If you’re a software developer, there are some simple rules that you might be overlooking. Whether you have found yourself hitting a snag in your latest project, or are simply looking for a new way to improve your own work, there are some simple things to keep in mind that can help you be a better software developer today, tomorrow and every day after that!

So, here are 5 things that all software developers should remember.

Don’t forget the names

 No, this isn’t about the people who you work with on a daily basis. What this is about is the names of files, variables, functions, methods, classes, css descriptors and everything else that you are working with should be named so that you know exactly what it is without having to open it up. This is most important because if you aren’t able to describe what something is, then you will not be able to understand what it is. It’s hard to write something well if you simply don’t know what it is.

Make your code beautiful

 Great software developers know in an instant whether or not the code of a specific program is going to be good or not because if the code is good, it’s going to look good too. Make sure to lay your code out in an aesthetically pleasing matter, indenting size and making it as balanced as possible. Of course, the aesthetics of your code is not enough, but if it looks bad at first glance, others will assume (probably correctly) that your lack of attention to detail will cause problems later on.

Keep it short and simple

 Jordan at Seattle Software Developers wants to remind you to keep it short and simple, or K.I.S.S.!

“This is perhaps the most important programming tool as you continue to expand your knowledge and work on bigger and bigger projects. One of the best ways to work as a developer is to understand how to understand your code as small blocks in order to help you avoid getting too deep into the complexities of the entire project. One great skill to learn is to find a way to constantly isolate out the simple essence of each step of what your program does into a method. This will allow you to build and trouble shoot as you go so that you can quickly identify issues if and when they pop up.”

Teach yourself programming in a decade

 While software development is often referred to as a computer science, it is less of a science than it is a craft. In many ways, it is more like painting or woodworking than it is like chemistry. Doing it well requires a lot of memory, instinct, creativity, perseverance, attention to detail  and experience.

While there are many programs that may tell you that you can become a software developer in a matter of months, or even weeks, it is far more likely to take closer to 10 year to really master your craft. Be patient, treat every new job like a learning opportunity, and you will one day find yourself working like a master craftsman.

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