How to improve your programming skills?
Since I started to code, I’ve always been looking after tips to improve my programming skills and become a better developer. Here is what I learned from my past years of programming.
My 5 tips to do it!
1. Establish goals for yourself.
Setting goals can boost your productivity as a developer.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Why did you start programming?
• What are your programming goals?
• What dream do you want to achieve by becoming a developer?
Each one has personal goals, but I created a small list of ideas for you:
• Being able to create your website
• Get a new job
• Work as a freelance
• Work remotely
• Challenge yourself
• Get better financial health
You need to save a slot for one of the most important goals: the personal project.
For me, it’s one of the essential things in coding.
If you want to succeed and stay motivated, you should create projects.
You don’t always have to finish it. The idea is to achieve small goals in your project.
I give you an example. If you want to learn how to use a database, you can start a blog project. But if your interest is learning how to add something in a database, you can create a simple form (title, description) to add a post in the database exclusively.
I know this is simple, but once you did it, you achieved your goal.
It’s crucial to use a project to achieve goals because it leads you to work on concrete examples (life examples). What could be more motivating?
2. Let’s do it again… and again!
Once you fixed your goals, do it as much as possible!
More your practice, the more you learn.
Learn to code is a skill, and you can compare it to doing sports. If you want to be good at it and perform in your work, you should practice a lot.
One tip I give you is trying to practice daily, during your lunch break, or after your work. Even if it is only for one hour, if you create a habit and stick to it, you will see daily improvements.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar - Twitter)
3. Share what you learn/create.
It’s the best way to learn new things.
Some ideas for sharing what you do:
• Write blog articles
• Join conferences or local meetups
• Ask for feedback on StackOverflow
• Tweet your progress every day with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag
I am fascinated by code and knowledge sharing.
These past few years, I read a lot of articles on different platforms: freeCodeCamp, dev.to, etc.
I learned that everyone could share what they learn and create, even if it’s a small thing.
• Share my knowledge to become a better developer
• Help beginners to understand key concepts
• Create simple and concrete examples for everyone
• Doing what I love and having fun
Everyone can do it! I started simple. I created a small article on Medium called “Discover what an API is!”, then a second one on Docker called “A beginner’s guide to Docker — how to create your first Docker application” and so on.
By writing for others, you will improve a lot your programming skills. Being able to explain a concept and its work is a crucial skill as a developer.
You need to remember: You don’t need to be a domain expert to write about it!
4. Read code
Everything you read about code will improve your programming skills.
It’s going to make you discover a lot!
Here what you can read:
• code on Github
You can learn a lot from other code. You can find experts in your field or use GitHub to find a similar case than you.
It’s exciting to discover how other developers write code and solve a problem.
You will develop your critical thinking skills. Is the method they use better than yours?
On the same basis as programming every day, why don’t you try to read at least one article or a few pages of a programming book daily?
Some well-known books:
• Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
• The pragmatic programmer: from Journeyman to Master
• Deep Work by Cal Newport
5. Ask questions
Don’t be shy about asking too much!
It can be helpful when you don’t understand something.
You can do it with your team or friends.
If you don’t know anyone to ask a question, use programming forums.
Sometimes, you need a different way to explain to understand a concept. It’s good to stay stuck and search for an answer on the internet, but at one point, you need to ask other developers.
Take advantage of another person’s knowledge to improve yourself.
Moreover, if you ask another developer, there is a high chance that he will appreciate it.