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Some Tips for Becoming a Great Developer

aumayeung profile image John Au-Yeung ・3 min read

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Being a developer is hard. Not only we have to know technical skills, but we also have lots of soft skills that we have to get good at.

In this article, we’ll look at some ways that we can all become better programmers.

Master Our Google Search Skills

We have to master our Google search skills. Every problem that we run into can found Google to get a solution.

Then we’ll have to sort through all the websites that are in the results to find the right solution that’s for us.

We can use the allintitle option to search for results that have all the search keywords you entered in the results.

Also, we can use the allintext option to search for all the results that have all the keywords you entered in the text of a document.

We should also include the version number of the library or framework that we’re using so that we get the relevant results for them.

This is will reduce a lot of irrelevant results for different versions of whatever we’re looking for.

Under Promise and Over Deliver

Under promising is an important thing to do since we don’t want to disappoint our stakeholders, clients, or customers.

We should keep their expectation low enough so that we can finish whatever we’re tasked with within a short period of time.

This way, people will be very happy if we went beyond what we originally promised our stakeholders and customers.

When people are happy with our work, then trust is developed, and everyone is happy.

Designers are Our Friends

Designers are our friends because we need to work with them to make their designs into reality.

If we don’t have a good relationship with them, then we’ll suffer in the end.

They know about aesthetics and user experience more than most developers, so we definitely need their help.

Be Helpful

We should be helpful to other people. Most people will reciprocate if we help them.

It’s very hard to do everything alone. And it’s also not as fun even if we can. Therefore, we should help them whenever we can.

Write Useful Comments

Comments should explain why we’re doing something. The code will tell us what it’s doing, so we don’t have to comment about what it’s doing.

If our code doesn’t tell what it’s doing, then our naming or code structure probably isn’t very good.

Name Variables and Functions Appropriately

This goes with the previous point. We should name things in a descriptive manner so that other people can know what we’re doing when they read our code.

Therefore, functions, variables, classes, and anything else that has to be named has to be clear.

This way everyone understands what something is from the names.

For instance, instead of naming variables with letters like x, we should name them with a descriptive name like numApples.

Likewise, we do the same with functions, classes, or any other entities that have to be named.

Take a Break

We all need to take a break so that we can rest. Without adequate rest, we’ll make more mistakes, and they’ll definitely slow us down.

Everyone will be happier if we deliver things without flaws.

Delete Dead Code

Dead code has no reason to be in a program, so they should be gone. They just take up space and do nothing.

Reading Code

Reading code is important since we all have to do it before we start working on them.

Also, we have to know how other systems work even if we don’t work on them so we can interact with them.

If we don’t know how to read code, then we won’t know what we’re doing if we don’t understand the code, to begin with.

No Useless Meetings

Useless meetings are a great time sink. They’re usually long and we can’t contribute much to them.

Therefore, we should cancel all useless meetings and replace them with asynchronous methods of communication like chat or email.

Conclusion

We should keep in mind all these things when we’re working as a developer. This way we keep our code hygiene clean. Also, we’re better communicators in the end, which helps everyone including ourselves get better.

Posted on by:

aumayeung profile

John Au-Yeung

@aumayeung

I'm web developer interested in JavaScript stuff.

Discussion

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Here are some more tips:

Tip #1: Don't rush projects. Take time and think about where the end goal is and keep a steady, consistent pace during development. It'll get done. Also keep a list of bite-sized one to two day mini-tasks for the project handy. Little continual victories add up to a complete, production-ready project even if it takes months to complete the project.

Tip #2: Be proactive and positive. Most people wait for work to come to them. The best developers are the ones who ask around if there are any internal pet projects or issues they can work on at the company they work for. That approach gets noticed very fast. Just be careful to not get overwhelmed or sidetracked from primary responsibilities. Take on an extra project from other departments here or there just for fun as time permits and be everyone's hero.

Tip #3: Document, document, document. Good, current, non-automated documentation written by the original developer is rare to come by. Documentation written by users of the software will inevitably miss important edge cases.

Tip #4: Bug fixing is more important than new features. Buggy software makes life more complicated. Fix the bugs first and if there is time, then add a feature or two. Make it a goal to get to zero open issues on the issue tracker.

 

They are all good tips.

Bugs are definitely annoying and rushing will create more bugs.