Become a Better Programmer With These Tips

Nancy Anderson
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A continued shortage of skilled programmers leaves many companies in desperate need of these professionals. While programmers of every experience level are in a good bargaining position overall, honing their skills can help them advance in their careers and stay relevant in a rapidly changing tech landscape. Follow these tips for programmers to become a better tech professional and a highly valued asset to any team.

1. Learn More Programming Languages

While many skilled programmers have a favorite programming language, having proficiency in several languages can increase your job options. From Python and Java to Ruby and SQL, there are plenty of high-demand languages to learn. Learning as many languages as possible helps to ensure you have the skills to perform a variety of programming tasks.

2. Begin a Side Project

Starting up a side project related to something you're passionate about can help you develop your skills while fueling your interest in programming. Plus, employers look for skilled programmers with completed projects in their portfolio, so don't hesitate to start widening your portfolio base.

3. Never Stop Coding

Keep your skills sharp and up-to-date by coding to solve real-world problems on a frequent basis, focusing on the deeper concepts behind coding solutions. Many skilled programmers use GitHub to share their coding exercises and projects with the wider community while asking for feedback about how they can improve.

4. Participate in the Community

To build valuable connections while learning from your peers, consider joining a user group or a mentorship program in your area. This is a great option for newer programmers who can learn from senior developers and veterans in larger user groups. Another way to get involved is to make contributions to the open source community. Consider working on open source projects, writing blog posts, or speaking at events.

5. Don't Underestimate Soft Skills

Even highly skilled programmers can vastly improve their career options by remembering the importance of soft skills such as communication, charisma and empathy. These skills are especially important if you want to move up in your career, so don't neglect to work on these through frequent, mindful interaction with coworkers and peers.

6. Hone Your Specialty

The rapidly changing landscape of the programming world makes staying up to date on everything nearly impossible, so in addition to having some proficiency in all the basics, go deeper into one segment such as front-end Web development. This way, you can work on becoming one of the most skilled programmers in that area while keeping up with daily improvements and changes.

New professionals and highly skilled programmers alike should focus on improving themselves to open up more career possibilities and ensure their relevance in the tech world. Use these essential tips for programmers to stay on top of your game.

Photo courtesy of blackzheep at


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