This century definitely belongs to technology, and we are going to keep on relying on it more and more, so it’s not a surprise that software developers are probably the most sought-after people in the world. If you are a programmer or a software engineer, you probably don’t have to worry about stuff like job security or having a decent income. And if you want to become one, things are even better, because there are so many resources you can turn to for help.
But, even if you have a degree in computer science, you will have to keep on learning all throughout your career if you are interested in becoming a successful developer. According to research, while 67% of the interviewed developers had a degree, as much as 74% of them said that they were self-taught to a degree. However, lifelong learning is just one aspect of being a developer. Other aspects are good habits, and with that in mind, here are 10 most important ones that all successful software developers have adopted.
1. Read Books
There is plenty of great stuff online, but there are also many distractions, plus the information you need is scattered all over the place. So, you never really end up learning as much as you should have. Books on software development, on the other hand, have zero distractions and all the knowledge you need is right there in concentrated form.
2. Learn A New Programming Language
3. Find Out What the Employers Are Looking For
4. Master Touch Typing
Although touch typing may not be a very technical skill, it is extremely necessary if you are a software developer. Why? Well, let’s do the math. You probably spend 90% of your work typing, and if you add to that the fact that you spend the majority of your day working, it adds up to a lot of time wasted that gets wasted if you haven’t learned touch typing.
5. Opt for the Best Possible Tools
We are talking about relying on specialized text editors, libraries, getting a faster computer and/or an additional screen, getting an ergonomic chair, and doing just about anything that can make your job easier and less stressful. As we have already pointed out, you will probably be working long hours, which means that even the slightest annoyances can get amplified during a long period of time.
6. Ask Questions
As a developer, you are supposed to analyze and question everything, especially if it is something you don’t fully understand. Most people avoid this, out of fear of looking stupid, but remember that there will be plenty of situation where you will find yourself not knowing something, and every time you do, you should go ahead and ask a question. That is how you learn.
7. Refactor Your Code
Refactoring your code will not alter the behavior of your code, but it will make it easier to read, understand, and maintain, which is something that is worth its weight in gold nowadays. So, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and even try some automated testing.
8. Look for Help Online
There is a solution online to pretty much every problem you will encounter as a software developer, so it makes perfect sense to make use of it and save time. But, before you start copying the code from Stack Overflow, make sure to take the time to understand the solution. Only then will this help your growth as a developer.
9. Listen More Than You Speak
Listening is just about the fastest way to learn something. The more you talk and assume to know everything, the more you are cheating yourself out of opportunities to obtain new knowledge. Being a good listener goes a long way, even if you are a developer.
10. Keep Your Health in Check
While programming is a mental activity, if your body is not well, then your mind will be messed up too, so make sure to eat right, get enough exercise and sleep, and cut out as many vices from your life as possible.
Being a successful developer is not just about what you know, but also about making your life easier and staying out of your own way at times. We hope that the tips shared in this article will help you have a long and fruitful career as a developer. Good luck!
The author is a writer and editor at UK Best Essays. She is dedicated to her family, work and friends. She is keen on reading, playing the guitar and traveling. She is interested in educational, marketing and blogging issues. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter and Google+.