“Experience built on knowledge increases much quicker and is more valuable”
In a world where technology changes everyday, being a developer comes with fantastic opportunities, you get to work on cutting-edge technologies with top technological companies. But this comes with great challenges as well, given the rate at which technology is growing developers need to constantly up-skill so they don’t get left behind with old programming techniques.
Well, if a programmer repeats the same old (often incorrect) concept over and over, even ten years of experience can’t help them to become a better coder. On the other hand, studying can skyrocket your knowledge and expertise of programming in any language.
We’ll share 5 tips with you to boost your coding skills immediately, afterall knowledge without experience is not very useful – experience without knowledge can easily create a mess.
Think before you code
Writing lines of code shouldn’t take up 100% of your development time, ideally 50-60% of the time could be dedicated to that. Many programmers write faster than they’re capable of thinking. Humans are not well-suited to multitask. Take one step at a time and think before taking it.
- Keep a piece of paper close to your keyboard, draw graphs, concepts, write pseudo code, images, and tables. Any kind of visualization helps in clearer thinking. If you have a white board, even better!
- Put your ideas on paper. Writing code after you know what you want to achieve is far more effective.
- Think about testing before you write code. It can be helpful to have a clear idea about how a tester or a product owner would know that the task has been completed.
Dig deeper for more knowledge
Coding in React or VueJs doesn’t require any understanding of IP addresses, routing or DNS systems. But this is where great developers also set themselves apart from average ones in their knowledge of underlying technology, helping them solve more complex problems.
Understand technology as deeply as you can, it’s always an added advantage. Great developers don’t recreate the wheel. Use open-source assets in the wild. Did you know that open-source materials have surged greatly in the past 10 years? Imagine the wealth of information that’s readily available!
- Learn about computers to their core. Have a look at small processors and how they handle data. What Assembler looks like, and how C or C++ commands can be compiled to Assembler.
- If you’re a web developer, a complete understanding of the OSI model is a must.
- Cloud technology is a big deal! Azure and AWS are complex tools, but you don’t have to be an expert on these technologies. As a developer, you’ll definitely communicate with a team working on these technologies. It’s always beneficial to be able to understand each other and be aware of what issues might arise.
Programmers tend to choose one style of writing code, be it OOP, functional programming, or procedural programming, and they want to stick to their style no matter the situation. All programming styles may be useful given a specific scenario.
You may find endless discussions about whether a monolithic app makes for a better concept than microservices. As usual, the world is not black and white, and the typical answer would be “it depends”. There is no reason to avoid a hybrid model.
Don’t repeat yourself (DRY!)
Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY)! This is an extremely important rule that everyone should remember. Every time you think of going the ‘Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V’ way, stop and rethink – Do I really really need to copy some parts of the code? Can’t it be changed to code reuse?
It can be tricky to follow this rule, and we sometimes overlook this rule and just keep writing lines of code.
Here’s why this rule is of utmost importance – 30 pages of HTML code and each page having its own header, without the inclusion of a header file. Now if the customer wants to change an icon in the header, the programmers would need to update 30 pages. A true nightmare.
Teaching creates an opportunity not only to deepen our knowledge but also to articulate it better. Being able to describe what we want to explain in a crystal clear manner is essential for team-leading and communicating with clients. Solve real-world problems on StackOverflow, write articles if you’ve picked up a new skill, share it on Youtube, and help fellow developers to push their limits.
What are your tips for becoming a better programmer? Please share in the comments!
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