What Do I Need To Be A Good Programmer?

With the popularity of computer programming as a career among those who are interested in computers and the lucrative wages that they receive, it comes as no surprise that many want to enter this profession. However, not many who call themselves programmers are good at what they do. Sure, they may know how to go about using programming languages but they find it extremely difficult to solve issues that prevent the program from running without any hitches.

Good programmers, on the other hand, are able to design programs that work as they are supposed to. There are bound to be problems along the way and even the most brilliant minds encounter difficulties but what sets them apart from the mediocre programmers is that they can figure out a way to solve them. They can find solutions, correct the problem and even make the program better as a result.

Programmers who have excelled at their craft share common traits. If you are interested in becoming one, it would be a good idea to start developing these characteristics now if you don’t possess them yet. One of these is patience. All good programmers agree that without patience, you would be hard-pressed to succeed in his profession. This trait becomes particularly useful if you are already in the process of working out the bugs in your program. When something doesn’t work, you’ll need to go through all your lines of code to determine where the problem lies. Even if the problem was a simple misspelling, debugging can take hours and you need to have the patience to test so you can find out what’s wrong.

Good programmers also know the backbone of the most widely-used programming languages by heart. One of these is the C programming language from which more recent languages like Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python and others are derived from. Thus, if you ask them about the C standard library, they’ll know what are included in it without having to look it up first. Needless to say, they are also proficient about the programming language they are currently using. This kind of knowledge can only be attained by genuine dedication to the craft and constant practice.

Another trait that all good programmers share is that ability to internalize coding language to a point that it becomes part of them. Good programmers think, breathe and live code. They don’t anymore have to translate from English to code in order to let their program do the tasks they want it to. They already know the code by heart so there is no need to translate. This kind of intimacy with coding also makes it easier for them to spot the bugs in the program and fix issues accordingly.

Finally, good programmers never tire of learning. In fact, this is what differentiates the mediocre ones from the brilliant ones. Technology changes very rapidly these days and new languages are being developed at a rapid pace. Good programmers take the time to educate themselves and stay in the game, so to speak, as a result. Even if they can’t go back to school to learn about new developments in the industry, they scour resources in the internet, network with other developers and programmers and attend conferences to keep themselves updated and marketable.

Career Spotlight: Computer Programmer

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