The Enterprise Software Applications are developed to assist organizations realize their business goals. These are a set of specialized software modules which provides specific functions. For instance, each typical organization will have a module each related with People Management. Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Resource Management. Organizations appoint Architects, Domain Consultants, and Enterprise Developers to run, maintain, enhance and develop Enterprise Software Applications. These applications are designed to work independently however they share some dependencies. These modules aspire of special domain skills and knowledge from the team of experts which maintains it. You may be among one of the team of the coders of a specific module who is content with writing a few lines of code assigned by a lead software developer the boundary of whose programming pursuits is limited by the module. However, rather than working in the pigeonhole of your domain, if you are ambitious to expand your horizon and enhance your skills to become an ace Enterprise Software Developer or Architect read on…
- Know the Architecture of Your Module
Study the architecture of your module, find out how the relevant module provides business function. Put in efforts to understand its underlying architecture and environment viz. the development stacks used, the front-end, the back end, Operating Systems, Hardware and networking. Having the knowledge of environment makes you more aware about the scenarios in which the code will be used.
- Read the Source Code
Put in efforts to read through the source code. Pick the part of the module your find most interesting and go through the code. Notice the libraries used and make a note of the developer’s comments. It will inform you about propensity of the existing code and you gain more appreciation and understanding of what you are coding and how it contributes in the overall scheme of the application. You get insights about how to develop and improve upon the legacy code
- Understand the Dependencies among Modules
Knowing about your module is good but do find about the other modules as well. The various modules in the Enterprise Software have dependencies on each other. For example, the code behind the CRM (Customer Resource Management) module may be partially invoked by People Management module to calculate the incentive on sales to be added in the staff’s salary. Knowing such facts makes you appreciate and use precautions to take while coding such that the changes in your module shall not have adverse impact on the other modules. Any consultant and architect will be privileged to have such professional in their team.
- Ask Questions
Be open to ask questions! Do not hesitate in asking about any queries you may have about what is being asked off you to understand what it is being done, its benefits and adverse impacts if not done. Also, you may ask about the Architecture of the existing Enterprise Software. It has multiple benefits; you gain knowledge to become a better developer having knowledge of the logic behind what you are doing. You also get to win some brownie points from your superiors as someone asking right kind of questions is considered as a positively engaged team member who has yearning to learn and is ambitious who wants to grow to the next level.
- Learn About the Latest Frameworks/Libraries
The Enterprise Application Software in most cases is customized according to the organizational needs from an already well-established platform. For example, SAP and PeopleSoft platforms find customized deployments in various organizations. Keep yourself abreast with the latest developments in the parent/raw platforms. These vendors keep on updating their platform stacks. Follow the changes keenly about the availability of the new features, libraries and frameworks. You may stumble on resources which may help you code faster, efficiently and without bugs.
- Automation in Coding/ Code Reuse
If you notice yourselves writing similar lines of code every time you are working on developing a software, Snap Your Hand! There are tools and techniques using which you can automate your code and save time for yourselves and your project. Consider using code Snippets which involves creating a template for the code to be automated and using a snippets tool. Now whenever you need to use the repetitive code, invoke a Snippet. You may further customize the command line interface using alias for automating routine tasks like switching to specific folders. You can also lookout for frameworks and third-party applications available and applicable for your domain. Learn to use such frameworks and third-party applications.
- Automated Testing
- Develop Your own Tools
You may be using indirect methods to accomplish a few tasks. For example, extracting records from a database for the development environment requires you to write or modify code every time. Consider developing a tool which can take environment specific inputs and extracts the data as required. You are mindful of the fact that you are working in a development environment any breakdowns won’t have negative consequences. Strive to make a few tools to help yourselves and extended teams, it makes you grow in your confidence and stand out as someone who can think and contributes out of the box.
- Volunteer some Side Projects for Learning Outside your Domain
Learning about what is in-use and relevant is proper but steps outside the silos of your domain as well. Why not volunteer for some side projects? It opens new vistas for learning by the means of a new environment and a new set of problems. Just pick something which is different than what you usually do. Step aside a bit from the routine, may be pick some web development involving the cloud technologies. The fresh exposure outside the routine environs empowers you to assimilate new dimensions of the software development. What you learn may not apply verbatim to your main job, but it provides you a new perspective of looking at things and improving them. Learning never hurts!
- Review Your Previous Work
Okay! You are a developer with decent experience and live-in-the-moment persona who may let bygones be bygones but in the case of software development, it pays to revisit your code developed earlier. With your added body of knowledge, you would have accumulated, revisiting your old code could add invaluable insights. Probably your current level of experience may help you decipher that the code could be written in a few lines, run efficiently and faster. Sometimes looking back could be a good leaning experience.
- Go Back to the Good Old Classroom Trainings
Why not take a break from your workstation give the traditional classroom instructor lead training another go? It may not be a hands-on training but, be aware that you know things only when you have heard or read about them. If you have not heard about anything, it would not be a reality in your perception. Just take some time-off from your cubicle and give uninterrupted attention to the topics being taught in the class. It encourages discussions, exchange of views and take back precious learning to further ponder and experiment.
12. Problem Solver
To become a successful Enterprise Developer, you need have the problem-solving acumen. The employees in the last layer are expected to do what they are told and ask questions when they are faced with problems. Do not run for cover or ask for help when confronted with an issue. Try to diagnose the problem, think about the possible solutions or workarounds and list do you have what you need to solve the problem. You will do yourself a lot of good if you can develop this attitude to resolve problems at your own. It makes you grow as a person, as a professional developer and as a valued worker. Bosses always appreciates employees who offers solutions to the problems rather than the ones who just leave a sack of woes with them to sort out.
13. Develop Communication Skills
Work on your communication skills to become a well-rounded professional Software developer. You need to converse with a lot of stakeholders your boss, your colleagues, customers and end users. You need to effectively put your point across and ask succinct questions which should be well understood by your audience. You should be able to elicit meaningful replies by paraphrasing. Work on your writing skills as you may be having interactions on email and chat.
Pay emphasis to the way you document your code. Take care that your documentation is thorough, meaningful and accurate such that the reader is not challenged to understand the functionality of your code. It makes your colleague’s life easier and they will appreciate you for your efforts. Beware the documentation is a mirror of your personality. How thorough you are or otherwise?
15. Scrum, Agile Methodologies
Keep yourselves updated on the emerging development methodologies such as Agile and Scrum. They are different than the waterfall model where the envisaging of the code till its development and testing was a long drawn out process. The new methods ensure software development and delivery in quick turn-arounds.