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Thiago Pacheco
Thiago Pacheco

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7 habits to excel as a Software Developer

As a software developer, it's important to cultivate good habits in order to be productive, efficient, and successful in your work. Here are seven habits that can help you excel as a developer:

Organize tasks

One of the keys to productivity is having a clear plan of what needs to be done. This can be as simple as creating a to-do list or using a project management tool like Trello or Jira to track your tasks and progress. If you work for a company you might probably use a project management tool already, so my suggestion here is to learn the functionalities that your tool offers and use it to the maximum.
I used to struggle with prioritizing tasks and even remembering every detail, but starting to leverage these tools (especially Jira) helped me to become way more productive.


If you are anything like me you could have started this career thinking that it would be only you and the computer, and you wouldn't need to work too much on your people skills. If that is the case, you will soon notice that you don't go very far with this mindset.
Effective communication is crucial in any field, but it's especially important in software development where you're often working with a team. Improving communication skills will help you solve problems faster, discover new opportunities, and even get you that so-desired promotion!
Make sure to communicate regularly with your team members and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your work is aligned with the project goals.

Test your code

Testing is an essential part of the development process and helps ensure that your code is reliable and bug-free. Learning techniques like TDD and BDD is also a very good habit, as it will help you develop what I call a "Testing mindset", where you always think about a test case scenario before writing your feature code (even if you don't write the test).
Make sure to test your code thoroughly before you deploy it, and consider using automated testing tools to make the process more efficient.

Keep a dev journal

A dev journal is a great way to track your progress, document your learning, and reflect on your work. It's a valuable resource for reviewing your past projects and can also help you identify areas for improvement.
I used to be very skeptical of this habit but, after I started applying this, it helped me to grow a lot in my career. A great example is that this technique helped me to have better 1:1 meetings and annual reviews with my manager and I was able to get 2 promotions in a very short period.

Read books

Stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and best practices by reading books and articles related to your field. This will help you stay sharp and improve your skills.
Bringing some theory and stories about other successful developers to your routine will be super valuable, helping you identify common problems more easily and discover new things. This works amazingly with the next tip.

Try new technologies

Following up on the previous habit, this habit of trying new technologies is great to put into practice new things you might be reading or simply explore new tools that can speed up/improve your routine and your team.
In the fast-paced world of software development, it's important to stay current and be open to learning new technologies. Experimenting with new tools and frameworks can help you stay ahead of the curve and improve your skills.

Eat healthily and workout

It's easy to fall into the trap of working long hours and neglecting your health, but it's important to take care of yourself to stay productive and avoid burnout. Make sure to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to maintain your energy and focus.

By cultivating good habits, you can become a more effective and successful software developer. Remember to be consistent and patient, as it takes time to develop and maintain good habits.

Top comments (3)

afyvs1 profile image
Vivina Sardo

Thank you for the list, Thiago. I would also add to keep track of your patterns and routines, because it's easy to slip into unhealthy habits and then wonder what might possibly be causing burnout. I've noticed that does help a bit with that, check it out, you might like it

pacheco profile image
Thiago Pacheco

That is a great tip Vivina, thanks for that!
This tool is really helpful, I may start using it more frequently.

afyvs1 profile image
Vivina Sardo

Glad you found it useful, Thiago. Keep sharing your advice with us!

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