How to become a successful developer

  1. Reinvent the wheel. Others will tell you not to, but they’ve never attempted to build wheels before. They probably don’t understand wheels. Maybe they’re the type that buys a new truck when all they need is a new wheel. Learn how to make wheels.
  2. Know when to use an off the shelf wheel. Sometimes there’s no time to build new wheels. Reinvent the wheel once you have time though.
  3. Document everything. Your memory is not infallible; future you will thank you. Think of keeping track of the packages you use, techniques, obscure command flags and more. A complete list comes with time, like with anything the trick to success is persistance.
  4. Automate everything. Code generation and automation is at the heart of computing; it’s what we do. Create code generators; shorthand lengthy scripts. Make it part of your workflow
  5. Learn from the best by reading open source code. They do the same; that’s why they’re the best. Don’t confine yourself to your company’s code only.
  6. Publish everything you do. No matter how small, send it out into the world. If it’s bad: people don’t care. If it’s useful, people will be grateful. It doesn’t matter if you plan on maintaining it / polishing it. Release it now, or risk never releasing it at all.
  7. Take your time to explain things to others. Karma is real, and if you’re already documenting, automating and publishing everything you do, it isn’t too hard to point others in the right direction.
  8. Keep enjoying what you do. There will be times when you don’t, but that’s fine. Eventually you’ll find something that’s interesting again. If you feel like your daily routine is constricting you: change the routine. Being a developer is very lucrative, changing directions is worth it.
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