Today, I’m truly happy to share with you what I know and have learned in my career as a developer. This post hopes to give you some advice on how to be a better developer.
Be a small fish in a big pond
The company you keep determines a big part of where you’re going. This, in digital terms simply means, who you following on twitter, who’s blog posts you’re reading, which conferences you attend and which projects you choose to work on. Make sure you’re hanging with the right crowd and you’re already so much closer to being a better developer. Remember iron sharpens iron.
Focus on solving problems
As geeks we always finding ourselves focused on the next best technology. We can’t wait for the next launch and we ditch our current tools for the latest and greatest. In all this remember that we’re in the business of problem solving. Stop doing that and the value you could provide just goes down the drain.
Do your best to improve your problem solving skills. Step away from the computer and solve some simple real world problems.
Learn about algorithms that solve common problems. Learn about design patterns and think about the solution before technology.
Tools and Techniques
After you understand the problem and you know to solve it. Make sure you have just the right tools for the Job. This doesn’t mean the latest. It also doesn’t mean the best out there. It simply means the tools that will get the Job done and complete the problem solving process.
Learn about the industry best practices so you can apply them to your solution.
Test all the things
Think about testing and build it into your workflow. If you’re building once off projects I get why not but if you’re continuously improving a code base testing is your best friend.
Read code like books
Find good open source projects and read the code like a book. Try to understand what the code does. Run it yourself. Play with it, break it and improve it. This is a sure way in which you can improve your own solutions.
Technology, solutions and all the rest means absolutely nothing without you. You have the intelligence to bring it all together, so make sure that you’re sharp. Live healthy. Have fun and get enough rest. You’ll be way more effective, productive and happy if you’re not burning yourself out.
Code is only part of the picture
After all is said and done your client(s) / user(s) determine how successful your solution will be. Always keep them in your focus. Make sure their point of view is always referenced and make sure that they are happy.
Beyond all of the above, Keep pushing yourself to be better. There is no other competition but your best.