Becoming a programmer requires both hard works and a strong will. There are people who consider themselves as a good programmer with sufficient skills. However, they shouldn’t be pleased yet about their programming skills. To become a good programmer, there are several things that we need to understand. First of all, we need to decide why we want to be a good programmer. Do we want to get a job with high salary? If we start with this objective, we won’t go anywhere. Let’s face it, the real programmers really know the things what they do and they love their job. It means that we need to grow an interest in programming.
The Fun in Programming
Programming is a kind of engineering where we can directly apply what we have learnt. For example, we can’t tweak our dad’s car for a new engine just to find out what’s going to happen. With computers, we can do anything we want. Do we want to learn how to simulate a virus? Just do it. Anything is possible in programming with a computer. A good programmer indeed wants to work for a big firm. However, it isn’t because of the salary. It’s basically due to the passion to work in this field. We can’t earn a trust from big companies with our current skills of programming. We need to learn more and more to become a real deal!
What Can We Do?
Basically, a good programmer understands the programming languages. It means that we need more than qualified coding skills to become a good engineering, but also some programming languages. For some programmers, it’s definitely wrong. They may say that one or 2 programming languages to learn are more important. To master a programming language at least takes two years. Being a master in a programming language means that we really understand where we can use it. To know a particular language, it only takes us a week. For beginners, it’s appropriate to learn C in the first attempt. We can even learn it from Google without any instructions.
Most of the programmers don’t understand that programming is a kind of art instead of a science. Like anything else, it may require our efforts to learn. Some programmers may recommend Python as the initial language to learn. It’s an easy and good language to learn actually. Yet, we will rely on Google for instructions as not of us understand Python. Commonly, programmers may start with C to learn. As a precaution, we should avoid using Turbo C. It’s very outdated indeed. Use a GCC instead.
Next thing to understand is the algorithms. Any qualified programmers have a good understanding in this term. It doesn’t mean that we need to completely understand algorithms by heart. We only need to understand when to use it in our projects. Algorithms will enhance our understanding in programming and it gives us new methods to overcome problems. Another thing that’s quite important is the data structure. In fact, it’s more important than algorithms. Once we have developed the perfect data structure, we don’t need to work in algorithms. There have been many books that we can read to learn about those two aspects in programming.
In programming, there’s a term called coding contests. This kind of activity is quite imperative for enhancing our algorithmic abilities. These contests also help us to think faster. We can participate in some contests to improve our skills and experiences. Nowadays, there have been online coding contests where we can participate. We can even develop software through such contests. Usually, the contests remain over months, so we can make a preparation first before joining. However, we need to learn more skills and think fast to join advanced contests. Otherwise, we only suffer from troubles.
To become a good programmer, it’s advisable to join in FOSS projects. We need to participate in some projects to earn experience. There are too many choices actually. Use the internet to find available projects to participate. All of them give us many experiences and new knowledge of programming. We may find many codes to learn and practice. Moreover, these projects give add up in our CV. FOSS projects can be our media to sharpen our programming skills. In fact, we don’t need to spend anything to join such projects. Some of them require payments, though.
Next thing to learn to be a good programmer is related to the design patterns. We are able to learn art by emulating. The same rule goes for programming. Therefore, we need to emulate the best ones. Design patterns will be useful to find out solutions for any issues of software design. Basic understanding of some design patterns will be compulsory for us to enhance our skills in programming. We need to learn by emulation. It’s in fact the best method to become a really skilled programmer. We can read some books about it as well.
In summary, becoming a good programmer isn’t something that we can achieve within a day. We must spend many efforts to achieve this kind of goal. Basically, we should find a motivation to work as a programmer. If our motivation is money, it’s likely we can’t go anywhere. We must love anything that we do. Moreover, there are many projects and contests that we can join. All of them will help us to grow and become a better programmer. Both the experience and skill in programming are basic requirements to be a professional programmer. Overall, we need know our current skills. It will be bad if we want to join a big company with poor programming skills.