How To Become A Good Software Developer

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Published: 26th October 2012
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Software developers play a big role in the IT industry. They build the applications that are used by companies to meet their requirements. Software developers have usually finished a degree in computer science or a related field, and develop code for a company.

But, there is a difference between an average software engineer and a good software engineer. There are those who can program well, and those who canít. To become a good software developer requires passion, skill and experience, among a few other traits, which Iíve listed below.

Good Software Developers Enjoy Writing Code

Itís true when they say the more passionate you are about something, the better youíll be at it. If you enjoy writing code and being a software engineer, youíll become better and more skilled at it. Youíll feel more motivated and therefore more likely to do a good job.
You could attempt developing software on the side Ė I mean, start up a side project. This could be whatever you like Ė developing a new Internet application, experimenting with packages or parts of code you havenít used previously, or develop a program that will make your life easier on the computer or at work. With the increase in mobile and smartphone usage these days, you may even write a mobile game or app Ė and even make some money from it!

It Helps To Read And Study Code

A great way of becoming a good software developer is to read code written by other people. Iíve done this before when researching how to do a certain task in a particular language. You can find other code and learn how it works.
You can also learn by reading other peopleís code at work, in different programs. Think about what it is doing, how it was developed, if it is the most efficient way to do a task, and what you would have done the same or differently. Itís a good way to learn a few new tricks for future projects.

Good Software Developers Continually Redevelop Code

Itís a good idea to design code before you write it. Actually, itís almost enforced in many of the software development methodologies that companies use these days. The idea is to plan something before you do it, to ensure a better result.
However, in many cases you donít end up with the best result if you create from the design. As you create the code, a good software developer will make improvements to make it run better, perform a specific task easier or faster, or to improve the overall architecture of the software. A good software developer will do this over time, using the tricks and pieces of code they have come across, and learn from the process.

Good Software Developers Write Code That Can Be Maintained

Thereís an old saying that code doesnít need to be commented Ė if it can be read, it can be maintained. Although, in businesses and in team environments, much of the work in software development is maintaining existing code.
To become a great software developer, you should be creating code that can be maintained with less effort. You can do two things to help this. The first is to comment your code Ė itís taught in universities for a reason. It helps other developers when maintaining the code, and it helps everyone when you come back to some code you havenít seen in six months and think about what something did or why you did it this way.
The second is to write code that is easily maintained. This boils down to the structure of the code, and it should be designed and developed in a method that it can be maintained easily. If you have three loops in your code that do the same thing, why not merge them into one? If youíre referencing a text value in several places in your code, why not convert it to a local variable or global variable? These could save you time in the long term and make it easier to maintain.

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