A while back I came across this awesome post of a picture on instagram that listed 10 ways to become a better developer and it is only now that I realize that the picture has been cropped and only shows 8 ways. It is hilarious! I even reposted it and did not see that 9 and 10 are missing. It goes to show that we should all read a bit better if we want to become better at coding as a developer. We should read a bit better if we want to become better at anything we want to do.
What I wanted to do for this post is: I wanted to take each of the points and try to give you my take on that. For the missing 9 and 10, I will add my own. Here we go:
As a coder,programmer,developer that, at the moment, mostly works alone it is pretty intimidating to read other peoples code. You pretty much don’t know where to start and if you know the other developer is a few levels above you in experience the courage sometimes sinks to your shoes. However if you want to move past this you need to remember that reading other people’s code will help you better understand your OWN code and will improve your insight in what good quality code means. I will end this with some insight into how to read other peoples code:
Asking someone to read your code. In my experience is a lot like asking out someone.
First you determine if it’s possible to ask this person. (Does he or she already have a girlfriend/boyfriend) or in other words does this person has the time? Is it appropriate to ask? If you already know this person you already know this answer.
Then If they say no, it is usually really because they don’t have any time. You should not feel rejected by this or make this hurt your self-confidence. If they said yes. Let them read your code. When you get the feedback. Try to get as much information out of the feedback as possible. Ask questions that you will think will benefit your code.
Then Repay or pay it forward: most programmers like a cup of coffee, but you can also offer to read their code and give your feedback in the most constructive way you know.
Some bugs you can disguise as features but that is not always the case. Here are some steps to properly fix a bug. Steps are not always the same, but as you get more experience you will know intuitively which steps and clicks you must follow.
The list for learning new technologies can be endless. My advice for this (especially for newbies, and in most cases everyone that is learning is a newbie) is to try and choose a technology that falls into the category of the “next-step” in your coding journey. When you have chosen your new technology, make an approach (plan) so that you can stick to finishing to lean at least the basics of the technology before you move on to another technology. An approach that has been working well is to look at the overall topics of the technology and divide the learning bits into little chunks of maybe an hour, (or per topic). The dividing in little parts is so that the amount of learning or practicing does not seem overwhelming to start with.
Or KISS (Keep it short and simple also known as keep it simple, stupid!) is a well-known term not only in coding. It is essentially a reminder for people and companies to keep their products and information simple. If we want to KISS in programming I think we should:
You my friend are reading it right now. I highly encourage you to also start writing. You may mail me or comment. I will review.
I personally haven’t had the time to contribute to open source yet but depending on your programming language there are a lot of options out there. For now I am thinking about this link to contribute for the first time. If you have other options please leave a comment.
This item needs an example. Let’s say you have written a program that calculates the sum of amount of items you have in storage and for some reason the output is always 10 items less than what is should be. You could say that you will hack the program by always adding 10 items at the end of the calculation. But that is not a good idea. You should look at your code and maybe look if there isn’t a for example a loop that is running 10 times too much or if there is somewhere where there is written 10 instead of 1.
In programming you will encounter tools that will make your life easier as a developer. Heck you may even make them yourself. Before adding a new library, module or some hyped up tool to our new project, make sure you take some time to get to know it. To use an example I have a small car to drive my kids to school, it’s light and energy efficient however. If I wanted to go camping with them and drive through really rough terrain I would not use my own car, I would rent or ask someone with a stronger vehicle to bring us.
In a way coding is like art. You , as a developer, want it to be perfect, and if you code for your own personal projects you can go on as much as you like to. However for projects that you are getting paid for it is important to remember that you are being paid to solve a problem. Getting the code to solve a problem is your code is core. Perfection can make you miss a deadline. Your code is out there to solve real world problems for real world people.
So there you have it. My take on how to become a better developer. If you find this useful. Please share or send it to someone who is also on a coding journey.
With a twinkle and a smile,