In this article, I want to talk about five things I wish someone told me before becoming a developer. Whether you are an experienced developer or just starting, I believe the article will benefit you.
The article aims to clarify topics such as:
- How to learn to code
- Building great projects
- Starting and staying up-to-date
- Running after buzzwords
The first section is about learning how to code. We all know that coding can be challenging at times. We might struggle to decide what to learn, how to learn, and how much time to spend on learning. Thus, this section aims to clarify the question of how to learn to code and how to get better.
Many people expect some magic secret to getting better at programming. However, there is no secret. To get better at programming, you have to code. A lot. Code. Get stuck. Learn to get unstuck. Repeat.
Coding is a practical task, and you only get better at it by practicing. There is no substitute for hard, smart, practical work. You can only get better by putting your fingers to work.
In the first section, we have seen that active learning (practical work) is crucial when learning to code. Thus, that brings us to the next question - "what to build?". You are not going to get ideas for projects because there are many resources on the internet about that. However, it is going to help you build great projects.
Projects are crucial, and the more projects you build, the better you get at programming. Memorizing concepts is one thing; building projects is another thing. However, they go hand-in-hand. Before you jump into programming, you need to understand basic concepts and the fundamentals. Once you understand them, start building projects.
Therefore, let us see how can we build great projects:
- Build a project that does something useful.
- Write tests.
- Write readable code (not clever/smart code).
- Have instructions on how to install/run your project.
- Have a live preview link.
However, this is not an exhaustive list, and it represents my views. You are free to add more or remove some stuff from the list.
In my case, to stay-up-to-date, I do the following:
- I use a news aggregator.
- I subscribe to various newsletters.
- I read blogs from Freecodecamp, Dev To, and Hashnode.
- I follow accounts such as Freecodecamp, Hashnode, and Dev To.
If you want a more in-depth article, I recommend reading the article on how to stay up-to-date as a developer.
In the technology sector, new tools are released often. As a result, it is easy to run after buzzwords and try new things all the time. If you always run after buzzwords, you cannot get good enough at anything. Pick an area that interests you and get better in that area.
Be aware. That is not to say you should not try new tools. You should learn new things and stay up-to-date. The idea is not to run after new technologies all the time.
Always remember that life is more than work. In tech, it seems that you have to code and learn non-stop to stay relevant. But that is not the case. Relaxing and enjoying life too is crucial. This is coming from someone that got burned out twice because of too much work.
Success is usually a combination of:
- Hard work
- Time off
- Healthy eating
- Good sleep
- Having fun
Moreover, success means different things to people. There is no one definition because success is subjective and objective. My success might not be your success and vice-versa!
These are the things I wish I knew when I started as a developer.
I hope you learned something new by reading the article. Or at least, I hope you refreshed your mind on things you already knew.
If you enjoyed the article, consider sharing it so more people can benefit from it! Also, feel free to @ me on Twitter with your opinions.
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