#1 Reason Why You Don’t Improve As a Software Developer

⛩ Caio Zullo on September 19, 2018

Watch on YouTube In this video, we are going to discuss the main reason why we set goals to improve but sometimes cannot achieve them. There’... [Read Full]
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Perfect practice makes perfect...

The Talent Code (book) talks about a concept called deep practice that aids in skills development. Deep practice is a form of deliberate practice that specifically focuses on toeing the comfort zone line.

Just as you are discussing learning outcomes and expectations in your video, I have found that improving the skill of learning greatly increase my ability to develop other skills.

I find simple practices, such as doing programming katas (fizzbuzz, bowling, game of Life, etc), reinforces good coding practices. I have come across 'senior' engineers in my career who scof at these simple problems... The point of these katas is not to solve a hard problem, but two Focus on the mundane that is often overlooked.

Syntax familiarity, writing loosely coupled tests, clean code, and refactoring without side effects should be as intuitive to a programmer as breathing is to all animals...


First I've heard about the plateau on my early days as a software engineer so I had plenty of time to think about it (6+ years in fact). While your great article is definitely true and the key to overcoming a plateau is doing a lot of work outside your comfort zone, I still consider software craft more like multidimensional surface (especially as full-stack SE). So sometimes we face another challenge: to reach at least plateau-level in multiple disciplines. And sometimes I see how growing in one dimension helps me to grow in another: i.e. knowing some basic functional programming concepts helps me to become a better object-oriented developer.


Another phrase for this is "effort shock", which I think first appeared in this very insightful article from Cracked:


(yes, Cracked)


I'd be really interested in some empirical foundation for the described "plateau" effect. Are you aware of any?

You may also want to look into the concept of deliberate practice ("prolonged efforts to improve performance while negotiating motivational and external constraints", see also my related post).

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