Are Your Programing Skills Becoming Outdated?
Here are 5 ways to get on top of your game again!
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Programming is an industry that’s constantly moving forward. At some point, you might take an honest look at your own skills and conclude that you’ve fallen behind the curve. When you’re a professional this is easy to do because the chances are you have no need to push yourself day in and day out.
But sooner or later falling behind the trends will come back to bite you. You’ll be less competitive in business and in the job market. So how do you get back on top of your game again?
Use Your Knowledge in a New Way
The biggest reason why people fall behind is that they’re not doing anything different. A specialist in building responsive websites will only build responsive websites. They may even be working from standard templates to decrease the time it takes to complete each project. This is how things grow stale.
Stretch yourself by going out of your way to do something new. Try out something different. Use your knowledge in a new way. It will help keep your skills fresh and force you to learn new ways to overcome obstacles.
Start From Scratch With a New Language
Programming is one of those businesses that have a huge number of languages. You only need to know a select few to function as a professional. But there’s an argument for learning lots of different languages. Expanding your knowledge will teach you to take on challenges in a new way, and you never know when that knowledge might come in handy.
Start from scratch with a brand-new language. Go back to why you loved programming to start with and get excited about learning. Sometimes this can help light a fire under you.
Do it Professionally
Any good programmer knows that you can only learn so much from a book. The only way you’re going to grow is through experience. The best way to get experience is through entering the professional arena. Put yourself under pressure again by offering a new service to your clients.
Take the office furniture installation business as an example. The only way you can get better is by challenging yourself through your clients. Apply the same principle here.
If you have enough knowledge to add new services with confidence, you’ll pick the rest up along the way. If you’re not tackling a project without coming up against a new possibility you’ve gone stale and you need to change that.
Stop Using Frameworks
Frameworks are great for programmers because they help you to overcome problems without all the hard work involved. Younger programming professionals will have never lived in a world where frameworks weren’t everywhere. They make things faster but they diminish your skills.
If you can avoid the problem, you’ll never need to learn how to overcome it. Ditch the frameworks for once and try to solve the problem itself. You’ll learn new things and gain a greater appreciation of frameworks through knowing how they work.
Get a Code Reviewer
A great way to learn is to employ an expert to look over your code. You’ll need to search high and low for a code reviewer who knows what they’re doing, but once you have them they can be invaluable. Send them your code and they’ll give you some pointers on how you can improve.
The only way to get better is to find someone who knows more than you. Not enough professional programmers do this, and so they fall behind.
This works great when compared with your bid to learn a brand new language. Someone will point out all the mistakes and provide tips on how you can get better. It’s how a professional athlete trains and it’s how a professional coder should do the same.
Conclusion – Just Keep Coding
The best way to keep your coding skills sharp is to just keep coding. The more you code the better you’re going to get. Most programmers find their skills decline when they stop coding. Leave the game for six months and in that short period, the whole business will have changed.
What do you think is the best way to make sure that your coding skills don’t degrade over time?
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.