The difference between most successful programmers and the ones whose development get stunted in the long run can largely be traced to the attitude and manner in which they learned.
This is not another hard-grilled tutorial or MOOC invitation. Here, we will only cover the general ingredients you need to successfully nail down your place as the best programmer you can be.
We have previously covered a few learning trajectories that very quickly become habits and pointers to correcting them early on if you must be an adept programmer. Here, we will go one step further to learning the right attitudes and trajectories we should be exploring instead.
1. Learn to Love What You Do
This might seem like a line pulled straight out of a Tony Robbins book or a Lisa-Nicholing-rousing-speech, but it is perhaps the most fundamental of truths that is imperative you realize. One can only last as much in a chosen path or field if they absolutely love what they are doing. Passion about one’s work cannot be overemphasized.
If you continue to see a daily stretch of two-hour coding as a chore, rather than as something you are absolutely passionate about, then you are most likely not to make any significant progress over time.
Programming is fun, and the best of coders blaze through hours of coding in their early years even without realizing it. (Now that’s not to say you’re in trouble for preferring the companion of sweet nifty Netflix to hours pounding your keyboard. We all love some nice kick-ass movies.) We come to like things when we try them out consistently. So keep at it. Have a new attitude to those codes. Tinker and tinker until you bring out the fun in it.
2. Go Through Learning With Open Hands
Walk through your learning experience with your hands open to catch whatever falls to it. This only means one thing, be prepared to learn every time and from anywhere. You are bound to get stuck many times as you code—and surprise, that won't end anytime in your career as a programmer.
The best of programmers hit up Stack Overflow too, that just emphasizes how important it is to be open to asking for help when you are stuck. And to be open to receiving help too from anybody qualified enough to do so.
By learning this way, you are prepared to learn in whatever way suits you. Some people are not suited to learning through video tutorials. I find out you're finding it difficult to keep up with some nice, well-meaning Indian accent for hours; then you can try learning through a book. Whatever works for you, be open to learning anyway, anyhow, anytime, even late into nights on Twitter!
3. Try Out Projects
This is probably the most important advice you can heed to. Only one thing comes out of practice—increasing perfection. No matter how solid one’s theoretical foundation might be, if there is no consistent practice, it would turn out useless in no time.
You can blaze through chapters on for loops and functions in books, but it is at the point of practicing them that we find out the niggling fragments in the syntax that we didn’t grasp.
And the best form of practice? Start pet projects over the course of time and set timelines for their execution. Your pet projects should get harder over time, and could become a real-life opportunity or a multi-billionaire company, just ask Vitalik Buterin; Ethereum's founder!
4. Focus; Can you Just Focus Please?
The most baffling trend among newbies and inexperienced programmers is the notion that they can juggle two to three frameworks at the same time from different languages too, without even having a real in-depth knowledge of at least one.
The best recipe to excelling in anything? Focus. Don’t give in to the temptation of learning different things at the same time. Master one first. That would not only give you the confidence to learn another; you would be learning with tons of experience too.
5. Hand to Paper
This is the last and shortest advice on this list, but it isn't the least. Try writing your codes on paper from time to time. It is the ultimate test of a programmer's efficiency. You will most surely be grateful for this when you end up acing interviews without a sweat.