Programming is hard!
I have been programming/coding professionally since more than a decade and still say that programming is hard. It is not that you do not become a good programmer over time; yes, you smoothen the edges and become sharp but the scope of problems you deal with changes. If things are appearing to be too simple for you, then either you are working on something irrelevant or not adding anything new to your programming arsenal.
Here are a few tips from what I have learned while working myself as well as from my colleagues and friends in the same space.
Embrace Problem Solving
Many young engineers try to run away from programming (though we are moving towards a world where degrees might become less relevant than skillsets, more on that some other day), but the truth is that they run away from problem-solving. This is what sets apart top-notch developers from the rest. It is their ability to look through a problem, break it down, have a game plan, and most importantly, focus on execution. Developers make good money, but the reason is that they thrive in uncertainty, something which the majority of people do not. If you lack problem-solving skills, then this is something that you should work on to become a better programmer.
Do you remember the first time you tried playing a musical instrument? How was it? Was it as easy as it looked?
In fact, the transition from cacophony to symphony takes painstakingly, an exceedingly long time. The majority of instruments get packed forever during this stage, and only those who practice the most and are patient, end up playing those beautiful musical pieces. The same logic applies to programming. One needs to be extremely patient and not give up. Many a time I have spent nights just to ensure that my code follows the best solutions. Keep in mind, the shortcuts that you take a while to bite you in the butt in the long term.
Everything starts off with “Hello World”. Do not get too bothered by the noise that exists outside. I have seen the media promote 8-year-olds as kickass programmers and images of Satya Nadella used in Ads to sell programming kits to 12-year-olds. Take your time, enjoy what you learn and implement the same, there is no need to unnecessarily rush. There is one tip that I share with many young professionals which I learned from Bill Gates, always ensure that your code runs at the end of the day, the simple reason being that you will feel that you have accomplished something, and secondly you will be motivated to come and work the next day with enthusiasm. Becoming a good programmer is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure to keep an eye out for the latest software development trends.
Always have a Side Project
There will be times when you will enter flat phases in terms of development. That could be because the phase the project is in, or could simply be the lack of a challenge. This is what I have seen with most of the kickass programming community that they have side gigs where they help build their intellectual capital. You never know if one of those side projects can set on a course to become a billionaire. Also, having a side project will take you out of your comfort zone and teach you more nuanced skills.
Do not burn yourself out. Take time out of work every now and then, try to maintain a decent sleep cycle, and keep yourself physically fit. Try to celebrate small victories every now and then. Those who do not understand this usually say that programmers keep looking at their screens and are overpaid, but trust me when I say this, Programming is hard.
Hope this article was able to provide you with some insights about programming and some things that you can work on to become a better programmer.
If you want to join a team of enthusiastic programmers, we do have openings in our technology department. The technologies we specialize in are C#, AWS Managed Services, and NodeJS to name a few.
Feel free to drop in your resume at email@example.com