It can be hard and overwhelming to learn when you’re starting out, but it’s something you can develop over time and learn more about as you get more experienced.
Some points to consider are:
- Who is the CEO and the management team?
- How does your position report up to the CEO?
- How long has the company been in business, and which countries are they based in?
- What are the IT systems that your area focuses on, and what systems do they interface with?
- When were they built and what language are they built in?
Of course, there are many more areas of improvement at work other than those listed here. This could be a good place to start, though.
Programming Skills Are Areas of Improvement At Work
Programming is a big skill in the IT industry, and if you’re on this site, you’re probably in the programming field or another software-related field such as testing or analysis. If you’re trying to think of areas of improvement at work, then programming surely needs to go on there.
Even good programmers have some room for improvement, so there should be some areas you can improve your programming skills in:
- What functions are you unaware of or have little knowledge about?
- Are there any libraries or extensions that you could learn to make your job easier?
- Do you know how to make your code run faster and more efficient?
- What other applications exist that can help you with your work?
There are many areas of improvement at work when it comes to programming, and even more exist when you think about specific languages or tools involved.
Improve Your Non-Programming Technical Skills
While programming is a big part of the software professional’s job description, there are a few other skills that are quite technical but aren’t actually programming skills. These skills include using Microsoft Office (or an equivalent piece of software), using bug-tracking tools, testing, requirements gathering, and are great areas of improvement at work.
Some things to consider are:
- Is there anything in Microsoft Office that I’m having trouble doing, or any repetitive tasks that I could improve on?
- Do I know how to use all of the features in the team’s bug tracking tool, and other development tools?
- Are there any certifications I can take to improve my knowledge and performance at work?
- Can I improve the way I run tests on my code or other people’s code?
As you can see, there are many areas of improvement at work, and many points or questions to ask yourself when you need to answer this question. What other areas do you think we can improve on during our jobs? Leave your comments in the area below.