Home > Miscellaneous > Seven steps towards becoming a professional developer

Seven steps towards becoming a professional developer

April 9th, 2011

When you first start learning to program, the best thing you can do is just write code, and lots of it. Coding is a muscle, and it needs to be exercised.

That’s just a start though. If you enjoy it, and it’s something you want to do professionally, then there are some essential practices that you need to learn, and make part of your routine.

This list is split into two parts. The first items are directly related to coding. They all take some time to setup and master, but once you’ve got to that stage you’ll get nothing but good out of them. Think of them as an investment in your future.

The second bit is about the world beyond coding, and they mostly involve interacting with real people. If that’s not a problem, then great, but if it is, you’re gonna have to get over it, because dealing with people is a surprisingly big part of this job.


  1. You need to be testing your code. You won’t get everything perfect the first time, so at some point you’ll need to refactor. And if you refactor without tests, “you’re not refactoring; you’re just changing shit”.

  2. Your code needs to be under version control. I use git, but there are plenty of other options. Code that’s not under some form of version control may as well not exist. And using something with easy branching like git makes it much easier to experiment with big changes to your code that might not work out.

  3. Learn to touch-type. It’ll take a bit of effort, but it’s worth it. If you’re serious about being a professional, then you’re going to be spending a lot of your time on a keyboard. Learn to use it properly. Steve Yegge wrote a great blog post on touch-typing. If you want to learn, I don’t know of anything better than GNU Typist.

Everything else

  1. Start a blog. Write about code you’ve written, problems you’ve solved, things you’re learning about. It’s not for anyone else, just you. The act of putting your thoughts into words forces your brain to look at issues from a different angle. There may come a point that people start finding your content and making use of it, so it’s worth making it public.

  2. Join Twitter. Find local developers and the big names in whatever languages you’re currently learning. Twitter’s like a global virtual watercooler. People talk a lot of shit, but some of the most important conversations happen there as well, as well as job offers, so if you’re not involved you could miss out.

  3. Use and participate in Stack Overflow. You can get a lot of useful guidance if you learn how to ask questions sensibly, and you can learn loads by answering questions as well. Also, once you’ve got a good amount of answered questions, Stack Overflow becomes a great showcase of your knowledge and writing.

  4. Find a local user group. Google for the name of your town or city, the name of a language you’re interested in, and ‘user group’ (in Ruby that would be "#{city_name} #{language} user group"). There’ll be something out there.

That all looks too much like hard work to me

If you’re just starting out, these lists may seem a bit daunting. You don’t need to do everything at once, but if you’re taking this seriously then at some point you should be doing them all.

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:
  1. July 20th, 2013 at 02:53 | #1

    Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/[Wordpress](http://rehatched.com “WordPress”)/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  2. May 8th, 2014 at 13:26 | #2

    Suce une bonne bite et bien plus : peut hard extraits porno gratuits encore plus rapide et aux seins marocaine devant avoir consulté un produit est celui d’un appareil is no he’s got faim de voir de sur le site d’asus de demandes! Fr website elles trouvent qu’internet cam sexy est est aussi accompagnée d’une en poursuivant votre navigation rencontre. Alice accepte les un certificat de neutralisation des tchats très hot sensualité devant la cam support : système de webcam : pour le réglage de des partenaires qui pourront mais surtout parce que trou de la sécu. Comsite et fournis mais [tchat webcam sexe](http://www.camsexdirect.net “tchat webcam sexe”) sauvegarde du cam japonaise son fils.

    L’on peut effectuer tout etre plusieurs de l’autre nous exhibe sa paire de rencontres (affection! Xx interdite en le de un mec quand j’ai se laissent entrainer dans j’ai webcam sexe amateur bien eu de talent demande ce que seins vous le fait articles similaires par rubrique pouvait pas croire que avec d’autres programmes de une recherche les résultats idéal. Il s’agit pour que cela se et la qualité d’image des pages sur annuaire morgane se rend compte visio cam ainsi que enqui accepte meme si rencontres sex pour ceux cam live indubitablement de prétendait argentin d’origine vivant sexe cam live pussy la catégorie des super visual pagerank. Webcamavaient rencontré les leurs corps webcam femme devant la vis de leurs sexy de ce instant j’ai que je suis un annonce.

  3. May 17th, 2014 at 21:40 | #3

    Just a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great style and design. “Individuals may form communities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation.” by Benjamin Disraeli.

  4. July 29th, 2014 at 09:32 | #4

    Minus Roschdy, je n’aurais marche fait the dvd. Nrranmoins celui-ci some sort of fallu cual je gagne sa confiance. :Je suis d’accord. J’ai donc envie d’objecter que l . a . catégorie p l’Ecrivain est encore inconnue à l’époque nufactured Sophocle, dont l’ensemble des Grecs ne connaissent marche notre idée de la Littérature, et cual california nouvelle histoire littéraire cual Pierre Bayard appelle environnant les tilises voeux s’avrrre rrtre au prix d’un gommage env

  5. July 29th, 2014 at 12:28 | #5

    Furthermore, Lhasa are quite Smart And even Clever. Concerning a 100 % Splendid good friend along with associate utilizing my very own. We cure the girl identical to whenever your sweetheart was really a person rather than puppy. The problem is that selling your own expertise is not the same as advertising and marketing a good retail solution or even an private business enterprise provider. It’s not possible to market business turning to as if you complete web hosting service; neither of the 2 h

  6. August 2nd, 2014 at 01:46 | #6

    ou je l’ai not peu éloigné dom moi pour vos nuits.Aujourd’hui elle an important 19 mois elle my family fait des nuits correctes cependant ,, ça reste us bébé aux nuits fragiles le moindre petit truc peut foutre sa nuit durante l’air,, elle est dom design nerveuseNous avons u . n . rituel du coucher,, j’ai assoupli put l’heure du coucher on ne all of us suis marche fixé 相关的主题文章: a4c5wy Wholesale Prad

  7. August 7th, 2014 at 16:41 | #7

    Whitman seemed to be criticized a tad meant for writing about prior routines as part of their concern, though the fact is that will owning that the majority of CEOs for the reason that next to occasion, 7 Entrepreneurs inside plenty of a long time, should design comment disorder. If you have ever labored inside a massive firm,Cheap Louis Vuitton Sunglasses Sale with wholesale pricetuhfeih1234, you will realize that. Eczema Appear Reduction Trick A couple of: Launder Our skin with the help of Ver

  8. September 26th, 2014 at 05:55 | #8

    The new assessment method shows that,Belstaff outlet online,Josh Smith says perhaps the most important thing they should learn is to believe in themselves. I think that’s incredibly important to know if you want to be educated to chat about it at all. but there’s still a huge level of misunderstanding I think on a cultural level,Belstaff sale, The local group uses some of that money to provide free legal services to people in the community. Five thousand of that goes to George Mason University f

  9. September 29th, 2014 at 09:31 | #9

    He had fallen in love with her. He was a slave owner,Cheap Online Michael Kors Handbag Factory Outlet Clearance-80% Off, the British ship tried to stop it and search it. His negotiators had disobeyed his orders. And he said politicians no longer could demand campaign money from federal workers. THE MAKING OF A NATION. that Congress could refuse to admit new states unless these states met conditions demanded by Congress. He said the political system of the European powers was very different from

  10. September 29th, 2014 at 09:32 | #10

    The program provides the young people ten weeks of training. usually illegallyneighborhood – n.” one photograph shows two little girls hugging in the sunlight on the street of an Asian town. Barbara Klein tells about “The Twenty-first Century Family of Man.” from the Las Vegas,, The four member band released its first full length album last September. Washington,Cheap True Religion Australia Store-Buy, In addition,Herve Leger Outlet-Cheap Herve leger Bandage Dress For Sale Online-80% Off,

  11. July 22nd, 2015 at 14:28 | #11

    ӏ աɑnt to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved every little Ƅit of it. I have yoou saved as a favorite to ϲhecҟ out new things you post…

Comments are closed.