HOW TO BECOME GOOD AT PROGRAMMING
Sometimes success fails because of a wrong attitude. If you ask what makes a good programmer ultimately, the answer is unfortunately far too often: talent. Anyone can become a good programmer, provided a few simple rules are followed.
LEARN HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS AND WHEN TO AVOID QUESTIONS
If you don’t ask, you stay stupid. We learn this from childhood. But what we don’t learn is to ask really good questions. A well-asked question is precise, simple, short but detailed enough. Only those who know what they want to know will find out in the end. Sometimes, however, it may be better to avoid questions or at least to put them on hold in order to try to solve a problem on your own. By postponing the question, relevant information can be collected, a problem can be examined and analyzed in more detail. This may, after all, lead to a better question. It takes a lot of practice to be able to ask good questions or to recognize when to avoid or postpone questions. The ability to ask good questions is essential for development as a programmer.
NEVER LEAVE A PILE OF SHARDS BEHIND
Software projects often have to be realized under time pressure. But this should never lead to the reckless production of bad code. Bad code is also always a signal to subsequent projects, be it your own or other’s projects. Once a bad style has established itself, other developers think that they too will get away with it. In the end, there is a result that no one will be satisfied with, neither the programmers nor the users – a heap of shards. The low price here is the supposed gain of time saving if developers implement something only very carelessly. The work seems to be done quickly, but the trouble caused by bad software remains for a long time to come.
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WHAT CAN BREAK WILL ALSO BREAK AT SOME POINT
In an ideal world, everything about software would be predictable. All developers were functional programmers who wrote clean, flawless code. There would be no surprises here. Unfortunately, experience shows that it often happens differently and software has nasty surprises. Therefore, try to build their procedures, functions, and methods as solidly as possible so that they work predictably. The way to program as predictable software as possible is also called “deterministic programming”.
FOCUS ON YOUR SPECIALTIES AND STAY CURIOUS
There may certainly be someone somewhere who is terrific in all areas of programming. Mostly, however, the generalists are rather mediocre in everything. This may be fine for smaller projects, but in the long run specialists are needed rather than mediocre generalists in development teams. Therefore, focus on a specialty and learn to master this area virtuosic ally, instead of being able to master everything in a mediocre way.
LESS IS MORE
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not easier. This clever sentence is attributed to Albert Einstein. No one is really capable of dealing with high complexity, no human being or software. Complexity is just the death of good software and therefore simplicity is the basic condition. Use only a few parameters in their functions or methods. This ensures that the code actually performs only what it is supposed to do and nothing else. Being a good programmer does not mean writing complicated code as an end in itself.