Software developer

6 Ways To Improve Your Software Developer Skills On Your Own

Studies show that the productivity of large developers is three times that of an average developer and 10 times that of a below average developer. It’s no wonder that the best in software development often receive bigger raises, promotions, and the chance to work on big projects.

What does it take to go from good to great? Here are six tips to become a faster and better developer.

Set strategic goals

What’s “better” is subjective depending on where you work, explained Kurtis Pykes, a machine learning engineer who has improved his programming skills dramatically over the past three years.

Some companies just want the code to work, while others want the code to be more efficient. Other companies prioritize developers’ coding speed over everything else. Don’t Spin the Wheels: Find out where you are in relation to the level of performance the business wants and focus on the skill-building activities that will push you toward your career and financial goals.

How? ‘Or’ What? Consider using the Feynman learning technique. Ask your coworkers for their feedback to determine the skills you need to improve throughput and quality. “Compare your actual performance with the desired standard, then reverse engineer the incremental steps to achieve your goal,” Pykes suggested.

Improve your problem solving skills

To get from junior to intermediate in programming, keep problem-solving, advised Danny Forest, software engineer, obsessive learner and founder of SkillUp Academy.

“The more problems you solve, the clearer the models become,” Forest noted. “When you apply these models to new problems, you are able to solve them faster and better. “

To hone your problem-solving skills, consider taking an online course, reading books, listening to podcasts, and problem-solving on different platforms and in different contexts.

Read and write a lot of code

What’s the best way to improve your coding skills? Learn more, especially the code created by exceptionally good programmers. Reading high-quality code helps you identify your flaws and weaknesses, as well as the skills you need to develop. Plus, understanding and emulating the style of the experts is the fastest way to develop your own style and improve yourself.

For example, Pykes studied code on the following GitHub repositories to take his skills to the next level:

Strive to improve yourself gradually by practicing and applying what you learn as you go. Accumulating many small upgrades will boost your confidence and help you overcome plateaus. “Get into the habit of coding every day,” Forest added. “Set aside 30 minutes and try to solve a problem that is close to your heart or to someone you know. “

When you’re ready, move on from writing many small programs to larger ones, forcing you to face and overcome increasingly complex challenges.

Learn abstractions

If you’ve gotten into the habit of copying and pasting code throughout the day, you might inadvertently reproduce unnecessary and reductive lines of code. To limit duplication (often referred to as the DRY principle), improve your understanding and use of abstractions and learn to write cleaner code.

The better your abstractions, the better you become as a programmer.

Practice refactoring

To become a better developer, spend a lot of time refactoring code. The process of restructuring or modifying existing computer code without modifying or adding to its behavior and external functionality can help you learn to make your code more efficient, readable, and editable.

Learn New Stacks

By developing experience in multiple technology stacks, you learn when and why to use specific languages ​​and frameworks, which makes you a better problem solver and developer. In turn, this also helps you achieve your career goals by increasing your market value.

“When I felt like I was progressing in Python, I would then take a job in Ruby,” Forest noted. Over time, not only did he become well versed in many languages, but he also learned to see problems from a different perspective.

“Now I can be hired for positions in every part of the stack and perform well,” he said.

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