How to become a better software engineer

Gain some insight on how to become a better software engineer.

In this article I will be outlining what I think is needed for developers and programmers to become better software engineers. I’ve outlined two fundamentals that helped me personally get to where I am now.

The first thing to becoming a better engineer is simply using your ability to learn to become a better engineer and the second is looking for experience anywhere you can find it.

Learn to become a better engineer

Obvious right? But I’m not just saying “get good”. What I’m saying is that a key attribute to every great software engineer is the willingness and desire to learn and grow. Go and ask any of your software development friends or colleagues if they like to learn. 99.9% of them will say Yes, the other 0.01% will say “It’s ok I guess.”

As you grow and rise in the ranks as a software developer, you’ll notice you’re more often than not learning new technologies and procedures.

Learning to grow, learning new technologies and most importantly learning to live and welcome failures is paramount to success in a Computer Science career. Failure creates opportunity to learn, room for growth and the ability to become a better software engineer.

My goal is to become more knowledgable in technology at higher levels. I want to take shallow dives into many different areas of technology. This blog is my laboratory and the posts are my experiments. It provides me an area to research, learn and present my findings.

You should treat every tutorial you do and every <Hello, World!/> as a lab experiment. Whether you end up using the end result or not, it is guaranteed you will learn something from it. That little bit of something may give you the experience to keep pushing and learning more.

How do you become a better software engineer? Never stop learning.

Find experience and work on becoming a better software engineer.

Whether it be your first or 4 millionth line of code, you will be drawing on experience and knowledge you have learned in the past. You’ll constantly be asking yourself “How did I do this before”?

As a developer, you’ll never go into a project 100% sure of every step and every function you’ll write. You’ll have solved hundreds if not thousands of problems like the one you’re facing and you’ll need to have the confidence and know-how to proceed.

So, how do you gain experience?

Like many I faced the chicken and egg problem of trying to get work experience without experience to gain experience. It’s a vicious cycle and isn’t only a software developer problem. Luckily for us developers however, we have thousands of resources to gain experience.

If you’re not currently employed full time, take a look at software development internships. Research open positions in your area. Most importantly, don’t give up.

While pursuing internships and professional experience, solve coding problems on or While the problems aren’t really “real world” problems, you’ll be able to build your vocabulary and a better understanding of developing software.

How do you become a better software engineer? Gain experience anywhere you can.

So what can I do to become a better software engineer?

A good starting point is to continually strive to learn and build a better yearning for learning, and to look for experience wherever you can find it.

That being said you should be aware of your skill level and look for areas to improve. However, this does not mean comparing yourself to the likes of Steve Wozniak or Linus Torvalds. Don’t lie to yourself and convince yourself that you’re not good enough. Do not undermine your level of skill and never stop growing.

Success does not necessarily rely on being a life time developer, although it can speed things along. You don’t need to be hacking mainframes as soon as you exit the womb. I found Computer Science and programming simply because I had to fill a gap in my college schedule. I didn’t begin my programming career until I was 22 years old.

You’ve heard it 1000 times before, practice makes perfect. Software engineering and development is no different than any other skill. It truly is a trade career with constant learning and growing.

It’s never too late to start and above all else never stop programming and never stop learning. Contact me or leave me a comment here and tell me what you do to become a better software engineer.

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