A letter to a young developer less than 3 or 4 years experience

So you have been into the world of software for more than couple of years now and you write code either in Ruby, nodejs, java, DotNet or some other trendy language. You have already passed the entry gate and feel much confident at your work. You solve the problems thrown at you in very controlled and timely fashion. You are considered as rock-star developer among your peers younger than you. Seniors like you and count on you. So if you have any of the above traits this letter is for you.

There are many such letters out there on internet, couple mentioned in the end of this blog. The reason I am writing this is to help the fellow members out in community which we have learned a hard way. Let me explain this with some crude example. What you currently know is syntax, few debugging skills and some design understanding. Let me correlate it with hammer and screwdriver and you are able to build a store room as one of the assignments under complete home and may be even the roof of the store room. You feel confident and as soon as you get more experience you are expected to build the whole house or a complete floor. Now to build it you need to know how to use drills, understand floor plans, other gadgets etc. But since it a small project you try to complete it with hammer and screwdriver. It works and everyone is happy. But think what will happen when you are given in-charge to creating a whole building (5 stories and above) and your team members are using hammer and screwdriver to build it (its an metaphor).

So here are your drills as a programmer

  1. Understand the design principles, patterns and rule of the game.
  2. Solving same problems with multiple diffrent ways.
  3. Going to some developer meetups or watching some on YouTube.
  4. Learning multiple programming language for alternative paradigm.
  5. Reading hardcore technical blog, Not like this one.
  6. Contributing to opensource project. Git is your friend.
  7. Doing Code Kata. You don’t know what it is. Ouch!
  8. Working on a problems related to performance and scale.
  9. Participating in code hackathon from a learning perspective.
  10. People don’t like this but read books, Really read it!

Few good other articles

Happy Programming !

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