If you’ve been wondering how to step up your game as a custom soft developer, our guides will give you some useful tips to achieve more success.
What They Expect From You
Custom software development is the craft of making software that solves particular problems of your clients and satisfies individual needs. It is architected according to the unique vision of your client. According to IBM, it’s also called “bespoke software.”
So what do your clients expect from you? Here’s a brief criteria list:
- Attention. You should consider their problems, requests, and suggestions with close attention. Listen first and speak afterward.
- Skills. The final product you deliver shouldn’t be just of high quality, but also meet the scalability criteria. That means your product should be flexible to smoothly include new features in the future if it’s necessary for the project.
- Humility. Bespoke software requires a lot of testing. You need to have honest code reviews provided by your colleagues and ask for finished product reviews from your clients.
- Discipline. Custom software is something that companies need. They have to survive competition, so time is everything. You should stay committed to the deadlines and never overcomplicate your code in case it needs a bit of reworking.
These are the basic demands the market has for the custom software engineer today. So, let’s see which tips you could benefit from.
Tips for the Software Tailors
Now, here are a few tactics that will help you to become a more efficient custom soft programmer and increase your workflow.
- It’s all about clean code
Your code shouldn’t be too difficult, messy, and complicated. Make it clean and easy-to-read only. For instance, assign just a single function to one button. Here’s a quote from the Enigma Digital software development manager Andrew Magee:
“When you start coding, it is common to begin writing line after line of code into a function that gets bigger and bigger. That might seem easier at first, but it generates several problems: your code becomes harder to read, harder to reuse, and harder to test.”
It’s also suggested that you give your commands short and decipherable names. So try to avoid eccentric names like “Purple flamingo,” use acronyms as little as possible, and later code review will become a breeze.
- Learn more
It’s okay to use frameworks. But you could dramatically increase your expertise if you also learn the underlying language or, at least its basics. As you know, frameworks are like season: they come and go. So, if you learn any underlying language, you can switch from one framework to another much faster.
- Understand the business
Take a minute or two of your time and study your client’s business. Understand why they need this software, in which way it will improve their customer’s experience. Learn how to speak with the “white collars” using the own “biz’ language.
This will provide two benefits. First, you’ll show the management that you are a highly qualified expert who knows and understands their needs. Second, you will deliver a great service for the people that they’ll want to use.
In the long run, it’ll get you more clientele — everybody will need a spoon of your secret magic.
- Train every day
Problem-solving is a skill that you need to invest in. Do you know that there are entire corporations dedicated to problem-solving like Boston Consulting Group? So, the great idea is to practice it every day — a tiny dosage of regular training.
Some veterans recommend the following. Pick a certain problem that you deal with every day. It could be related to your house hygiene, dinner cooking, your hobby of learning Cantonese, or making polymer clay figurines. Anything that sets a tiny challenge.
Then use a coding language of choice to solve it. In the long run, it will help you:
- comprehend problems quicker,
- sharpen your abstract thinking,
- figuring out effective but simple solutions.
But it’s important to do this little exercise every day or at least as frequently as possible.
Let the client speak all they want. Carefully record their wishes, suggestions and help them formulate their vision if necessary. Don’t be shy to ask questions, specify ideas, and request references — e.g., rival projects that already exist. (If they do, of course).
All this info will help you put together a clear roadmap, set schedules and deadlines, and prevent possible misunderstanding.
Follow our tips, and your career will surely gain momentum. Just don’t forget about consistency.