The traits of a proficient programmer
Gregory Brown wrote an excellent article on how you can grow as a programmer.
Do you know what the difference between competence and proficiency is?
Competence means having enough experience and knowledge to get stuff done; proficiency involves knowing why you are doing something in a certain way, and how it fits into the big picture. In other words, a proficient practitioner is always a competent practitioner, but the opposite may not be true.