One Easy Way To Become A Better Developer
The title of this post is a little understated, because what follows is really universal. The title of this article could be “One Easy Way To Become A Better (Anything, Person, Dog, Cat, Robot)”. So what is this ridiculously simple rule? Read. That’s it, read more. No, I don’t mean you have to go get actual paper books and start reading classic novels, (although if that’s your thing, more power to you), I mean in general.
I’ll start with why as a developer, the more I read, the better I am at my job, and the more my career progresses. It has been too often that I have found myself coding along and then I get temporarily stumped and spin my tires getting no-where fast. I would say that many of those times could have been resolved much more easily had I taken the time to read the documentation more thoroughly. Whether it is a framework, project, bundle, server set up, installs, whatever, many of those instances I could have saved myself time had I taken the time to be consistent with reading the documentation.
Let’s go so far as to broaden the definition of reading, (for those of us that really don’t like to), to include watching informative videos. There is a great chance that whatever you’re working on, or want to work on, someone else out there in the community has a tutorial video or blog post on it.
This isn’t all to say that all you should consume is tech related content. No way! As a web designer and developer, especially if you work freelance, the more you read about anything and everything, the more it will help you relate to your clients and further your career. I’ve personally had to gain knowledge about industries anywhere from automotive, agriculture, construction, financial, to education, and seemingly everything else in between. I wouldn’t be able to do my job for my employer or my clients if I didn’t have a thorough grasp on the concepts, terminology, rules, and industry related standards that are applicable to them.
Whether you are developer or not, no matter who you are and what you do, there’s really no better way of learning, than reading, (including educational videos). Then, applying what you’ve learned on screen, or with pen and paper. In fact pen and paper note taking has an advantage, as numerous studies have shown that learning and retention is higher when you actually write it down.
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