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Powerful Practices Every New Developer Should Adopt

Starting out in tech can be a whirlwind of code, concepts, and caffeine. I've pulled together some key practices that helped me and countless others solidify our coding chops. Whether you're dreaming about developing your own apps or just trying to survive your first coding bootcamp, these tips are for you!

1. Get Down with the Mechanics of Coding 🛠️

Ever wonder what happens after you hit "run" on your code? It's time to get friendly with the inner workings of programming. Understanding compilers, interpreters, and what makes your code tick can save you a lot of headaches down the line. This stuff might sound dry, but trust me, knowing it can be a real lifesaver when things go wrong.

Brick blocks

2. Develop a Problem-Solving Mindset 🧠

Coding isn’t just about slinging code—it’s about solving puzzles. Start with the problem, break it into pieces, and tackle them one by one. Whether you're figuring out how to keep a user logged in or just making a button change color, thinking things through step-by-step will get you further than any flashy code trick.

  • Think First, Code Later: Sketch out your solutions before you dive into coding. A little planning goes a long way.
  • Celebrate the Small Wins: Solved a bug? Pat yourself on the back. Every victory keeps you motivated.

3. Code Every Day 💻

Hit those keys daily. It’s like going to the gym but for your brain. Coding a bit each day keeps the syntax worries away and helps everything you learn stick.

  • Make it a Habit: Same time, same place—it helps. Even if it’s just 30 minutes before breakfast, it’s about building a routine.

8bit coding

4. Embrace Version Control Systems 📁

Git gud at using Git! But seriously, version control isn’t just for the pros. It’s essential for keeping track of your changes and working with others. Plus, it’s a lifesaver when you need to undo those 2 a.m. coding sessions that went sideways.

5. Explore Open Source Projects 🔓

Dive into open source! It’s a treasure trove of learning opportunities. See how others solve problems and maybe contribute a solution or two. It’s a great way to learn new tricks and meet fellow coders.

6. Regularly Refactor Your Code 🔄

Keep your code clean. It’s tempting to leave code messy when you’re in a rush, but taking time to tidy up your scripts pays off. Cleaner code equals fewer bugs and easier updates.

  • Refactor, Don't Rewrite: Improve what you have instead of starting from scratch. It’s about evolution, not revolution.

7. Learn to Read Documentation Effectively 📚

Docs are your best friend. Really. Spend time with them. The better you get at understanding documentation, the quicker you'll solve problems without posting a desperate plea for help on Stack Overflow.

don’t be dumb like me.. read that damn docs

— baransel (@bxransel) December 16, 2023

8. Stay Curious About New Technologies 🌐

Tech never sleeps, and neither should your curiosity. New frameworks, tools, and languages are popping up all the time. Keeping up can feel like a full-time job, but it’s worth it to stay relevant and inspired.

9. Network with Other Developers 🤝

Get out there and mingle! Whether it’s online forums, local meetups, or tech conferences, connecting with other developers can lead to new opportunities and insights. Plus, it’s always good to have friends who understand your debugger jokes.

10. Balance Learning with Practical Application ⚖️

Theory is great, but practice makes perfect. Try to apply what you learn through small projects or gigs. It’s the best way to see if what you’ve learned actually works in the real world.

Balance scale

Good luck sticker

So there you go, some practices that are game changers for any new developer. Pick one, give it a shot, and see how it transforms your coding game. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and with these practices, you’re starting strong.

Drop your thoughts and questions below and let's keep the learning going!

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