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Gaël Thomas for HereWeCode

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at herewecode.io

How to improve your programming skills

I released a video version of this blog post.

When I started to share articles, one of my goals was to create YouTube videos. After working a lot on it, here's the video! I hope you will enjoy it!

Since I started to code, I’ve always been looking after tips to improve my programming skills and become a better developer. Here is what I learned from my past years of programming.

My 5 tips to do it!

1. 🎯 Establish goals for yourself.

Setting goals can boost your productivity as a developer.
Ask yourself the following questions:

• Why did you start programming?
• What are your programming goals?
• What dream do you want to achieve by becoming a developer?

Each one has personal goals, but I created a small list of ideas for you:

• Being able to create your website
• Get a new job
• Work as a freelance
• Work remotely
• Challenge yourself
• Get better financial health

You need to save a slot for one of the most important goals: the personal project.
For me, it's one of the essential things in coding.
If you want to succeed and stay motivated, you should create projects.

You don't always have to finish it. The idea is to achieve small goals in your project.
I give you an example. If you want to learn how to use a database, you can start a blog project. But if your interest is learning how to add something in a database, you can create a simple form (title, description) to add a post in the database exclusively.

I know this is simple, but once you did it, you achieved your goal.
It's crucial to use a project to achieve goals because it leads you to work on concrete examples (life examples). What could be more motivating?

2. 🔁 Let’s do it again… and again!

Once you fixed your goals, do it as much as possible!
More your practice, the more you learn.

Learn to code is a skill, and you can compare it to doing sports. If you want to be good at it and perform in your work, you should practice a lot.

One tip I give you is trying to practice daily, during your lunch break, or after your work. Even if it is only for one hour, if you create a habit and stick to it, you will see daily improvements.

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar - Twitter)

3. 🌐 Share what you learn/create.

It's the best way to learn new things.

Some ideas for sharing what you do:
• Write blog articles
• Join conferences or local meetups
• Ask for feedback on StackOverflow
• Tweet your progress every day with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag

A bit of storytelling: Do you know why I created HereWeCode.io?

I am fascinated by code and knowledge sharing.
These past few years, I read a lot of articles on different platforms: freeCodeCamp, dev.to, etc.
I learned that everyone could share what they learn and create, even if it's a small thing.

I created HereWeCode for these few motives:
• Share my knowledge to become a better developer
• Help beginners to understand key concepts
• Create simple and concrete examples for everyone
• Doing what I love and having fun

Everyone can do it! I started simple. I created a small article on Medium called "Discover what an API is!", then a second one on Docker called "A beginner's guide to Docker — how to create your first Docker application" and so on.

By writing for others, you will improve a lot your programming skills. Being able to explain a concept and its work is a crucial skill as a developer.

You need to remember: You don't need to be a domain expert to write about it!

4. 📔 Read code

Everything you read about code will improve your programming skills.
It’s going to make you discover a lot!

Here what you can read:
• code on Github
• books
• articles
• newsletters

You can learn a lot from other code. You can find experts in your field or use GitHub to find a similar case than you.
It's exciting to discover how other developers write code and solve a problem.
You will develop your critical thinking skills. Is the method they use better than yours?

On the same basis as programming every day, why don't you try to read at least one article or a few pages of a programming book daily?

Some well-known books:
• Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
• The pragmatic programmer: from Journeyman to Master
• Deep Work by Cal Newport

5. ❓Ask questions

Don't be shy about asking too much!

It can be helpful when you don't understand something.
You can do it with your team or friends.
If you don't know anyone to ask a question, use programming forums.

Sometimes, you need a different way to explain to understand a concept. It's good to stay stuck and search for an answer on the internet, but at one point, you need to ask other developers.

Take advantage of another person's knowledge to improve yourself.
Moreover, if you ask another developer, there is a high chance that he will appreciate it.

Conclusion

You can save this article and refer to it every time you need to become a better developer.


If you want more content like this, you can follow me on Twitter, where I tweet about web development, self-improvement, and my journey as a fullstack developer!

Discussion (12)

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grneyedkygirl profile image
LillanaKitten

Awesome article. I am currently attempting to learn how to code myself. This helps a lot.

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eddisonhaydenle profile image
EDDISON HAYDEN LEWIS • Edited on

Coding is fun:Coding is a science in it's own right but it allows you to be creative.

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grneyedkygirl profile image
LillanaKitten

That is what I like about it so far.

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gaelgthomas profile image
Gaël Thomas Author

I’m so glad if I helped you in your learning path! 😊 Keep coding, and have fun!

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grneyedkygirl profile image
LillanaKitten

Thank you so much ❤️

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ciri3dg profile image
Da2@ciri3dg

Constantly fooling around with constructs & datastructs. When I say fool around, it is 'what if I code it ....'

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rick75002 profile image
Rick

Keep working and it'll always pay
you back.
And more you share and better you will be.
You are so right on what you said. Thank you to share this advice.

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gaelgthomas profile image
Gaël Thomas Author

Thank you for this comment!
Yes, these steps are so simple and right, but we always forget them! This is why I wrote this post!

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drdougtheman profile image
drdougtheman

Herewecode looks nice. What tools did you use to make your web site?

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gaelgthomas profile image
Gaël Thomas Author • Edited on

Thank you, I worked a lot on the first HereWeCode release!

Here a short list of tools/languages used for this project:
• Everything is running under Ubuntu on Digital Ocean
• The main website uses VueJS framework and Bootstrap for positioning
• The blog run under Ghost CMS with the base theme customized

I hope it's clear! If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

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eddisonhaydenle profile image
EDDISON HAYDEN LEWIS

Awesomely timely advice

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gaelgthomas profile image
Gaël Thomas Author

I'm glad you liked it!