Programming jobs are in high demand, and the trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon. Even if you aren’t trying to make a living as a professional programmer, learning how to code can still come in handy in any technology-related job. Follow our helpful tips to get started on the right foot.
Programming jobs are in high demand, and the
trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
With everyday products continuing to adopt
technical knowledge (read: wireless toasters), even
old-school industries are on the hunt for talented
programmers to join their ranks.
If you aren’t trying to make a living as a professional
programmer, learning how to code can still come in
handy in any technology-related job.
Regardless of how use these skills in the future,
be sure to make the most of your limited time and
save yourself from future headaches by following a
few simple tips along the way.
You and your teammates should
be able to read your code without
having to decipher variable names.
When working with an existing code
base you should strive to make it
difficult to identify who made the
additions or changes.
Be aware of and follow
company coding standards.
The best way to learn how to do something
correctly is hearing how other people solved the
problem. The old adage “two minds are better
than one” exists for a reason.
Don’t be afraid to collaborate.
If you say to yourself “I don’t have to program
for that case, nobody will ever do that” you’re
wrong -they will! Be sure to account for as many
use cases as you can think of, after all, if you
thought of it, someone else probably did too.
Remember real life
users will do anything.
There’s a good chance somebody
else has already solved it, so don’t
be afraid to use their solution (with
proper attribution of course).
When it seems like there are an infinite number
of things to try, it can get in the way of creating
something. Don’t let this stop you. In the
beginning, stick with what’s essential and then
build upon that later.
Don’t be intimidated by
limitless possible solutions.
Decisions are often made with the
data at hand, so it might only be valid
for a few seconds. Also keep in mind
it probably wasn’t a bad decision at
the time, things can change.
Be ready to make
This is, of course, assuming they both work equally well. You’ll thank
yourself in a few months when you have to maintain the code you
forgot you wrote.
When choosing between an
“elegant” solution and a simple
solution, choose the simple solution.
It’s okay to copy and paste a small block of code if you need to use
it again in a different place. Once you’ve used that block a third
time, it’s time to start thinking about refactoring it into a style that
can be shared and reused. This concept goes the other way, too: if
you’re not sure that a certain block of code will ever be used more
than a few times, it might be simpler to just copy and paste it.
Always remember the “Rule of Three”.
Don’t be afraid to leave brief
comments explaining why choices
were made, it can be invaluable
in the future. After a few months
even the original writer may not
remember why a particular solution
was used. Avoid leaving comments
describing ordinary or obvious
behavior - they will quickly become
outdated and misleading.
Code is not
Like most things, the more you do it, the better you get.
Practice, practice, practice.
Learning to program is a valuable skill
no matter your career path.
Collaboration is important.
Be prepared to make changes.
Simplicity is your friend.
Experts Exchange is here to help.
Live by Experts Exchange offers an instant
connection with skilled programmers to help
with those inevitable headache scenarios.
Collaborate on code, get instant help,
improve your skills.