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Three ways software developers can advance careers

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Today’s software developers need the skills and ability to innovate and build agility into every process while fighting for positions. ROSS MCLAREN, redPanda Software Senior Development Manager, offers three tips for software developers to accelerate their career.

Few could argue that the corporate environment has become an ultra competitive, high-pressure world. Across industries and within businesses of all sizes, both leaders and employees have to constantly fight for their positions – and be persistent with their ambitions. Within the sphere of enterprise technology, and software development in particular, the pressure to continually evolve and grow is immense. Enterprise systems and platforms become outdated very quickly, and today’s software developers need the skills and ability to continue to innovate and build agility into every process.

So how does one not only survive, but also continually succeed and produce great outcomes in such a challenging environment? We believe there are three core things that every software developer should be doing to stay relevant and keep expanding…

Be Curious

As an organisation, we look to hire people who are curious and interested in continuous learning. In essence, we are attracted not to what they already know, but to what they want to know. It is usually easy to identify this quality in software developers – they are the people who pursued interesting projects in university; they always have their own pet projects at home; they attend hackathons, events and any type of gathering where new skills and knowledge can be gained and tested.

They are passionate about technology and curious to see where the boundaries of innovation and invention lie at any given moment.

For young graduates and up and coming developers, it is critical to keep expanding your skill set and to look for practical ways to get your hands dirty, so to speak. Dive into projects and always be learning something new.

Look for a Mentor

For software developers at any stage in their careers, but particularly for newcomers, mentorship is essential. Every industry and career path has its challenges and nuances, and it can be immensely valuable to have guidance, as well as a sounding board, as a career kicks off. Mentors can help newbies to integrate into new teams, provide practical insights around best practices, and simply offer advice around conduct and communications in the work environment.

Assigning specific mentors for young developers may not be standard practice in every organisation. It is therefore up to individuals themselves to seek out a suitable mentor and develop a trusting relationship. The feedback loop is beneficial for both parties, as ideas are shared and fresh perspectives emerge.

Develop ‘Soft Skills’

While every software developer certainly needs outstanding technical skills, it is critical to develop the softer, emotional skills as well. Often, this is something that is overlooked when plotting a career path. Within every business, the most successful and engaged employees have developed strong interpersonal skills, and they understand how to communicate and engage with both colleagues and clients. This requires developing traits such as empathy, patience, and the ability to listen deeply before responding.

In essence, by becoming well rounded and fully developed on a personal level, talented software developers can apply their technical skills in a far more meaningful and impactful way. They can truly push the boundaries of innovation and bring an edge to their work that truly sets them apart…

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Smash hits the Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. delivers what the fans wanted in the latest “Ultimate” instalment, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest addition to the popular Nintendo Smash series, has landed on the Nintendo Switch with a bang, selling 5-million copies in the first week of its release. The game has been long-anticipated since the console’s release, as many fans consider iy to be a Nintendo staple. And the wait was well worth it.

It features 74 playable fighters, 108 stages, almost 1300 Spirit characters to collect while playing, and a single-player Adventure mode that took about three days (or 28 hours) of gameplay to complete. The game offers far more gameplay than its predecessors, making it the Smash game that gives its players the best bang for their buck.

For those new to the game, the goal is to fight opponents and build up their damage score (draining their health) to knock them off the stage eventually. This makes the game seem chaotic, as many players jump around the platforms as if they were on quicksand, in order to avoid being hit by the other players.

It also services two kinds of players: the competitive and the casual.

Competitive players can be matched on the online service by skill ranking to enjoy playing with similarly high-skilled opponents. This is especially important in e-sports training for the game, and for players wanting to master combos against other human players. The casual gamer is also catered for, with eight-player chaos and button-mashing to see who comes out luckiest. This segment is also important for those wanting to learn how to play.

Training mode is also a place to go for those learning to play. It offers “CPU” players that are graded by intensity to train as a single player to learn a character’s moves, combos and general fighting style. More challenging CPU players can also be used by competitive players to train when there isn’t a Wi-Fi connection available.

Direct Play features in this game, allowing two players with two Switch consoles to play against each other over a direct connection – no Wi-Fi needed. This is especially useful to those who want to have a social gaming element on the go, similar to that of the cable connector of the Gameboy.

Click here to read Bryan Turner review of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek have nine Funko Fortnite figurines to give away.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers (9 figurines in total). To enter, first click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears. Then, follow Gadget on Twitter.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite) and mention @GadgetZA to be considered valid.

Click here to select the Funko Fortnite character you want to tweet.

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