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Chris Bongers
Chris Bongers

Posted on • Originally published at daily-dev-tips.com

One small step for you, one giant leap for yourself

Many people are following my articles and the articles of many others because they want to become developers.

Sometimes I receive messages or read tweets from people asking how they can become a developer in x time.

And frankly, there is no correct answer to that question.

Let's take this question for example:

"How long should you boil an egg?"

Two eggs with faces by Klaus Nielsen

People will give you answers from anything between 3 minutes and 8+ minutes, depending on what they like.

This exact problem happens with development as well.
Let's say you asked this question to a developer who studies it. Their answer will always be "x school years + y", as a self-taught developer who spends 60 hours a week might say one year.

And for me,

I say what most developers would say: "It depends."

But foremost, I would say, you never stop learning.

One small step

My main advice would be to keep it fun for yourself. Don't forget this is not a sprint. It's a marathon.

You want to become a developer who enjoys their job in the long run.
You need to take things one step at a time to achieve that.

One big pair and one baby pair of shoes

How big those steps still depends on how big of a step you can make.
Again, someone with tall legs might do bigger steps than someone with short legs.

However, the result is always the same. By learning day to day, you will improve so much over time.

One giant leap

Small learning accumulates over time, and some of you might even have read James Clear, Atomic Habits.

This graph comes from James's book and shows how a 1% a day improvement will accumulate over time to contribute to one giant leap.

1% improvement a day exponential graph

For some people, this approach sounds like a waste, but I challenge you to try it out with anything you do.

Try making the steps smaller but more consecutive; you will also see this exponential growth.

What not to do

I've seen some horrible advice around the internet, where people tell you, you can become an x developer in only one week.

Trust me, it won't work, and you will only get frustrated and annoyed by the results.

Frustrated person behind laptop

You also can't dedicate 100% of your time to learning. Well, maybe you can for a week, a month. But by the end of that, you'll be mentally drained.

So keep that momentum going, and grow day by day.

My story

Before, I've talked about my process but a small recap.
I decided to start blogging daily, it's a good habit to form, and by doing so, I learn, re-learn and experiment with development-related things.

To me, it's a great way to improve over time. 800+ articles in, and I picked up many great things from writing these articles.

A bonus is that by writing them down, I actually get to remember them better, and I can always look back at how I solved a specific issue.

But don't get turned off by the writing part. That's my preference. Your way of learning might be by reading about it, creating a project, or watching a video.
Choose a method that works for you.

Conclusion

By improving ourselves only 1% daily, we grow exponentially as humans. This is a perfect way to tackle any skill we want to master.

And by taking that one small step every day, you are making giant leaps over time for yourself.

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

Thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to subscribe to my email newsletter and connect on Facebook or Twitter

Discussion (20)

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bacloud22 profile image
aben • Edited on

Very nice optimistic article, I try each time also to introduce people to programming and lower their frustration. Constant learning even few minutes a day (reading an algorithm or so) is definitely the way to go...

There is a serious catch I believe that paradoxically, results to more frustration rather than less, which is saying to people: programming is easy while it is not, I mean don't get me wrong, I appreciate any work and anything can be either seen "easy AND hard" depending on the skill and improvement. What I want to say, is programming is not like for instance: assembling a table, (or maybe it is?!)
But anyway, if you make one single error the whole program, web-app, visualization, ML model, ... will fail. It is not magic or rocket science but still, it really needs a lot of discipline and patience.

voila, my opinion is that, people trying to democratize technology, maybe not all of them, but many many are selling/giving this impression that it is all low-code, stack over stack over stack, and then just pick your building blocks and make something giant, while in fact it is the exact opposite, it is about learning, designing, developing, testing, then iterate again,

Saying to anyone, hey, you maybe missed it in journalism at university, or not liking it anymore, you can switch and become a full-stack developer in 6 months is "a BIG lie" which will cause frustration more than anything else.

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Chris Bongers Author

Oh no, you won't ever hear me say it's easy
Or you can become it in x time, I actually am very much against those "roadmaps" as they are too generic.

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bacloud22 profile image
aben

I agree, I just wanted to raise an important point. Programming is not easy at all, and sadly it creates so much frustration. I had a mate that abandoned a PhD in physics and started full stack programming. Of course there might be million reasons for this, career, money, etc.. so this is just an example, the guy is definitely brilliant but each time I pointed to him that this solution even well written, it is bad design and would never scale, no comprehension or a blurred vision on low level Vs high level, opinionated and agnostic, team work, etc..
So yes, again development is not just code that works, it's about design, testing, team work, and so on...

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bacloud22 profile image
aben • Edited on

Another thing to mention, for him it is all about grasping the next version, and the best library for instance React is a must, while I was arguing the solution works fine with plain JavaScript and no rΓ©active, clients are smart enough to know clicks and F5s to ask the server, they really know it and know what's an action and maybe after that action the data on UI is not up to date. I focused on backend and supporting thousands of concurrent users instead, and there is so much to learn there already for the curious .

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Amrin

You are a great inspiration Chris.
Really appriciate what you are doing.

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Chris Bongers Author

Thanks a lot Amrin,
That means a lot to me πŸš€

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Samee Ch

Awesome article

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Chris Bongers Author

Thank you so much Samee

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dnasedkina

Love the title :)

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Chris Bongers Author

Glad you do πŸ’–

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imonem profile image
imonem

Inspiring

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Chris Bongers Author

Thanks a lot πŸ₯³

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Andrew Baisden

Another great written article.

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Chris Bongers Author

Thanks a lot Andrew πŸ’ͺ

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Azlan-Syed • Edited on

you are a real guy amazing article

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Chris Bongers Author

Thanks so much.

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Calin Baenen

I don't wanna riff on you too hard, but Γ°e title makes absolutely no sense.
"You" and "yourself" mean Γ°e same ΓΎing.

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Chris Bongers Author

That was kind of what I was going for.
You should improve yourself by talking small steps yourself.

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achinara profile image
Chinara

Thank you, this a great article to start my Monday today! :)

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Chris Bongers Author

Glad you enjoyed it Chinara πŸ‘