The world is full of programmers. Be it Android, Java, or Python, a successful programmer should have a desirable set of qualities. This article is intended for both current and prospective programmers. Do you want to bring out the programming skills within? Here are some tips you can follow.
Comments are the key to readability. You may not understand your code after a period of time, but with the help of comments, you can ensure the reusability of your code. It ensures the fast debugging and developing of your code.
Once people can understand your code, they start to appreciate it. It is a misunderstanding that complexity gives your code a geek appearance. The truth is that complex things coded in simple ways are the most admired.
You will admire simple codes when you find a bug. Readability helps you debug without losing your mind. Everyone perceives problems in their own way. Readability is when you can express your code in the simplest of languages.
Write your code in such a way that your coworkers can easily understand. If you have a development director, readability will play a crucial role. According to Moore’s law, readability is given an upper hand over premature optimization.
1. Build your basics
Computer education is made compulsory in today's education system. Children get introduced to computers in as early as the Primary level. Even before that, they get to know computers in their homes. Be it their parents’ laptops or mobiles, kids are pretty good learners.
C and C++ are the most widely taught programming languages. It is recommended to learn at least 5-6 languages to master programming skills properly.
Computer Science is slightly different from programming. If you are also a computer scientist, it can be of great help. Computer science is more of a theoretical approach. It takes a scientific and mathematical approach to information processing.
Using computer science philosophies, you can alter your approach to programming.
2. Psychological side
Most programmers are not confident about their programming talents. Each programming tool has its pros and cons. Java may be suitable for one project, but it may not be apt for another.
Googling may be of help to some extent. However, you need to believe in yourself and improvise to code a successful program. It is always recommended to write the code with today’s requirements in mind. But keep the future scope in mind as well. No matter how optimal your code is, it will be obsolete in the future.
Good programmers are good leaders. No matter where you lie in the chain of command, it always pays to nurture leadership qualities in yourself. It greatly helps in self-motivation.
3. Good Habits
We were taught to follow a syntax, and we blindly follow it. We should learn to study and question it.
It is a good habit to make diagrams before starting your project. If you start from an existing code, you may blindly inherit unwanted bugs.
Single Responsibility Principle is the desired quality. This means that every module or class should have responsibility for a single part of the software functionality.
Unit testing is also a great tool for a good programmer. Instead of testing the whole program at once, each unit should get tested as it gets completed.
To be a good programmer, you need to engage with your clients. The complete set of requirements may be unknown to your manager, or even your client. It is your responsibility to elicit requirements from them as you progress in your project. Provide a platform for the client to interact with you easily.
Ask questions that may enable them to visualize their needed requirements. There is always more than one way of doing things. Interacting with clients on a regular basis can ensure complete fulfillment of requirements.
Care about your work, and care about your customers. The code we write allows the users of our code to get their needs satisfied.
Grow your Network
Go to conferences and conclaves. Meet other programmers with similar interests. At the least, you make new friends; at the most, you can make valuable acquaintances who are willing to mentor you. In most cases, networking is a great asset for a professional programmer. LinkedIn is a great platform to maintain your professional network. Be open to the various programming languages in different domains.
As somebody rightly said, you are a student until your last breath. Life gives you many things to learn. Keep reading books - not only technical but also informational ones. Always sharpen your skills and stay updated with the dynamic world.
Always add something new to your skill set. Don’t try to master everything, but do read up on new languages and frameworks, and know their basics. Learning also ensures you are in touch with your skills.
This is an acronym for the 5 principles widely followed in Object-Oriented Design proposed by Robert C Martin.
A class should have only a single function. This ensures that each independent function can get dealt separately.
Objects should be open for extension, while at the same time closed for modification. This implies that a class should be easily extendable.
This principle states that every subclass/derived class should be an alternative for their parent class. That is, any derived class should be able to represent its parent once proper extensions get made.
Do not force clients to use an interface they don’t use. They shouldn't be compelled to depend on unnecessary methods as per the required specifications. The code should be optimum, and redundancies should get avoided.
This principle states that dependencies should get totally avoided. Functions at a higher level should use abstractions.
Agile software development principles
The customer should be satisfied by early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Try your best to stick to the deadline. If you are setting the deadline, go for a realistic time period.
A good programmer is always open to changing requirements, even in the latter stages of development. Clients may discover requirements only when the project progresses through various stages.
Bugs should be corrected as soon as possible, and customer support needs to be provided to clients. Programmers should reliably fix any bugs their programs may encounter.
Good cooperation must exist between business people and developers. This ensures healthy client relationships and prospects of hiring.
Sustainable development should get maintained at a constant pace. The future scopes of a program should be sustainable. A program that is bound to become obsolete in the near future is the least desirable.
Technical excellence and good design are the characteristics of a good programmer. Ensure you follow them.
Teams should be able to self-organize themselves. Best architectures and designs emerge from such teams.
Development methods range from adaptive to predictive. Agile software development emphasizes more on the adaptive side of this continuum. This methodology identifies milestones whereas the path to them may be flexible. Even milestones themselves can change.
Programmers should be adapting quickly to changing realities. When requirements change, the team changes as required. Adaptive methods give more importance to the work at hand rather than future requirements.
On the other hand, predictive methods focus on analyzing and planning the future in detail. Predictive methods depend on early phase analysis to foresee the changes that may arise in future. Programmers should adopt a style that balances between adaptive and predictive. A style closer to the Adaptive end would be desirable in most cases.
Are you a programmer? We are sure you have some tips to share with the world. Why not add your thoughts to the comments section below!