Since I started coding, I've always been looking for tips to improve my programming skills.
I read and tried a lot of things, and I want to share some of my top tips with you. So if you are looking for ways to become a better developer, you're in the right place!
In this post, you will discover a summary of what I've learned over the past few years of programming.
I also launched my YouTube channel recently and created a video version of this post. If you want to check it out here it is:
Here are my top 5 tips for becoming a better programmer
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?
Everyone has their own personal goals, but I created a small list of ideas for you:
• Create your website
• Get a new job
• Work as a freelancer
• Work remotely
• Challenge yourself
• Attain better financial health
Remember to save a slot for one of the most important goals: the personal project. For me, it's one of the most essential things in coding. If you want to succeed and stay motivated, you should create projects.
But you don't always have to finish them. The idea is to achieve small goals in your projects.
I'll 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 just learning how to add something to a database, you can create a simple form (a title and description) to add a record to the database.
I know this is simple, but once you do it, you've achieved your goal.
It's crucial to use projects to achieve goals because it leads you to work on more concrete examples (life examples). What could be more motivating than that?
2. Do it again… and again!
Once you choose your goals, work on them as much as possible! The more your practice, the more you learn.
Learning to code is a skill, and you can compare it to doing sports. If you want to be good at it and perform well at work, you should practice a lot.
Try to practice coding daily, during your lunch break or after 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
A bit of storytelling: Do you know why I created HereWeCode.io?
I am fascinated by code and knowledge sharing. Over the past few years, I read a lot of articles on different platforms: freeCodeCamp, dev.to, and so on. I learned that everyone could share what they learn and create, even if it's just a small thing.
I created HereWeCode for a few reasons:
• Share my knowledge to become a better developer
• Help beginners understand key concepts
• Create simple and concrete examples for everyone
• To do what I love and have fun
Everyone can do it! I started simple. First 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 your programming skills a lot. Being able to explain a concept and how it works is a crucial skill as a developer.
Remember: You don't need to be a domain expert to write about something!
4. Read code
Everything you read about code will improve your programming skills.
You'll discover a lot!
Here's what you can read:
• Code on Github
You can learn a lot from other people's code. You can find experts in your field or use GitHub to find code that's similar to your own. It's exciting to discover how other developers write code and solve problems. You will develop your critical thinking skills. Is the method they use better than yours?
Similar to 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 reach out to your team or friends. If you don't know anyone you can ask, use programming forums.
Sometimes, you need a different explaination to understand a concept. It's good to stay stuck and search for an answer on the internet, but at some point, you need to ask other developers.
Take advantage of another person's knowledge to improve yourself. And if you ask another developer, there is a high chance that they will appreciate it.
You can save this article and refer to it every time you need to become a better developer.
Now it's your turn. What are your tips to improve your programming skills?
If you want more content like this, you can follow me on Twitter, where I tweet about web development, self-improvement, and my journey as a full stack developer!