9 career pitfalls every software developer should avoid

If you love to code, and don’t think much about your career or your business, it’s time to get real and rethink how you approach software development

8 career pitfalls every developer should avoid

Let’s get real. Some of you got into software because your parents made you (if you grew up outside of the U.S.) or because you figured you could make a lot of money this way. You didn’t start young because you were into computers, and you don’t really like software development. You’re always going to be mediocre. You’ll make money because our industry doesn’t know how to evaluate skill, talent, or achievement — but this article isn’t really for you.

If you got punished for taking apart electronics to see how they work... If you snuck online at all hours of the night to learn how to make a video game... If you spent precious free time learning when no one was making you and you weren’t actively pursuing a career... If you then found yourself in software as a career (probably because you found out that game development is the worst part of the industry), then this article is for you.

You need to change the way you think about your career. You’re not coding for love anymore; you’re coding for money. Save the love for your side projects. By all means, make sure you at least like your day job—even better if you love it. If not, find a better place as you’re able or the economy permits.

However, your goal should be to open a 401(k), shove every tax-deductible dollar in it you can, and still have enough left over to buy a house, a car, and do whatever it is you want to do. Maybe save the travel for later. Otherwise, someone else is making your money.

Along the way, you need to think about your career, not just your current job. To do that you need to avoid these nine pitfalls.

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