How To Become A Great Software Developer

Andy Charters
.
August 18, 2023
Programming Tips

Programming or code practically runs the world these days, lots of people from countless other professions are branching into software design.

The truth is, everyone is looking for an easier and faster way to do things; calculations, data sorting and even sequencing large bodies of information.

It's no surprise that people; both young and old, are taking pains to learn the skill either by getting a degree or taking a few programming courses online. So, do you want to be a brilliant software developer? Do you want to stand out from the millions of people branching into the profession? Below are a few useful tips on how to become a great software developer.

Pick a single programming language and master the basics.

There's no magical pathway or quick fix to becoming a great software developer. Just like every other profession or skill, you need to diligently go through the step by step learning process.

Before you go stuffing down massive chunks of information into your poor vulnerable brain, know this; you need to walk before you run. Take things step by step. Pick one programming language and master it.

Most professional developers started this way. Don't try to learn three at a time, you'd be spreading yourself too thin. Many ambitious beginners make this mistake, they dive into the learning process with all their heart and try to master everything all at once. Yes, you'd need to know more than one programming language to be a great software developer but you need to start by fully mastering just one.

Design a small program.

It's always wise to put what you've learned into practice so you can discover where you have gaps in your knowledge. In this case, you can do this by building a small program.

The good thing about this is that you're your own supervisor, there's no need to be scared of criticism.

So, don't be too timid and at the same time, don't be too ambitious. Choose an application you know you can design but with a little challenge. However, don't try doing something that would take you months to complete.

Try your best to stick to the basics that you've just mastered, there's no need attempting to be superman at this point. Don't try to use all the technologies ranging from user interfaces to databases, stick to the stuff you know. Although, you'd probably need some help at this point, so it's ok to use existing APIs.

This personal project of yours could be a simple mobile to-do list app (mobile apps are simpler to create). Try replicating the code from an already existing app, this is the best way to learn.

Try to practice everyday.

"Practice makes perfect and repetition is the mother of habit". As far as every world class professional is concerned, there's no lies in this saying. You can't master anything if you don't keep practicing everyday. The same applies to programming, try your best to write code everyday. If you already have a full or part-time job then don't overwhelm yourself by trying to design a whole program each day. Write little chunks, just make sure you're doing so everyday.

No matter how busy you are, you will make time for anything you truly love and are passionate about. So, even though you get home a bit late on weekdays, try to write a little code every single day.

Whatever information you put to use everyday, your brain stores it as vital information. So if you practice writing code everyday, you'll get better at it by the day. It will also enable you to learn new and recent technologies.

Make your mistakes.

Mistakes are not only inevitable when you're learning a new skill, they can also be very useful depending on how you approach them. Mistakes help you spot the gaps in your knowledge, that way you can fill them and replace any incorrect information.

So, don't get frustrated when you make these mistakes, even the smartest people don't always get it right the first time. The right way to approach mistakes is to learn from them. When you're practicing your code and you discover multiple bugs, don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from those errors, correct them and try to avoid making them in the future.

When writing code, making mistakes can be one of the most frustrating things ever! Especially when you've left the beginner stage and your sequences are way longer, making mistakes can be very frustrating. Considering that one little bug in your program can cause a complete dysfunction, coding mistakes can be a bit frustrating.

However, making mistakes during your practice times can be a good thing, there's no one else there but you. So if you happen to make even the silliest mistakes, you can find out why you made this mistake, correct them, take note of them and finally learn from them.

Go on to learn a framework.

After mastering at least one programming language, it's time to graduate to learning frameworks. At this point during your learning and practice processes, you must have been exposed to using certain frameworks for either web applications or mobile applications. Now it's time to pick a certain framework and focus on learning that one.

Depending on what kind of software developer you'd like to be, choose a framework that would allow you to be productive in that area. For example, if you'd like to be a mobile developer, you probably should focus on learning a mobile OS and the framework associated with it. Likewise,

If you'd prefer to become a web developer, it would be essential for you to learn web development and the framework that goes with it too.

So it all depends on you, pick anyone that suits you and try to master it. Learning and mastering a framework will require quality time investment. Don't just attempt to rush through it and only note one or two things, instead try to fully know and understand it properly. Just like you started out learning one programming language, also start by mastering one framework.

Attempting to learn multiple frameworks will divide your attention and prevent you from having a deep knowledge of one of them. Focus on learning the skills within this framework that would be useful for a specific job you're interested in and the programming language you have mastered using. You can expand your skills and knowledge later on.

Learn a database technology.

Again, try walking before you run. As a software developer, it would be wise for you to have above average knowledge about at least one database technology. This is because there's a back-end database in most series applications, so ignoring this area may handicap you a bit as a programmer.

Databases like SQL would be very beneficial to you. Even if you choose to work with NoSQL databases such as CouchDB or Hbase, it will equip you with a basic foundation to work from. Although, learning SQL instead of NoSQL would give you more of an advantage since more coding jobs require a good knowledge of SQL compared to NoSQL.

With SQL technology, you don't have to bother learning more than one, they're all quite similar. So learning just one technology is sufficient for you, you can apply that knowledge to other technologies. Simply try to master the basics like queries, tables and some other basic database operations.

Apply for jobs that maintain a specific code base.

Believe it or not, working a job in a field you've been training for is part of the learning process. If you have mastered at least one programming language, you can use a framework, and have knowledge of databases, an employer would be very open to hiring you.

This does not mean that you should shoot for the stars immediately, it is actually advised to aim slightly low for now. Just look for a basic job that requires you to work within an existing system using the language and framework you are familiar with.

Although finding a job that fits perfectly into this description could be a bit challenging, try your best to find one that is at least remotely similar. You don't need much experience for a basic programming job, for example a maintenance programmer.

For most ambitious coders who dream of designing and creating new softwares, job roles like these may appear to be a bit boring. But you have to start from somewhere. Handling a maintenance role like this would expose you to large software systems and understand how they're structured.

Your job may be limited to adding some little features and correcting bugs but in general it would help you expand your skills and improve your expertise.

Learn coding best practices.

At this point, you should work on perfecting your knowledge and skills. Don't bother too much about the main design and creation for now, just focus on writing accurate and easily understood code. To achieve this, you'd need to do a lot of study; read different books on code and look at several examples of good and easy to maintain code.

Some programming books like ‘refactoring’, ‘code complete', ‘working effectively with legacy code’, ‘clean code’, ‘Java script: the good parts, programming pearls’, etc, should be part of your library.

Your aim with this is to learn to work with existing systems and understand the structural process of writing great code. Focus on being able to write a program in the language you've studied and understand.

Branch into other programming languages.

Now that you've been able to properly perfect your skills with one programming language so far, you can start to acquaint yourself with a second one.

With your job and all the study you've most likely done, you'd probably have come across other programming languages along the way. It would be better for you to pick anyone of your choice and learn it. It's best to pick one that is a bit more different from the one you're familiar with so you can expand your knowledge.

This is very important because as a software programmer you would need to be able to recognise what concepts are unique to your programming language, through the course of your career. You'd also need to recognise which software developments go beyond a certain programming technology or language. The more programming languages you know, the better you'd be at recognising these things.

Find a mentor.

This is not absolutely necessary but it could really help you get ahead faster and easier. Two heads are always better than one but it's even better when one of those heads is more experienced than the other.

Having a mentor is like having an experienced helping hand, they'll help guide you through the processes you should go through and tell you the things that are unnecessary to give your energy to. Your mentor would also give you useful advice on how to navigate the job market and how to advance in your career path.

It's best to have a mentor that does not work at the same company that you do and is preferably in a different location. This is to avoid bias. You can receive advice from them through email, Skype or zoom calls. Having a mentor will help save time and energy and will cut down the number of mistakes you make while progressing as a software developer.

In Conclusion

Choosing a career in software development is a wise decision since coders are highly sought out in every field. Becoming a good programmer does not happen overnight, you will need to give yourself time and invest sufficient effort in carefully learning the essentials. Goodluck.

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Position Overview

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Front-End Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Front End React Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking a passionate Front End React Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Frontend Developer (NextJS and React)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Frontend Developer (Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Frontend React Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full-Stack Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking a passionate Full-Stack Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack Laravel/Vue Developer (Jr to Mid)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full Stack .Net Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full-Stack Node/VueJS Developer (Mid - Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer (Mid to Senior)

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate mid to senior-level Fullstack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer Tech Lead

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate Lead Full-Stack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full stack RoR/VueJS Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Fullstack Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Fullstack .NET Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Lead/Senior Frontend Developer (UI/UX) - Brazil

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned business established eight years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent worldwide with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines and Brazil as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Marketing Specialists

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Backend Developer (Python)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Senior Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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How To Become A Great Software Developer

February 16, 2024

Programming or code practically runs the world these days, lots of people from countless other professions are branching into software design.

The truth is, everyone is looking for an easier and faster way to do things; calculations, data sorting and even sequencing large bodies of information.

It's no surprise that people; both young and old, are taking pains to learn the skill either by getting a degree or taking a few programming courses online. So, do you want to be a brilliant software developer? Do you want to stand out from the millions of people branching into the profession? Below are a few useful tips on how to become a great software developer.

Pick a single programming language and master the basics.

There's no magical pathway or quick fix to becoming a great software developer. Just like every other profession or skill, you need to diligently go through the step by step learning process.

Before you go stuffing down massive chunks of information into your poor vulnerable brain, know this; you need to walk before you run. Take things step by step. Pick one programming language and master it.

Most professional developers started this way. Don't try to learn three at a time, you'd be spreading yourself too thin. Many ambitious beginners make this mistake, they dive into the learning process with all their heart and try to master everything all at once. Yes, you'd need to know more than one programming language to be a great software developer but you need to start by fully mastering just one.

Design a small program.

It's always wise to put what you've learned into practice so you can discover where you have gaps in your knowledge. In this case, you can do this by building a small program.

The good thing about this is that you're your own supervisor, there's no need to be scared of criticism.

So, don't be too timid and at the same time, don't be too ambitious. Choose an application you know you can design but with a little challenge. However, don't try doing something that would take you months to complete.

Try your best to stick to the basics that you've just mastered, there's no need attempting to be superman at this point. Don't try to use all the technologies ranging from user interfaces to databases, stick to the stuff you know. Although, you'd probably need some help at this point, so it's ok to use existing APIs.

This personal project of yours could be a simple mobile to-do list app (mobile apps are simpler to create). Try replicating the code from an already existing app, this is the best way to learn.

Try to practice everyday.

"Practice makes perfect and repetition is the mother of habit". As far as every world class professional is concerned, there's no lies in this saying. You can't master anything if you don't keep practicing everyday. The same applies to programming, try your best to write code everyday. If you already have a full or part-time job then don't overwhelm yourself by trying to design a whole program each day. Write little chunks, just make sure you're doing so everyday.

No matter how busy you are, you will make time for anything you truly love and are passionate about. So, even though you get home a bit late on weekdays, try to write a little code every single day.

Whatever information you put to use everyday, your brain stores it as vital information. So if you practice writing code everyday, you'll get better at it by the day. It will also enable you to learn new and recent technologies.

Make your mistakes.

Mistakes are not only inevitable when you're learning a new skill, they can also be very useful depending on how you approach them. Mistakes help you spot the gaps in your knowledge, that way you can fill them and replace any incorrect information.

So, don't get frustrated when you make these mistakes, even the smartest people don't always get it right the first time. The right way to approach mistakes is to learn from them. When you're practicing your code and you discover multiple bugs, don't beat yourself up about it. Learn from those errors, correct them and try to avoid making them in the future.

When writing code, making mistakes can be one of the most frustrating things ever! Especially when you've left the beginner stage and your sequences are way longer, making mistakes can be very frustrating. Considering that one little bug in your program can cause a complete dysfunction, coding mistakes can be a bit frustrating.

However, making mistakes during your practice times can be a good thing, there's no one else there but you. So if you happen to make even the silliest mistakes, you can find out why you made this mistake, correct them, take note of them and finally learn from them.

Go on to learn a framework.

After mastering at least one programming language, it's time to graduate to learning frameworks. At this point during your learning and practice processes, you must have been exposed to using certain frameworks for either web applications or mobile applications. Now it's time to pick a certain framework and focus on learning that one.

Depending on what kind of software developer you'd like to be, choose a framework that would allow you to be productive in that area. For example, if you'd like to be a mobile developer, you probably should focus on learning a mobile OS and the framework associated with it. Likewise,

If you'd prefer to become a web developer, it would be essential for you to learn web development and the framework that goes with it too.

So it all depends on you, pick anyone that suits you and try to master it. Learning and mastering a framework will require quality time investment. Don't just attempt to rush through it and only note one or two things, instead try to fully know and understand it properly. Just like you started out learning one programming language, also start by mastering one framework.

Attempting to learn multiple frameworks will divide your attention and prevent you from having a deep knowledge of one of them. Focus on learning the skills within this framework that would be useful for a specific job you're interested in and the programming language you have mastered using. You can expand your skills and knowledge later on.

Learn a database technology.

Again, try walking before you run. As a software developer, it would be wise for you to have above average knowledge about at least one database technology. This is because there's a back-end database in most series applications, so ignoring this area may handicap you a bit as a programmer.

Databases like SQL would be very beneficial to you. Even if you choose to work with NoSQL databases such as CouchDB or Hbase, it will equip you with a basic foundation to work from. Although, learning SQL instead of NoSQL would give you more of an advantage since more coding jobs require a good knowledge of SQL compared to NoSQL.

With SQL technology, you don't have to bother learning more than one, they're all quite similar. So learning just one technology is sufficient for you, you can apply that knowledge to other technologies. Simply try to master the basics like queries, tables and some other basic database operations.

Apply for jobs that maintain a specific code base.

Believe it or not, working a job in a field you've been training for is part of the learning process. If you have mastered at least one programming language, you can use a framework, and have knowledge of databases, an employer would be very open to hiring you.

This does not mean that you should shoot for the stars immediately, it is actually advised to aim slightly low for now. Just look for a basic job that requires you to work within an existing system using the language and framework you are familiar with.

Although finding a job that fits perfectly into this description could be a bit challenging, try your best to find one that is at least remotely similar. You don't need much experience for a basic programming job, for example a maintenance programmer.

For most ambitious coders who dream of designing and creating new softwares, job roles like these may appear to be a bit boring. But you have to start from somewhere. Handling a maintenance role like this would expose you to large software systems and understand how they're structured.

Your job may be limited to adding some little features and correcting bugs but in general it would help you expand your skills and improve your expertise.

Learn coding best practices.

At this point, you should work on perfecting your knowledge and skills. Don't bother too much about the main design and creation for now, just focus on writing accurate and easily understood code. To achieve this, you'd need to do a lot of study; read different books on code and look at several examples of good and easy to maintain code.

Some programming books like ‘refactoring’, ‘code complete', ‘working effectively with legacy code’, ‘clean code’, ‘Java script: the good parts, programming pearls’, etc, should be part of your library.

Your aim with this is to learn to work with existing systems and understand the structural process of writing great code. Focus on being able to write a program in the language you've studied and understand.

Branch into other programming languages.

Now that you've been able to properly perfect your skills with one programming language so far, you can start to acquaint yourself with a second one.

With your job and all the study you've most likely done, you'd probably have come across other programming languages along the way. It would be better for you to pick anyone of your choice and learn it. It's best to pick one that is a bit more different from the one you're familiar with so you can expand your knowledge.

This is very important because as a software programmer you would need to be able to recognise what concepts are unique to your programming language, through the course of your career. You'd also need to recognise which software developments go beyond a certain programming technology or language. The more programming languages you know, the better you'd be at recognising these things.

Find a mentor.

This is not absolutely necessary but it could really help you get ahead faster and easier. Two heads are always better than one but it's even better when one of those heads is more experienced than the other.

Having a mentor is like having an experienced helping hand, they'll help guide you through the processes you should go through and tell you the things that are unnecessary to give your energy to. Your mentor would also give you useful advice on how to navigate the job market and how to advance in your career path.

It's best to have a mentor that does not work at the same company that you do and is preferably in a different location. This is to avoid bias. You can receive advice from them through email, Skype or zoom calls. Having a mentor will help save time and energy and will cut down the number of mistakes you make while progressing as a software developer.

In Conclusion

Choosing a career in software development is a wise decision since coders are highly sought out in every field. Becoming a good programmer does not happen overnight, you will need to give yourself time and invest sufficient effort in carefully learning the essentials. Goodluck.

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