7 Things I Learned from Good Programmers
Things that can help you to become a better programmer.
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I am working as a Full-Stack developer for the last five years. In these five years, I have worked with different types of programmers. Together, we have worked on existing modules as well as new modules for different products.
Over the years, I learned a lot of stuff that is important to thrive. There are some lessons which were the milestones in my growth as a professional programmer.
Today, I am going to share those lessons with you. Let’s get started.
Lesson #1 - Do not Rush to Code
When I started my professional career, I was excited all the time to code. Whenever I used to get a task, I immediately rush to my editor and start coding.
Most of the time, my code was buggy. Not because I write the wrong code but without aptly analyzing the requirement first.
One of the most important aspects of programming is not just how you add the code in an application, but how you make sure that it won’t break the existing functionality.
One of my senior developers once told me -
Programming is an art. Coding is merely a 20–30% part of it, and the rest is analysis.
Even a mediocre programmer can code if they know the answers to what and where. If you give 80% of your time in the proper analysis of the problem, then you find it easier to code in your remaining time.
Lesson #2 - Debugging is your Mentor
I still remember the time when I joined Capgemini as a fresher. My project lead genuinely helps me to grow in my career.
In my first year as a programmer, I used to have a habit of frequently asking my seniors when I got stuck somewhere in the code. Once, my project lead called me during the tea break, and he told me -
You are doing great. I am happy with your performance, and we all are here to help. But don’t expect anyone to spoon-feed you. You won’t learn plenty if every time you ask for help. Try to dive into the problem and struggle for a while.
I told him that sometimes I find it hard to understand the code.
He gave me a piece of advice that played a vital role in my career growth. He said -
Debugging is your best buddy. It will reflect the actual act of coding.
If you can master the art of debugging, then no one can stop you from becoming a good programmer. You won’t be dependent on others, and you can understand any application on your own.
Lesson #3 - Comments are not some fancy Features
I remember the first time when I encountered a production bug in one of the tasks which I completed a few months back.
I thought it would be easier to fix. But I was wrong. It took me a couple of hours just to understand my previously written code.
That incident taught me a significant lesson to document the code.
Comments are your friends in the code. They will tell you what you did there in a short specific manner.
You should always add short and relevant comments to enhance the readability of your code. If all the developers start following this practice, then it can save significant time in the development process.
Lesson #4 - Get the best out of your Editor
Most of the developers stick with an editor for most of their careers. Be it Atom, Eclipse, IntelliJ, PyCharm, or VS Code.
One of the common characteristics of all the good programmers I have worked with is their efficiency with their editors. They are aware of most of the shortcut tricks which enhance their potency.
It is beneficial for a developer to be familiar with their IDE (Integrated development environment). It not only makes coding easier for you but also saves a lot of time.
You can save at least 30% of your development time if you are acquainted with your editor. A developer should spend some time figuring out their IDE by going through online docs or videos.
Lesson #5 - Solving the Problem is not a Solution
Most of the programmers follow the approach of finding out a solution to their problem. Once they reach the solution, they consider it done.
If you want to grow as a programmer, then you should always try to look for more solutions to a single problem.
When you try to find alternate solutions to a problem, then you have options to analyze all those solutions, and you can select the most optimized one.
Try to make it a habit. It will help you to write a clean, reusable, and optimized code.
Lesson #6 Dig into other People’s Mess
Most of the programmers hate to review other’s code. No one wants to debug someone else’s code. But don’t be afraid to do that.
It will help you to thrive as a good programmer.
Every programmer has a different approach and coding style. When you read someone’s code, then you get a chance to look at various approaches other than yours.
This way you get a chance to compare your coding strategies with other developers. You can analyze which one is better in terms of speed and complexity.
You should make peer programming as a habit. It will teach you a lot of things.
Lesson #7 Make your Learning Counter as ++
The most challenging and interesting task being a programmer is to stay up-to-date. With so many emerging technologies and frameworks every year, it is hard to confine with existing stuff.
Programmers need to update themselves just like their software, to stay relevant in the market.
You can read different programming blogs, articles, and go through Youtube videos. These days you can find everything online. Try to make yourself familiar with all the new things coming under your domain.
I’m Shubham Pathania. I’m a .NET developer working in the finance domain. I find C# a great language to use and it’s also backed by a great ecosystem, I love solving complex problems and want to continue talking about the tech I use.
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