Your habits are important

Being an awesome developer is all about being a genius. It’s the only way you can get a job at a cool company and it’s the only way you can build anything amazing.

Oh wait, no it’s not.

Here’s the thing. If you care enough to actually want to be a better developer, you’re already ahead of 99% of field. So now what? Get smarter? Start a project with the perfect blend of flavour of the month and pop culture that goes viral on github? You could do that or you could do something with a concrete return on investment…

Build good habits.

Building good habits is a great investment for a developer because it goes a long way to making what you do consistent, repeatable and valuable.  Building good habits takes those things we know we should be doing and makes them just, “the way”.  Let’s be honest, if you don’t make a habit out of something, it’s going to be dropped the second any pressure is applied.

Good habits I’m working on:

  • Smaller steps!  Whether it’s a new feature or refactoring legacy nonsense, taking smaller steps is great.
  • Making sure tests really are driving what I’m doing.  It’s so tempting to race off ahead, but it ends in tears every time.
  • Automate it.  Rake, powershell, whatever.  Just stop doing it manually.
  • Keep the excitement, keep the love.  There’s more to life than coding and it’s easy to burn out.  Mix it up, do other things.

What are you working on?

 

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