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Are you fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes of a website or app? Do you wish you knew how to code?
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if you’re suited to a particular job. If you’re not sure if being a developer is the right fit for you, then keep reading. Today on the blog, we have a guest post by Work-At-Home School contributor Hahna Kane Lotnick from Invent with Code. Hahna’s going to break down the top ten qualities you need to become a good developer.
Take it away, Hahna!
10 Qualities You Need to Become a Good Developer
Have you ever wondered if coding is for you?
Or, whether or not you would be good at it?
Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to teach teenagers and kids how to code. Parents would often ask me if they, too, could learn to code as an adult. I truly believe that if a 10-year-old can do it, so can you!
But what does it take to become a good developer?
In this post, we’re going to showcase the qualities that are necessary to be successful as a programmer.
These are the exact qualities that I practice daily when coding from home.
By the end of this article, you will know if coding is right for you and the next steps to take to work from home as a developer.
1. You Enjoy Creating Things
The reason why I love to code is that I get to turn my ideas into reality. There’s nothing like the feeling of creating something yourself. With code you can create anything. You can develop something for fun like a game or you can build a solution that solves a problem. During the creation process you get to exercise both your creativity and logic with full control over what you’re creating, including its design, implementation, and appearance. For example, no two websites or software applications are identical. If you enjoy making things or putting your own spin on something, then coding is for you.
2. You Have the Desire to Learn
When it comes to coding, you must have the desire to do it. Without it, you won’t have the motivation to learn to code or to stick with it when your coding project becomes challenging. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to learn to code?” Or, “Why do I want to become a developer?” Establish your WHY statement and refer to it often to reinforce your desire to succeed.
3. You Have Courage
Coding can seem intimidating just like when you’re first learning a foreign language. In the beginning, nothing makes sense. You become overwhelmed by the new vocabulary you have to learn and you struggle to understand the syntax and semantics of the new language. You mispronounce words, your sentences are grammatically incorrect, and people look at you weird because they didn’t understand what you said. But over time, you overcome the language barriers and you’re able to have a decent conversation.
Similar to learning a new spoken language, it’s important to have the courage to learn a new programming language. Its syntax and semantics will seem confusing at first, but don’t let that stop you from getting started. You’re going to make coding mistakes. You’re going to break your code along the way. At times, you may even feel embarrassed by your code. But, if you’re able to face your fears or limiting beliefs about programming, you are on your way to becoming a good developer.
4. You Have a Growth Mindset
Many people believe that coding is a natural talent. Either you can or you can’t code. This belief is based on a “fixed mindset” which assumes that our intelligence and creative ability are static and can’t be improved upon or changed. When you have a “growth mindset,” you believe your abilities can be cultivated through your efforts. Coding is a skill that can be learned by anyone, especially if you’re willing to put in the practice. With a growth mindset, you see effort as the path to mastery, you learn from your coding failures, and you strive to overcome your coding challenges. A growth mindset is imperative to becoming a good developer.
5. You Have Patience
When learning to code, you must have patience. It’s very easy to get frustrated when your code doesn’t work as expected. At times, you may even want to throw your computer across the room or give up. Becoming a good developer also takes time. As you’re working through different programming concepts, you may not understand some of them at first. When practicing simple coding exercises repeatedly, you may become impatient and want to rush learning the basics; however, mastering the fundamentals is important to successfully develop larger and more complex coding projects. If you are willing to be patient during your coding journey, you will become a successful programmer.
6. You Are Persistent
Persistence is the choice to continue a course of action in spite of difficulty and opposition. If you’re willing to work through coding challenges, to persist in the face of setbacks, you will become a good developer. If I encounter a problem with my code that I’m unable to resolve then I research the error online or I reach out to fellow developers for their advice. Whenever you get stuck, just keep going.
7. You Are Resilient
Failure is at the core of coding. Good developers look forward to understanding what their coding failures tell them while still having faith in themselves and their ideas. Our code is made up of instructions that computers process and execute. Essentially, computers do exactly what our code tells them to do. When the computer compiles our code and it either fails to build or outputs the wrong result, it’s an opportunity for us to learn from our coding mistake. Failure is simply feedback. When we get it wrong, we have the chance to fix it immediately and make it right. We keep trying until we are successful.
To become a good developer, it’s important to be resilient where you are prepared to try, fail, review, and adapt often. If you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go again without loss of enthusiasm, then coding is for you.
8. You Are Committed
Learning to code requires commitment, especially since becoming a good developer doesn’t happen overnight. When you’re committed to coding, you consistently practice your craft. You learn how to figure things out. You continue to persevere when you’re struggling or not having the success you imagined. And you continue to do the hard work even when you’re tired from doing the hard work you already did. Good developers have endured coding challenges, errors, failures, and obstacles, even if it took them days, weeks, months, or years to achieve their coding goals. You can absolutely become a good developer if you are committed to the coding journey and the work that goes with it.
9. You Have an Accountability Partner
To become a good developer, find yourself a buddy or an accountability partner. Your coding journey will be a rollercoaster of many highs and many lows. We think we can do it all ourselves; however, you will learn more, get more done, and achieve your coding goals more quickly when you have someone to hold you accountable.
If you solely hold yourself accountable, it is very easy for you to cut yourself some slack and to make excuses why you didn’t take action. It would be very easy to give up on coding, which many people do. By having an accountability partner, they will be able to motivate you when you’re down. They can help you get unstuck by providing additional guidance, other options, and simply a different perspective. Your partner can also help you face the true reason behind your procrastination. Your accountability partner is essential to your coding success.
10. You Have Good Attention to Detail
Paying close attention to detail is important when coding. Even the most minor typos and misspellings will result in error messages or bugs. Reading, interpreting, and debugging error messages also requires attention to detail so that you can properly identify, locate, and fix the problem. To code more accurately, break the problem down into smaller pieces. It’s much easier to focus on a small, specific task compared to one that is quite large and ambiguous. Take your time while coding. Review the code you’ve created to ensure it’s correct. Test your code early and often. Don’t’ forget to take plenty of breaks to recharge and to gain a fresh perspective. If you’re detail-oriented or open to improving your attention to detail, you can succeed with coding.
Coding is For Me, Now What?
If you have determined that coding is for you, you may be wondering how to get started. You’re in luck because as part of the Work-At-Home School, we offer the Freelance Developer Jumpstart, which gives you the resources you need to learn web development and launch your career as a freelance web developer. By the end of the course, you will have the necessary foundation to work from home or remotely, set your own work schedule, take control of your earnings, and be your own boss as a freelance web developer.
Work-At-Home School is closed for enrollment right now, but you can learn how to become a good developer by enrolling in the Freelance Developer Jumpstart!
And now I’d like to hear from you:
Do you feel you have what it takes to become a good developer?
Or maybe you have a question about something you read.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
As seen on Fox Business News, Entrepreneur, and other national media outlets, Hahna Kane Latonick has founded Invent With Code to help web developers go from $0 to $10K and beyond with their freelance developer business over the next 90 days, so that they have more time, money, and freedom to live life on their own terms. Get a head start now by downloading the free guide on how to code your way to $5K a month.