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Five tips to be a better programmer

Hi, I am Brian Cortes and have been working as a FrontEnd developer for four years and I want to share some tips and advice that you…
Five tips to be a better programmer
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Hi, I am Brian Cortés, and I have been working as a FrontEnd developer for more than four years now.

I want to share some tips I’ve learned over the years that can probably help you.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

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Learn something new each week

I know! You think that you can learn something each day and the answer is yes, you can.

But if you want to make it a habit, initially you can begin with a week because it is difficult and frustrating to keep up the pace 🏃🏽‍♂️, so start by little and then go step by step increasing the goal.

For example, for me, Fridays are a very relaxing day.

In the morning I read some articles that I feel that can improve my skills and I try to apply those tips in the projects that I’m working on.

Schedule your week

If you’re working on a project, take adequate time to review your outstanding tasks and try to plan and organize these by priority.

You can use some tools to organize these tasks and manage them much better like Trello, Todoist, Evernote, or just use Post-its.

When your week planning is ready, try to keep all your tasks visible. It is crucial to maintain focus, and when you start working on them, I recommend working one by one:

Because the perfect multitasker doesn’t exist.

Write code that everyone can understand

You probably work with other programmers, and that’s why your code must be clean and simple. If only you can understand and maintain it, the problem isn’t the other programmers, you are the problem 🤯

(I know, our ego as good programmers get hurt. Nobody likes being criticized or getting negative feedback.)

If you want to be a better programmer, try scheduling a talk with your coworkers and share your knowledge. If you write good code with good performance, that is well-designed or use the latest technologies, it will be really cool that you can share your projects. You can learn a lot from teaching.

On the other hand, maybe your code is not that good. It is confusing, messy. In this case, perhaps you don’t feel comfortable doing a demo of it. How can you tell if your code is bad?

The best way is looking at an old PR (Pull Request) and then try to read and understand what you did there (Maybe you won’t understand it. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world!).

Either way, you can always improve your skills. Let me show you some tips to achieve it:

  • Pair programming is a good option to learn and improve your skills because you can get some guidance from your workmate, ask questions, catch errors or bugs that you can’t see by yourself and the reason is that two heads are better than one.
  • Read the code of other people, it is cool to see how somebody thinks and resolves the problems that you probably have.
  • Try to contribute to open-source projects, probably you love some library and use it every day. You can try to resolve some issue or bug of it. This will represent a cool challenge to solve that will make you go out of your comfort zone and learn a lot.

Move your body baby

Ohhh yeah, this my favorite tip because most people that work as programmers, sit in a chair all-day 😎

Apparently, it can be cool, but for our body, it’s not that good 😔, so save your excuses and try to do some exercise.

I recommend doing it in the morning before starting to work; it will keep you awake during the day, and your brain will be ready for new tasks and challenges (Also, you’ll be in a good mood).

Doing something different

Leave your computer in a black box and forget it for some time; find other hobbies that you would want to try since your brain needs something different to be stimulated, it is good because you can keep motivated in your work and in your life:

One of the main problems that we have is falling into depression by the routine.

Routine can be dangerous and comfortable for some people, but the routine is a time bomb that at any moment, may explode.

You can prevent this by doing very simple activities, for example, sharing experiences with your family like a dinner, a call with your mom, playing videogames with your friends or just merely by sleeping.

Let me know in the comments if these tips work for you and share with me the ones you use in your daily routine, thanks!