Choosing the right career path can be one of the most challenging decisions of your life. If you have a love of technology and learning new skills, then becoming a computer programmer is a great idea. The United States is home to over 100,000 computer programmers. Making an impression on potential employers should be one of your main concerns as a new programmer.
One of the best ways to make a great first impression is by displaying your ability to create error-free and easy-to-read code regardless of what programming language you are using. While this may sound like a relatively easy task, it is quite difficult without the right tools and mindset. Are you trying to improve your coding abilities in the New Year? If so, check out the helpful tips below, but if you aren’t confident enough in your coding abilities to do the following, start yourself off with a coding bootcamp or two to sharpen your skills.
1. Adequate Code Review is Imperative
Being a computer programmer involves much more than simply coding. In order to be a successful programmer, you will need to learn how to balance your technical abilities with the ability to meet hard deadlines. When working on a project for a company, you need to show them you can produce a functional/reliable program in a timely manner.
Instead of ignoring the need for thorough testing to meet a deadline, you need to continuously test your code. With the help of other programmers and the use of a live tail of log files, finding and fixing problems within your code will be easy. By placing emphasis on continuous and adequate testing, you can avoid handing a piece of software over to a client that is glitchy or prone to crashing.
2. Using a Linter is a Great Idea
As most experienced programmers know, your code is only as good as the tools you use to develop it. One of the most useful tools in a programmer’s arsenal is a code linter. In essence, the linter will produce error warnings when it detects code that is not in line with predetermined criteria or guidelines.
Getting the most out of your code linter is easy when doing things like enforcing a framework or language standard. There are linters for just about any coding language. For instance, if you are using Python, you can use the pylint package to ensure your code stays functional and error-free.
3. Focus on Making Your Code More Legible
When trying to improve your coding abilities in the New Year, you need to consider how to make what you create more legible. Some programmers lose sight of the fact that they will not always be the person maintaining the code over time. This usually leads to hard to read and jumbled code. Instead of making the job of the developer who has to maintain or update your code in the future harder, you need to focus on making what you create more legible.
The best way to accomplish this goal is by doing things like grouping together common ideas in your files. By properly separated common code into separate files, you can make altering and maintaining the code much easier. You also need to focus on sticking to the predetermined standards of whatever programming language you are using.
If you have problems understanding how to make the standards work for your particular project, be sure to take advantage of the great online communities most programming languages have. Using one of the many message boards will allow you to interact with more experienced programmers.
Being Persistent Pays Off
In the beginning, you will make a lot of mistakes as a new programmer. The key to success is learning from these mistakes. Being persistent and tenacious will allow you to achieve your full potential as a computer programmer.