Whether you are a veteran programmer or you are just starting to know your codes, you shouldn’t bank on your current skills to help you climb the success ladder. A programmer who knows their onions is always looking for ways to step up their game and master the skill. Why settle for crumbs, when you can have the whole loaf! Capitalize on these 10 practical tips to maximize your coding potential:

1. Invest in Good Coding Books

There is a lot you can learn from a book, even if reading is your least favorite activity. Unfortunately, most coders tend to prioritize online tutorials over books. However, the programming world is constantly evolving and the trove of knowledge you can find in a modest coding book may surpass that of a popular online tutorial with a robust track record. So never disregard the power of a good programming book!

2. Form Bonds with a Programming Community

There is no greater path to coding success than joining a community of coders. These platforms and communities comprise programmers of different competency and experience levels, so conversations around coding can unravel a depth of insight that you never knew existed. Becoming an active member of coding platforms like StackOverflow, Hashnode, Freecodecamp, WomenWhoCode amongst others— can open doors of unimaginable learning and developmental opportunities for your coding career.

3. Subscribe to a Podcast

A podcast? Unbelievable right? Well, this audio invention can take your coding skills to the next level. Quit asking Google; “how to get good at coding” and download coding-related podcasts. These podcasts provide fresh and updated insights into the ever-changing world of programming. Stay ahead of the competition by learning new trends and coding techniques. Coding podcasts provide a wealth of knowledge you didn’t even think possible. Plus, you can learn directly from seasoned coders who sometimes host these podcasts or are invited to speak. You can start with JavaScript Jabber, Shop Talk Show, and  CodeNewbie.

4. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect is old but golden advice that directly applies to coding. There is no shortcut to becoming a coding genius. You need loads and loads of practice, dedication, and hard work. Dare to try something new every day. It doesn’t have to be a hard or complicated project; you can learn and practice the basics. Over time, they can build up to become exponential improvements.

5. Check out Your Favorite Websites

You know what they say; “you learn from the best”. Transform your love for a website into a developmental weapon. Look at their source code and try to figure out the frameworks and processes used by the programmers. Instead of marveling at the brilliancy any time you click on the website, make it your source of inspiration and learning ground. And if you get stuck, reach out to your community (as aforementioned) and ask for help — you are sure to find a willing audience ready to field your questions and show you the way.

6. Take Advantage of GitHub

When it comes to improving your programming skills, contributing to GitHub is non-debatable. No matter your competency level, you are sure to learn something new when you air your opinions, suggestions, and reservations about an Open Source project. It can up your confidence levels and expand your knowledge.

7. Three is Your Lucky Number

If you want to write not just average but brilliant software, you need to write it three times!  The best software is often a product of three trials. The first try involves writing the code as proof of feasibility (that it could work and will work). The second time, you try all means possible to make it work. And the third time, you fine-tune the code to make it the best. This is a secret that the best developers have used for ages. Their ever so brilliant work might not seem like much, but it took two to three ditched codes to finally arrive at a masterpiece. So don’t just stop at the first code, write it again and again until it is a masterpiece.

8. Focus on Techniques, not Tools

Don’t focus all your energy on basic programming tools, as those never change. Instead, direct the bulk of your time to learn fundamental techniques, frameworks, and processes as they evolve with time. Don’t be caught in a standstill, flow with the ebb.

9. Work on Real Projects

If you are new at coding, you are probably skeptical about taking on real projects because of your limited portfolio and experience. Don’t let that stop you. If you don’t put yourself out there, your fears will hold you hostage and rob you of opportunities. FYI, many seasoned programmers landed their first gig on a whim and with zero to minimal experience. You can build your app or website to get better exposure and access to potential clients.

10. Play Coding Games

Admittedly, reading lots of codes can become tedious pretty fast. To revive your love and passion for coding after a reading bout, play fun coding games in between. Coding games help hone your skills and improve your cognitive function as you solve puzzles and go up the levels. Some great coding games include Robocode, CodeGym, and CodeCombat.

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