Software Development

Six ways to build a better developer

What does it take to turn a fresh, eager, but inexperienced programmer into someone who can help your entire development team work better? Adopt these six tips to help you--and your staff--make the transition.

This article originally appeared on ZDNet’s AnchorDesk.

No one is born a great developer. Most successful programmers got that way by listening and learning from other developers.

If you're interested in helping budding programmers do well, I recommend these critical success factors—courtesy of Builder.com columnist Jonathan Lurie and yours truly—for developing programming excellence.

Never stop learning. To constantly keep your skills fresh, join a users group or "indulge" in self-study. Do whatever it takes to keep your skills—and your attitude—from going stale.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. Code reuse is a core tenet of object-oriented programming. For more on how to reuse code, read "The reuse environment is more about culture than technology" by Builder.com contributor Tom Mochal.

Understand the business side. You don't have to get an MBA, but a solid grasp of basic concepts like ROI and the fundamentals of accounting can help you communicate with the business drivers on the other side of the fence.

Get a mentor, or be one. Look for a mentor or senior programmer who can help you refine your technique and make your coding more mature. If you already have a truckload of experience, offer to act as a mentor for a less-experienced developer.

Don't be afraid to critique your code. No matter how good you think you are, never cut corners when it comes to assuring the quality of your code.

Be nice to nontechies. Try to avoid dropping jargon and talking over the heads of your less-technical business colleagues.

With these simple tips, and perseverance, you can help your experienced and inexperienced team members become better engineers and more involved in the organization.

Let me know
What do you think? What does it take to turn a programming tyro into a pro? Post a comment below or drop me an e-mail.

 

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