The Journey : Early Days to How I Got Here
I started my career with a software products company. Eventually I was promoted to a role of Senior Software Developer and Team lead. After 4 years, I left the job and started freelancing in order to explore new technologies & opportunities. After a year of exploring and trying out different domains, I decided to focus on Mobile space, and opened a start-up along with my colleague.
Decisions That Mattered
One important career decision I made was to get started with a products company. This gave me opportunity to learn well built processes, technologies & software architecture. Another important decision was to focus on technical learning at early stages of my career, instead of shifting to a more managerial role.
The Turning Points
Getting into a right software products company was first important thing for my career. And once I had a good grasp of software development there, leaving the company and doing freelancing work was another important point. Later gave me access to new technologies and a confidence that I can work outside defined setup.
Work and Role: Then and Now
I am currently working in a mobile applications start-up, and my previous company work was related to Java based web-applications.
Two Years down the Line
Two years from now I see myself working on products that cater to emerging business & consumer market in Smartphones & Tablets domain.
What I Learnt Along the Way
First pick up the right technology domain, and then become the expert of it. But the job doesn't end just there, it is important to keep looking where the technology market is heading, and direct your knowledge acquisition accordingly.
Changing Days: Lessons Learnt
Software has now evolved into variety of different fields. When I started, job profiles for developers were limited, choices were limited. But now there are more options available.
Trends to Watch Out For
Most important trend is the emergence of smartphones & tablets as consumer devices, and these are replacing the PCs & Laptops. From a career standpoint, I see this as an opportunity, only if I can adjust my knowledge to incorporate these upcoming changes.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
If you are starting as a software developer/programmer, don't look for shortcuts, but get proficient in core coding. Take up a language, whether is C/C++ or Java, and learn what it takes to develop an application from start to finish. Once that is done, you can start looking for different areas where you can apply your learning.
Must Focus Areas for the Future
Some of the key areas where I see bright future are Native application development for Android & iPhone. Also use of HTML5 in developing platform independent applications.
Do We Need Certifications?
I never went for certifications.
Books/ Websites I Recommend
Developer sites for Android & iPhone are pretty useful with their extensive documentation & code samples. Stackoverflow is another website that I often consult.
Last But Not Least
My last piece of advice would be, "learn by practice, not by only theory". Write lots of code; make lots of different apps, rather than only reading the theory of subject matter.