Being a developer is a fantastic career – full of great challenges and puzzle-solving that will keep you awake at night. As developers of any skill level are in high demand and tend to be far too busy, they often don’t have enough time to stop and think about their work. And at the same time, technology is advancing at an unbelievable rate and we are required to keep up. Coding is an evolving discipline and that’s often what draws people to it. It’s not enough to get to grips with the most in-demand languages. If you want to advance in your career, you need to start thinking about how you can become a better programmer all-around, and these five steps are a good start!
#1 Improve your soft skills
Soft skills may seem to be the total antithesis of programming. Which is sometimes a central point of its appeal, but they are vital for your professional development. If you’re able to communicate with clients and superiors in an accessible manner, as well as present yourself and your ideas pleasantly and engagingly. You’ll find that many aspects of your professional life suddenly become easier.
#2 Learn & Read regularly
Technology is the most dynamic area of the modern world. We, the developers, need to keep up with the times, at least to some extent. Our knowledge gets older every day and we need to learn new stuff- new hardware, server technology, the cloud, programming languages or frameworks, testing tools, and others.
Learning new stuff is extremely easy nowadays. You can find plenty of free materials on YouTube for instance. If you need to learn something new, you have no excuse for not doing it since whatever you need is somewhere online. Devote at least one to two hours a week to reading. Split your reading into two parts — things you already know and would like to learn more about and things you’re not familiar with at all, but wish to learn.
#3 Participate in Forums, Teach, Share Knowledge
Consequent to the previous tip, when you reach a higher level of experience and knowledge, it may be good to share a part of it. We developed our knowledge using many free resources, provided by people who were willing to share their experience. So giving back to the community should be a part of a developer’s job description.
#4 Use the Feynman Technique
The Feynman Technique is a mental model named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. Essentially, it boils down to identifying gaps in your knowledge by imagining you had to teach a concept in a classroom using simple language and analogies.
When you identify the gaps, return to your source of knowledge that you rely on to teach yourself the aspects you’re less familiar with. Then, just rinse and repeat. And suddenly you’re a lot more confident executing code because you have a stronger core understanding of it.
#5 Understand the Business Behind Every Project
It might not seem like a programming thing but trust me, business is essential. It may be fun to code in some crazy way for just yourself. However, our code must follow some business goals.
Many people, including managers and marketers, make fun of programmers. By perceiving them as weirdos and geeks who live in their world of ones and zeros. While it’s totally fine to dive into your lines of code, it’s also extremely useful to raise your head every once in a while, and look outside what you’re doing. There’s always a client with their needs, budgets, business concepts, and expectations. If a programmer understands the big picture, he or she may be useful for solving future problems the client may not have thought about before.
In a nutshell, tips are always useful, no matter if the subject is gardening or coding. Improvement is what every person is seeking after! The fast-paced world we live in required us to bettering almost every aspect of our life, but first start with your job- improve your coding approach now!