Transform into a better developer with these 10 tips

An underdeveloped developer? Now, there’s a sentence you’ll rarely come across on the daily. Then again, if you are a developer, you’d be glad you swung by, for we have a few pointers on how you can up your game, get out of that slump, and even hit the very heights that have remained oh so elusive for so long. So right to it we go!

Coding is one such profession where there is enough and more scope for innovation. Coders have the power to bring change with their programs.

Have the heart for it

It’s clear that you’ve chosen this profession (or is it the other way ‘round) for all the right reasons. Therefore, why not put your back into it, heck put your heart into it and give it your all! Push the limits. Don’t just be content with being ‘satisfactory’. Furthermore, have that continuous longing to write better code, create better stuff and incessantly innovate. Try it, and you will naturally see yourself turn into a better developer.

Going above and beyond what is assigned to you at work, helps expand your knowledge and thirst at becoming a better coder.

No. No. No

No — a simple word, but often left woefully unused! As a developer, it pays to say no when you have unrealistic deadlines repeatedly thrust upon you. This will help arrest any burnout head on. At first, this stance might meet with stern resistance from your client and boss. However, if you do put out quality work time and time again, your boss and client will readily acquiesce to this demand, and your unrelenting commitment to quality will win you more respect.

Delivering work on time is always a good practice. But overworking yourself can lead to burnout thus impacting both your productivity and quality of work.

Zone out to zone in!

By this we mean keep all manner of distractions at bay, especially when faced with something that’s a bit tricky or challenging. Learn to zone all the distractions out, and reap the benefits of developing from within ‘the zone’.

Coding requires extreme concentration like any other profession. So, at times when you want to get things done faster, zone out and cut off all distractions.

Open up to the open source

Actively working on open source code is a great way to further improve and hone your developing skills! Besides this, spending some valuable time going through and understanding other folks’ codes could open up a wellspring of wonderful possibilities.

Getting involved in open source projects puts you on top of the rest. Not only do you get a chance to fix bugs, but also get multiple opportunities to test your capability outside of your job.

SOS

Don’t ever shy away from asking for help. All of us can use a helping hand every now and again. So gleefully swallow that pride, and get help. Doing this will help you solve things faster and easier. Now, you can move on to greater things without letting petty troubles trip you up.

Asking for help at work doesn’t mean you are not good at work. In fact it helps add value to your work by getting multiple perspectives and see things with a fresh pair of eyes.

Un-stagnate

Always stay on top of your game by keeping yourself updated and razor sharp. If you do have to sharpen your skills (and you DO have to!) on your way to becoming a better developer, cheerfully take up a course, listen to talks and podcasts and read a textbook. Being a good or great developer isn’t a destination, it’s a continuous process, so never stop learning. Remember, you only go backwards if you stand still!

Keep yourself up-to-date about the latest developments in your field. This will not only help bring innovation in your work but also pitch interesting projects.

Be the arm around the shoulder

If you’re the elder statesman at your workplace, take the younger developers under your wing, and help them out when you can. Pair programming where a junior and senior are ‘paired together’ is a good example of this. The ‘junior’ can learn heaps from your experience, and you could see things from a new point of view, and be richer from the experience.

Initiate buddy programs at work. This will help junior developers in your team to learn from you and other senior developers. Furthermore, there is a high chance of you learning something new from them too!

Don’t believe the hype!

Well, by this we mean don’t run around in hipster fashion, falling prey to the hype created by seemingly ‘new’ frameworks, features and tech. You are in no immediate danger of falling behind, as all this new stuff needs a bedding in period before they become relevant. Besides, big companies are heavily invested in present day frameworks and technology, and they are very unlikely to change it up at the drop of a hat. Now, you can breathe easy and focus on writing better code instead!

Although keeping yourself abreast of the latest happenings in your field is a good practice, don’t go ahead and start using them unless you sure it works better than the present framework.

Play away from home!

As developers, we can often be self-confessed obsessives. While this is good up to a point, it does help to take a break from ‘developing’, and come back with renewed energy, a different point of view and a dogged determination.

Take a break from your daily coding routine and explore other ideas which can add value to your current role and your career growth as well.

Give this a ‘look’

For even more great stuff on how to be a better developer, follow Bill Sourour (@billsourour) from devmastery.com, as well as Free Code Camp (@freecodecamp) and Code School (@codeschool) on this here ol’ Twitter. That aside, posts such as these from Coding Horror on code reviews, as well as this on the KISS Principle gives you some useful pointers and tips. Want even more? Why not get the latest from the veritable treasure trove that is the Stack Exchange, or even give A List Apart and SlashDot a go? These resources are a fabulous starting point on your way to discover even more!

Make sure you take some time out from your schedule and study. Go through some websites and courses which are interesting and can help you get better at coding.

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