To become a professional in a certain field, it demands much more than mere mastery of that field. Same goes for programming. You can’t hope to create a name for yourself as a professional programmer if all you know is plain coding.
For instance, you have to work with a team and hence know how to be a good team player. Also, clients won’t be very direct on what they want in term of software. They will tell you what goal they want, but you will have to figure out how to achieve that goal and then translate your solution in computer coding languages.
Now, of course, it is not being said or hinted that programming skills and coding knowledge aren’t relevant. As a matter of fact, it is the reason for which you are going to land the job. But much like any other profession, just one skill won’t cut it.
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You have to understand that even though, building real-world projects and getting a code mentor can accelerate your growth and eventually help you become a professional programmer, there are other aspects that need your attention. You have to have some critical skills that will help you climb the ladders amidst the fierce competition.
So, what else do you need to do besides learning coding to become a professional programmer?
How to Become A Professional Programmer
Improve Your Communication Skills:
As discussed earlier if you want to work for a software firm or even tackle real world projects then you will have to work with a team, with other programmers such as yourself, and thus you will have to hone your communication skills.
If you really want to become job ready and eventually blossom into a professional programmer, then you need to be able to convey your ideas and notions to your co-workers to have a smoother workflow.
Simply, incorporating proper documentation with your code is a good way of helping other programmers understand it better. Explain why you choose a certain path for handling a said issue.
Become a problem-solver:
If you are of the notion that programming is about writing code, then you are wrong. Taken that you have already started learning to program, you must have noticed that if you know the algorithm then there isn’t much to coding. All you have to do is remember the libraries and the syntax of a coding language, and you are ready to go.
Hence it is evident that the most important part of coding is devising the algorithm. Programming is about problem-solving and hence you should always work towards being a good problem solver.
Once you master the skill of problem-solving, you will be able to see the problems in an entirely different manner.
Always know that there is more to know:
A true professional always has an attitude to adapt to new trends that are an improvement upon older methods. Now technology is always improving, and thus you have to always keep your learner’s tab on.
The more up to date you are, the more relevant you will be. And it’s not just limited to technologies; you should be open to learning few more self-development skills. Overall, you just need to be more inquisitive in nature.
Learn how to learn faster or memory improving techniques and how to improve your focus can be of great help in the long run.
Be the jack of all trades as well as the master of one:
If you want to be professional and adept at your job, then you have to be knowledgeable about at least one programming language. Knowledge of multiple languages will just add to your credentials.
But while being comfortable with a particular language, you must have a basic understanding about two or three other languages. It will open up your mind by teaching you newer concepts and even help you out in team projects.
You should also be accustomed to at least one scripting language. This will be your Swiss Army knife in sticky situations.
Contribute to open source projects:
Anyone using the internet is aware of the vast number of open source projects that are available. Most of these are available for free, and most of them are developed by people who are not paid. So what’s the benefit of the developers?
Well contributing in open source projects gets you the opportunity to build a consumer level software that will see use in real life. This will help you evaluate your own skills. You will get feedback from the people who are using your products, and this will be important in improving your confidence as well as coding style. Furthermore, it also helps to build your resume.
Hang out with the “professional programmers”:
They say birds of a feather flock together. So if you want to become a professional programmer then hang out with the professionals. Now of course if you just a beginner then you will not be able to “hang out” with them per say, but try to maintain a close vicinity.
Apart from how they “hang out,” try and ask them for permission to observe them how they work. Create a rapport with them so they are frank enough to tell you want goes on their minds. How do they tackle problems? What is their attitude towards problems?
Again, a man is known by the company he keeps, and if you have professional programmers as your company, then who knows, you may soon be referred as one.
First, you have to know that you are heading the right way. Just the fact that you are willing to improve and wanting to know how to improve is great signs that you are on your way.
The above-listed points are worth remembering and following while striving to achieve your goal to become the best programmer you can possibly be.
These were some advice which is given by most senior professional programmer. Let us how these made you a better at your job.
Again if you are a professional in the field then do tell the enthusiastic youth some tips and tricks to succeed in the industry. The comments is a free and welcome place for all.