- Be Consistent
You can never be finished learning. Be consistent with your programming, always remember that coding is not like literature and it can only be mastered through practice and experience. You won’t master a language in a cram session – whether that be for college or an upcoming project at work. When it comes to development, it really is practice makes perfect and it takes a long time for any developer to master a language. Languages continuously evolve, get updated or new concepts are introduced – so keep practicing as there will always be more to learn.
- Know the Fundamentals
Understanding the fundamentals and theory behind programming is not to be shunned. Having a grasp of why this syntax or why does this inherit from this can be extremely useful in the fast-growing industry of development. It will help you greatly when it comes to learning a new language and the good news is that a lot of programming principles are shared across the board with most languages.
- Market Yourself!
Simply put, just get out there and show what you can do! Having an online presence and showcasing your past work is a great way to market yourself and paves the way for new opportunities to find their way to you. If you can’t be found online, how can the broader community see your skills and abilities? For some people it’s easier to brag than others. Join the community on GitHub and Stack Overflow. Give answers to problems and show your work. Having your name out there with a growing portfolio is vital especially in the start-up scene.
- Be Malleable, But Focused
It is important, especially as a beginner, to try new things in the development industry. Give different things a go, from front-end to back-end – but not to the extent that you spread yourself too thin. There’s a lot to be said for a full-stack developer who can pick up new skills as they go. However, what’s most important is that you keep up that consistency and continue to hone and develop your abilities.
This can be daunting when you join the industry at first, but it is a critical part in any successful career – certainly not just development. A lot of people think that in development you can just hide at your desk and code away, but if your goal is to get noticed then you’ll need to meet new people. Attend relevant meet ups or events for developers. By doing this you can build helpful relationships with those who have similar and more experience than you, not to mention all of the useful contacts you can gain that could do amazing things for your career. In addition, it can be a great way to meet with potential clients and build up your customer base.
- Don’t Stress, Have Fun!
Programming can be really enjoyable and very rewarding. There’s nothing better than the feeling when you fix that annoying bug or that “AHA!” moment when a solution finally clicks in your head. Not all of what I’ve mentioned in this blog will come naturally to you so don’t stress about picking an exact path in the beginning. Try out different avenues – everybody needs to look around to find where they fit in, in this fast-moving industry.