Writing code is the easy part
Becoming a valuable software engineer has little to do with writing code.
First of all, software engineers are not paid for writing code. They are paid for the business value they create. Writing code is certainly a part of that, but it would be misleading to say it was everything.
The other parts of being a good software engineer:
- Choosing your career path
- Finding a valuable support network that can help you grow
- Knowing when to embrace new technologies, new trends, and when to ignore them.
Compared to the everything else, writing good code is straightforward.
The secret to improving your code: write a lot of it. Getting it regularly reviewed by an expert can help a lot, too.
For everything else, there's no secret. The road to success is full of dead ends, failures, missed opportunities, and uncertainty.
P.S. This post was inspired by Dave Hoover's book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman.
Here's a link to the eBook.