Becoming a Better Developer

Someone put together a neat handbook on how one can improve their cognitive and problem-solving skills and how to increase your overall developer performance – it’s a decent read.

But, I have another idea… and it’s a much lighter read. Instead of 7 chapters and reading a ton of (difficult) resources, I’ve managed to improve my own software development skills by doing these three simple things:

  1. Work with people who are more talented and experienced than you as they will force you to think differently, more strategically, and model for you what it looks like to be a more fluid builder. Mentorship and coaching will naturally come into play if respect is on both sides of the table.
  2. Work on projects that keep you immensely curious as they will naturally encourage you to expand your developer horizons and have you interface with new and exciting technologies. Because of the alignment with curiosity it’ll have you spend time (and resources) on learning new things from new sources.
  3. Spend time on things that are non-engineering as it will also expand your horizons and give you new perspectives on how to build stuff that impacts real people. It will also keep you fresh and reduce burnout, and maximizing your energy so when you head back to your code you’re enthusiastic about your work.

The above three “tips” seem pretty generic as I read over it a few times but I think that’s okay. I’ve spent the last 20 years of my developer life doing these things and I feel as capable as I’ve ever felt to do what I know I need to get done on the projects that I’m currently responsible for.

And I’m even more curious about my work – that’s a good thing. Also, this: