What does it take a beginner to become an intermediate programmer? Well the answer is not simple because the expertise, speed, efficiency and good coding practices etc. factors required may or may not be found in everyone. Internet is also divided in two types of blogs, articles, howto’s etc.
- Blog or articles aiming towards programming basics for beginners (“How To do something” or “Hello World”)
- MSDN like articles for expert advice on a particular topic.
So, what does it takes a beginner developer to become intermediate programmer? Here are few points to make the transition.
Learning New Languages
Learning new programming languages will always help in becoming a better programmer. Every language you learn will teach you how to do certain stuff in different manner. e.g. If you are a PHP developer then learning Ruby On Rails will help you in understanding Model View Controller (MVC) architecture and will enhance your OOPS skills.
Learning Advanced Search Techniques, Tactics and Strategies
With the rise of technology blog it has become virtually impossible for a programmer to remember all the latest development frameworks. You simple work on stuff which is required and by doing so you are slightly cutting yourself off by rest of the programming community. “Techniques,” “tactics,” and “strategies” may sound like synonyms, but they are not.
- Techniques: Learn things like Boolean operators, filtering results (negative keywords, domain restrictions, etc.), what role word order plays, and more
- Tactics: Learn how to approach any particular search and knowing what you should you actually look for. Errors are easy to look for the error code but keyword selection on many searches is much more difficult.
- Strategies: Learn things like which search engines to use depending upon what you are looking for, which sites to visit before going to a general purpose search engine, and even which message boards to post for help. Recently sites like stumbleupon.com offers great features so check that out.
Keep Brushing Your Programming Skills
Expertise can be defined as doing a variety of programming tasks for a long period. A study suggested that one would require to spend more than 20,000 hours (about 10 years) to become an expert. This does not mean that you would be doing same sort of work for those 10 years to become an expert. Variety is the key. It is considered that a developer in that sort of tenure will face almost all sort of problems and knows a possible solution. Don’t ignore any problem and try to find out a solution, more you solve the better you will become.
Don’t Hesitate to Help Your Fellow Developers
Always try to help others. Teaching has been a proven method of gaining confidence over a problem. When you explain a problem to your fellow developer you will notice that the questions he may ask can bring a finer note to you. You may read again and explain, this time the problem is much more familiar to you and you become quite confident.
There are sites like Yahoo Answers etc. where people keep on asking stuff. You can simply answer them and don’t think it as a waste of your time. When you answer you will notice the answers given by others users too. These answers may add something to your knowledge too.
Honor Expert Advice of Seniors
As a beginner you are not in a state to figure the best approach by yourself. Always honor the advice given by your senior staff and don’t claim it as your own. Don’t try to find out an alternate solution to the advice at that early stage. With the growing confidence you will figure things out by your own till then respect the opinion by your senior. Moreover, at one stage of your life you will distinguish between an Expert and a novice advice but till then listen others.
Gradually Lean Advance Topics
Gradually learn advace topics and incease your knowledge by practicing hard. Ideally, you would learn topics as and when they are required but having a prior understanding about that topic will surely help you in understanding the problem and help in thinking about a possible solution. Even if you’re an entry-level developer over all, try to become an expert in at least one area of focus.
Learn About Background stuff
Always ask yourself what is going on in the background to display “Hello World”. Once you are confident about the background process you will fee more comfortable in designing your structure. However, this is quite a task still you can start with simple controls or commands.
Best Coding Practices
Best coding practices involves nice variable names, proper indentation, small and modular code etc. These are a MUST for every developer and develop habit and interest for that. Even though learning these things will not always make your code better or you a better developer, it will ensure that you are not viewed as an entry-level developer by your peers. Even if someone is a senior developer, when variables are named after their 97 cats or their functions are called “doSomething(),” they look like they do not know what they are doing, and it makes their code harder to maintain in the process.
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