5 Habits of Successful Software Developers

Everyone has their personal methods for how to stay productive and reach their goals in software development. With the major changes that remote work has brought to the modern workplace impacting the way we approach our problems, here are some helpful tips that have proved themselves impactful to successful software developers and to those looking to increase their productivity in general.

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Write clean code

As more and more people learn to code through online lessons, it has become increasingly difficult for programmers to stand out. One of the most effective ways that this can be accomplished is by writing clean and easy-to-read code. This means that your code should not just satisfy the requirement of the computer to understand it, but for a human being to understand its function by looking at it. This will make it easier to edit bugs or improve upon them in the future. Some things to keep in mind when writing clean code are:

  • Single Responsibility Principle: each piece of code should have a specific function. Many programmers attempt to write a single piece of code that carries out multiple functions. This can make it easy for mistakes to spread to other functions throughout your program. Assigning one responsibility to one function will create a more seamless user experience, and it will be easier to fix bugs should they appear.

  • Use specific names for functions to not mix them up and create opportunities for mistakes to snowball.

  • Avoid comments, so they don’t pile up and give you more work to wade through. Ask yourself: does this code need comments for my colleagues to understand? If the answer is yes, then you should consider going back and rewriting the code, so its meaning is clear and understandable to anyone who views it.

Wake up early

Getting an early start to the day can unlock vast potential for the rest of the day. People who start their days early see improved cognitive function, higher self-esteem, and have more hours in the day to finish projects. Waking up early also improves overall mental health instead of those who sleep in late and miss the most productive hours of the morning. A general rule of thumb is to aim to be in bed by 10 P.M. every night and create a healthy morning routine. This means giving yourself time to make a healthy breakfast and warm-up for the day without pressing yourself for time.

Mind enhancement games

When it comes down to brass tacks, software programming is all about problem-solving. Writing a successful piece of code can often feel like trying to put together a mosaic jigsaw puzzle. For this reason, a coder’s mind must be malleable enough to approach complicated problems from myriad angles. To exercise your problem-solving skills, consider practicing games during your downtime that exercise your mind. Games like chess, sudoku, and even Rubix cubes have proven fun ways to train your mind to practice different methods to achieve a seamless final product.

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Exercise regularly

A healthy body leads to improved brain function and overall quality of life. With everyone working from home, Zoom fatigue can often negatively impact our work as we sit in front of the computer screen every day. It is recommended that adults aim for at least one hour of physical exercise or outdoor time daily. This can include anything from weightlifting to jogging or even just going out for a mid-afternoon walk. Anything that gets you up and moving is undoubtedly time used wisely.

Learn continuously

Twenty years ago, no one could imagine the kinds of groundbreaking innovations that have been made in computer technology. Every year, new developments make what we’ve already learned seem outdated and out of touch. There are constantly new programming languages, cybersecurity threats, and industry trends that drive civilization forward. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest industry trends so you don't fall behind the competition.

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