Programming is a fast-paced field, but it’s common for professionals to find themselves stuck in a rut from time to time. If you find your programming career is stuck in neutral, here are four ways to get it back in gear and moving forward.

Re-Energize Yourself With New Skills

When it comes to programming and development, you must always be sharpening your existing skill set and learning new things. Think about the last time you learned a new language or skill. Remember how exciting it was to challenge yourself and learn something new and exciting?

If you want to reconnect with your passion for programming, start investigating ways to build and grow your skills. There are endless opportunities like online classes, boot camps, certification programs, local college courses and even programming meetups where you can meet new people and learn new skills that can help you advance your career.

Learn What People Really Want Out of Your Products

As a programmer, it is exciting to see people using your products. A great way to re-ignite your passion for programming is to learn exactly what end-users want from your products.  By connecting with the people who benefit from your talents, you can give new meaning to the work you do every day.

Additionally, by making a concerted effort to connect with end-users, you’ll be building a critical communication skill that many employers demand. Programmers don’t work in a bubble any longer. They need to be able to solicit feedback and use that feedback to improve their products.

Stop Complaining; Start Doing

When you get comfortable in a situation, it is very easy to fall into the trap of complaining when things go wrong, without ever taking steps to make meaningful change. Complaining and negativity have a way of begetting more complaining and more negativity, and it can feel impossible to break the cycle.

If you find yourself complaining about processes, people, communication with other departments, etc., take a step back. Identify steps you could take today to generate solutions and start making things better rather than staying mired in negative thoughts and feelings. You may find that resolutions are within your reach, helping you to move forward in your career, rather than staying stagnant.

Make Sure You’re In the Right Position

Sometimes, your programming career could be stuck in neutral because you’re simply not in the right position or you’re not working for the right organization. If you have tried to jump start things by learning new skills, connecting to your end-users and overcoming your personal feelings of negativity about your job but you still aren’t moving forward, it might be time to seek out new opportunities.

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