The Software Development Mantra for Beginner Developers

If you ask the average person to describe his idea of what a Software Developer looks like, the stereotypical answer wouldn’t be far from “someone that’s overly geeky and socially awkward”. And maybe dresses in slacks.

He gets extra points for wearing glasses and sitting behind a desk all day.

A geek

However, the truth behind this myth is that there is no dress code, official operating system, or even programming language, that you need to have to become a developer.

The Software Development mantra.

If there should be anything uniform about it, it’s these basic software development principles you ought to know and make your personal Mantra before entering into the coding universe. Such as understanding that becoming one of the best Software Developers requires great and continuous improvement of skill, dedication, and consistency.

It also requires you to keep in mind that:

1. The learning process is endless.

It’s normal for us to fall into the trap of what can be called “end of learning comfort”. This is the misleading thought that there is a point where one can stop learning and settle down with the knowledge acquired so far.

Learning never ends.

However, with software development, that’s an unwise thing to do. Because once you’re through acquainting yourself with a tech stack one day, you’ll come to realize that the industry has completely moved on from that, the next day. And then, you would need to catch up to the new techniques and standards to stay up-to-date and relevant.

Let’s face it. No one wants to hire someone who’s still stuck in the past and has no idea of current trends.

So it’s advisable to level up with the top tech skills that are stealing the spotlight in 2020. Also, you should be willing to consider spending long hours of your days researching and taking online courses on software development, and even submitting yourself to watching tutorials.

Learning with video tutorials

That being said, here are the 30 Best Online Courses for Software Development to start off with. And remember that practice does indeed make perfect.

Ronan O’Dulaing, Vice President of Globocom, agrees with this by adding that if you want to become a good software developer, you can start by practicing on simple and basic code programs. Then gradually, apply pressure on yourself to do better and move on to harder ones.

He also advises picking up problems close to home or your other hobbies. Also, use your preferred language, be it Java, C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, or even Python, to figure them out.

2. Don’t be a hermit. Go out and mingle.

Being a recluse of software developer, especially at your starting point, is a recipe for disaster. You will only make it harder to catch yourself in the act of making bad decisions. It will also prevent you from learning new and relevant things from other people in your field.

The recluse Software Developer.

So even if you’ve been writing code since the word itself was born, socializing with others in your field can greatly impact not just your sanity, but also your learning experience. It will broaden your connections, which is the perfect resource for discovering new things, keeping an alert eye on the industry, and finding the best places to apply your skills.

Now, where can you find these other software developers to interact with?

Well, with the provision of free online resources like Twitter groups, Slack groups, and iRC channels, you can find the right community of Software Developers to connect with. And if you’re okay with spending some money to get your code reviewed and assessed by an expert, you can get help from Codementor.

Codementor’s Homepage.

Codementor is the perfect online platform if you’re looking for instant one-on-one help as a Software Developer. It provides you with an “online mentor” for code reviewing, debugging, and online programming.

3. Don’t be discouraged by the stress. 

It’s difficult to stress on software development without stressing on the stress part (see what we did there?).

No matter how much you may admire programming from afar, beware that it goes beyond just the excitement of creating apps and programs. There are days when nothing seems to just go right.

And you would spend all day, or sleepless nights even, looking through endless lines of code just to find that a single ‘.’ was all that was missing. Infuriating, right?

A stressed woman trying to work.

Joel Spolsky, a Software Engineer, once stated that every time you are coding, you are practically doing something new that has probably never been done before. If the solution existed before, then it would only be a matter of time before someone downloaded it, copy and pasted it, pirated it even, or purchased and licensed it.

The stress here is that these new codes you’re trying out might not work, and so it’s easy to fall into a series of lines of thinking, such as feeling incompetent, or worse, like a failure.

Yes, being a Software Developer can be stressful. But it’s also a field where you can enjoy and pursue your passion, and at the same time, make a difference in the tech universe.

4. Invest in good tools. You’ll need it.

Because if you’re going to spend hours without end slouching in front of a computer screen, you might as well make it worth the while.

  • Buy a good monitor, most preferrably, a high-resolution quality widescreen to keep your eyes happy. Techradar recommends the HP Spectre x360 on its list of best laptops for programming in 2020, among others for you to take your pick from.
  • Invest in quality chair. Or better still, be ready to change your sitting position, every now and then. Sitting like a statue transfixed to the computer screen isn’t exactly ideal. So try getting up to stretch after about 30 minutes of sitting. Then explore some other sitting positions. Or even better, get creative while standing. Like this guy.
A man using a laptop while standing.
  • Be smart with your computer usage, as you’ll be needing it to edit codes and texts all day. And even though you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to buy a good system, you would still need a good amount of memory to run Virtual Machines, Docker Containers, and more.

5. Patience is key.

Especially since you’re going to be debugging for a long time. Errors in coding are inevitable, even to the best of developers. So you should get used to them and learn how to spot out those error messages immediately.

The Author of “Beginning jQuery”, Jack Franklin, was of the opinion that it is the fast parsing and understand of error messages that will save you a lot of time and stress, and take you a long yard in the software development world.

Jack also recommended to beginners to make an attempt at fixing problems on their own at first. Because in the long run, you will make terrible decisions, such as using the wrong data structure.

However, learning from these decisions will eventually help you know when it’s reasonable to use certain design patterns, and improve your experience level, which will help you to quickly respond to and solve errors.

Software development can be a very demanding thing to do, but also greatly rewarding to take on, especially as a career path. And at the same time when the need for software developers is rather increasing, the variety of the type of work software developers do is just as vast.

Which is why the more advanced your skills are, the more opportunities you will grow into.

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