Becoming a better developer can depend on a whole lot of things, such as accessibility and resources. However, there are a few things that I genuinely believe every person should do to make sure that they get better as a developer.
One of the best things you can do to become a better developer is to learn something new every day. So let’s say you’re learning something new today, but what extra step can you add?
Imagine trying to learn HTML. First, of course, you will want to learn the basics and probably watch a few videos. Then, to add to that, you can try learning something specific, like trying to build a simple HTML site without looking it up.
Tomorrow, you’re going to Google it and learn how you did that. Then, after reviewing, try to build something else and repeat the process.
Just add something small every day. That’s one of the best actionable things you can do to improve yourself as a developer.
Secondly, STOP trying to learn everything at once. The biggest hurdle that prevents so many aspiring developers from reaching the next level is that so many of them have tried to learn way too many things at once.
There’s more to being a developer than how many languages you’ve learned. You don’t need to rush when learning different types of languages. It’s more about getting the basic foundations down first, and slowly progressing from there.
Figure out what tech you want to learn then focus on building a strong foundation first. Then later on you can move on to other languages or related libraries and frameworks.
The third actionable thing you can do to help yourself improve and become a better developer is to find a mentor. Some people might be a little discouraged by this but it’s possible to find one even during the pandemic today.
As a developer, it’s vital to find someone to help mentor us. Becoming a mentee can open your eyes to a whole new world of code.
It helped me become a better developer to the point where I feel I can tackle any problem. When I was a mentee, I learned many insights and wisdom based on my mentor’s experience.
One of the biggest challenges about being a developer is that being motivated isn’t enough. You can be motivated to do many things, but just like anything that has to do with success, motivation will only last for so long. In time your motivation won’t be enough if you don’t build good habits and have discipline.
Building discipline is something that aspiring developers & new developers must do. Even if it means something like making sure to study code 1 hour per day or 5 hours per week. Once you turn this into a habit, it will trump motivation 110% of the time.
Continuously building up the discipline to keep learning is the life line for every developer. We live in a world where technology is not only constantly changing but also in a field where the competition is as fierce as they get.
Last but not least, it’s of the utmost importance that you never give up. So often, to this day, I still have moments of impostor syndrome and put myself down.
There were many times where I wanted to quit during my first two years as a developer.
If it wasn’t the lack of leadership or mentorship at my first job that made me want to leave, it would be the fact that I kept feeling like I was never good enough to code. Everything was just so hard. I always felt like I sucked at everything.
Even at my mid level position as a front-end engineer… I felt like I was underperforming. I felt like I was too slow and always made up crap in my head that everyone around me looked down on me when it was actually the exact opposite. But even then, I often felt like quitting.
Long story short, I’m fortunate to have never quit. If I did, I would have never had the chance to see my value as a dev grow after watching multiple companies fight for my skills. I would have never built the confidence to start multiple companies. I would have never become a developer relations engineer.
We all face doubts. It’s hard to believe in a dream, since dreams rarely come true. But I can assure you that you are closer to becoming a dev than you realize. What’s essential is bouncing back and just keep moving forward. It’s something that I genuinely believe can help you become a better developer.
Just keep going.