How can you use SWOT Analysis to improve your Software Development Skills?

Software Development is an industry that keeps changing. Protocols, technologies and frameworks that were highly sought of a few years ago are already obsolete - AngularJS being the finest example. You therefore need to constantly reinvent yourself to stay relevant in this field.

The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler

One solution is using SWOT analysis on yourself.

What is SWOT?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business. [MindTool]

SWOT is not limited to businesses or organisations. You can also use it as a personal development tool.

Why you should use it?

As human beings, we all have blind spots. There are certain things about ourselves - that we are not aware of - even though they might be obvious to someone else. For example, many people tend to speak too quickly for someone else to reasonably understand. That's one of the reasons getting feedback often from others such as your colleagues is important - you become more effective in your day to day life.

One way of reducing our blind spots particularly as Software Developers is to invite feedback from our peers and build an action plan from that. Let's say according to your Senior Developer, your Dynamic Programming Skills can be improved. You can therefore work on that in your spare time.

For me, the way I use SWOT to reduce my blind spots is by doing online quizzes - not on my football knowledge - but those in which I am skilled with. I use sites like Pluralsight, which also offers free quizzes, to determine what is my current expertise on a particular topic such as CSS, Angular or C#.

With these quizzes, I get an overview of my strengths and weaknesses. And from that, depending on my current role and possibly future career path, I improve my strength and try to bridge the gap on my weaknesses.

  • blindness / blind spot
  • good to learn where your weaknesses are
  • and strengths are
  • you can continue improving on things you are excellent in to gain mastery for instance
  • or if needed you can improve skills you struggle with that are especially important for your job or career

How I use it?

I go on websites that enable to have quiz such as Pluralsight and do the quizzes. From the results, I get an overview where I am good and which parts I am lacking. I can therefore bridge the gap especially if this is important for my current role.