The popularity of coding continues to grow as employers and managers now realize how crucial its extensions are to modern-day businesses. Its applications in digitalization, automation, and marketing make work simpler, faster, accurate, and profitable.
However, there are not enough professional coders to fill the market’s demand. The market is still growing, and it is anticipated it will continue to grow at a rate of 13% annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With an average salary of $48,000 a year, earning potential can increase by specializing and freelancing opportunities.
So if you’re interested in becoming a professional coder or bumping up your prospects in the job market, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Don’t stop learning
Learning is a life-long process. There is always something more to learn, whether it’s a new language or framework or just a different approach to solving a problem with your coding skills. So continue to acquire as much new info as you can.
Learning doesn’t have to be tedious; it can be very enjoyable if you approach it right. Find a topic you’re interested in and go into it as deeply as possible by watching free lectures or enrolling in distance learning opportunities on the web. If you’re aspiring to become a data scientist, consider courses on data science languages to enhance your knowledge and skills. You can also consider higher education opportunities for senior job positions in the market.
Find someone who knows more than you
It’s important to surround yourself with people who know more than you do for your growth. This way, you have a mentor who can teach you something new and take your skills from good to great!
There are plenty of online coding communities that could hook you up with a mentor and other season coders. You may even meet some people who live in your area or work at the same company as you, making it easier to collaborate on projects together.
Alternatively, if there is no one available, find a video course or book that explains the topic you are trying to learn about. You may also look at different open source projects to view different approaches and perspectives.
Understand the problem before you write the solution
Before you start coding, take a step back and think about the following:
- What is the problem?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What do you know about it?
- What do you need to add to your knowledge?
Curiosity is an important quality for a programmer because it helps them understand how things work under the hood. Being curious about how things work lets you build better software with fewer bugs. This is why Google encourages its employees to ask “why” whenever they see something happening in their code or infrastructure that doesn’t make sense at first glance.
Write three times
Experts believe that writing the same code at least three times is beneficial for your skills. Here’s how it works:
- Write the code once, then review it later (e.g., after a few days). This helps you look at your work as if it were someone else’s. You’ll notice unnecessary variables and loops or if/then statements you could fix.
- Write the code again – this time thinking about how someone else would do it (e.g., don’t use global variables). This helps you understand how other developers think and write their code.
- Write the code again – this time adding comments so that others can understand what your intention was when writing it (e.g., “//this gets rid of extra spaces”). This helps you think about how another developer might interpret your code and implement it into their project without breaking anything along the way.
Writing the code thrice helps you approach problem-solving from multiple angles to develop better code eventually.
Test every step of the way
When creating a program, it’s important to test all of your code as you write it. If something goes wrong, you will know exactly where to look for the problem. You won’t have to spend hours trying to figure out what went wrong with your code because you will know when where the error lies and where it happened in the editor window.
To make testing easy, here are some valuable tips:
- Write small functions – it’s easier to identify problems
- Use meaningful names for variables, functions, and classes – self-explanatory names help in testing as it becomes obvious what their functionality is.
- Comment everything – beneficial in extremely lengthy codes. You can understand what it does or why it was written that way.
Learn from your mistakes
Don’t be afraid to mess up and try again. A great coder is not afraid to make mistakes, but they learn from them and use that knowledge to improve their work.
When you have a problem, take the time to break it down into small steps and figure out what’s going wrong at each step. Then try again on a small portion of the problem until you can manage it without making any mistakes.
Try not to spend too much time beating your head against a single problem or concept. If it’s not working for you, don’t worry about it! Move on and come back later when you’ve had time to think about how best to approach the problem.
Be patient with yourself! There will be times when things seem difficult or impossible, but they’ll click and become easier.
Good coders aren’t just programmers; they are problem solvers. In today’s world, where technology permeates our lives from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep, the ability to solve problems and create new opportunities sets apart the best coders! With the tips mentioned in this article, you can bump up your skills to seek lucrative employment opportunities!