Software developers play a large part in the IT industry. They develop the applications that are used by businesses to meet their requirements. Software developers have usually completed a degree in computer science or a related field, and develop code for a company.
But, there is a separation between an average software developer and a good software developer. There are those who can program well, and those who can’t. To become a good software developer requires passion, skill and experience, among a few other traits, which I’ve listed below.
Good Software Developers Enjoy Writing Code
It’s true when they say the more passionate you are about something, the better you’ll be at it. If you enjoy writing code and being a software developer, you’ll become better and more skilled at it. You’ll feel more motivated and therefore more likely to do a good job.
You could try developing software on the side – as in, start up a side project. This could be anything you like – developing a new web application, experimenting with packages or parts of code you haven’t used before, or write a program that will make your life easier on the computer or at work. With the increase in mobile and smartphone usage these days, you could even write a mobile game or app – and even make some money from it!
It Helps To Read And Study Code
A great way of becoming a good software developer is to read code written by others. I’ve done this before when researching how to do a certain task in a particular language. You can stumble across other code and learn how it works.
You can also learn by reading other people’s code at work, in different programs. Consider what it is doing, how it was written, if it is the best way to do a task, and what you would have done the same or differently. It’s a good way to learn a few new tricks for future projects.
Good Software Developers Continually Redevelop Code
It’s a good idea to design code before you write it. Actually, it’s almost enforced in many of the software development methodologies that companies use these days. The idea is to plan something before you do it, to ensure a better result.
However, in many cases you don’t end up with the best result if you develop form the design. As you develop the code, a good software developer will make adjustments or improvements to make it run better, perform a certain task easier or faster, or to improve the overall architecture of the application. A good software developer will do this over time, using the tricks and bits of code they have come across, and learn from it.
Good Software Developers Write Code That Can Be Maintained
There’s an old saying that code doesn’t need to be commented – if it can be read, it can be maintained. However, in businesses and in team environments, much of the work in software development is maintaining existing code.
To become a good software developer, you should be writing code that can be maintained easily. You can do two things to help this. The first is to comment your code – it’s taught in universities for a reason. It helps other developers when maintaining the code, and it helps everyone when you come back to some code you haven’t seen in six months and wonder what something did or why you did it this way.
The second is to write code that is easily maintained. This comes down to the structure of the code, and it should be designed and developed in a way that it can be maintained easily. If you have three loops in your code that do the same thing, why not combine them into one? If you’re referencing a text value in several places in your code, why not convert it to a local variable or global variable? These could save you time in the long term and make it easier to maintain.
Do you have any other tips to become a good software developer? Share them in the area below!