1. Keep an open mind
If you want to achieve great things, you have to be aware that you don’t know everything. Many programmers hit the road with an “I think I know better” attitude and it’s wrong. You have to be open-minded to the idea that you don’t know everything in your area and that you can learn new things with every project you have. And to become better, you must learn from experience. Otherwise, you will repeat the same mistakes thinking that this is the best you can do.
You can be the best and yet have many new things to learn. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. 🙂
2. “How can I make this better?”
Average developers stop the moment they finish writing the code and move on to the next project. And this is wrong. If you want to be better, you have to know that you’re not done. You have to question yourself “How can I make it better?”. Try to figure out what is the “better” for every situation and work hard to make it that way.
3. Write it three times
A well-written code will not make you a better programmer. Because that can’t happen from the first try. A really great software is actually written three times:
- First, you write it to see if it’s really working. Others may not recognize that this is just a proof-of-concept, but you do.
- The second time, you write it to make it work.
- The third time, after you learn from the previous mistakes, you write it to make it work right.
4. Work on Open Source projects
Working on open source projects from places like GitHub is a great opportunity to improve your developer skills and this way you’ll gain more self-confidence. Try to write documentation for an open source code so that you can understand better your own code and have a vision of what someone else would do in different situations.
5. Read code
This is the most valuable advice for improving your programming skills. When reading others’ code, you can learn new tips and tricks from how someone else chose to solve programming problems. When developing your code sense, you will be able to observe more easily when something is not working right and what may be the problem.
But don’t just copy and paste a good code. Ask yourself how would you write that code, how would you improve it and what would you do differently.
6. Work with other developers
You can share and learn new things by simply working with other developers. Get out of your comfort zone and work with others on something that you’re not familiar with. This way you can reach a new level. This may happen by going to startup weekends or hackathons or joining different groups in your area. You can be surprised to see how many special people you can meet. And if you’re lucky enough, you can find a mentor who can guide you on your way to become better. Just open your eyes, be open-minded and pay attention to the feedback you receive from the other developers.
7. Do a code review
In order to become a better developer and programmer, you must do a code review and then send your code review to others for feedback. By doing this, you can improve your code sense. You may not realize your own mistakes along the way, so a feedback will open your eyes and it will help you see where you will have to work harder.
8. Challenge yourself
You have to set design goals for yourself often. If someone else tells you what and when to do something, it may not be as productive as when you challenge yourself. You can also get yourself a reward for when you reach the finish line of your goal. A little motivation helps everyone 🙂
Every step you make, you have to check it carefully. You can’t ‘undo’ a little mistake and expect to not have some consequences. So you have to read twice every piece of code you wrote before moving to the next step.
10. Reflect your own code
Whenever you fix a bug in your code, you must reflect and see what you can do in the future to avoid this kind of error. When reflecting on your code, you can also fix some bad habits you may have and adopt habits that are good for you and that can help you to become a better coder.
Tips: Read the informal rules named ‘best coding practices‘.