In the plethora of ever-increasing developers, how can one stand out as a programmer and continue growing? It’s tough but isn’t impossible
Do you want to stand out as a developer? I know it is kinda tough because I am in it. However, if you are willing to stand out, it isn’t something a freelancer can’t do.
As per Dazeinfo.com, more than 1.5 million engineers pass out each year in India alone. Most of them aren’t in the software or online industry but still the number a big, and that is what matters.
Most of them opt to do a job, but it also means more and more developers quit their jobs and start as a freelancer. There are more freelance developers now than there were in the past.
So in the plethora of ever-increasing freelancers, here is how developers and programmers can stand out:
1. Niche Expertise
The simple way to stand out as a freelance developer is to focus on a niche and build the expertise.
There are developers, but PHP developers will be a lot less than the total number of developers. Among PHP developers, we have WordPress Developers, CakePHP Developers, Laravel Framework Developers. In each of those, we have specialization. As an example, there will be more WordPress developers than WooCommerce Developers.
As you niche down the expertise and focus more on specialization, you have more chances to stand out and rise above the competition.
Try to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a tiny fish in a massive lake.
2. Add Skills
Add more skills to your expertise to help you stand out among other developers.
Learning anything new cannot harm you, and there has never been a better investment than to learn something new.
Learn a different programming language altogether like iOS or Java for app development or even Node.js or Angular.js for web or move entirely to a new domain like IoT or Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Even as a PHP developer, the options are endless. You can add skills like DBA or server admin or can learn about marketing and SEO.
3. Create New Markets
Make competition irrelevant by creating a new market with your unique set of skills and product ideas.
Create products or provide services differently to create an entirely new market. As an example:
- WooCommerce created a wholly new set of a market by offering the eCommerce capability in WordPress.
- Yoast SEO created SEO Friendly WordPress, even more SEO Friendly.
Think out of the box and try to create a small niche market with your expertise. Experiment a few products or plugins that can fill a gap without worrying too much about big or small that gap is.
If you are filling the gap, it can open up opportunities to create a new market.
4. Speak the Client Language
Look at things from the client’s perspective and address the problems for your clients rather than offering your services.
It will be easy if I try to explain this with an example.
As a developer, you possibly have heard the term “responsive websites.” A developer uses the same term in their proposals.
We create responsive websites.
Instead, what problem does it solve for the client and try to use that as the term?
Making your mobile visitors browse the website hassle free.
So if you propose to create a responsive website, you are providing a service to those clients who know they need responsive websites, but when you propose to make the site usable for mobile visitors, you are solving the client’s problem.
Though you do the same task, from a client’s viewpoint, you stand out as a developer because you are speaking their language.
5. Try to be Uncomfortable
If you aren’t leaving your comfort zone, you can never grow.
Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. – Brian Tracy
Try to do things that can make you nervous and exciting at the same time. It can drive you to new heights.
Once in a while, if you get the butterflies in your stomach, you know you are on the right track, and it will eventually help you to stand out.