How to become a Professional Programmer
For you to become a professional programmer, you need to take various things into account. First, you need to identify the area in which you want to specialize. For instance, you can opt to focus on Android programming; then you must first learn to code in Java. After you select your focus area, you should find a place where you can learn the theoretical aspects of the coding language. Once you know the basics, you can start thinking about building commercial software in your area of focus. Here are some tips for getting you on the right path:
Back to Basics
Programming can be both hard and simple depending on how you approach it. For you to become an excellent programmer, you need to ensure that you’ve got a good grasp of the basics. If you feel that you are not making good progress with your programming, it is most likely that you haven’t mastered the basics. As a programmer, you should strive to ensure that your code is logical and as simple as possible. You should avoid long and complex code which is often cumbersome and might eventually lead to code that is not very maintainable.
You should spend ample time debugging and analyzing your code. This will not only save you time later, but it is a really good way of learning and understanding your craft better. Reading other peoples code is even better, because you can learn different approaches to solving problems.
Reading is key to being an successful programmer. If you want to write great programs, you should be ready to extract knowledge from all sources. You should read all sorts of documentation ranging from the specifications, API Documents, articles, tutorials and even other peoples code on a regular basis. A good place to find all this information is a programming community, like getdeveloper.net
The factor of self-esteem is also equally important. You can boost your self-esteem by spending time mentoring other people who would like to learn how to become a programmer. Alternatively, you can make time to attend, listen or watch talks by professional programmers who already mastered their art. Giving instruction or receiving instruction on how to code is also one of the quickest ways to improve your skill.
Nobody is perfect, and as a programmer you are no exception to the rule. Most of the time it is hard for you to detect bugs or inefficient code in your programs. So make use of all the wonderful tools that are available these days. One of the most important tools is a good quality IDE(Integrated Development Environment), which will assist with debugging, code analysis and syntax checking. The better you know the capabilities of your IDE, the more confident you become, which leads to better quality code.
Balance Theory and Practice
It is essential for you to strike a balance between theoretical programming which is gained from studying, and practical programming mainly learned from job experience. Both are beneficial to you, and will contribute to improving your programming skills, but is is important to find the right balance.
On-the-job experience has a significant role in improving your programming skills. At work, you get exposed to a substantial amount of resources and a lot of people with whom you can share ideas. However, it could also be limiting from a growth point of view. The pressures of writing production code can force you into sticking to what you know, and even make you take shortcuts to achieve your deadlines.
While with studies, freedom is one of the most significant advantages. You can design what you want when you want without anybody asking you any questions. However not having the pressures of a real world project won’t teach you how to compromise, manage expectations and to work with other people. Working in a collaborative environment can be a big challenge for many programmers.
The world is a very different place compared to what it was 20 years ago, especially from a programming perspective. The amount of available information on the internet has made it very easy to get access to all kinds of information. But it can also be argued that there is too much information, so where does one start? That’s why I believe it is important to get formal instruction at an institution, even if it is just for a couple of months to lay the foundation for leveraging the vast amounts of information available today.
Programming is very exciting, and can be lots of fun, but remember that it requires hard work and persistence to become really good at it. There is no substitute for experience, and experience can only be gained while writing real world code that solves real world problems.