Coding jobs aren’t just in demand. They pay about $22,000 more than jobs that don’t require coding skills.
It’s a no-brainer to develop your coding skills to shift to a new career or work to climb the corporate ladder. You need to have the skills that will separate you from the others competing for the same jobs.
That starts by learning how to write good, clean code. Good coding takes a lot of work, but you’ll end up with a better product, happier users, and higher pay.
Read on to learn the top tips to help you improve your coding skills.
- Learn to Code From Different Sources
How did you learn to code? Many developers learned by watching videos on YouTube or by reading a few books.
You have to keep in mind that while these resources don’t cost a lot of money, you may not learn from the best in the field. You could end up learning ways to code that result in clunky code.
You want to have a well-rounded approach to code. Learn from different sources. The more you learn, the more you realize that there are people out there peddling information that doesn’t make sense.
You don’t have to enroll in a university and take on student loan debt to learn good coding skills.
You can take classes at your community college. You can also take courses from universities for free through edX.com. There are coding classes on platforms like Udemy and Coursera.
- Choose the Right Programming Languages
What programming language should you learn? It depends on what you want to do with your coding skills.
Do you want to develop apps? Learn to program in Java. It’s also a good program to learn if you’re a beginner. If you want a job in data science, you should take a look at Python.
- Variables Should Make Sense to Everyone
As you write code, you’re responsible for naming conventions. These will apply functions and other variables of code. You want to have anyone read your code and understand what these naming conventions mean.
For example, a variable for a date should clearly state the date. Don’t use abbreviations or inside jokes to name your variables.
- Be Agile
If you want to be a valuable resource at a large company, you should learn about project management styles. One of the most widely used project management styles is Agile.
It was initially developed in Japan by car manufacturers in the 1980s. It made them so efficient that they blew the American car manufacturers out of the water.
Agile was adopted by the software industry about 20 years ago. It creates a more collaborative environment and holds everyone on the team accountable.
- Test, Test, and Test Some More
Some programmers that use Python development already live and breathe a test-driven environment.
If you’re not among them, you can learn a few things from these developers. Testing your code is a must before you release it to the general public. Even if you’re coding as a hobby or to hack your own smart home devices, you should test your code.
- Always Look to Improve Code
Your mindset will dictate your success as a developer. If you think that your code is perfect the first time, you are missing an opportunity to improve your coding skills.
Approach your code as if there’s always something to improve. There is always a way to make your code more efficient.
- Don’t Make Your Code Look Minified
There’s no question that speed matters in development.
A website code that’s slow can have disastrous results for a business. A recent study from Deloitte found that a faster website can increase conversions by as much as 10%.
One of the first things that developers will do to speed up load times is to minify code. This removes the whitespace, giving browsers less work to do in rendering the page.
The problem with the minified code is that it becomes impossible to read. You want to make sure that you strike a balance between minified code and legible code.
- One Line Is One Task
Good code is very efficient and flexible. One of the leading principles of good code is the Single Responsibility Principle.
This states that a function or class of code has one job and one job only. This makes you think very carefully about the code you use and why you use it.
It prevents you from creating a line of code that serves no purpose and from adding too much code that can make your program cumbersome.
- Use Automation
Developers take pride in their work, and you’re no exception. You may feel responsible for your end product and want to control every single aspect of it.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’re creating more work for yourself. Don’t be afraid to use automation to duplicate code when you can.
- Coding Is a Craft
Like any other discipline, development is a craft. Technology changes and you need to stay ahead of the curve. The best way to do that is to practice your craft regularly.
Schedule time to write code every day. If you want to become one of the best and highly paid coding experts out there, then you need to put in the work.
Think of yourself as any other elite athlete or artist. You have to practice your craft. Adopting the mindset of an artist or musician that practices to improve and to create will help propel you into the elite level of the field.
Good Coding Takes You to the Next Level
Good coding doesn’t just happen on its own. You need to practice and analyze your code to see how you can make improvements.
That is what will separate you from the other programmers looking for the same jobs as you. Be sure to visit the Science and Technology section of this site.