8 advice I wish I had when starting out as a developer

8 advice I wish I had when starting out as a developer

Machines can write code now but does that make machines good developers?

I knew how to code but I knew nothing about being a developer right out of university.

Here's what I wish I knew as a new developer 👇🏾 #ship30for30

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Day 22 Essay

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6 years ago, I knew nothing about being a developer in the software industry.

Software development is a maker's job. Your craftsmanship gets better as you harness your skills and spend quality time with it. The secret lies in focusing on skills that provide the most value.

Here's a list of advice I wish I could give to my younger self.

Good developers write readable code.

Name your variables well. Write comments to explain the how. When in doubt, use the solution that is easier to understand (without sacrificing performance).

Remember, code is communication.

Good developers document their code.

Documentation is a good measure of how well a codebase is taken care of. Document your code with love. Follow conventions while doing so.

Good developers write tests.

Tests are documentation too but they are more than that. Tests keep your code dynamic and easy to refactor. Write tests more often.

Good developers network and share knowledge.

The best way to learn is to teach. Sharing knowledge benefits you first. Join tech talks, answer questions in forums, attend conferences.

Good developers are team players.

No one likes a super hero team mate. Be nice to colleagues. Help them and ask for help.

Good developers learn from their mistakes and others'.

Every developer makes mistakes. Do not blame yourself or others for bugs and mistakes. Good developers learn from them and move on.

Good developers suffer from impostor syndrome.

There is always someone better than you. That doesn't mean you're not good enough. If you have never felt the impostor syndrome, you probably are one.

Good developers often get rejected.

The author of the book You Don't Know JS was rejected from Twitter with the excuse, "You don't know JS well." The author of homebrew was rejected from Google for not being able to invert a binary tree.

No one knows everything.

It's OK to not know.

It's OK to guess.

It's OK to ask questions.

Good developers ask questions. A lot.