What does it take to be a good developer? Part 1

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Good development

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”
― Pete Seeger

Being a good developer takes time, patience, but most importantly attention. What do I mean? Well you can be patient, and develop for years, and never really quiet get past a certain level of skill. So here’s what I feel will help you to become a better developer.

1. Why should you try to understand what it is you’re doing?

It’s very important to understand not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it. For example, if you’re using a new API or SDK that you’re not too familiar with, try to understand how that API or SDK works. Find out how the platform you’re developing for works. Read up on it, then once you start implementing, you’ll be more capable of dealing with issues. Also, the more you understand, the more it will help in the future when using other platforms and services. So try to understand as much as possible about what you’re using, don’t just learn enough to get a job done. A good way of doing this is to set aside one day a week, or a few hours at least of simply research.

2. Why is simplicity so important?

When writing code, as developers we always try to do things in the most efficient way, but sometimes we get preoccupied with trying to make things so advanced to impress ourselves or others, and we forget that simple code is often times better. When writing code, I’ve often had people tell me that my code is easy to understand. It’s not because I’m implementing techniques that show advanced intelligence, but simply because my code is written simple.

So remember. Simple, simple, simple. Short, properly named methods, good commenting, robust code, well architected are what you’re looking for. So search online to see what can make your code better.

Start implementing these things and you’ll notice that you’re skills as a developer will increase dramatically over a short period of time.

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