Edited and approved by: Stefan Bradstreet
Having previously shared the importance of building your brand as a software developer, this article comes as a sequel to that. Building a personal brand is all about creating a trust for yourself and your business. This guarantees your competency and expertise in a particular field and makes people know that you are a go-to developer when it comes to building a particular type of computer software. Your brand should speak for you, such that you can be invited for a job or project interview without you applying for a job. The invite can come when people read your open profiles or by the testimony of someone whom you had worked with before.
Without further ado, let get right into business! Here are tips to build a good personal brand as a software developer.
Choose an area of focus and be good at it
Coding has various fields and areas of focus. It is almost practically impossible for an individual to boss all the fields. A programmer can have sizeable knowledge of all the fields, but should still end up being an expert and maintain major focus in one area. It is a giant step towards the making of a successful personal brand for a software developer to maintain a high and unique level of expertise in his/her area of major focus. This gives potential clients a trust and reliability settlement when patronizing the developer for service needed in the chosen area. Those who specialize are generally preferred over the ‘multipurpose’ personnel.
Good work history
Another key marketing point for a business or service is when a customer testifies of how good and satisfying their experience was during their patronage with your service. As a software developer, either you are contracted to work on a project for a company or an individual, or maybe you’ve been on the monthly payroll of an organization, leaving a good trail in these historical paths is a great selling point. It is a very pivotal step to build an eye-catching professional reputation. How to do these? Here are some tips; Build loyalty. Render service that gives satisfaction that beats the expectation of the client or company. Be on the good books of your colleagues, for your expertise, loyalty, uniqueness and good work ethics.
Carefully and consciously build your name such that it resonates developer and you will always be in demand for other similar tasks. Also, have a good individual personality and behavior that’s accommodating, thereby creating a friendly environment for potential employers and teammates.
You can also do the following to display good working habits on your behalf.
- Post personal projects to github
- Invent and patent
- Get good public speaking experiences
- Contribute to open-source projects
- Develop good learning content such as tutorial videos or podcasts in tech fields
As you gather all these together and load them in your resume and profile, it’s guaranteed you’d catch the attention of any potential client presented with these demonstrations of skill. You may need to speak to some of your clients that you’d like to include your work for them as a part of your portfolio. This is dependent on the kind of work agreement between you both.
But how do you get these packages to potential clients? Well, we are about to see that.
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It’s no news that the world these days is at quite a high level of digitalization that’s never before witnessed. A computer programmer knows better. There are various opportunities and platforms whereby you can showcase your brand as a software developer. After you’ve built potentials and capacity, you’ve made yourself an asset that can’t be ignored, and you’ve wrapped yourself in an attractive and clean package, the next step is putting it out for the world to see and draw their attention to your offered services.
How do you do that?
Social platforms are a good digital means to showcase your personal brand. The popular ones that you can leverage include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. They are platforms where you can show what you do. I frequently get contacted by recruiters over linkedin where I’ve put on my education history, work experience, and side project links.
Next after creating your profile, build good and interactive community of followers. There are various ways to do this. Let your profile show well what you can do, precisely. A brand logo is a good addition too. Share software development-related videos and content. Join discussions on developer topic trends. Help upcoming developers by guiding them through with detailed contents. Post software memes. As you go on with all these, it is certain that you will be noticed.
You can should also make your portfolio website too, especially if you are building an independent freelance business or working primarily as a web developer. It should be one of your priorities from the start. You can attach your website link to your social media profiles so people can view your network of interactions. Overtime as you interact in these forums and establish yourself as a domain expert your link will attract visitors and opportunities.
Here is another great online avenue to showcase your brand. On programming forums, developers around the world meet to discuss, ask and answer questions, learn, teach, contribute, share ideas, etc. The most popular platforms around that you can engage include:
- Stack Overflow
- XDA-Developers Android forums,
- Codecall Programming Forum.
- Treehouse community,
- Software Engineering Stack Exchange,
- Game Development Stack Exchange
- IT+Developer Community
Although many offline means of branding and publicity have become outdated, there remain some effective calls, still. Offline means for personal brand promotion include fliers, word of mouth, (especially a client testifying to a potential client about a wonderful experience he/she had from your service), etc.
Building a personal brand is a step that works to the utmost advantage of any developer, and knowing how to go about it is important. Personal branding gives you, a software developer a unique identity, showcases your programming and developing abilities, it reveals your personality. Through personal branding, it is easier for potential clients to locate you as a developer, younger developers can recommend you to prospective clients, and expanding your services later would require less effort to convince people about trusting your brand. Branding is indispensable for all businesses or career in this day and age. And as a developer, my friend, you had better adopt this early.
About Stefan Bradstreet
Stefan is a Senior Software Developer at Amazon with 8+ years of experience in tech. He is passionate about helping people become better coders and climbing the ranks in their careers, as well as his own, through continued learning of leadership techniques and software best practices.
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