Tips on How to Improve Programming Skills

Do not neglect your studies
Other people say, “Why do I have to study subjects that are not related to programming?” They were wrong. For example, Algebra is needed to perform simple arithmetic equations. It can be in programming. Math subjects are needed in programming.

For instance, you were asked to find the other leg of a right triangle using SOH – CAH – TOA. If you don’t know what trigonometric functions are, then, there would be a higher probability that you cannot solve the given problem. Physics is also detrimental in game programming. We can implement gravity in our games.

Offer at least 2 – 4 hours coding every day
Practice makes perfect but nobody is perfect, why practice? A very popular joke. Make programming a habit, do not laze around. Write lots of programs, start small and accomplish great things.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” – Jim Rohn

Do not get discouraged
Failure comes in the way of programming. Don’t get discourage. If you encounter an error or a bug, don’t worry, we also do. Join Stack Overflow, ask questions and give answer. Stack overflow is a large community of programmers who probably encounter and asked the same questions you have. A famous American author says, “Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach. ” – Roger Von Oech

Collaborate with other Programmers smarter than yourself
You may be thinking that you are the best among the rest, an exceptional programmer who still want to learn how to improve programming skill. No. you’re not. We’ve come to different school and countries. Be humble all the time. Working with other people who are better than you boost the speed of learning you have. They can teach you a lot of things you can’t imagine exist. Join programming forums, Facebook group “Programmers, Developers” and collaborate. Just know how to approach other programmers and you are good to go!

Don’t use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) at first
We think that using a simple text editor help you learn better. Try to avoid an IntelliSense feature if you are just starting to program. Why? Because using a simple text editor will help you memorize programming syntax and will help you build programs from scratch.

If you master the basic stuff, use IDE to increase your efficiency and productivity.

Read Books, PDF, Videos about programming concepts.
Download and read PDF online. There’s a lot of programming resources at Tutorials Point and W3Schools.You can also try Codecademy if you want a hands-on tutorial.If you are an auditory and visual learner, watch videos. I suggest watching videos on thenewboston.org. You can also search playlist of CodeCourse or PHPAcademy if you are into web development.

Refactor your codes
Learn how to write beautiful code. Beautiful codes are codes that are easy to read, modify and understand. It makes the program more extensible or extend. It also removes duplication of codes. Let’s throw the habit of not improving our codes just because the programs work fine. I would suggest watching Derek Banas tutorials on Code Refactoring.

Some of the bad smells Derek Banas pointed out are:
  • Duplicate Code
  • Long methods
  • Complex Conditional Statements
  • Primitive Obsessions
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Solution Sprawl
  • Alternative Classes with Different Interfaces
  • Lazy Classes
  • Large Classes
  • Switch Statements
  • Combinatorial Explosions
  • Oddball Solutions
  • Watch Derek Banas: Code Refactoring

Share your codes and teach other people
Sharing will enable other people to criticize your codes. Other people might complain that they don’t understand your code because it’s not readable. They will also recommend or suggest a better algorithm with regards to what you have posted.

Teaching other people became a form of review for you. It helps you remember and never forget the things you have learned. They may even encounter a bug or problem that you haven’t encountered. They will learn, so you are.

Master the programming language that you use and broaden your horizon.
Learn multiple programming languages. Other programming languages may show you a better way of doing things. Bad practices are those who think that Java or any other programming languages are the ones they need to learn. Also, learn other operating system and practice to write portable codes.

Take a break
Learn things at your best. Do not force yourself to learn stuff if your body is declining. Drink water. Eat food which contains Vitamin B6, B12, and protein. Sleep instead of browsing social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Good Luck! I hope this post will help you develop your skills and become more productive at work.
 

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