3 Tips to Being a Successful Software Developer

So I figured I should start this post with telling you first what I had initially titled this as: “Simp for Software”. Now before you say anything or start calling me a degenerate millennial, I want you to hear me out. When I use the word simp I’m not referring to those people that religiously put other people on a pedestal and blindly give them support (for a more thorough definition see Urban Dictionary). What I am referring to is giving it your all for software development. I’m talking a jump-in-with-both-feet kind of dedication.

Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Can you believe this guy? He’s trying to get us to join a coding cult.

No no, what I’m saying is that regardless of what you want to do, it’s best to not do it half-ass and partially committed. I’m a firm believer of you get what you give. For example, you want to be great at something? Then go all-in. It’s just a hobby? Then put into it however much you feel it’s worth it to you. This applies to any skill or field of study. No one else is going to care about how successful you want to be in something, more than yourself. Chase after it, work for it, and be proud of yourself.

Alright, enough of the Tony Robbins pep talk. Getting back to the subject at hand, to really get into the world of programming and software, I always recommend diving head-first and just getting your hands dirty. Like many other crafts, this too is a craft. I can’t tell you how many countless hours and sleepless nights I’d stay up (and still do) working on a project. Especially to the point of frustration, but it’s that sweet sweet feeling of accomplishment you get when you figure out a problem in your project that makes it all worth it.

Therefore, the reason that I say to go all in is because there’s so much to it and, as crazy as it sounds, it’s constantly changing and evolving. You blink and there’s already new updates to a programming language, a process or even a new model of something. It’s nuts. So when I say “simp for software”, I’m mostly saying it as an exagerrated joke, but I definitely mean that you should invest a lot of time into what’s going on in that world.

I was reading a book, or should I say listening to an audiobook, and the author made this notion about the importance of keeping up with what’s going on in this field. This is the first tip. That’s when I decided to follow some popular podcasts like Software Engineering Radio to try and stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of software. I find that this keeps me informed on what other developers are doing and applying some of their best practices for what works for them. When you’re constantly busy with work or personal projects, I feel like it’s so easy to get comfortable with doing your own thing that you can forget to challenge yourself from trying new things which can hinder your growth.

The second tip I’ve been doing is looking up popular projects on GitHub and reviewing their code. I find this super helpful because coding is a language, and a language needs to also have proper punctuation and written in a way that can be easily understood by others. Especially because most of the time, in software, you’ll be working with others in a team. Therefore, communicating is essential.

That brings me to my final tip. Have someone else review your code. I know, it can be tough but stay humble and don’t be afraid to accept criticism. Otherwise, how will you grow? Failure leads to success and growth. The reality is that you’ll never not fail. I know, weird, right? There will always be something that trips you up but take the good from bad of every situation and, I promise you, you’ll grow.

As usual, always be coding!

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