Thursday, September 9, 2010

Habits that make you a better programmer in the long run

I read a thread on hacker news on "what habits made you a better programmer?". Here are some of the things(in no particular order) that resonated with me personally.

  • Learning new things. Every year or so try to learn a new major skill like functional languages, AI, Compilers, OS etc.
  • Think first, write later.
  • Read great code written by great people and read your own code also.
  • Surround yourself with real smart people.
  • Spend an extra hour or so after you're *done* with something to give it finishing touches, do the edge cases.
  • Work on what is exciting to you, then switch when the excitement wears off and switch back again when excitement for it comes back. Though, it needs some level of discipline to come back.
  • Have discipline to go 100%, keep the notes and write blog.
  • Learning to love new languages that make you think differently.
  • Learn one editor really well.
  • Write small utility project/programs for the tool/technology you're curious about rather than waiting for THE master project.
  • Find someone to pair program with who is a great programmer.
  • Persistence and Patience are a virtue.
  • Keeping healthy body and mind is very important. Practice yoga or something regularly.
  • Socialize, be part of hack/code fests and such forums and groups.

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