Computer programmers make an average salary of $62,000 per year. Combine that money with excellent benefits and job security, and you’re looking at a career that has a lot to offer the world.
If you’re like tens of thousands of other people that are moved by the professional prospects of coding, you may be coding professionally now or are at very least, looking for ways to get started with coding. In either case, wanting to know how to become a better programmer is a great instinct to have.
We’ve talked to programmers and scoured the web to compile what we think are the 5 most important things that programmers looking to up their game need to do.
Work on Your Ability to Communicate
Working on soft skills like communication might not seem like a go-to for how to become a better programmer step. What we’re seeing in the tech industry though is that coding is becoming increasingly collaborative. Recluse coders that can’t communicate well with others are having a very hard time keeping up.
So, before you start busting open books on coding or start learning a new language to boost your marketability, start making it a point to add clarity to the way that you discuss things with other people. If you make a concerted effort to improve the delivery of your verbal messages, your success as a coder will skyrocket.
Make Coding a Hobby and a Profession
As with all things, practice makes perfect when it comes to coding. To ensure that you have the inspiration to practice coding when you clock out of work for the day, try making coding a hobby of yours and not just something that you do for money.
Hobbyist coders tend to spend a lot of their free time contributing to open source products like OpenOffice, Drupal, GIMP and a number of other popular tools.
Keep Learning New Languages
Versatility when it comes to languages is probably the most marketable skill that a programmer can have when trying to improve their value to employers. Because of that, you’ll want to make sure that you’re always taking the time to learn a new language that you can add to your repertoire.
Make Things Work Correctly
Any coder can make a piece of software work. The best coders take things a step further by applying code analysis techniques to their writing to massage bugs and optimize the way that their code is parsed.
By making things work right in the programs that you write, you’ll create much better user experiences that can be more easily ported to other platforms.
Read, Read, Read
Every programmer that we’ve talked to has mentioned taking the time to read other people’s code as a how to become a better programmer tip. If you’re smart, you’ll take their advice and start reading code to learn from other people’s work.
Learning How to Become a Better Programmer Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
How to become a better programmer comes down to loving code enough to read it, do it and discuss it more regularly. If you can parcel out a couple of hours per week to dig deeper into the world of code outside of work, you’ll be a better professional in no time!
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